Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/385/4354

From The Socialist newspaper, 19 March 2005

Bush and the 'democratic revolutions'

FROM THE 'Orange Revolution' in Ukraine to the 'Cedar Revolution' in Lebanon, the authoritarian regimes of the world are forced to reform in the face of US-sponsored "democratic revolts", or so says the Bush administration and the media.

Niall Mulholland

But what is the truth of these claims? How should socialists and anti-war activists respond to the "wave" of "democratic revolutions"?

The imperialist powers and the media lump together many different international opposition and protest movements to cynically further the interests of the ruling class. Socialists have to separate what is progressive - in the interests of working people - from what is reactionary about these movements. We have to examine the real motivations for the involvement of the imperialist powers in opposition protests.

Socialists have always fought for democratic rights, including the right to assembly, to form unions, to strike, and to vote. It was mass workers' struggles, or the threat of them, that forced the ruling class to give democratic reforms. But today, under the pretext of the "war on terror", many of these rights are under attack in Western countries.

The "democratic revolution", in the hands of imperialist powers, is a tool to force "regime change" that furthers the interests of the ruling class. In doing so, the imperialist powers and local ruling classes cynically manipulate genuine pro-democratic moods. The only 'democracy' the US tolerates is one where the main parties support capitalism and imperialism.

The US supported last year's 'Orange Revolution' in Ukraine, just at it previously backed the 'Rose Revolution', in Georgia, and the popular revolt against the brutal Serb regime of Slobodan Milosevic.

Mass movements

But these mass movements against autocratic rule and poverty were misled by right-wing forces. The US financed and organised much of the opposition, to make way for pliable, pro-US governments in a region rich with natural resources and vital both militarily and strategically.

When in power, the pro-US, neo-liberal regimes soon show they do not represent the interests of working people. In Serbia, Georgia, and Ukraine, the new governments are far from Western-style liberal democracies and their economic and social policies cause more hardships. The masses will have to struggle again to keep and to extend democratic rights.

By meddling in other countries, the US and other powers also risk unleashing forces that can run counter to their interests. Even during the Orange Revolution many protesters remarked that they would come onto the streets again if the new regime does not introduce democratic rights and improve living standards.

The Orange Revolution, despite its reactionary, Ukrainian nationalist leadership, also helped to inspire nationwide pensioners' protests in Russia.

Imperialist interventions into poorer states have nothing to do with introducing genuine democratic rights. During the Cold War, the US supported and installed many right-wing dictatorships across the world to drown workers' movements in blood.

Despite all the talk of bringing democracy to Iraq, the population is overwhelmingly opposed to the occupation. Over 100,000 Iraqis and 1,500 US troops have died so that US imperialism can occupy this oil-rich and strategic country.

The recent elections - the 'Purple Revolution' - were boycotted by most Sunnis and deepened religious and national divisions. Even the most pro-US section of the population, the Kurds, are denied the right to national self-determination.

Lebanon

Just as in Ukraine, Bush crudely meddles in Lebanon, stoking up powerful religious and ethnic divisions that threaten bloody conflicts. The US backs the 'Cedar Revolution' to increase pressure on the Syrian regime. US imperialism is in a deep quagmire in Iraq and desperately wants a tame neighbour in Damascus. Forcing Syrian troops out of Lebanon strengthens the hands of the US and Israel in the region.

Undoubtedly, the US and West are also forced to respond to a widespread mood for democratic rights in the Middle East, which threatens pro-US Arab dictatorships. But 'reforms' in Saudi Arabia and Egypt will be timid.

On the question of Palestine, the US and Western powers show complete disregard for basic democratic rights. The latest US-sponsored 'peace plan' would create impoverished Palestinian 'Bantustans', completely dependent on Israel and imperialism.

Anti-democratic interventions

Much less publicised are the West's openly anti-democratic interventions. Last year, the US backed ultra-right wing forces that overthrew the democratically elected president of Haiti, Bertrand Aristide, who was supported by many of the slum poor.

The US also supported several attempts by the rich elite in Venezuela to overthrow the radical Chavez regime. In classic imperialist fashion, France recently sent troops to the Ivory Coast.

Working people can only rely on their own strength, and the solidarity of the international working class, to bring down dictatorships and to win democratic rights.

Socialists oppose all imperialist interventions, whether by tanks and troops or under the guise of 'democracy'. A struggle for democratic rights needs to be linked to a struggle for far-reaching social and economic change - for socialism - if all rights are to be permanent and living standards drastically improved.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 19 March 2005:

Blair's pensions climbdown

Pensions attacks: United action can win

Pensions - the socialist future

Why we voted to strike to defend pensions

Anger turns to action over pensions

Fight for a better future

What is socialism?

Iraq: troops out now

Iraq: occupation and the resistance

Bush and the 'democratic revolutions'

'Scary prospect' of US economic catastrophe

Massive strike in France

'Third World Debt' - who gains from Brown's plans?

Oppose Clarke's 'hideous experiment'

Good result for Roger Bannister

Building a new NUT leadership


 

Home   |   The Socialist 19 March 2005   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

US:

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

triangleJoin the Orgreave Halloween rally

triangleTheresa May, Frida Kahlo and turning women into wares

triangleThem & Us

triangleBending the knee v Trump

Revolution:

triangleWarrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

triangleWirral Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian Revolution

triangleCardiff Socialist Party: Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Art and Revolution

Democratic rights:

triangleWho's watching who?: The fight for justice, trade union and democratic rights

triangleSolidarity with Catalonia - the people have the right to decide

triangleBrutal repression of Rohingya people sparks massive humanitarian crisis

Imperialism:

triangleChe Guevara 50 years on - revolutionary socialist and fighter

triangleStrike against Madrid's 'state of emergency'!

International

International

11/10/17

Catalonia

Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

4/10/17

Catalonia

Solidarity with Catalonia - the people have the right to decide

4/10/17

Catalonia

Eyewitness: Irish socialist MP participates in events

2/10/17

Catalonia

Exemplary resistance by the people of Catalonia

27/9/17

Germany

Germany: Election results in political earthquake

27/9/17

Catalonia

Strike against Madrid's 'state of emergency'!

27/9/17

Germany

German elections: rise of the far right and right-wing government will provoke resistance

27/9/17

France

French Labour reform protests

25/9/17

Catalonia

Catalonia: Student strike called

20/9/17

Myanmar

Brutal repression of Rohingya people sparks massive humanitarian crisis

20/9/17

Catalonia

Solidarity with Catalonia in the Spanish state

15/9/17

Germany

Berlin hospital strike

13/9/17

Korea

Korean peninsula: is nuclear war likely?

13/9/17

Students

Interview with leader of students' union in the Spanish state: "When we fight, we win!"

6/9/17

US

Hurricane Harvey: A tragedy made far worse by capitalism

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle16 Oct Teesside Socialist Party: After the party conferences

triangle17 Oct London: TUC lobby & rally; and London march

triangle18 Oct Warrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

triangle18 Oct Hackney Socialist Party: 100 years ago - the Bolshevik-led revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2