Yesterday the US dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb ever used in a combat operation. The tunnel complex being bombed in Afghanistan was financed by the CIA during the the 1980’s bankrolling of the mujahideen’s conflict against the Soviets—the very same conflict where Osama Bin Laden first cut his teeth. Since that conflict the complex has been used by everybody from drug-smugglers to ISIS. The foreign policy of the United States generates unrest and conflict with long-term consequences that it must later go and confront, creating a Möbius Strip of suffering and death that only benefits corporate interests and the unquenchable greed of the elites.
Yesterday, however, also marked the 98th anniversary of Eugene V. Debs' imprisonment for sedition. Debs was a union organizer, founding member of the IWW, 4-time Socialist candidate for president, and a Hoosier. He was arrested and convicted for speaking out against the Wilson administration, World War I, and urging people to resist the draft in a speech he gave in Canton, Ohio. What Debs said in Canton, Ohio, is just as true today:
"Wars throughout history have been waged for conquest and plunder. In the Middle Ages when the feudal lords who inhabited the castles whose towers may still be seen along the Rhine concluded to enlarge their domains, to increase their power, their prestige and their wealth they declared war upon one another. But they themselves did not go to war any more than the modern feudal lords, the barons of Wall Street go to war. The feudal barons of the Middle Ages, the economic predecessors of the capitalists of our day, declared all wars. And their miserable serfs fought all the battles. The poor, ignorant serfs had been taught to revere their masters; to believe that when their masters declared war upon one another, it was their patriotic duty to fall upon one another and to cut one another’s throats for the profit and glory of the lords and barons who held them in contempt. And that is war in a nutshell. The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and all to lose—especially their lives.
"They have always taught and trained you to believe it to be your patriotic duty to go to war and to have yourselves slaughtered at their command. But in all the history of the world you, the people, have never had a voice in declaring war, and strange as it certainly appears, no war by any nation in any age has ever been declared by the people.
"And here let me emphasize the fact—and it cannot be repeated too often—that the working class who fight all the battles, the working class who make the supreme sacrifices, the working class who freely shed their blood and furnish the corpses, have never yet had a voice in either declaring war or making peace. It is the ruling class that invariably does both. They alone declare war and they alone make peace."