This resolution was adopted unanimously by the membership of the Socialist Equality Party in the United States at its Sixth National Congress, which was held online from July 19 to July 24, 2020.
Part 6 - Imperialism and the danger of war
59. The American ruling class recognizes the mortal threat posed by the growth of social militancy and political consciousness within the working class. As we have already explained, it is prepared to employ whatever means it considers necessary to counteract the danger to its rule: from the use of racial politics to divide the working class, the intensification of police state measures to suppress progressive and, above all, socialist opposition, and, finally, the repudiation of constitutional norms and the open resort to dictatorship.
60. But these domestic tactics will proceed in tandem with an enormous escalation of imperialist militarism. As in all other spheres of economic, social and political policy, the pandemic is accelerating the preparations of American imperialism for war. At the very beginning of 2020, prior to the outbreak of the pandemic in the United States, the World Socialist Web Site called urgent attention to the implications of the Trump administration’s assassination of Iranian Major General Qassem Suleimani on January 2, 2020:
Even as 2020 is just getting under way, the murder of Major General Qassim Suleimani, ordered by President Donald Trump, threatens all-out war between the United States and Iran, with incalculable consequences. The involvement of an American president in yet another targeted killing, followed by bloodthirsty boasting, testifies to the far-advanced derangement of the entire ruling elite.
61. Despite the tactical decision to delay further military strikes against Iran, the WSWS warned, “Nothing that has happened in the last two days has changed the military objectives of the United States. The same geopolitical imperatives that brought about this week’s crisis will bring about new ones.”
62. Throughout the pandemic, there has been no letup in the bellicose policies of the United States. In May, the Trump administration backed an aborted coup attempt in Venezuela by US-led mercenaries. US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has maintained a heavy travel schedule, demanding support for American threats against Russia and its primary geo-political rival, China. The Trump administration has sought to generate hostility by referring regularly to the “Wuhan virus,” even to the point of claiming, without any evidence, that China set out to infect the American public. This wild claim has been supported by the Washington Post and leading media commentators such as Fareed Zakharia. Not to be outdone in war-mongering, the New York Times fabricated a report that Russia had paid Taliban fighters to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan.
63. In the final analysis, the war preparations of American imperialism are driven by its efforts, as it confronts a growing challenge from China, to maintain its position as the global hegemon. The long-term erosion of its economic dominance compels the United States to rely increasingly on military power. This tendency has been accentuated by the economic and political impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision in early July to send two aircraft carrier strike groups into the South China Sea testifies to the recklessness that prevails within the highest levels of the US government.
64. The danger of war should not be underestimated. There are many examples in the twentieth century of a crisis-ridden regime—that of Hitler is the most notorious example—resorting to war as a solution to what it perceives to be a desperate crisis within the borders of its own country. In particular, the Trump administration’s belligerent attacks on China are driven in large part by its need to direct enormous social tensions within the United States outward against an external enemy.
65. The accelerating crisis of world capitalism is not only fueling the US war drive against China and Russia. It is also intensifying conflicts between the US and the major imperialist powers of Europe, particularly Germany. At the same time, the unending imperialist wars and regime change operations in the Middle East and Latin America have created the unprecedented refugee crisis, with more than one percent of humanity—nearly 80 million people—forcibly displaced. The pandemic is having a particularly catastrophic impact on these migrant populations.
66. There is no answer to this danger apart from the development of a powerful anti-war movement of the American and international working class.