Monday, May 07, 2007

Defeat the US Empire in Iraq!

May Day 2007

Defend Iran from US attack!
ANZAC troops out of Timor L'Este
and the Solomons!
More than four years on from Bush’s invasion of Iraq, the
war goes on.
But now there is a mass armed resistance to imperialism.
To cover their failure to pacify Iraq Bush and Co are
gearing up for an attack on Iran.
To date the anti-war movement in the West has been pacifist
merely calling on their
governments to bring the troops home.
The anti-imperialist labor movement must now strike to
disable the military machine.
Now is the time for the anti-imperialist movement to
target the US war machine.
We must support workers armed resistance to imperialist
attacks and organize the
labor movement in Aotearoa/New Zealand to strike
gainst NZ’s military involvement
in the 'war on terror'.
A New Vietnam
The people of Iraq have spoken to the crusader Bush.
Go to hell with your army of genocidal mercenaries!
Of course the resistance is using suicide bombers to kill the enemy
and its collaborators.
They are not to be condemned since theirs is a war of resistance.
They are fighting back against the evil empire in the name of Islam only
because their secular national leaders are US lackeys and will not fight back.
In the absence of action by workers in the West the Islamic resistance uses a
fraction of the overwhelming military terror used by the US and its allies.
Yet much of the Western ‘left’ in the so-called anti-war movement refuses to back
the Islamic resistance because it does not live up to the ideals of Western ‘democracy’.
Not until a secular resistance arises will they give it their support.
This attitude that the West dictates that the oppressed must fight the oppressor with
‘civilised’ methods is called social imperialism.
It doesn’t matter that after centuries of colonization and occupation that the oppressed
are forced to fight by means not of their choosing, but those decided for them by the
imperialist oppressors.
There is a great scene in Pontecovo’s film The Battle of Algiers where a captured leader of the FLN offers to give the
French their small bombs which they use to attack civilian targets in exchange for French military planes.
Hundreds of Palestinian suicide bombers have given their lives in the name of their freedom.
They may believe that they will go to a better life, but their purpose is to liberate Palestine in this life.
During the Vietnam War similar condemnations of the so-called ‘communist’ ideology of the liberation fighters were
used to justify bombing and napalming most of the country into a wasteland. In de Antonio’s film Year of the Pig US
generals talked of ‘Asians’ holding their lives ‘cheap’ by being willing to die for their country.
So long as the anti-war movement holds views which are racist and Islamophobic, it will put
Western ‘democracy’ above the Islamic resistance. It will remain pacifist in appealing to Western
governments to bring the troops home.
Pacifist populism…
This is a dismal prospect. It means that Western workers are buying into the argument that Islam is a threat to
Western civilization. They don’t see that their own social imperialism is no different in essence to the naked
imperialism of the Bushites and the neo-cons.

They claim, like Bush, that the objective is to defend and encourage ‘democracy’; they differ only in their so-called
‘peaceful’ methods. They delude themselves that by voting for the Democrats, or anti-war Labourites, or appealing
to the UN to intervene in these US led wars, they can bring the wars to an end.

Can the US Democrats make a difference? To date the anti-war movement in the US still has illusions in voting in
pacifist Democrats. But the recent Democrat ‘victory’ was not a victory for the anti-war lobby, but a victory for the
conservative pro-war Democrats. They voted to fund Bush’s ‘surge’ to pacify Iraq, and for the troops begin to withdraw
in October. Bush will veto the Bill to force a further compromise so that it becomes clear that there is only one party
– the Republicrats.
Can John McDonnell, the renegade UK Labourite standing against Tony Blair make a difference? Even if he wins,
which is highly unlikely, the thrust of his politics is to turn to the UN as an international body to reign in the US as a
rogue state. This is exactly the position of the NZ Labour government. Does this make any difference to the war?
Helen Clark commits troops to the ‘war on Terror’ in Afghanistan, Southern Lebanon, and the Persian Gulf.
Closer to home, she commits NZ troops to ‘keep the peace’ in the Pacific, in the Solomons, Tonga and Timor L' Este.
We could call this pacifist militarism.
…or Pacifist Militarism
The only difference between the social imperialists and the naked imperialists is that the UN acts as a blue flag to
cover the naked imperialist interests that are being promoted in these countries. They act in the name of the
‘war on terror’ to suppress the struggles for genuine democracy and independence in Afghanistan, Lebanon and in the
That’s why when Clark meets George Bush she does not dare to voice her criticisms of the US invasion and occupation
of Iraq and Afghanistan without prior UN approval. She and her Foreign Minister Winston Peters are proud to win the
contract as the leading ‘peacekeepers’ in the South Pacific. Just how they keep the peace is seen in the use of force
to suppress popular resistance in the Solomons, Timor L' Este and Tonga.
Right to Resist
Western workers have much learning to do. In Aotearoa, the response of the Greens and the PMA PAW to Labour sending
Engineers to Iraq and more SAS troops to Afghanistan, has been to appeal to New Zealanders concerns that kiwi
military personnel might be killed, or that the taxes spent on war would be better spent on domestic welfare.
Then there is their futile appeal to moral arguments about 'peace' or defending NZ’s reputation as a 'peacemaker' in
the UN. While the international 'peace' movement mobilized up to 10 million on the streets before the invasion in
March 2003, this movement collapsed once Bush went to war. And anyway, the UN created the state of Israel in
1948 and bombed Iraq for 10 years in the 1990s. It’s 'fig leaf' cover for the naked interests of western imperialism
is gone for good. Now NZ troops are UN ‘peacekeepers’ in Lebanon to keep Hezbolah away from Israel’s border.
Now they kill Timorese to ‘keep the peace’.
To bring about this shift in political attitudes towards war we have to understand that the wars are IMPERIALIST wars,
for the purpose of re-colonizing countries to grab their resources, and nothing to do with promoting democracy.
And that the fundamental democratic right in this situation is for the Iraq resistance fighters to kill the invading troops,
including our ‘own’.
We have to put the interests of the Iraqi people first, and refuse to impose hypocritical pre-conditions for their support.
Islam is not a threat to ‘civilisation’. Capitalism and imperialism and their barbaric destructive rule are the real threats
to civilization.
Recognising this fact, the anti-war movement has to shift from personal, moral and financial appeals to workers
to oppose war by pacifist and parliamentary means, and declare the right of all colonized peoples to resist
BY WHATEVER MEANS NECESSARY the evil empire and its backers.
What is needed is a rank and file movement in those unions that represent the most oppressed and exploited workers
in every country to organize to strike against the war machine at home.
We must also help to build that anti-imperialist resistance in Iraq and Palestine on the solid basis of the organized
working class.
Anti-Imperialism is Anti-Capitalism 
It’s not enough to support the anti-imperialist struggles. Workers must fight to take the leadership of those struggles.
This is because the Islamic and other bourgeois forces who dominate these struggles will sellout and make deals
with imperialism. Only an anti-imperialist movement that is led by the organized working class can overthrow the
national bourgeois class and win independence from imperialism.
Strike against the war at home
It follows that once the left recognizes the unconditional right to resist, there is no obstruction to breaking with pacifist
and parliamentary barriers to fighting war at home.

Imperialism and capitalism is the enemy and can only be stopped by a militant working class organized to turn the
imperialist wars into class wars. It becomes necessary to defeat the imperialist war machine and the ruling class that
uses it in its interests, at home.

In the US and UK (and other imperialist countries) we can learn some lessons from the resistance to the Vietnam War
. Workers took strike action in plants making munitions. Students closed down universities and schools.
Rank and File soldiers in Vietnam shot their officers rather than follow orders. There was mass opposition to the draft.
Today we must build an anti-war movement in the unions that can strike to close down the country and stop the
movement of troops, and take direct action against all the reactionary anti-terrorist legislation being used to lock
up 'suspects' and shut down anti-war protest.
Four years after Bush's invasion of Iraq the lessons are clear. Only the organized movement of the working class can
stop the imperialist war of terror. Individual terror against state terror will always lose. Working class armed resistance
is the only force that can defeat imperialism, smash capitalism, and make socialism a reality.