LaBotz: Obama Not Ending War

Aug 24, 2010 at 5:31 pm

In the words of Public Enemy, “Don't believe the hype.”

Dan LaBotz, the socialist candidate for U.S. senator on Ohio's fall ballot, is criticizing the Obama administration's claims that the combat mission in Iraq is over.

LaBotz, who opposes both the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, says President Obama is using a shell game to funnel additional troops into Afghanistan while relying more heavily on private security forces — or “mercenaries,” as LaBotz calls them — to continue fighting in Iraq.—-

The effort is part of a broader, regional war that includes Pakistan and Israel, he adds. Voters interested in peace in the Middle East shouldn't reward Obama by voting for Democratic candidates in this November's mid-term elections.

”The truth is, however, that the U.S. is not leaving Iraq and that the war is not over,” LaBotz said in a prepared statement. “While the administration claims that all combat troops are leaving Iraq, still 50,000 troops will remain. In addition to those troops, the U.S. State Department is hiring 7,000 'security guards' — that is, mercenary soldiers — and will also have 2,500 department 'assignees.' In reality, the U.S. is leaving behind a permanent occupying army in a country that has become in all but name a U.S. colony.”

When combined with the U.S. military's wave of drone strikes in Pakistan and support for Israeli oppression of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, it's clear there are other motives for our foreign policy, the candidate says.

“The Republicans and Democrats fundamentally share a common foreign policy driven by U.S. corporations and their lobbies,” LaBotz said. “Those corporations want above all to control the world’s resources, especially oil, world markets, and cheap labor. The U.S. military abroad is not engaged in protecting the United States, nor is it fighting for freedom. These imperial wars for resources, markets and labor don’t make us safe, they breed anti-Americanism and they create more terrorists.

“The corporations and their politicians will continue to take our country into these imperial wars unless we do something to stop it. We need to build a movement against war and against militarism.”

LaBotz is running for the Senate seat being vacated by the retiring George Voinovich, a Republican. Also seeking the seat are Republican Rob Portman and Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, a Democrat.