J. Posadas

Why the Pentagon Killed Kennedy

(January 1964)

From Red Flag (London), Vol. 1, No. 4, January 1964.
Marked up by David Adams for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The development of the objective process after the assassination reveals two funamtenal aspects - the enormous weakness of world capitalism and the Soviet bureaucracy. At first sight it can seem contradictory that the existence of the Soviet bureaucracy depends on that of capitalism. But from this fact steams the enormous shock and tremendous anguish caused by the assassination of Kennedy to world capitalism and to the bureaucracy. On the surface, all the economic and financial plans of the bourgeoisie appear strong, well based. Their investment projects seem well established to meet the future with confidence.

The assassination of Kennedy has profoundly shaken all the world capitalist system. It not only shook world stock exchanges but the whole capitalism system. It put a question mark not only over the consequences of this event developing within the workers' states, but within capitalism itself. The rapid arrival in Washington of all the presidents of the world was not simply with the object of attending the funeral but the attempt to reaffirm the pursuit of peaceful co-existence with Khrushchev. They wanted to put pressure on the Pentagon, on Johnson by trying to present at least in appearance a solid front to contain as far as possible the plans of the Pentagon.


When capitalism sees itself obliged to take such measures, this demonstrates that it entrusts its existence not to its own capacity and force, but to the plans of the Soviet bureaucracy. It is these people that allow it to exist. World capitalism was present at the funeral of Kennedy. In reality it was not simply a question of mourners but a world counter revolutionary "council" to consider the future of capitalism. The question was not that of organising the counter revolution-that task is decided and undertaken-but of profiting from all the advantages to the maximum extent offered by the policy of peaceful co-existence of the Soviet bureaucracy. This is the standard by which we must measure the strength of capitalism and not at the level of its economic perspectives. The rapid recovery of the various stock exchanges can make it appear that capitalism has recovered confidence in itself. This is purely on the surface. Capitalism cannot be judged on the level of economic advance but on the degree in which it exhibits social and political confidence in itself. The united front of capitalism exists against the colonial revolution, against the proletarian revolution, against the workers' states. Thus to be incapable of a single-minded harmonious policy in face of the world socialist revolution indicates a total lack of confidence, of historical perspective for capitalism.

If the Soviet bureaucracy cannot gain any advantages from this event, it is from fear that they may rebound against them. To profit from these events would mean to enfeeble the authority of world capitalism and in consequence to increase the action of the masses. Hence the reason for the silence of the Soviet bureaucracy.

The assassination of Kennedy is the result of a struggle between bandits. One faction has liquidated a member of the opposite faction.

Within the heart of Yankee imperialism there are two tendencies. One tendency centres on what is called the Pentagon and is wrongly called "right wing" (there is no left or right for capitalism but simply different positions in relation to the same policy) and the "Kennedy" tendency. The Pentagon tendency realises that every day that permits the prolongation of the existence of the workers' states goes against the interests of capitalism and it is consequently against this prolongation. In a certain sense it is correct because the sectors which it defends are those most closely bound to the financial and military apparatus of preparation for war.


At this stage capitalism, if it is to function in the same way as before, is geared to a very great centralisation of the apparatus, of the circles which control the state. The North American economy cannot function without the constant flow of financial aid and military expenditure directed to the preparation of nuclear war. What determines today the smooth functioning of the economy of the US is not the production of wheat or automobiles or some other industry but the industry for nuclear war. Now this industry is in the hands of a very limited group, twenty fanatics. This group understands very well that the only way to try to safeguard its own existence is to launch the nuclear war. To uphold its interests it defends what is called the hard line of imperialism. That is to say not to yield in relation to Cuba or Germany and to develop a policy of pressure and of blackmail to the limit of war against the workers' states. The policy of "brinkmanship" which Dulles outlined is theirs. This policy has not great differences from that of Kennedy. He also was prepared to go to the limit. The difference lies in the fact that Kennedy's tendency wished to profit from the policy of peaceful co-existence of the Soviet bureaucracy. Even so the policy of Kennedy over Cuba, over Vietnam, over Latin America was a policy of "going to the edge," a policy of courting nuclear war.

But at this stage of history, there is no precise limit to which one can point and say after this, the war. The war can break out without the world being at the "edge of the abyss" because this war will not be the result of the struggle of two competing capitalist sectors but the fruit of the struggle between world capitalism and the workers states and the world revolution. Also the change in strategic relations within the capitalist military apparatus can be decisive. The factor which allows a little imperialist group, the Pentagon, to decide today the launching of war, the invasion of Cuba, is the fact that upon them depends the economy. If the British, French, Yankee imperialists paralyse the programme of military preparation or for example reduce it by 15% this would lead to a crisis which would disintegrate capitalism. Such a thing is impossible. The motor of the capitalist economy is the preparation of war. It is only necessary to look at the budgets, the utilisation of the national resources of the capitalist nations. The war economy is not only the preparation of nuclear but the totality of wars which imperialism cnducts in the colonial countries.

One of the most important forms of the decomposition of capitalism is its own internal disintegration. Capitalism conducts an aggressive intense competition. But from the historical point of view there is only one way of meeting the advance of the revolution: to launch the world nuclear war. When and how we cannot say. The whole apparatus of imperialism is ready at any moment to launch the war. Today a long military preparation is not necessary, unlike the case with previous wars. Nuclear war does not require this preparation. Moreover capitalism has no interest in forewarning its peoples that it is going to war. In the former inter-imperialist wars, each capitalist nation needed to prepare the masses of its country, to obtain a solidarity against the other capitalist countries. Each had need of preparing the smashing of the workers' movement, of gaining over the workers' leaderships. A psychological social preparation was necessary for masses to accept war. Today this is no longer possible, for an appeal to the masses to prepare for war would hurl the masses against capitalism. In fact it is the world revolution which is advancing and not the AUTHORITY OF CAPITALISM.

All this is reflected in the assassination of Kennedy. The Pentagon, organiser of the assassination, is the expression of this consciousness. It is afraid that Kennedy's policy may weaken capitalism. But on the other hand, it understands that there is a way of using the bureaucracy's offer of peaceful co-existence. If the Pentagon tendency took power it would in no way mean the abandoning of the policy of peaceful co-existence. Without doubt there are military personnel who do not know what to do and who are prepared to press the button. But the Pentagon tendency is neither blind nor stupid. It would accept co-existence, but on another basis, a co-existence not excluding the possibility of more direct intervention in Vietnam and in Latin America. It would try to act in such a way as to measure the reaction of the workers' states and the masses. Therein lies the difference between the Pentagon and Kennedy.

In his last speech, Kennedy drew the attention of the whole of American and world capitalism to an essential problem: "We cannot actually wage war because we have the whole world against us." This does not mean a renouncement of war, for what decides war is not the plans of capitalism, but the world revolution which is advancing and which will bring about the reaction of capitalism, by war. That is why peaceful co-existence allows imperialism a historical delay, which is trying to use in order to obtain better conditions for launching the war. But in reality this is a state of inertia which shows the decomposition of capitalism. One of the conditions to the development of capitalism in the period of its rise was its dynamism, its dynamic reactions. The acceptance of peaceful co-existence, even if it represents a very great advantage for it, does not gain any advantage for it from the point of view of its historical survival. True, it arms itself with more and more atomic weapons and consequently increases, in spite of its constant loss of political and social authority, its capacity for atomic destruction. But for capitalism, it will in no way be possible to disarm the world revolution, but only to cause more damage to humanity. And this fact, both essential and vital, is ignored as much by the Chinese as by Khrushchev. The so-called Pentagon tendency is not antagonistic to that of the White House. There is no antagonism between them but there are contradictions. The Pentagon is extremely perceptive and it observes the process of the advance of the revolution in the world. Its interests do not allow it any concessions to a long term policy of peaceful co-existence. In effect, the preparation of atomic war, to which it is dedicated, requires two conditions. First, the material basis and, second the social, a team which lives for that preparation alone, which decides the orientations of the economy and which feels itself ready to intervene at any moment whatever, having the power of decision. One cannot talk of the social weight of the economy without drawing the social conclusions. These sections take into account that all the process of the revolution is going directly against them and that proportionately as the revolution advances, they are going to find themselves in a less favourable position for confronting it. The struggle that they are conducting against the Kennedy tendency is not against Kennedy's policy - to profit from Khrushchev's treachery, but is a result of their fear of the consequences of such a policy.

Capitalism is expressed not only in a global way but through different fractions. One of them represents and reflects the centralised interest of capitalism and this fraction today is the Pentagon. Also, when the latter does not take a decisive measure it shows its hesitations, its doubts and its fear that war means the disappearance of capitalism. If this were not the case, it would already have started the war, for there is an indestructible logic in the internal social relations of capitalism. But also, capitalism is a contradictory regime which cannot decide as it wants and at any time according to the global or partial interests of capitalism, because its own contradictions imply internal struggles.

From the historical point of view, world capitalism has no doubt that it must be armed in order to launch the war in the attempt to crush the Workers' States. There is no discussion among the capitalist sectors on this point.

Their contradictions are enormous nevertheless. De Gaulle has just designed a commission for trade with China. Capitalism is now discussing the length of time for repayment loans by the USSR.

There are three positions. The US, Italy, France and Belgium are agreed on a delay of five years. Germany seven years and England, no fixed limit. It is apparently absurd. While they are in the act of preparing the war against the workers' states, they are looking for ways of developing trade with the workers' states! That means that capitalism, in order to survive, is obliged to trade with the workers' states. It is contrary to the logical and dialectic perspectives of capitalism.

From the point of view of its historical interests, capitalism should not trade with the workers' states but should have the strength not to do it. It still has immense fields of investments in Asia, Africa and Latin America as well as in the capitalist countries themselves. (The French papers have just published the reports on living conditions, showing that 50% of the population have no running water. But it is not only so in France. In a work published recently in the US, "The Other America," it is shown that 25% of the population earn a wage equal to less than half of what is considered the necessary minimum. In Latin America, the annual average income per head of the inhabitants is only a tenth of that of the US). Cap-talism has a large field for investments but there are contradictions which hinder them and oblige them to trade with the workers' states.

That does not mean that we approve of the attitude of the Soviet bureaucracy. It is not that we are against trade between capitalist and socialist countries. But these exchanges must take place after economic planning between the Workers' States and not at the expense of the organisation of the revolutionary struggle of the masses or of the struggle to defeat capitalism or of the direct support of the Workers' States in this struggle. And the bureaucracy sacrifices the revolution and the interests of economic planning in the socialist countries. That is why capitalism is encouraged to carry out such a policy with the Soviet bureaucracy and the Workers' States.

But even in these conditions, this will not mean a reinforcement of the social and political authority of capitalism. In every way, the situation will go against it. For the masses will not confine their activity within the framework of commercial agreements with capitalist countries. They will pursue their anti-capitalist revolutionary struggle. The Kennedy tendency, entirely a tendency of North American and world capitalism, is trying to gain the maximum benefit from this situation, but after receiving social and business guarantees from the Soviet bureaucracy that it will not encourage or support any proletarian revolution, and that it will not take any measures which can lead the Communist parties to put capitalism into jeopardy. Inexorable reality shows itself.

The Workers' States can no longer, nor will they be able in future to remain indifferent to the process of the revolution. The proof of this is in the Cuba situation of last year. The Kennedy tendency is the majority tendency of world capitalism for the acceptance of the policy of peaceful co-existence of the Soviet bureaucracy, in order to attempt to prolong to the maximum the existence of capitalism, in the hope of weakening the Workers' States, in the hope of a struggle between the Workers' States, whilst it arms it-self in the hope of overcoming the present situation and develop a capacity for reaction, so as to strike the first blow when the time comes and destroy the Workers' States.

But capitalism has accepted co-existence and has raised the degree of agreement with the Soviet bureaucracy on the line of peaceful co-existence, after the appearance in public of the Sino-Soviet dispute. From November or December last year, the attempts of the bureaucracy to entrench peaceful co-existence with imperialism have in-creased and have found an echo, not only in one capitalist section or another, but in the immense majority of world capitalism. That means that capitalism has worked not solely on the basis of the word of Khrushchev and of the Soviet bureaucracy, but according to the facts.

One incontestable fact is that of Cuba. Imperialism mobilised for the invasion of Cuba and if it did not invade, it is because the Cuban people showed that they were willing to defend themselves. And the defense of the Cuban people, even if it had been crushed by the great military superiority of Yankee imperialism, would have had enormous revolutionary consequence and influence, and above all in the US.

The other factor is that the Soviet people, the workers' state, showed its resolve to prevent the invasion of Cuba. There are hundreds of examples: the military reaction, the reaction in the ships, Khrushchev's letter. It has been said that there was a letter from Khrushchev, asking the Yanks not to invade Cuba. The Americans gave out the story that it was an appeal from Khrushchev to Kennedy and that Kennedy, who is a good man, accepted, understanding that war was imminent. We believe one thing- that Khrushchev's letter to Kennedy has not been. published, nor will it be published, because it stated that war would be terrible, but above all that it would mean the destruction of Yankee imperialism as much as the Soviet bureaucracy.

But Khrushchev's letter must have been clear and decisive in affirming, "If you attack Cuba, I will not be able to control either the army or the Soviet people, and moreover, it will be the end of you and of me." If Yankee imperialism had sensed in Khrushchev's letter the possibility of gaining the advantage or taking the initiative, it would have launched the war immediately. It is not humanitarian scruples winch prevent it, but a concrete, social fear of disappearing.

Imperialism, the Kennedy tendency, tries to profit from the conservative interests of the Soviet bureaucracy to prolong its own existence to the maximum.

The so-called Pentagon section is aware of this situation and feels that the very time delay means a direct loss for its economic, social and ideological interests. That is the reason for the offensive that it has just carried out. Kennedy's assassination does not mark the beginning of this offensive but only a stage in it. The coup in Honduras, in the Dominican Republic, the support to Lacorda and the intervention in South Vietnam are other aspects of this offensive by the Penta-gon. The struggle between them is sharply defined. In South Vietnam, two factions oppose each other. The one which wants to use atomic arms, opposed to the Kennedy faction which wants to carry on conventional war-fare, envisaging even the possibility of an agreement. These internal struggles in S. Vietnam are part of the struggle between the Pentagon and the White House.

These internal struggles show neither decision nor authority, but weakness, decomposition and disorganization. The Pentagon has tried to develop a world situation which might be favourable for it to impose its policy on the USA. But this is not decided only in the USA.

On the American population falls all the world pressure of the revolution, all the consequences of the capitalist league of peaceful co-existence. That finds a great echo in the North American masses and one which goes against the interests of the Pentagon. The apparently anti-racialist policy of Kennedy has nothing to do with a really and-racialist policy. Kennedy, like the Pentagon, despises Negroes. Johnson is one of the most disgusting Texan racialists. He comes from an oligarchic Texan family. But the defence of the economic interests of the Kennedy tendency is compatible with a so-called anti-racialist policy. More precisely there are no anti-racialist policies, but only some measures adopted which are very feeble concessions to the strata of the upper middle class Negroes.

Kennedy has been assassinated by the Pentagon. That is a warning to the sections of the White House to limit the policy of co-existence with a view to profiting from all the concessions that the Soviet bureaucracy sees itself obliged to make, but without making any concession in return. Such a policy is impossible,

When American capitalism must resolve its problems as gangsters do- and they are gangsters- that indicates that its state of mind, consciousness and decision. is in a critical degree of exasperation. Such an action is not impulsively planned. Kennedy was the President of the US. When, in the US, one resorts to such an assassination in 1963, it is because the Pentagon has reached the conclusion that it will be impossible to carry out its policy by normal, democratic means. This state of exasperation is not only the result of direct relations with the Soviet bureaucracy, but of the world position of imperialism which is constantly retreating.

The Pentagon wants to profit fully from the Sino-Soviet conflict. But, at the same time it realises it can gain nothing fundamentally, for this conflict does not result in the reinforcement of the social and political authority of imperialism.

From the military point of view, there is no difference between the Pentagon, and Kennedy. The differences are of a social and political nature. Throughout the whole of the last period the Pentagon realised the great retreats of imperialism in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America. These retreats exercised a great influence on the Pentagon. It would have liked to intervene and it is intervening, but it feels that its interventions have very little effect. In the preceding era, Foster Dulles was still able to organize counter-revolutions and do what he wanted. Now there are no longer the military teams, the fascist, racialist groups, etc., which can decide events. American imperialism finds itself unable to organize in its own country a fascist movement and regime capable of opposing the advance of world revolution. World imperialism finds itself impotent to centralize the whole of capitalism under a single command and to oppose the advance of world revolution. On the other hand, the fascist groups in North America have no social force. Hitler and Mussolini in their time had succeeded in organizing great social movements, great currents in the petty-bourgeoisie by offering them the perspective of Germany's world development: We must understand why American imperialism finds itself incapable of doing such a thing. It must oppose, without a social basis, the world revolution. It cannot find a social base because the Northern American masses are experiencing the world revolution. There have been numerous ways of organizing currents of support, brandishing danger, the Communist threat, Cuba, etc. It has tried to do this but has failed.

The liquidation of Kennedy is the expression of the despair created by all these failures of the Pentagon. But, nevertheless, the Pentagon did not organize this assassination in order that American policy should remain the same as before. Whilst the exasperation and despair have an individual character, they do not bring about social consequences. But when they come about through the contradictions of capitalism, now expressed in the assassination of the President of the US, this shows that a wing of American capitalism is determined to go as far as declaring atomic war at any moment, profiting from any conjuncture for atomic war.

The difference between the Pentagon and the Kennedy wing is that the latter tries, while preparing for war, to make gains from the Soviet bureaucracy and to take advantage of the concessions it is about to make, with a view to prolonging the present situation. That is not to say that this wing has decided to accept nothing but this situation. It too is ready to launch the war at any moment. Cuba has already shown this. But, to the extent that imperialism is obliged to choose between these two tendencies in accordance with its interests as a world ruling class, this wing signifies not so much security in its present triumph as a fear of advancing.

The crime of the Soviet bureaucracy consists not only in its policy of peaceful co-existence, but equally in its act of concealing from the masses this situation of panic on the part of imperialism and, in consequence, deceiving them. But the Chinese and Fidel Castro also act in this way. The Chinese have made not a single conclusion impelling the masses to act as a consequence of this process, to understand and to intervene. If Kennedy was assassinated, it is because the Pentagon has sense and understood that there are no more means of persuasion, methods parliamentary, financial or political by which to change the internal relationships of forces of imperialism, which hence sees no possibility in the immediate future of changing this relationship, favourably to itself, through the parliamentary road. Therefore assasssination was decided on. It is significant that it was fixed without regard to the moment, with or without Johnson, to go to war dragging the whole of capitalism in its train. Could such a thing be done? It is well that we should grasp its true significance: to assassinate the American President, the President of that country which wants to show itself to the world as the champion and the living centre of democracy! This assassination is a formidable loss of authroity for imperialism, a loss of prestige in front of the whole world and, above all, in front of the North American masses.

The Pentagon was conscious of all this and, if it has dared to organize the assassination, it is because it no longer hopes to win the support of the North American masses for the triumph of its policies.

If, in the United States, a communist or a Castroite had planned such an action, all the newspapers and the FBI would have alerted public opinion over several months (for the United States is the country where there are always to be found offers of tremendous financial rewards for denunciation). Today they have assassinated Kennedy, and it is as if they had disposed of a greengrocer. This attitude is consciously struck, on the part of the government and the bourgeoisie. It knows that the author of this project is the Pentagon, but it does not wish to provoke it. It has been warned. And it has reacted by trying to influence the Pentagon. But the Pentagon did not assassinate Kennedy so as to suffer a loss in its own influence. The Pentagon is an apparatus which is not open to social influences. It has made up its mind.

The reaction of world capitalism has been unique in history. In the space of 24 hours, all the presidents in the world rushed to the United States. They wished to present a block face to the Pentagon, to restrain it by their simple presence. They did not go to the funeral to carry flowers, but to demonstrate their support of Kennedy's policy. Their attendance has been, equally, a warning to the Pentagon, which has undoubtedly had its effect, at least momentarily, on the Pentagon. But the class war, within the prospect of the final reckoning of accounts, will be decided by whoever controls the apparatus. There is no doubt that economic development, financial stability and all the rest are important. But, in this period when capitalism has outlived the possibility of further growth, the Pentagon liquidates Kennedy in order to prepare for war.

And, notwithstanding all the economic and financial confidence which capitalism is said to have, when Kennedy was killed all the representatives of the rest of capitalism rushed off, not to show off their large and flourishing economic prospects, but to speak of peaceful co-existence. This makes apparent the formidable contradictions of capitalism from which neither the Soviet bureaucracy, nor China, nor Castro profit. It is possible to imagine what is the state of this regime, which finds itself obliged to act out a circus scene. It has absolutely no social strength and the war will sweep it away. That is why the wife of Khrushchev wept on the shoulder of the American ambassador.

From the political point of view, the assassination of Kennedy is the basis for an enormous political credit from which the Soviet bureaucracy is not profiting: To profit would be to needle the Pentagon without knowing how to halt the consequences.

Johnson was sworn in one hour after Kennedy's death, Mrs. Kennedy at his side, an event unprecedented in the history of the United States. (Only in Argentina and Bolivia could one find three or four presidents ready to be sworn in at the same time. But for the White House there is customarily a certain procedure and protocol). If Johnson was sworn in in such a manner, this was through fear of sections of the Kennedy tendency that a state of chaos would be created from which the Pentagon could have profited so as to impose a series of measures which would have led towards an immediate confrontation with the Soviets. That is to say that in default of the existence of a legal government, working within a constitutional framework, during the reign of "democracy," there is no guarantee of controlling the country constitutionally- that is, all the conditions for chaos exist. The United States is not the Congo. The United States has mocked the Congo, where the Africans are supposed to be incapable of controlling the country. Meanwhile, they bump off one president and swear in his successor in an aeroplane in case anyone might make off with his life. They are afraid that a subaltern, or perhaps a general, might take things into his own hands and start the war. This indicates the degree which their internal decomposition has reached. The Soviet bureaucracy, vile and wretched as it is, is now reinforcing capitalism in that country where it has been shown to be most rotten.

The Pentagon will not rest content simply with this warning. Only a team determined to go to the very end would allow itself to envisage and to execute the killing of Kennedy. One can make no comparison with the assassination of Lincoln or others. These were the outcome of internal struggles, without external repercussions of importance. This assassination today takes place in the period of the final reckoning of accounts. This indicates that it is the work of a determined team, with the strength to go on to the very end, and the present silence of the Government on the true circumstances of the assassination and of its planners. If it were the work of a little group of no importance, they would have been wiped out. But in fact the silence concerning the assassins shows that they are a group of men who direct the military apparatus and planning of the United States. Independently of the attitude of the rest of the capitalist world, it is they who plan and execute the strategy of capitalism, dragging the rest in their wake.

It is certain that the coming of all the presidents has had an effect on the Pentagon, upon which they have imposed a change of tactics and a search to find an assassin who was not a communist. All had been in readiness to make it appear that the assassination was the work of somebody who had been a communist or a Castroite. But the arrival of all the presidents has caused a part of the Pentagon team to reflect, sensing the need for a certain basis of support in the rest of the capitalist world. But imagine the tremendous possibilities opening out for the revolution, in the face of this colossal enfeebling of world capitalism. And, in so far as the workers' states are an enormous force, a great cohesive force among and centralizer of the masses, the bureaucracy rushes to prop up a capitalism thus enfeebled.

We must wait a little time for the full consequences flowing from the assassination of Kennedy to manifest themselves. But this much is clear. The Pentagon killed Kennedy within the framework of a policy designed to launch the war by surprise at that moment most convenient to itself. By waiting, they will simply show that the policy of peaceful co-existence has certain short-term advantages for themselves: among others, it obliges the bureaucracy to make a series of concessions on Cuba, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

But the bureaucracy itself is disconcerted, because it has no policy with which to reply. Outside of a revolutionary policy there is no substitute, no remedy. This explains the reaction of the bureaucracy. Two roads are open to it: to profit from this event from a revolutionary point of view or, on the contrary, to try to check the consequences of a big advance for the Pentagon. But to take this second road is openly to support US capitalism.

We, the IVth International, are the only ones who have always maintained that the policy of the Soviet bureaucracy will become more and more counter-revolutionary. The line of co-existence can have no other outcome. The basis for this line is the giving of assurances to capitalism, not to support, stimulate or impel any proletarian revolution. In this erisis of US imperialism, the Soviet bureaucracy has messed itself up in memory of Kennedy, it has observed minutes of silence, as it did at the meeting of the WorldPeace Council at Warsaw, and in meetings of the Political Bureaux of the Communist Parties throughout the world.

The masses of the world have reacted altogether differently to the assassination. This has been noticeable above all in the colonial and semi-colonial countries. The so-called backward masses, who, it is said, understand nothing about politics, have drawn a simple and direct conclusion: "Some bandits have shot another bandit; that is their business." The worker base of the CP reacted at first in a correct way before they were given the official orientation of their leaderships: "Kennedy has had to pay for wanting to invade Cuba." They have thus reacted by accusing Kennedy, by pointing out all the murders for which Kennedy was responsible in Cuba, in Latin America, in Africa, in Asia. The masses did not react by weeping but by pointing out the murderer's role that Kennedy had played. Here one can measure the abyss which separates the masses of the world from the bureaucracy of the Soviet Union and other workers' states.

For their part, the Chinese have also taken up an opportunist and reformist position. If we agree with their attitude at Warsaw, refusing to respect a one minute silence for the death of Kennedy, which was given for this murderer, it is opportunist to limit their reactions to such administrative organs as the Council for the Peace of the World. They have not given any explanation to the masses of the world. They have the duty to call the masses of the world to overthrow capitalism.

The assassination of Kennedy means the worsening of the inter-capitalist contradictions and in consequence, the possibility of the breaking out of the war at any moment. The murder of Kennedy is a direct blow at the policy of those, including the Chinese, who still believe in the possibility of avoiding the war and talk of the possibility of peaceful co-existence; and that goes for Fidel Castro as well. The consequences (of this assassination) will be immense in spite of the Chinese and Khrushchev, because the policy of peaceful co-existence needs good apologists. The policy of Johnson or his successors (if they shoot him) will be to weaken the policy of peaceful co-existence not to affirm it. That is to say that at this stage of the final encounter, those who will decide the policy and lead, independently of European capitalism, will be Yankee imperialism and more precisely the Pentagon, which has just shown that it has decided to act.

Up to the present the administration and the tendency of Kennedy representing American imperialism, intended to retain the leadership by the electoral political game. The Pentagon has just shown that it has no confidence in this game and that it has confidence only in assassination and physical elimination in order to impose its policy.

It will no longer wait for elections to decide. The pressure to which the Pentagon has had to submit, by the presence of Presidents, kings and other idiots who went to the funeral, will be of short duration, for the world objective situation will not be favourable to the establishment of new bases for peaceful co-existence. On the contrary, the permanent advance of the revolution, the development of the workers' states will narrow, ceaselessly, the bases for such co-existence, and will stimulate new reactions from the Pentagon.

The accusation of the Soviet bureaucracy on the alleged connection between the suspected murderer of Kennedy and Trotskyism has been put forward in order to divert attention from the real organisers of the assassination. They are putting forward a lie, totally absurd and stupid, of the same type as those at the time of Stalin. It gives Johnson an argument in his intention to conceal the responsibility of the Pentagon.

The important conclusion of this analysis is that, in spite of the Chinese who are not trying to take advantage of this situation; in a short time they will be obliged to exploit it. The Sino-Soviet crisis will worsen. The lack of an objective basis for the continuation of the line of peaceful co-existence by the Soviet bureaucracy, will become obvious in a very short time. The counter-revolutionary role of the communist parties will become more obvious at every step. The fight of the Chinese will tend, inevitably, to become fiercer as the basis of agreement with Khrushchev becomes smaller at every stage. The crisis inside the Soviet Union will increase. The tendencies in the army and the middle and lower sections of the bureaucracy will sense the beginning of the preparations for the war. The masses will press forward on their side, they will stimulate and in consequence will increase the intensity of the Chinese.

We must intervene in this process. The Chinese have failed to form any communist oppositions in the commünist parties, and they will fail again. In effect, they have been able only to organise communist oppositions on a reformist and conciliatory programme. To continue their fight they will be obliged to accentuate and establish a revolutionary programme. And this is Trotskyism. Independently of their desire and their objectives, all anti-capitalist policy is Trotskyist. If one tries to put a limit on the policy, it will fail. And if one follows an anti-capitalist policy it must proceed to the taking of power. One cannot organise a communist opposition without an anti-capitalist programme and anti-capitalist activity. The discussion on Stalin and his role will pass into history and will be resolved positively. But it is today that the masses need an anti-capitalist programme. The Chinese want to discuss enclosed orbit with the Soviet bureaucrats, without the intervention of the great masses. But they will have no other remedy than to have recourse to the masses of the world. And in as much as they will be obliged to do this, and they will be, they will open the way for our development.

The assassination of Kennedy marks a step in the process which will continue to accentuate itself in the revolutionary struggle of the masses, in the Sino-Soviet crisis, and in the organisation of revolutionary tendencies in the CPs on a revolutionary programme. And this programme will be Trotskyist.

That is why the accusation of Soviet bureaucracy: "The murderer is a Trotskyist, perhaps" is not an accident. It is not an accusation out of thin air. Basically it is a conscious exclamation of the bureaucracy indicating its principal enemy and also a centre of common interest around which to unify the Pentagon, the Kennedy tendency and itself. In spite of them, everything will advance and develop. The will of Trotskyists is not a product of their decision, of their dynamism and of their activity. Certainly, all this counts and is of fundamental importance, but the essential basis is that the objective process is Trotskyist. This is why, in all this process, the only ones who have succeeded in understanding, in mobilising themselves and in organising action, have been the Trotskyists. Therefore, we must organise our action to extend our positions and the programme, based on the confidence that the process will be objectively and concretely favourable to the development of the revolution. The war is the revolution. And the war is the end of the Soviet bureaucracy and of capitalism, and the development of the world revolution is the development of Trotskyism.