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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/27/13

US troops to Niger: A new stage in the scramble for Africa

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Message Bill van Auken

The academic scoundrel Juan Cole of the University of Michigan used his inflated reputation as a critic of the Iraq war to sell the war in Libya. Gilbert Achcar, a member of the international Pabloite United Secretariat and a professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, condemned NATO for not dropping more bombs on the country. And organizations ranging from the Left Party in Germany, to the New Anti-capitalist Party in France, the Socialist Workers Party in Britain and the International Socialist Organization in the US all engaged in the dirty work of politically legitimizing a predatory imperialist war.

The pro-war positions taken by these individuals and groups--in both Libya and Syria--reflect the evolution of a whole socio-political layer rooted in affluent sections of the middle class, which, with varying combinations of political calculation and ignorance, have come to identify their material interests with those of their "own" imperialist powers.

In the context of the escalating imperialist drive to redraw the map of Africa, these elements stand completely exposed as intellectual and political "assets" of the CIA and the Pentagon.

As these layers have moved ever further to the right, the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) alone has defended and developed a Marxist perspective on war. For over two decades, from the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, it has analyzed the explosive eruption of American militarism as a reflection of the crisis of US imperialism and its attempt to offset its historic decline by exploiting its continuing military superiority. The ICFI has further explained that the escalating imperialist violence abroad is inseparably bound up with the ever-widening social chasm separating the ruling financial oligarchy from the mass of working people at home.

It follows that a genuine movement against war and colonialism can be developed only through the independent political mobilization and international unification of the working class in struggle against the root cause of war, the capitalist system. With the events unfolding in Africa, this perspective has been thoroughly vindicated.

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Bill Van Auken (born 1950) is a politician and activist for the Socialist Equality Party and was a presidential candidate in the U.S. election of 2004, announcing his candidacy on January 27, 2004. His running mate was Jim Lawrence. He came in 15th (more...)
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