Putin wants to collaborate with imperialism, not overthrow it

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THE New York Times has just printed a letter from the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, which he described as a direct address to the ‘American people and their political leaders’ pleading for caution on the question of imperialist war against the Syrian people.

The immediate question raised by Putin’s letter is who exactly is he trying to convince, certainly not the American working class and vast sections of the middle class who are overwhelmingly opposed to war against Syria.

A recent poll by CBS News showed 77% against and only 16% in favour of military strikes against Syria.

Despite the huge propaganda campaign of lies that has been waged by Obama in the US, and faithfully repeated by Cameron in Britain, about the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime, the imperialist warmongers have run into the brick wall of working class and middle class opposition.

Putin’s appeal, then, is less to the American people and more to the US ruling class. It is a coded message that Stalinism, having rescued Obama from being defeated in a war vote by offering up the prospect of opening up Syria to a weapons inspection regime, is prepared for even further compromises, including co-operating in regime change.

In his letter, Putin states: ‘We are not protecting the Syrian government, but international law. We need to use the United Nations Security Council and believe that preserving law and order in today’s complex and turbulent world is one of the few ways to keep international relations from sliding into chaos. The law is still the law, and we must follow it whether we like it or not. Under current international law, force is permitted only in self-defence or by the decision of the Security Council.

Anything else is unacceptable under the United Nations Charter and would constitute an act of aggression.’

By stating that he is not ‘protecting’ the Assad government but seeking to uphold international law, Putin is sending the message that he is willing to actively connive in dumping Assad in favour of a puppet regime acceptable to US imperialism.

As for international law and the role of the UN, it is nothing but a sick joke.

Prior to the invasion of Iraq, UN weapons inspectors were sent into that country to track down and find the weapons of mass destruction that provided the pretext for the bloody imperialist intervention.

They didn’t find any. Individual inspectors even reported that they had been unable to find any, and they were simply ignored. The invasion was sanctioned by the UN and carried out by the coalition of the willing. It went ahead regardless.

This is the fate imperialism has in store for the Syrian people if they can get away with it, and the only force stopping them is the working class.

The UN, like the old League of Nations before it, is nothing but a rubber stamp for US imperialism, to be manipulated where possible, or ignored if necessary.

Putin knows this full well.

His letter, with all its talk about how his ‘working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust’, is nothing more than an appeal to US imperialism to allow the Stalinist leadership in Russia to co-operate with it in betraying the people and government of Syria.

Having rescued Obama from political defeat, Putin clearly believes that the time is right to forge a counter-revolutionary partnership between the Stalinist bureaucracy and imperialism against the world revolution that is everywhere being driven by the international crisis of capitalism.

For the working class and masses of the world there can be no compromise with imperialism. In its death agony it is waging a vicious war against both of them.

The urgent task for today is the building of revolutionary parties of the Fourth International, to unite workers all over the world to defeat imperialism for good through the victory of the world socialist revolution, and replace the Stalinist bureaucracies in the area of the USSR and China with rule through workers’ and peasants’ soviets.