Forty years after APSP founding, the era of the final offensive is upon us!

The following is an excerpt from the unedited first draft of the Political Report the Plenary of the African People's Socialist Party USA (APSP USA) that will be held on February 18-21, 2012 in St. Petersburg, Florida at the Uhuru House. Register today at www.apspuhuru.org and participate in this critically important national planning conference that will mark 40 years of leadership and struggle by the APSP USA.

At various times during our history we have declared the significance of building the African People's Socialist Party. At no time has this declaration been more true and urgent than today.

Not only is building the Party a crucial task of the African People's Socialist Party and our members, it is also the fundamental task of the African revolution at this critical historical juncture.

Forty years ago, when our Party was first organized, it was in the wake of a crushing military defeat of the African revolution in Africa and within the U.S.

When our Party was founded in May of 1972, the U.S. government was confident that its years long efforts to crush our struggle for liberation had been successful.

By the latter part of the 1960s, the U.S. had unleashed a bloody wave of political repression that left some of our most outstanding leaders imprisoned, overthrown or murdered and our most significant organizations enfeebled or destroyed.

The list of known victims include such notables as Patrice Lumumba, Kwame Nkrumah, Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and ultimately Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe — the founder of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania who was imprisoned following the Sharpeville Massacre in March 1960 and, after years of imprisonment and other harassment, subsequently died in 1978.

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The era of the final offensive is upon us

However, even as an era of struggle was being brutally ended and the dreams of freedom and happiness of millions of our people subordinated to the whims of imperialism, another era was coming to fruition with the founding of our Party.

That era is fully upon us. It is one we have defined as the era of the final offensive against imperialism. Typically one thinks of a final offensive as the strategic culmination of a military engagement.

However, when we speak here of the Final Offensive we mean this in historical terms. We mean the achievement of a point where historical conditions have resulted in the emergence of the oppressed peoples, upon whose oppressed status imperialism relies for its existence and success, as the determinant social force, actively reversing the verdict of imperialism.

Europe is staggering from one unity-fracturing economic crisis to another. The declining dominant imperialist force, the U.S., is seeking face-saving retreat from bloody military engagements in Afghanistan and Iraq although it is spreading carnage throughout Africa and intrigue in South America and other areas in an attempt to forestall the inevitable.

After a decade of costly colonial expeditions in Afghanistan and Iraq that were designed to remake the Middle East in the image of the U.S. and establish the U.S. as the permanent global imperial power, an unintended political reconfiguration of the area has resulted in the opposite.

Developments in the Middle East serve to isolate Israel, the U.S. strategic military outpost, the white cop on the regional block. U.S. satellites that include Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Yemen have been severely undermined by mass uprisings while its anti-imperialist opponents have grown in strength and influence.

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Iran is now a burgeoning force in the region despite U.S. attempts at destabilization and "regime change" and notwithstanding the immediate success of the U.S. and European imperialists in overthrowing the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and sowing havoc in Syria.

U.S. troops that entered Iraq with great fanfare and bombast were forced to sneak out like thieves in the dead of night. One writer, Tom Engelhardt, wrote of the U.S. withdrawal thusly:

"Still, set aside the euphemisms and the soaring rhetoric, and if you want a simple gauge of the depths of America's debacle in the oil heartlands of the planet, consider just how the final unit of American troops left Iraq. According to Tim Arango and Michael Schmidt of the New York Times, they pulled out at 2:30 a.m. in the dead of night. No helicopters off rooftops, but 110 vehicles setting out in the dark from Contingency Operating Base Adder. The day before they left, according to the Times reporters, the unit's interpreters were ordered to call local Iraqi officials and sheiks with whom the Americans had close relations and make future plans, as if everything would continue in the usual way in the week to come.

"In other words, the Iraqis were meant to wake up the morning after to find their foreign comrades gone, without so much as a goodbye. This is how much the last American unit trusted its closest local allies. After shock and awe, the taking of Baghdad, the mission-accomplished moment, the capture, trial, and execution of Saddam Hussein, after Abu Ghraib and the bloodletting of the civil war, after the surge and the Sunni Awakening movement, after the purple fingers and the reconstruction funds gone awry, after all the killing and dying, the U.S. military slipped into the night without a word.

"If, however, you did happen to be looking for a word or two to capture the whole affair, something less polite than those presently circulating, 'debacle' and 'defeat' might fit the bill. The military of the self-proclaimed single greatest power on planet Earth, whose leaders once considered the occupation of the Middle East the key to future global policy and planned for a multi-generational garrisoning of Iraq, had been sent packing. That should have been considered little short of stunning.

"Face what happened in Iraq directly and you know that you're on a new planet."

Balance shifting in a new world

The "new planet" is actually a new day, a new era, one that our Party has participated in creating for forty years. It is our day, our era. It is the era of the final offensive against imperialism!

However, the full measure of the shifting balance of power cannot be fully understood without considering other areas of the world where U.S. imperialism is experiencing tucked tail retreat. In South America the advent of the governments of Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales, and Daniel Ortega of Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua, is representative of dwindling U.S. influence on that continent, derisively considered the U.S. "backyard" in the past.

While in Asia U.S. bluster about a nuclear-armed Korea is designed to cloak U.S. moves in the Asia-Pacific Basin to contain the rise of China as its most obvious challenge to political, economic and strategic hegemony of U.S. and European imperialism.

In addition, China's emergence as the fastest, most significant external economic force in Africa is squeezing the U.S. and Europe's capacity to continue hegemonic extraction of economic and political resources and removes Africa as a guaranteed strategic, U.S. geopolitical resource.

APSP born pointing way forward in midst of Black Power Movement defeat

Our Party was born of the brutal repression that destroyed our movement for happiness and the return of our stolen resources. Our mission was defined in part by that repression. We were the living embodiment of the words of Fred Hampton, Black Panther Party leader murdered by U.S. agents on December 4, 1969:

"You can kill a revolutionary but you can't kill the revolution."

So as revolutionaries were jailed and assassinated throughout the U.S. and the world, the birth of our Party actually constituted a summation of the way forward.

It was necessary to move beyond the era of protest and organize to win and wield political power. This required the existence of a political party, the highest expression of the will to acquire power. Moreover, the founding of our Party was an explicit statement of our recognition that we were not fighting for just any kind of power, but revolutionary power in the hands of a revolutionary class — the African working class.

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During this presentation I will say more about the significance of the Party's emergence at this critical time. The Black Panther Party was the only revolutionary political party of consequence during this time frame and it bore the brunt of much of the counterinsurgent repression, leaving its remnants in a state of retreat.

Most other remaining African political groupings preferred to avoid the party designation and the internal dynamics necessary to define the class character of the organization. This resulted in an ambiguity that most often allowed militant, nationalist petty bourgeois organizations to hide their class content behind radical sounding names.

However, we were clear that we had to have a revolutionary party rooted in the African working class and committed to African liberation, unification and socialism. We were also convinced that the tendency of some groups to move toward coalition building as the central component of their work was wrong and that we needed a revolutionary party to lead the revolutionary African working class to power.

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