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Issue #1756      November 9, 2016

Editorial

The fight for peace and the environment

The most important issues facing humankind are climate change and the abolition of all instruments of mass destruction – nuclear, chemical, biological and prevention of any other as yet undeveloped – on earth or in space. These have been the primary concerns of the peace movement ever since the US dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 and the emergence and growing awareness of the threat of climate change to all life on earth.

Since the end of World War II, the Soviet Union, then the only country other than the US with a nuclear arsenal, repeatedly urged the destruction of these weapons and one-sidedly pledged that it would not make a first strike.

US policymakers refused to emulate this pledge and, instead, continued to develop ever more deadly weapons in greater quantities – forcing the USSR to do the same.

Since the fall of the European socialist countries the official US line has been that the “cold war” has ended. Of course, we dispute that assertion.

Destroying socialism and the absolute subjugation of humanity to the profit interests of transnational capitalism remains the highest priority on the agenda of US imperialism. The Asian “pivot” by the US with its military occupation of Australia’s north and its coalition of willing has seen the belligerent focus of the US turn on China with its socialist agenda and communist government.

The unbridled greed of US imperialism has wrought war and devastation.

It is not necessary to detail the countries that have been bombed, invaded, subverted, pauperised, privatised, subjected to boycotts and sanctions, to internationally-banned chemical and nuclear carnage, to the imposition of US designated dictators, financial restrictions, military occupation and transnational corporate takeovers.

Of course, there has been and there is now resistance. Peace groups have not been silenced, the movement for the environment has continued to grow in strength and influence; in the ongoing grass-roots class struggle, organised labour continues to came up against capitalism’s basic contradiction.

It is important to stress certain aspects of US policy:

  • its publicised assertion that the US is now the sole superpower and, as such, claims to have hegemony over the world
  • its build-up of military forces and their dispersal all over the globe so as to ensure a safe “climate” for US globalisation of finance and industry; and to prevent any popular uprisings against US approved – or imposed – regimes
  • its determination to eliminate all vestiges of socialism/communism.

Until its 1991 demise, the Soviet Union’s retaliatory nuclear power prevented Armageddon. Russia’s retaliatory ability still exists along with the growing, unstoppable economic powerhouse that is People’s China, barriers to US imperialism’s horrendous threat to all humankind.

The 2003 invasion of Iraq foreshadowed unbridled imperialist arrogance.

In the long run US imperialism is dangerous to the very existence of life.

There has never been a more crucial time for the peace forces everywhere to unite, to gather together with the fight for the environment tens of millions of strong voices and to coordinate mass actions across the globe.

The crucial need to act on climate change and the ongoing struggle for peace; together these form the urgent tasks now facing humanity. Never has the urgency been greater.

Next article – Family Violence is a Workplace Issue

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