LOS ANGELES – The war in Iraq, like conflicts in which the United States has been engaged for more than a century, is not about spreading democracy but global corporate expansionism, Michael Parenti told a standing-room only crowd at a fund-raiser for the Peoples Weekly World/Nuestro Mundo held Oct. 13 here.

Over 250 people packed the UNITE! union hall to hear author and professor Michael Parenti speak on, “Democracy vs. U.S. World Domination.”

Despite the recent recall election victory for Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, the audience showed that the people’s fighting spirit and hunger for progressive views are not curbed. The event raised $4,700.

Parenti pointed out that, in 1958, it was a CIA coup that placed the Baathist Party in charge of the country, which Saddam Hussein subsequently took control of in 1968.

The war in Iraq has many domestic advantages for George W. Bush and his right-wing associates, according to Parenti. It is a distraction from the domestic problems that plague the U.S.

The billions of dollars the war is costing the U.S. provides a classic example of the have-nots protecting those who have it all. “When it comes to protecting their money, you’re money is no object,” said Parenti.

With the situation deteriorating, Bush has had no choice but to turn to the UN, which he first rebuffed for assistance. “Now he goes to the UN and asks them to pick up part of the blood tab. The people of the world have refused,” said Parenti.

Evelina Alarcon, chair of the Southern California district of the Communist Party USA, welcomed the crowd and Parenti. She also introduced a group of union grocery workers on strike. One of strike leaders said that she, along with 70,000 of her UFCW brothers and sisters, were determined to win their fight.

At the end of Parenti’s presentation, Terrie Albano, editor of the People’s Weekly World made an appeal for donations and subscriptions.

Parenti’s latest books, “The Assassination of Julius Caesar – A People’s History Of The Roman Empire,” “The Terrorism Trap” and “To Kill A Nation” may be ordered from Esther Cicconi at (213) 387-1618 or through your local bookstore.

The authors can be reached at pww@pww.org.