Nationalist poison no medicine against the TPPA

TPPA 1by Dougal McNeill

There are plenty of good reasons to oppose the TPPA. It’s part of U.S. imperialism’s strategy against China in the Asia-Pacific, working in the economic sphere as the ‘tilt to Asia’ does in the military. It gives greater powers to capitalists, and will be used to water down labour rights and environmental protections. It threatens public health provisions.

These threats are international, and face workers in all the countries that are set to sign up. So our opposition needs to be international, and internationalist. Pala Molisa’s excellent speech at the end of today’s rally in Wellington stressed just this kind of connection.

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TPP – Agreement for the Rich

tppa walk away

By Joshua O’Sullivan

As an International Trade agreement very little within the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPPA) is actually new. The TPPA has been an ongoing process since the early 1980s that has grown in scope and power to now attempt to cover 40% of the world’s GDP. It’s important to place it in its context of imperialism to understand why the TPPA is being pushed through now by the US. The US are spooked by China’s economic rise to dominance and want to maintain control in the Asia Pacific region economically but also through their latent strength of the military.

The TPPA taps into a long history of international trade and the methods by which it is secured. International ‘agreement’ is a euphemism for control; capitalists forcing their political ideology through business arrangements like the TPPA. International agreements are never agreed to or discussed on an equal playing field, one country is always more developed, or more powerful. The military is an important part of that equation.

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A Short History of New Zealand Imperialism

Tupua Tamasese Lealofi III and other Mau leaders and activists - heroes in the struggle for a free Samoa

Tupua Tamasese Lealofi III and other Mau leaders and activists – heroes in the struggle for a free Samoa

By Daniel Simpson Beck

From New Zealand’s earliest attempts at increasing its territories in the Pacific right through to today’s economic imperialism, the local capitalist ruling class has had imperial ambitions. It was New Zealand’s local leaders – the Governors, the Premiers, the Prime Ministers – who were calling for a New Zealand Empire in the Pacific. Likewise we shall see that New Zealand makes its own imperialist manoeuvres today. It is not the dominant empires that pressure New Zealand into such moves. The New Zealand ruling class are neither a lapdog to the US now, nor were they to Britain 175 years ago.

 

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Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Nagasaki August 9, 1945Shomi Yoon gave this talk to the Wellington branch of the International Socialists on the anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki.

 

Seventy years ago this month the US dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The bomb, a “destroyer of worlds” burnt hotter than the sun. The largely civilian victims were instantly vaporised, and the fires that burnt afterwards incinerated thousands more. The death toll for the two cities rests conservatively at 250,000 people.

The after effects of radiation killed even more people through a long and torturous process. [Read more…]

The rivalries tearing the Middle East apart

yemen air strikes aftermath-rubble-aBy Eric Ruder

ON A single day in late March, the U.S. began a new bombing campaign in its air war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), targeting ISIS positions in the Iraqi city of Tikrit–while 1,500 miles away, Saudi Arabia launched its first air strikes in Yemen in a bid to halt the advance of Houthi rebels.

The latest military escalations by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia threaten to further destabilize a Middle East in which open hostilities and humanitarian disasters have multiplied, from Libya to Yemen, and Syria to Iraq.

Both Saudi Arabia and the U.S. are anxious to portray their military operations as fully justified and even noble–but the bloody record of these two allies’ accomplishments gives the lie to such claims. In fact, just beneath the surface lurks the real reason for the escalation of violence: a sharpening rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran. [Read more…]