THE News Line editorial board sends its revolutionary greetings for the New Year of 2007 to the working class and youth of the world, particularly to the embattled masses of Iraq, Palestine and the Lebanon.
The Middle East with its major and strategic oil resources was the central battle ground of the year 2006 between the imperialist powers and the working class of the world.
While the working class of the US and the UK opposed the war in Iraq, and delivered heavy blows to the Bush and Blair regimes, the masses of Iraq, Palestine and the Lebanon displayed miracles of heroism, and great revolutionary initiative.
The Iraqi insurgents have fought the imperialist tyrants to the point of despair and historic defeat.
After an expenditure of over $400 billion, all the tyrants have to show for it is thousands of dead soldiers, with over 30,000 very seriously injured, and armies whose commanding officers admit are near to breaking point.
Bush and Blair’s one last big push for victory in Iraq will be a push right over the edge of the abyss onto the jagged rocks below.
Their act of vengeance for the critical situation which they have brought entirely upon themselves, the murder of the Iraqi nationalist leader Saddam Hussein, will only further inflame the masses of the entire Middle East, and bring millions more of the region’s youth into the struggle to defeat them.
The Lebanese people, inspired by the Iraqi masses and led by Hezbollah, also delivered an important defeat on the Israeli army.
The Zionists were demoralised by the fact that their complete air superiority, and their massive use of cluster bombs and missiles, backing up the most powerful ground forces in the Middle East, produced not the expected easy victory, but a shocking defeat.
For the first time Israeli naval vessels were sunk, up to a hundred tanks were destroyed or disabled, and their infantry forces were badly rattled by the disciplined ground forces of Hezbollah. These were well dug in, well armed and well prepared to take on the ‘invincible’ Israeli army.
The Israeli onslaught was expected to end with the disarming of Hezbollah and the imposition of an anti-Syrian pro-Israeli regime in Beirut that would prepare the way for an attack on Syria.
The actual end result was a brutal reminder for the Israeli leadership of just how fragile the state of Israel is, and of the uncomfortable fact that one serious military defeat will threaten Israel’s existence.
As it was it had to be rescued by the UN.
The Palestinian masses defended their Hamas government and exposed Bush and Blair’s cynical pretentions to be defenders of democracy.
The refusal of the Palestinian masses to elect the US’s choice as their government drove Bush and Blair into a bloody fury. They cut off all aid to Palestine and gave Israel the go-ahead to slaughter hundreds of Palestinians.
The Palestinian masses have refused to allow the removal of their government and have defied and triumphed over imperialist-sponsored starvation and massacre.
The Iraqi, Lebanese and Palestinian masses are the revolutionary heroes of 2006.
In 2007 they will be joined in revolutionary struggle by the working class of the major capitalist states – a huge development.
The driving force for this revolutionary unity is the deepening crisis of American and world capitalism.
In 2005 the US trade deficit was $716.7 billion. This year it is heading for a $900 billion-plus deficit.
US government spending in 2005 was $554 billion in deficit. This year is no different, while the total US federal government debt in 2005 was $7.9 trillion and climbing fast.
With the dollar falling, near to the 2$ to the pound red line, and oil prices soaring, US industry is being devastated.
The US is now prosecuting a trade war against China, and is ordering the Chinese government to revalue the Chinese currency upwards against the falling US dollar.
China holds vast reserves in dollars and finances the US budget deficit by buying US treasury bonds.
However, it is already switching from dollars to buying gold at $634 an ounce.
The US is being forced to raise interest rates to try to halt the collapse of the dollar, and to continue to attract financers of the US deficit.
Meanwhile, the US housing and industrial markets have begun to collapse.
The world is poised on the brink of a catastrophic collapse of the US dollar and the US market, and a worldwide slump.
2007 is the year when the crisis of US capitalism will drive forward a fierce class struggle in the US.
Workers will take action to prevent themselves being driven back to the conditions of the 1930s.
The working class will break with the Democrats and build its own Labour party in a period when only revolutionary action can win struggles.
Socialism is going to be put back on the agenda of US workers by the capitalist crisis.
Continuing US interest rate rises means that British capitalism, already up to its neck in over a trillion pounds of debt, will face the eye of the storm in 2007.
The British ruling class is going to be privatising the whole Welfare State to slash government expenditure on everything except the expansion of the armed forces.
Savage attacks will be launched on basic rights, using all of the so-called anti-terror legislation for the purpose of abolishing the Welfare State to bring in its cheap labour state.
The housing market will collapse and the banks will be seeking to redeem their mortgage and credit card outlays, facing the middle class with ruin.
2007 is going to see revolutionary struggle in Britain. The working class and youth will form councils of action to defend the Welfare State by occupying hospitals and schools and by taking general strike action to defeat the Brown Labour government to go forwards to a workers government and socialism.
The same revolutionary struggle to smash the efforts of the ruling class to bring in cheap labour states will erupt throughout the EU. From France and Germany to Greece, where millions of workers and youth have already been taking action, the working class will go forward through socialist revolutions to a Socialist United States of Europe.
Revolution in Western Europe will encourage the development of the political revolution in Russia and China to overthrow the Stalinist bureaucracy and the new bourgeoisie that it has spawned or invited into the country.
Trotskyism is the Leninism of today, and as such the Trotskyist movement will grow by leaps and bounds in Russia and China.
2007 is the year for world revolution.
It will be the year when the masses of the Middle East and Iran will be joined by the working class and youth of the major capitalist states and the workers of the degenerated and deformed workers states to put an end to capitalism and imperialism on a world scale.
The message of the hour therefore is that the Trotskyist movement must be built in every major country to transform the International Committee of the Fourth International into the world party of the socialist revolution, to make 2007 the most decisive year for revolution since 1917, when the Russian workers took power in the October revolution.