Friday, September 9, 2016

Clinton and Trump bow to the military – SEP Election Newsletter

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From: Socialist Equality Party <>

Date: Thu, Sep 8, 2016 6:03 PM

To: Terry;

Subject:Clinton and Trump bow to the military – SEP Election Newsletter

The nationally televised "Commander-in-Chief Forum," held before an audience of soldiers and ex-soldiers in New York City, was a demonstration of the militarization of American society and the prostration of official politics to the military-intelligence apparatus. View this email in your browser

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Clinton and Trump bow to the military

By Patrick Martin

The nationally televised "Commander-in-Chief Forum," held before an audience of soldiers and ex-soldiers in New York City, was a demonstration of the militarization of American society and the prostration of official politics to the military-intelligence apparatus.

The two major-party presidential candidates, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, were accorded half an hour each to take questions from interviewer Matt Lauer and from veterans selected from the audience.

There was no suggestion that any of the wars conducted by these presidents, from Vietnam to Libya and Syria, was in any way questionable. There was no mention of the mass opposition to the war in Vietnam, or the millions who protested Bush's decision to invade Iraq. Read more »

White House to maintain nuclear "first strike" policy

By Andre Damon

On Tuesday, the New York Times published as its front-page lead article a piece, written by longtime military/intelligence insider David Sanger, reporting internal White House discussions that the Obama administration is planning on maintaining the United States' "first strike" nuclear weapons policy.

In recent months, the Washington Post and Times had published reports that President Obama had considered formally adopting a policy of not using nuclear weapons unless the US was attacked by such weapons first.

On July 10, The Washington Post reported, "The Obama administration is determined to use its final six months in office to take a series of executive actions to advance the nuclear agenda the president has advocated since his college days," including the possible adoption of a "no first use" policy.

But Tuesday's report in the Times declared that Obama "appears likely to abandon the proposal after top national security advisers argued" that it would "embolden Russia and China." Read more »

Minnesota nurses strike highlights militant mood of US workers

By Jerry White

Nearly 5,000 nurses are continuing to walk the picket lines at five hospitals in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area in Minnesota. The strike, now in its third day, highlights the sharp class tensions in the United States on the eve of the 2016 presidential elections and the growing mood of militancy in the working class.

The nurses have repeatedly rejected concession demands by Allina Health, which is seeking, like so many other US employers, to force workers into inferior healthcare plans with higher out-of-pocket costs. Striking workers also want to reduce dangerously high patient-to-nurse ratios and stop management from piling on more work responsibilities on an understaffed workforce. The company's demands are in line with the cost-cutting drive at the heart of Obama's misnamed Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The strike erupted despite the best efforts of the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) and a federal mediator dispatched by the Obama administration. The union offered to give into Allina's major demand to replace four union-backed health plans with the company's in-house plan—if only Allina made a conciliatory gesture in order to sell the agreement to resistant workers. Although all nurses in the Twin Cities face the same struggle, the MNA is keeping another 7,000 nurses in the largest hospitals on the job. Read more »

Clinton denounces Russian "interference" in US elections, calls for escalation in Syria

By Patrick Martin

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton this week publicly accused the Russian government of intervening in the American election on behalf of her Republican opponent Donald Trump.

She cited an investigation by US intelligence agencies, first reported Monday night by the Washington Post, into alleged Russian government hacking into the computer systems of the state election officials in the United States.

Clinton told a press conference Monday there were now "credible reports about Russian interference in our elections," adding, "I want everyone—Democrat, Republican, Independent—to understand the real threat that this represents." Read more »

Turkey prepares joint action with US in Syria

By Bill Van Auken

The Turkish government is prepared to carry out a joint assault with the US on the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) "capital" in Raqqa, Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has told the Turkish media.

Erdogan made the remarks to journalists on board his plane returning from the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China, where he said US President Barack Obama had proposed the joint action.

"Obama particularly wants to do something together [with us] about Raqqa," Erdogan said, according to the daily Hurriyet. "We have told him that this is not a problem for us." He added that top level military commanders from both sides should meet and "then what is necessary will be done." Read more »

Green Party presidential candidate seeks to corral antiwar sentiment

By Jerry White

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein held a campaign rally in Detroit Saturday afternoon. While the event attracted a couple hundred supporters, including students and workers who had backed Bernie Sanders and had been shocked and angered by his endorsement of Hillary Clinton, the Green presidential candidate offered them no way forward.

The Green Party has pitched itself as and has become the "political home" of groups that have long operated within the orbit of the Democratic Party. Pseudo-left groups, such as the International Socialist Organization, Socialist Alternative and the Socialist Party USA hope to transform the Greens into an electoral vehicle for their entry into bourgeois politics. This is the path taken by the Green parties in Germany, Australia and other countries, which upon entering coalition governments proceeded to support militarism and austerity.

The Greens are making a specific effort to incorporate the proponents of identity politics in their "big umbrella." In his remarks, Green vice presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka declared, "We say to Black Lives Matter, we support your platform, which is the same as ours almost word-for-word." The fact that the Greens would support such a platform—which calls for "black ownership," "community control," "independent Black political power and black self-determination"—only underscores the fact that the Greens are not an anti-capitalist party. Read more »

Support the Socialist Equality Party presidential campaign

The Socialist Equality Party has selected Jerry White as its presidential candidate and Niles Niemuth as its vice-presidential candidate in the 2016 elections. White and Niemuth will run on a socialist, anti-war and anti-capitalist program in the interests of the working class in the United States and around the world.

The 2016 elections are being held under conditions of intensifying international and domestic crisis. The shadow of global military conflict looms over the elections. The vast majority of American workers and youth are experiencing a relentless decline in their standard of living. While the richest one percent controls the economy, most Americans struggle to make ends meet, millions live in outright poverty, and a substantial percentage of children go hungry.

Neither the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party has anything to offer the great majority of the American people except war, political repression and worsening social conditions. They are the parties of the Wall Street banks, the massive corporations, the Pentagon and the intelligence agencies. Regardless which of these two parties wins the November election, the next government will be the most reactionary, repressive and violent in American history.

The Socialist Equality Party candidates will use the campaign to advance the socialist alternative to capitalism, raise the political consciousness of workers and youth, oppose all forms of national chauvinism, racism and anti-immigrant baiting, fight to unify all workers in the United States, throughout the Americas and internationally, and prepare the working class for the coming struggles.

Read the program of the campaign here »

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