A self-identified “communist” and a member of the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party (WWP), John Catalinotto serves as managing editor of the WWP publication Workers World, for which he also writes on a regular basis. In addition, he is a frequent spokesman for the International Action Center (IAC), a WWP front group.
On June 10, 2000, Catalinotto told the IAC’s “International Tribunal for U.S./NATO War Crimes in Yugoslavia,” that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization had evolved into a “pact of predator nations ready to police the world for big business and the banks.” He maintained, moreover, that because NATO “makes the world ever more dangerous for humanity,” it should be abolished.
In May 2004, Catalinotto happily reported that an IAC “World Tribunal on Iraq” had determined that the U.S. government was “guilty of war crimes” in that country. Further, he charged that “the Oil Lobby in the United States, the military contractors, [and] the banks that finance them all hoped to grow fabulously rich from the [Iraq] war.” “These same businesses,” Catalinotto added, “were closely connected with the ‘neo-conservative’ ideologists in the Bush administration who also hoped to grow rich from the war…. The war served a small group of very rich and powerful owners of the corporations and banks that dominate the world.”
In June 2014, Catalinotto defended the traitorous actions of Bowe Robert Bergdahl, a soldier who in 2009 had deserted the U.S. Army and joined the Taliban in Afghanistan. Catalinotto attributed Bergdahl’s defection to “a moment of temporary sanity” that enabled him to “slip away from a horrible imperialist occupation.”
When Israel in July 2014 initiated Operation Protective Edge—a military response to a massive barrage of Hamas rocket attacks originating in Gaza—Catalinotto condemned the “fascists” in “the heavily armed and technologically developed Israeli army”—which had “the full backing” of the U.S. and other “major imperialist oppressors”—for its “relentless” bombing of “a virtually unarmed population in Gaza.” Moreover, he denounced “the Israeli apartheid state” for serving as America’s “armed outpost of world imperialism at the center of the Middle East”; for imposing a “blockade” that had turned Gaza into a veritable mass prison camp; for engaging in “provocations” such as the expansion of “illegal settlements inside the West Bank territories”; and for demonstrating an unyielding “intransigence” that had “frustrated all efforts to reach a negotiated settlement with the Palestinian Authority.”
In July 2015 Catalinotto urged his fellow leftists not only to fight “for a higher minimum wage, for unions, and against U.S.-led imperialist wars,” but also to support the Black Lives Matter movement “and others in the streets who battle the institutional racism shown by killer cops” across the United States. “In the reactionary cesspool of U.S. capitalist electoral politics,” he added, the Democratic Party was proving to be insufficiently radical, as evidenced not only by its “pro-capitalist and pro-banker” policies, but also by its support for “U.S. military interventions all around the world.”
In August 2015, on the 70th anniversary of America’s atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Catalinotto deplored the use of such “unspeakable weapons” for the “mass murders of … civilian populations.” Moreover, he traced the roots of the entire conflict betwen the U.S. and Japan to capitalism and the “imperialist” impulses that allegedly animated both nations: “[T]he U.S. and Japan were imperialist countries. Both had capitalist economies, with wealth concentrated in a small number of ruling-class families in industry and banking. These ruling classes exploited the working classes at home. Japan ruled Korea and parts of China, where its ruling class invested capital, exploited local workers and looted raw materials. The U.S. ruled the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Hawaii, where it did the same. The two imperialist powers’ competition for control of the Pacific islands and East Asia led to World War II in the Pacific.” “For U.S. imperialism,” Catalinotto added, “the goal was to smash the Japanese state so thoroughly that it would be subservient to Washington in the region.”
By Catalinotto’s telling, American interventions around the world have invariably been rooted in merciless aggression and a desire to dominate the globe. For example, he maintains that “since 1979, the U.S. has carried out multiple war crimes” in Afghanistan—most notably, when it “used the events of Sept. 11, 2001 to justify an invasion” of that country. Proceeding from that premise, Catalinotto has praised the Taliban for its post-9/11 “resistance to the [American] occupation.” When a U.S. airstrike in the fall of 2015 destroyed a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, Catalinotto was quick to conclude that “the building was hit on purpose, probably in order to close the hospital and drive out [Doctors Without Borders].”
In January 2017, Catalinotto denounced President-elect Donald Trump as someone whose “rhetoric alone encourages racism, misogyny, Islamophobia and immigrant bashing.” “In alliance with the Republican Congress,” added Catalinotto, “he [Trump] threatens reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, medical care for poor women and poor people in general, public education, Social Security, Medicare and the rights of workers to join labor unions, while his climate-change denials endanger the environment.”
Further Reading: “U.S. Imperialism and Aggression” (by Jon Catalinotto, 6-10-2000); “World Tribunal on Iraq: New York War-Crimes Hearing finds U.S. Guilty” (by John Catalinotto, 5-15-2004); “Bowe Bergdahl: Hero or Scapegoat?” (by 2014); “Bernie Sanders Flunks First Big Test” (by 2015); “Class Forces behind U.S. Genocide in Hiroshima, Nagasaki” (by 2015); “U.S. Targeted, Bombed Afghan Hospital” (by John Catlinotto, 10-6-2015); “Trump, Russia and the Democrats: The Enemy Is at Home” (by 2017).