No to the imperialist war!
Neither the hype and spin of Blair’s Spindoctors nor all the blurred CIA intelligence photos presented to the UN by US secretary of state Powell can hide the nature of the atrocity about to be visited on the civilian population of Iraq – an atrocity made far worse coming as it does after years of sanctions and starvation. What we are dealing with here is an old-fashioned imperialist war – a war of the rich against the poor in which the interests of capital are paid for in the blood of innocent civilians.
We have one gain on our side. On this occasion large numbers of people across the world can see through many of the lies and actively oppose Bush and Blair. Their bloodlust is so evident that even the figleaf of the UN, used in the past to justify all sorts of adventures, has worn thin and it has become clear to many that the UN is in reality a worn rubber stamp in the hands of its US masters, now attempting to construct a global empire.
The existence of an anti-war movement means that as the US and Britain gear up to attack Iraq there will be a whole series of major demonstrations indicating how massively unpopular the war is. The potential will be there to build the level of support able to inflict serious damage on Bush and the poodle Blair.
The problem is that Bush and Blair have already analysed the opposition and discounted it. They reckon that they can hold out against the protests and demonstrations and then declare ‘peace’ – the peace of imperialist victory. A swift end of the war would enable them to wrongfoot the campaign while consolidating for the next victim on the long list of countries that Bush has openly put on his hit list – in fact US doctrine is to suppress any country that might pose any sort of threat to their global supremacy.
We will have to think long and hard if we are to go beyond demonstrating our opposition and anger to building a credible opposition to the mighty political and military machine controlled by US imperialism.
We in Socialist Democracy would argue for a movement that is democratic and inclusive, politically honest, puts its money where its mouth is and develops a detailed strategy to damage the war machine.
Democratic and Inclusive
The campaign should be open to both individual and group membership. Trade union and community groups, political parties and campaigning groups should all be welcome and should of right have a seat on decision making bodies.
The great impetus for the campaign and much of its structure comes from the left. Most Socialists believe that this is an imperialist war and we should be for the defeat of the imperialists. The US is the only power actually to unleash nuclear weapons on civilian populations. It is the US that holds the Worlds armoury of nuclear weapons and boasts of its willing ness to use them again. We believe that the only really effective opposition to imperialism will have to be built from the working class. Why not say so? We can then debate openly with those who argue a humanitarian position rather than leave the campaign open to collapse at the first political challenge.
Action following words
Transport workers in Scotland are reported to have prevented movement of arms to the expeditionary force. ICTU are supporters of the campaign. Why don’t they call on Shannon airport workers to take similar action? Similarly Sinn Fein have opposed war. Why then do they continue negotiations with Richard Haas, one of the main architects of the US war drive?
If we are to move from protest to action we must aim for targets within our reach. The protest at Shannon is valuable, but the political mechanism that allows collaboration is in the Dail. Much of the US war machine is beyond our reach, but a determined movement could disrupt the rule of the local gombeen men and women who facilitate the US war aims.
Build a working class movement against imperialism!