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Kerry’s Asian trip and the build-up to war with China

From World Socialist Web Site - February 17

US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Beijing last Friday was the latest move in the Obama administration’s provocative “pivot to Asia,” the purpose of which is to undermine Chinese influence and build up US military forces and alliances in preparation for war. Having deliberately inflamed dangerous flashpoints in Asia over the past four years, the US is seeking to press home its advantage, regardless of the consequences.

In Beijing, Kerry sought to lay down the law to the Chinese leadership across a range of sensitive issues. On the volatile Korean Peninsula, he insisted that China use “every tool at its disposal”—including crippling economic sanctions—to force its ally North Korea to bend to US demands on denuclearisation. In relation to the fraught situation in the East China and South China Seas, he called on Beijing to adopt “a calmer, more rule-of law based, less confrontational regime”—implicitly blaming China for the tensions that the US has deliberately stirred up.

The Workers Inquiry into the bankruptcy of Detroit

From World Socialist Web Site - February 14

On Saturday, the Socialist Equality Party in the US is holding a Workers Inquiry into the Bankruptcy of Detroit and the Attack on the DIA & Pensions. The aim of the Inquiry is to uncover the social and historical roots of the bankruptcy of Detroit and expose the political and financial interests behind this attack on the working class. The purpose of the meeting is to provide workers and young people with the knowledge they need to fight back.

The Inquiry is being held as Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, Detroit’s financial dictator, prepares to release his “plan of adjustment.” Worked out in collaboration with the city’s biggest creditors, the plan will call for the gutting of the pensions and health benefits of more than 20,000 retired city workers and the privatization of public assets, including the cultural treasures of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA).

Australian car industry closure: A warning to workers internationally

From World Socialist Web Site - February 13

The entire car industry in Australia has been slated for destruction following the announcement by Toyota on February 10 that it intends to join Ford and General Motors Holden in ceasing production by the end of 2017. At least 7,000 workers in five assembly and engine plants will lose their jobs. Many of the 44,000 workers employed by components manufacturers and supporting businesses will also be sacked. As the impact is felt across the economy, up to 150,000 more workers will be thrown into unemployment. Working class suburbs in south-eastern Australia will be reduced to the deindustrialisation and impoverishment that exists in American cities such as Detroit, once the centre of the US auto industry.

The state assassination of a US citizen foretold

From World Socialist Web Site - February 12

The Associated Press Monday published an extraordinary report based on deliberate leaks from senior US government officials announcing that the Obama administration is “wrestling with whether to kill [an unnamed US citizen] with a drone strike and how to do so legally under its new stricter targeting policy.” The targeted individual is alleged to be a terrorist residing “in a country that refuses US military action on its soil and that has proved unable to go after him.” The media subsequently carried various reports indicating that the individual is located in Pakistan.

Monday’s revelation that the White House is once again preparing to carry out the illegal murder of an American citizen gives an entirely new and sinister meaning to President Obama’s campaign slogan, “Yes we can.”

Indeed, if the government can order the state assassination of a US citizen in the name of national security, what can it not do? Concentration camps (a remedy recently justified by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia), torture, disappearances, martial law, the suspension of the Constitution—all the methods of a police state dictatorship become equally justifiable and possible.

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