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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/15/17

Behind the Flynn resignation and Trump crisis: A bitter conflict over imperialist policy

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Trump's opponents within the ruling class insist that US foreign policy must target Russia, with the aim of weakening the Putin regime or overthrowing it. This is deemed a prerequisite for taking on the challenge posed by China.

Numerous Washington think tanks have developed scenarios for military conflicts with Russian forces in the Middle East, in Ukraine, in the Baltic States and in cyberspace. The national security elite is not prepared to accept a shift in orientation away from the policy of direct confrontation with Russia along the lines proposed by Trump, who would like for the present to lower tensions with Russia in order to focus first on China.

Even as the struggle rages within the ruling class and the capitalist state, the Trump administration's attacks on democratic rights are provoking an unprecedented outpouring of popular opposition. Millions of working people and youth, native-born and immigrant, have taken part in protests against the new government. But this broad social movement has, as yet, neither a clear political program articulating the independent interests of the working class nor a revolutionary socialist leadership.

This situation poses grave dangers. The intelligence agencies, acting primarily through the Democratic Party, are seeking to hijack the mass opposition to Trump and redirect it behind their war plans, whether directed against Russia or China, using supposed external enemies as lightning rods for rising social and economic distress.

Workers and young people must not line up behind either faction of the ruling elite. Both are preparing for new military bloodbaths to safeguard the profits of American corporations. They are fighting over tactics and the sequence of targets, not over whether to send American youth to kill or be killed in imperialist wars.

The struggle against the Trump administration poses the need for a complete break with the Democrats and Republicans, the twin parties of big business, and the building of a mass independent political movement of working people, based on a socialist and internationalist program.

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Patrick Martin writes for the World Socialist Website (wsws.org), a forum for socialist ideas & analysis & published by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI).
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