We live in a world where there are oppressors and there are the oppressed.
Inevitably, those who are oppressed and exploited will rise up and fight for liberation, will try to get the boot of their oppressor off their backs.
Right now the small country of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is trying to keep from being crushed by the immense force deployed by U.S. “capitalist democracy.”
What should we, who live in this most powerful imperialist country in the world, do when the DPRK decides it needs a nuclear deterrent to keep the U.S. from trying to overthrow its government?
Because that’s what the world has seen the Pentagon do to Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and is still trying to do to Syria.
Some governments as well as peace groups are calling on the U.S. to step back from its threats to attack the DPRK. But they are also saying the north Koreans should “freeze” their nuclear weapons program.
If the DPRK were to agree, would they guarantee its safety? What if the U.S. attacked anyway? What would they say — “Sorry”?
War is very, very real to the Koreans. They don’t need to be lectured about its horrors. Some 5 million died during the Korean War, most at the hands of U.S. forces.
It has taken them years to rebuild their country, not only because of all the devastation but also because of continued efforts by the U.S. imperialists to ruin their economy through sanctions and other measures.
It is the right of oppressed people to choose the form of their struggle. As the Black Panthers put it, they have the right to resist “by any means necessary.” It is up to the oppressed to decide what tactic is best suited to their conditions. Those who come from the oppressor nation must not dictate how it should be done.
And the same is true on the international arena. If the people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea have decided that the only way they’ll be safe from another U.S. attack is to have a nuclear deterrent, the best thing we in the U.S. can do is try to make sure that such an attack by the U.S. never happens.
Those of us who live “in the belly of the beast” cannot put conditions on those living in countries oppressed by imperialism. Our job is to defend their right to liberate themselves.
We need to explain to our fellow workers how U.S. foreign policy, including the war machine, is crafted to set up the superexploitation of workers in other countries. The billionaires who run Washington, including Trump and his cronies, can then reap untold profits from war industries and by cutting wages to the bone for workers here.
We need to explain how class oppression, where the bosses exploit workers and small farmers across the world, is interlinked with national oppression under U.S. imperialism. Racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia — all are ideological tools used to justify the brutal subjugation and robbery of whole peoples. This is true of the oppression of people of color inside the United States as well as whole nations abroad.
Workers have a way to fight back. It’s called solidarity. We can rid the world of oppression and exploitation, but only if we realize our own strength by rejecting every form of bigotry and uniting with all those fighting for liberation from capitalism.