The lone protestor outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta, Georgia

On the 1st December 2023, a female protestor, engaged in an extreme act of protest outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. She set herself on fire as a symbol of rejecting the genocide. She was protesting against the ongoing genocide by US imperialism and its Zionist allies, of the Palestinians. She was holding up a Palestinian flag. A security guard helped smother the flames. The protestor survived but with 100% burns. We pause for a moment on the extreme act of protest and the factors that motivated her. We pause to note that she is probably in extreme pain, every moment of every day since then. Her sacrifice should not be in vain. That she felt that her step was the only way she could express her anger and outrage and to protest against the horrendous violence of imperialism against the Palestinians, is an indictment on us as the Left.  We have failed to build a credible political alternative to the current bourgeois parties. The mainstream media have done their best to minimise and erase her contribution.  There have been too few debates or discussions connecting her actions to the necessity to stop the genocide. That needs to be corrected.

It remains a central task to build a revolutionary workers party in the USA as part of a revolutionary International in every country of the world. This article is a step in that direction.

The Vietnam war

Norman Morrison, aged 35, engaged in extreme protest on 2 Nov 1965 against the US imperialist war in Vietnam where men, women and children were being blown to bits by napalm bombs. US imperialism targeted medics and bombed hospitals, just as they are doing in Gaza right now. Morrison set himself alight in front of the Secretary of War’s office. His protest, among other factors, helped spark widespread revolt in the USA against the war. The antiwar movement was joined by war veterans and signalled a split in the armed forces of imperialism. The threat of open, widespread revolt by the masses in the USA combined with the heroic resistance of the Vietcong, to bring the war to an end and brought about a defeat of US imperialism, albeit at heavy cost to the masses in Vietnam.

The extreme protest by the lone protestor in Atlanta has contributed to the broader resistance growing in the USA among the masses. The exposures on social media and non-mainstream media have also contributed to the growing protests and the growing split in the state as represented by the growing number of state employees who have started protesting against the war. Some key members have even resigned.

The Black Lives Matter movement

On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year-old black American man, was murdered in Minneapolis by Derek Chauvin, a 44-year-old white police officer. The murder sparked international protests of millions of workers and the lower middle class. The protests resulted in the burning down of police stations and movements to defund the police and for the diversion of the funds to social services. Some municipalities actually defunded the police; such was the pressure of the masses. The background to this uprising is that capitalism in the USA was based on slavery from the beginning and its development proved incapable of ending slave relations. By the 1960s there were still movements to fight against segregation in the USA, about 200 years after the American revolution that brought independence from the British monarchy. Black ghettoes, pools of semi-slave labour, still exist across the USA today. The Black Lives Matter movement was an advance in that there was the start of the realization that the path to overcoming slave capitalist relations in the USA needed a united working class response, it was not a matter only for black workers. Broad sections of the white working class also joined the Black Lives Matter movement. There was the growing realization that to defend and advance the working class gains required the defence of the most oppressed sections of the class. The movement took ‘universal human values’ at its word. The movement was also international in that US imperialism has exported slave capitalist relations to other parts of the world and there was a growing realisation that workers of the world are semi-slaves of the US imperialist empire.

It was the Black Lives Matter movement that inspired Aaron Bushnell and many others to take the path of activism against the US state and imperialism. This means that the Black Lives Matter movement has also directly impacted on the hundreds of thousands of soldiers in the US military, many of whom have working class backgrounds. This builds on the anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist sentiment already among the rank and file soldiers in the US military. This sentiment comes from various factors such as the post 2003 antiwar movement where US imperialism invaded Iraq over the lie of weapons of mass destruction; many also lost their savings in the dotcom bubble (the masses were encouraged to invest in IT companies, many of which later went bankrupt). It was in the aftermath of the Iraq invasion that many of the US soldiers have resisted large scale deployment. In fact, since then the US military has been unable to use large scale invasion due to anti-imperialist sentiments in their own ranks and in the masses around the world.

The US military industrial complex needs perpetual war

The US military has almost 1000 bases in at least 159 countries around the globe. These bases are to keep the billions in the world under control and under constant threat of violent suppression. These military bases protect the US corporations and banks and their violent extraction of profit from the masses of the world. Germany is host to 119 US military bases (34 000 soldiers) while Japan has 120 US bases (54 000 soldiers) which they still pay for, since 1945. Virtually every part of the globe is controlled directly or indirectly by the various imperialist powers, the overwhelmingly dominant one being US imperialism.

Every year about half of the US federal budget, $850 bn goes towards defence. Of this, $400 bn goes to private defence contractors. Defence spending in the USA supports 200 000 companies on home soil. It follows that growth of the US economy is based not only on perpetual war but on more and more wars every year.

It may be argued that a factor in the ongoing invasions of Gaza by Israel, 2009, 2012, 2014, 2021 and 2023-24 are all linked to the need for the US arms industry to grow their profits.

The narrative of so-called foreign influence on the US elections is a huge distractor. The main influence over the corridors of power is the arms industry and the banks that have vested interests in war. This is the influence that needs to be exposed and opposed.

Why was Israel created by imperialism?

Israel was created by imperialism to act as a huge military base in the Middle East to keep the masses under control and to ensure the total control of the major oil assets remains in their hands.

It follows that military activity of Israel is directly linked to the profits of the military industrial complex and the giant banks that are linked to them. The Lockheed Martin CEO said on Oct 17 2023 that he sees Israel and Ukraine as major drivers of increased profits for the coming years. Several other arms companies also indicated that ‘war is good for business’.

It follows that the veto over ceasefires and abstention of ceasefire resolutions and regarding them as non-binding, comes directly from the needs of Lockheed Martin and other arms manufacturers for growth in profits. It has nothing to do with their lackey Netanyahu, who is just following instructions to drag out the war to feed the profit machine of the arms manufacturers and the banks that invest in them. Besides the 100 arms contracts for Israel already processed by the US state since 7 Oct 2023, there are a further 500 contracts waiting for processing by them, according to Veterans for Peace.

Growing dissent in the ranks of the US armed forces

The growing anti-capitalist sentiments in the US armed forces is an indication of the growing class consciousness in the masses in the USA. The signs of growing dissent in the armed forces are the existence of Wikileaks (they cannot get information other than with inside cooperation); Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, the existence of a huge Veterans for Peace movement (which has thousands of members and over 100 branches of military veterans throughout the US) and lately the case of Aaron Bushnell.

The reluctance of the US soldier to be deployed in the wars of conquest by the empire has, in part, been a factor why the military industrial complex has increasingly turned towards drone production and the use of private mercenary forces and proxy forces such as ISIS and paramilitaries as seen in the DRC and Sudan. In Gaza the Israeli army has deployed mercenaries from around the globe, including troops from the US army.

Before engaging in his extreme protest against the actions of the US regime in Gaza, this is what Aaron Bushnell, a serving member involved in cybersecurity for the US Air Force, had to say:

“I am an active-duty member of the United States Air Force and I will no longer be complicit in genocide. I am about to engage in an extreme act of protest. But compared to what people have been experiencing in Palestine at the hands of their colonizers, it’s not extreme at all. This is what our ruling class has decided will be normal. Free Palestine!”

There are now other current serving US soldiers who have started an indefinite fast against the genocide.

So what are the horrors that Palestinians are being subjected to, as indicated by Aaron Bushnell and other US soldiers. We provide some insight below.

The horrors of war perpetrated by the US military industrial complex, with support from other arms companies around the globe- a brief glimpse

The murder of six-year-old Hind Rajab using high explosive tank shells

On the 29th January 2024 six-year-old Hind Rajab was murdered by Israeli armed forces in Gaza through the firing of a high explosive tank shell. This was after 6 members of her family were killed by the same type of tank shells. She had messaged the emergency services from a cellphone while waiting in the car that the IDF had already blown up. These same type of tank shells was also used to murder the 2 paramedics, Yusuf Zeino and Ahmed al-Madhoun, who had come to rescue her. The IDF had been informed that there was a child in the car. They killed her and the 2 paramedics anyway, with high explosive tank shells supplied by US company Day & Zimmerman.

The murder of Palestinian journalists, medics, families of journalists, academics

On November 9th 2023 the IDF fired a hellfire R9X missile, produced by the largest arms manufacturer in the world, Lockheed Martin, a weapon that is in use by the CIA as well, at journalists next to al Shifa hospital. This missile has blades in it that shreds everyone around it. Ironically, these type of hellfire missiles were used by the Apache helicopters by the IDF to bomb Israeli citizens on the 7 to 10 Oct 2023, supposedly to prevent them from being taken hostage alive. This is most likely the origin of the lie by the mainstream media that the Palestinian resistance mutilated the bodies when in fact it was the shredding by Lockheed Martin-supplied hellfire missiles fired from Apache helicopters, also produced by Lockheed Martin.  

On October 13th an M339 tank shell was used by the IDF to murder journalist Issam Abdullah and injure 6 other journalists in South Lebanon.

Boeing provided the IDF with 1000 ‘smart’ bombs and 1800 JDAM kits (which can convert unguided bombs into ‘smart’ bombs.  These bombs have been used to murder many medics, journalists, families of journalists, academics and any target that the IDF selected.

Carpet bombing of Gaza

Lockheed Martin not only supplies the F-16s and F-35s that have been the main agency for the carpet bombing of Gaza, but it has teams in Israel that maintain these planes.

On the 11th Dec 2023 a Lockheed Martin supplied Hercules plane dropped 7 tons of military equipment in Khan Younis to aid the IDF in their slaughter of Palestinian resistance fighters.

General Dynamics is the sole producer of MK80 bombs which have been the main bombs used to destroy infrastructure and to bomb civilians. Each of their 2000 pound bombs destroy everything in a 300m diameter circle. By 25 Nov one brigade alone of the IDF had already used 10 000 shells.

The jet fuel for the carpet bombing comes directly from Texas to Israel via a US arms manufacturer, Valero Energy Corporation.

The IDF is also drawing on the supplies from the huge military stockpile that the US military maintains in Israel.

Sniping civilians

Leupold (Oregon, USA) sights for sniper rifles used to terrorise Palestinians, shooting civilians carrying white flags and executing Palestinian grandmothers.

Destruction of houses and education and cultural centres

Caterpillar company provided the bulldozers that have been used to destroy many houses and education and cultural centres

Arming the settlers for attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank

Colt provided 18000 M4 and MK18 assault rifles to enable settlers in the West Bank to terrorise and drive out more Palestinians in the West Bank.

Abuse of AI to carry out executions of Palestinians

Corsight company provided the camera technology that is used to scan the faces of Palestinians followed by summary executions by the IDF

Shield AI supplies indoor drones that have been used for close quarter murder of medics, patients and unarmed Palestinians.

Involvement of other countries in the genocide against the Palestinians:

  • Renk (German company) provides the transmission for the Merkava tanks
  • Rheinmetall (German) provided at least 10 000 tank shells for the Merkava tanks
  • Mercedes Benz (German) provided trucks and bulldozers to IDF
  • Heron TP drones supplied by Germany used in assassination and murder of Palestinians
  • JC Bamford excavator used to uproot Palestinian olive trees
  • Leonardo (Italy) provided guns for IDF navy
  • Hyundai provides excavators used to demolish Palestinian homes
  • Toyota (Japan) provides land cruisers for conversion by the Israeli military
  • Norway and Finland supply shoulder-fired bunker busters (even though there are no bunkers in Gaza) used for home demolition and firing on civilian homes
  • Rolls Royce (now German owned) provide engines for tanks and ships
  • RTX guided cluster bombs for mass destruction of Palestinian homes and infrastructure as well as assassinations
  • DJI (China) provide low-cost drones used for assassination of Palestinians (China is the second largest trading partner of Israel with trade of $24.45 Bn in 2022, between them)
  • UK arms licences to Israel valued at 574 million pounds since 2008. Their govt has refused to revoke any current licences. These licences include support for the operation of the F-35 planes which have been used extensively to carpet bomb Gaza and to carry out targeting of civilians.
  • Elbit (Israel but with stakes from various countries including the US) one ton bombs which have 26 000 fragments for greater murder rate (Elbit has several production sites in the UK, three of which have been shut down by protestors).
  • Elbit also main supplier of surveillance for the US-Mexico border fence
  • Oshkosh trucks used to kidnap Palestinians and transport them to torture centres in Israel
  • Rafael supplies anti-tank guided missiles which have been used on civilians and homes of Palestinians (Palestinians have no tanks!).
  • Singapore and Germany own Dynamit Nobel Defence company that provides Israel with rockets.
  • Thyssen Krupp provides 6 warships to IDF which were used to bomb Gaza and attack Palestinian fishermen trying to catch fish.
  • The top 25 arms manufacturers in the world all supply Israel
  • Al Udaid airbase in Qatar was and is a main conduit for Boeing C17 cargo planes, up to 5 per day , every day, that keep Israel supplied with enough bombs to continue the genocide against the Palestinians.
  • Anglo American supplies diamonds, from South Africa and the rest of Africa, to Israel that contribute $1bn each year to the Zionist armaments industry.

(one source )

On the 29th March 2023, despite all their claims to want a ceasefire, the US state approved another shipment of 1800 high explosive 2000 pound bombs, 500 large bombs, as well as 25 more F35 jet fighters to Israel. Most likely, the beneficiaries are General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin.

Conclusions and the way forward

Every aspect of the genocidal campaign against the Palestinians, from the air, ground and sea is being enabled and re-supplied by US imperialism in the main. They are being supported by the other imperialists who not only have a strategic interest in sustaining this military base (Israel) but directly profit from the drawing out of the slaughter. It follows that imperialism wants the war to spread to the region as long as they can maintain control over the political leaders of the neighbouring states. It appears their objective is to build up towards a war with Iran.  

Just $40bn of the $877 bn the US state uses on arms can end world hunger overnight, yet it is used to violently oppress the billions around the globe. US imperialism and Israel sells electronic circuitry to Russia and China which is used in their armaments systems. US imperialism needs perpetual war and the threat of it to constantly boost their profits. From at least the 2003 invasion of Iraq, major wars are being deliberately created to feed the arms industry and its profits. On this path lies the creation of World war 3, unless the working class and broader masses stop them.

The US Senate and Congress have been captured by the military industrial complex.

Even the US Supreme court acknowledged that while it is plausible that Israel is committing a genocide, the solution is political. In other words no court will stop the genocide, only political action against the state will stop them.  US imperialism is responsible for worldwide hunger and starvation. We need to end this empire.

The way forward

The only way to stop the genocide unfolding in Gaza, Sudan, the DRC, is through a campaign of mass action that sets up united front committees, irrespective of religious belief and party affiliation, in every workplace, school and university. Rank and file members of the army should be invited to participate in these committees. We call on all the Left organizations, Black Lives Matter, Veterans for Peace, UAW Labor for Palestine, the student organisations at school, college and universities, the Green Party, the Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, all church organisations of all faiths, the sports organizations and clubs, cultural organisations, etc to link up in grassroots and coordination committees. These Free Palestine/ Palestinian Lives Matter/Anti US imperialism committees should be based on the following principles:

Immediate Ceasefire and unrestricted aid to Gaza- end the genocide right now.

Hold the Israeli regime responsible for the use of hellfire missiles on Palestinians and Israelis

Hold the Israeli regime responsible for the genocidal attacks against Palestinians

Hold Biden and his administration as well as the Senate and Congress responsible for the crimes of genocide against the Palestinians.

Cut all arms to Israel and the imperialist proxy forces in the DRC and Sudan.

Defund Israel

Defund any company linked to supplying arms to Israel- for all such companies to be placed under workers’ control and re-oriented away from the arms industry.

Is it not time to launch an Occupy White House movement that disrupts the corridors of imperial power?

The united front should consider an appropriate stance on the coming elections: Boycott of elections or spoilt ballot or only support for a workers party that actively opposes the genocide in actions or critical support to any party that stands for immediate ending of all economic, social, cultural, political links with Israel. Any representative must agree to be subject to instant recall by their constituency and only accept the wage of a skilled worker. This representative must commit to break from Wall Street and the military industrial complex and to call regular, monthly meetings of their constituency.

Mass protests to remove any regime from power that aids Israel in its genocide directly or indirectly

For a united Palestine, from the river to the sea that incorporates all the refugees (allowing them to return immediately) and is based on grassroots committees, irrespective of religious belief. Respect for all religious differences on the basis of living together in peace as neighbours. A Constituent Assembly to be convened based on the grassroots committees. Disband the IDF. Arm the grassroots committees.

For a new interim government in Palestine based on representatives of grassroots committees.

Free Palestine!

30 March 2024 – Land Day (amended 1 April 2024)

Issued by Workers International Vanguard League

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Cape Town, South Africa

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Without exception,ALL the parties taking part in the elections,despite their promises, will deliver a future of more unemployment, lower wages, more hardship, more evictions, more homelessness, more exclusion from education, death and destruction through starvation and Aids.

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