I recently interviewed an Afghanistan veteran about his transition from US Army soldier to Revolutionary Communist. Mason Bliss deployed twice to Afghanistan, in 2011 and in 2013. Since separating from the US Army in 2015, he has been organizing as a communist, raising the consciousness of the masses and fighting back against the system he once defended, US imperialism.
I believe this is one of the most important interviews I’ve ever organized. There has been a historical trend in the US where veterans come back home from the wars and fight back against their own government and the ruling class who sent them to war in the first place. But we know this trend is dying. When was the last time you saw veterans organizing against the US government, against US imperialism? Mason is reviving this revolutionary trend, and I believe it is a good thing.
US imperialism is destroying our world. Imperialism is an economic system. Simply put, it is the merging of finance capital and industrial capital, making monopoly finance capitalism. But this economic system cannot continue without a strong violent force to protect it. As Michael Pike from Veterans For Peace UK once said,
“Without the military,
imperialism has no teeth”.
Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and the other 80 nations with US military operations currently being conducted within them, what do they all have in common? The US ruling class is using the military to protect their economic interests. Some nations have untapped markets, resources and labor to be extracted while other nations are just strategic areas of interest to prevent other imperialists from expanding their markets. Capitalism is war, and imperialism is a particular stage of capitalism. The US military plays a vital role in protecting those interests.
In the following interview, Mason shares his story from being a poor, white American who was impacted by the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001, protecting the interests of US imperialism in Afghanistan, and later questioning everything the US military does, making the connections of capitalism, imperialism, and white supremacy, to now being a full-time organizer against the very system he defended.
This is the story of a soldier’s journey to revolution.
The Peace Report on Oct 21, 2019
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