What Strategy for the Anti-War Movement?
The following leaflet was given out at the 29th March demonstration against the war in Dublin.
STOP THIS IMPERIALIST WAR!
PUNISH THE WAR CRIMINALS!
This awful war is only just over one week old and already all the claims justifying it have been exposed as contemptible lies.
We were told that this war has nothing to do with oil yet the very first action of the invaders was to grab the oil wells!
We were told that this is a war to liberate Iraq and that the Iraqi people would rise up and welcome the American and British troops. Instead they have taken up weapons themselves to fight the invaders.
We were told that this would be a quick war. That the Iraqi army would surrender in droves and that the early collapse of the Saddam Hussein regime would spare civilian casualties. None of this is now true.
The real nature of the war is all too clear. It is a war of imperialist conquest where the richest country on the globe murders and robs the poor. The method is clear also, with all the signposts pointing to mass slaughter. Military commentators now tell us that to win this war the American and British armies will have to create a new Stalingrad. The world is being dragged back to the most horrendous experiences of the Second World War with the US and Britain replaying the role of the Nazis.
The shameful decision of the Irish government to support this war through providing overflight rights and facilities at Shannon airport implicates the whole country in this barbarism. Bertie Ahern thinks he can wriggle out of this responsibility by claiming he doesn’t know whether the war is illegal. He doesn’t know whether it is justified.
In fact his pathetic postures and excuses openly admit that this state cannot take a position on the most profound moral and political issue of the day. This robs the Irish State of any reason for existence or for recognition by any other. Forget about neutrality, this State no longer has any claim to an independent existence. The people of this island have been robbed of any pretence that they can express and carry out their aspirations. The war can now claim another casualty – not just the independence of Iraq but also any claim to an independent Ireland. Ahern cannot stand up to imperialism on Iraq because he cannot stand up to it at home.
This is an imperialist war whose effects stretch around the globe Working people everywhere are expected to bend the knee to U.S. demands.
Target the collaborators
It is obvious that we in Ireland cannot directly stop the war. We can however stop Irish collaboration with it and we can do this by targeting the collaborators – Bertie Ahern, Mary Harney and all the rest of them in the Dail. These people are now complicit in this criminal war and only we can punish them.
We are now on the third major demonstration in Dublin against the war in just over a month. These demonstrations must now demand the resignation of Ahern.
All those that claim to oppose this war including the trade union movement and all the political organisations must support this demand. As long as Ahern is in charge he will support the war.
This means we must build an anti-war movement that can accomplish this task. As we march today we are making clear that the war is not fought in our name and that the Irish people do not want collaboration with it. War however allows no half measures. If we really want to stop it we must build an opposition to our government and an alternative to it.
Direct action and mass civil disobedience are put forward by some as the way to stop the war. But these are only tactics. They do not identify our targets, identify our allies nor give us a political strategy.
Our target is the government. Our
allies are the working people of Ireland, not their bureaucratic leaders,
and our strategy must be to mobilse them against our present political
leaders. We must build a mass movement that can organise and mobilise
workers across the country to take the strike action that can stop Shannon
airport and push aside any union leaders who want to talk against the
war but do nothing to stop it.
Building an alternative to this government of collaborators is an immense task. There are no short cuts or quick way to do this. The imperialist war demands an anti-imperialist and socialist alternative.
We are not on our own. Across the world a huge anti-war movement continues, even in the heart of the United States and Britain. Only when Bush and Blair and the whole imperialist system they govern is overthrown will the world be safe for small countries and will everyone be safe from the infinite war that Bush has threatened and has now unleashed.