The crisis spawned by the killing of the U.S. ambassador, two ex-Navy Seals and another U.S. official in Benghazi has its roots in the U.S.-NATO takeover of Libya and its oil fields from the former sovereign Libyan government. That the crisis exploded during the presidential elections has led to verbal battles between the two capitalist political parties, the Republicans and Democrats.
These parties are both avid supporters of U.S. imperialist foreign policies and all the Pentagon’s wars. In times of war crisis, they usually close ranks behind whatever militaristic moves the administration pursues.
Thus the immediate attacks on the Obama administration from Sen. John McCain, Rep. Paul Ryan, former Gov. Mitt Romney and others might leave the impression that there are substantial and serious differences in strategy, tactics and perhaps even goals of the two parties regarding aggressive U.S. foreign policy.
That would be a false impression. Both parties express the interests of the U.S. imperialist ruling class. And this class has grown more belligerent and desperate for conquest as the economic crisis drags on and deepens.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, which was a counterbalance to imperialist power from 1945 to 1990, the U.S. and its NATO allies have been trying to reconquer those countries that had won some sovereignty during the USSR’s existence. Washington has waged these wars — under both Democratic and Republican administrations — using diverse but equally fraudulent banners and justified them by equally fraudulent pretexts, from “humanitarian rescues” to “weapons of mass destruction.”
Republican administrations invaded Afghanistan and have invaded Iraq twice, wreaking havoc on millions of people. Democratic administrations bombed Yugoslavia and Libya, destroying those states. The Obama administration uses pilotless drones to bomb Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and other African targets while continuing the war against the Afghan people; most casualties are civilians.
Both parties have promoted anti-Muslim ideology inside the U.S. by imprisoning Muslims in the Guantánamo concentration camp without trial, and by using the FBI and local police to frame up Muslim youth for alleged plots that paid agent provocateurs incited in the first place.
There are differences. The Republicans have spoken with more bluster, rattling rockets and threatening to send troops. The Democrats speak softer and maneuver more with local forces, avoiding mass troop casualties if possible. Both pursue an equally militarist, interventionist foreign policy in general that creates a catastrophe for the peoples involved.
Right now both want intervention against Syria and threaten war on Iran.
In Libya, the irony is that Washington’s strategy of supporting the most retrograde forces to overthrow and murder Col. Moammar Gadhafi has resulted in the death of the U.S. ambassador. Let this event not be used by either imperialist party as a pretext for further intervention and war.
For anti-war and anti-imperialist forces inside the U.S., the only option is to oppose both parties and to oppose whatever the Pentagon plans. The next opportunity to do so will be on the weekend of Oct. 5-7 when the United National Antiwar Coalition (nationalpeaceconference.org) has called actions in cities around the U.S. — with protests also scheduled in Canada — to say no to U.S. intervention against Syria and Iran and to get NATO out of Afghanistan.