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US and Japanese troops train for war against China

From World Socialist Web Site - February 28

A prominent article in the New York Times last weekend left no doubt about US-Japanese preparations for war or the intended target. Entitled “In Japan’s drill with the US, a message for Beijing”, the article covered US Marines training Japan’s newly-formed amphibious force in “how to invade and retake an island captured by hostile forces.”

While the joint exercise, codenamed Iron Fist, is an annual event, Marine Lieutenant Colonel John O’Neal declared that the Japanese troops came this year with “a new sense of purpose.” The 250-strong unit—up from just 25 soldiers in 2006—arrived with “their own “Humvees, gear and paraphernalia for retaking islands—or, in Marine parlance, ‘amphibious assault with the intent to seize objectives inland’.” O’Neal explained that the month-long exercise at Camp Pendleton in southern California was the “largest and most involved operation so far.”

The political lessons of the UAW debacle in Tennessee

From World Socialist Web Site - February 27

The defeat of the United Auto Workers in a union recognition vote at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee has provoked an outpouring of handwringing and despair from liberal and pseudo-left publications.

Over the last two weeks, the New York Times, the Nation, the American Prospect, In These Times, Labor Notes, Socialist Worker and other publications have characterized the 712-626 vote against recognizing the UAW as a defeat for the VW workers and for American labor more broadly.

According to their narrative, which echoes that of the union leadership, the UAW is a “progressive” organization whose loss is the result of antiunion Republicans playing upon the backwardness of southern workers and manipulating them to vote against their own interests.

This narrative is a reactionary fiction.

The David Miranda ruling and the attack on press freedom

From World Socialist Web Site - February 26

To appreciate in full the deeply reactionary import of the ruling that David Miranda was detained lawfully at Heathrow airport last August, one need only cite some of the arguments marshalled by the High Court in London.

The formulations employed by Lord Justice Laws, Mr. Justice Ouseley and Mr. Justice Openshaw in their judgement last Wednesday go far beyond this one incident—itself an unprecedented assault on journalistic freedom. They point to the outlawing of any notion of a “free press.” On the spurious grounds of “anti-terrorism” and “national security”, no one is safe from the reach of a British state determined to cover up its crimes and legitimise those yet to come.

Coup in Ukraine: A warning to the international working class

From World Socialist Web Site - February 25

The recent events in Ukraine are a warning to the international working class. Under conditions in which workers lack both a perspective and a party to enable them to intervene independently in political events, the situation in Ukraine has developed in an extremely reactionary direction. What had been unthinkable in Europe since the fall of Hitler’s Third Reich in 1945 has come to pass: while the US and Germany ruthlessly and recklessly destabilized the country, fascists became the decisive force on the ground.

The crisis was sparked in November of last year by President Viktor Yanukovych’s refusal to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union. This was unacceptable for Washington and Berlin. As Theo Sommer put it in Die Zeit, the issue at stake was “Where should the EU's eastern boundary, and the western boundary of the Russian sphere of influence, be situated?”

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