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Workers Vanguard No. 1108

24 March 2017
The closing date for news in this issue is 21 March.

Workers Vanguard

U.S. Steps Up Military Provocations

Defend China, North Korea!

Seizing on recent weapons and missile tests by the Pyongyang regime, the U.S. warmongers are escalating their threats against North Korea and China. On March 7, the U.S. began the installation of an advanced missile shield system in South Korea, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), with its battery of weapons and powerful missile-tracking radar. Nearly a week later, Washington announced that Gray Eagle surveillance and attack drones would also be permanently stationed in South Korea. On March 17, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, speaking in Seoul, threatened a military strike against North Korea, declaring, “All options are on the table.”

The Trump administration, echoed by the capitalist media, claims that the purpose of THAAD and other such measures is to protect Washington’s South Korean client state from a nuclear nightmare supposedly about to be unleashed by North Korea. In fact, it is the U.S. imperialists who have the North in their gun sights. Some 320,000 U.S. and South Korean troops are currently staging joint military exercises, whose scenarios include “decapitation” raids aimed at “taking out North Korea’s leadership” (Korea Herald, 13 March). With the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in the port of Busan and F-35B stealth fighter planes overhead, the war games include the elite SEAL Team Six assassination squad that killed Osama bin Laden. In addition, Japanese, U.S. and South Korean warships met up on March 14 for coordinated military drills near the North Korean coast.

Beyond all this, the National Security Council is reportedly considering the open redeployment of nuclear weapons in South Korea. While North Korea is in the U.S. imperialists’ immediate crosshairs, their ultimate target is China, the largest and most powerful remaining country where capitalist rule has been overthrown. Military experts have noted that the THAAD batteries would be of no use against a hypothetical low-altitude North Korean missile launch directed at the South. However, the system’s tracking radar could cover much of eastern China, giving the U.S. the ability to degrade the viability of Beijing’s nuclear deterrent. Stating that China would “take the necessary steps to safeguard our own security interests,” a Chinese foreign affairs spokesman warned the U.S. and South Korea not to “go further and further down the wrong road.”

In his March 17 press conference, Tillerson stated in regard to North Korea, “The policy of strategic patience has ended.” In fact, whether under Republicans or Democrats, U.S. imperialism’s sole policy toward North Korea has always been to destroy its social revolution on the road to overturning the 1949 Chinese Revolution. This included the 1950-53 Korean War—waged under the flag of the United Nations—in which the U.S. and its allies devastated the peninsula. (read on)

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About the ICL

V.I. LeninLeon TrotskyThe International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist) is a proletarian, revolutionary and internationalist tendency committed to the task of building Leninist parties as national sections of a democratic-centralist international. Our aim is the achievement of new October Revolutions—nothing else, nothing other, nothing less. The ICL bases itself on Marxist historical, dialectical materialism and seeks in particular to carry forward the international working-class perspectives of Marxism developed in the theory and practice of the Bolshevik leaders V. I. Lenin and L. D. Trotsky and embodied in the decisions of the first four Congresses of the Communist International as well as key documents of the Fourth International such as the Transitional Program (1938) and "War and the Fourth International" (1934). We also look to James P. Cannon, a leader of the early American Communist Party who was won to Trotskyism and went on to become a principal founder of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), working in close collaboration with Leon Trotsky. The origins of the ICL are in the Spartacist League/U.S., which began as the Revolutionary Tendency in the SWP and was bureaucratically expelled in 1963. Our ICL "Declaration of Principles and Some Elements of Program" was modeled on the Declaration of Principles adopted at the 1966 founding conference of the SL/U.S.

Adopted at the Third International Conference of the ICL in early 1998, the declaration presently exists in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, German, Russian, Polish, Italian, Turkish, Indonesian, Greek, Korean and Tagalog. In this post-Soviet period, marked by a deep regression of proletarian consciousness, we continue to be guided by Trotsky's statement that "the task of the vanguard is above all not to let itself be carried along by the backward flow; it must swim against the current." Reforge the Fourth International, world party of socialist revolution!