USA coalition declares war on the world

After the attack to the Usa sept. 2001

The devastating suicide attacks on key symbols of US capitalism's financial and military might may have shaken the complacency of the most powerful state in the world but in no sense is it a victory for the exploited working class. Not only are ordinary wage workers amongst the thousands killed, but the assaults are being used to legitimise heightened state repression. The “war against terrorism” will be used within the metropolitan countries as a weapon against internal oppositions and particularly against the working class, and any emerging proletarian political organisations.

In that sense, organised state terror had already preceded September 11th's events, with its police attacks on anti-globalisation protestors. However, the events of September 11th have increased the prospect of humanity being thrown back into barbarism.

This is not a rhetorical flourish or a question of mysterious “forces of evil” leading the planet to Armageddon. On the contrary, it is the concrete, calculated policies stemming from the rivalry between the very material interests of the capitalist powers which makes the 21st century just as dangerous and warlike as the last. Underlying and exacerbating the imperialist struggle is capitalism's long-running profitability crisis and the ruthless struggle by the US to maintain its control of oil and the parasitic financial revenues which guarantee its dominant position in the world: a position which, despite the collapse of the Russian bloc and the apparent solidity of NATO, does not go uncontested by its imperialist rivals.

All this is disguised by rushing a resolution through the UN Security Council and invoking Clause 5 of the NATO Charter which declares that “an attack on one is an attack on all” and which the US is using to dragoon its rivals who are not ready for an open rift with the world's single remaining “super power”. Make no mistake. Behind Bush's “battle of freedom loving peoples” are the same interests which made the US engage in undeclared genocidal wars in Vietnam and Cambodia, which enabled its Israeli ally to allow the cold-blooded massacre in Chattilla and Sabra refugee camps (1982), invade Grenada (1983), bomb Tripoli (using bases in Britain, 1986) and, a decade ago, bring down a “Desert Storm” against Saddam Hussein, its one-time ally whose regime they had armed to the teeth but whose falling out of favour cost hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives. So when Bush and Blair tell us that this new war is “against those who have no respect for the sanctity of human life” we should ask who he means, given that an estimated 500,000 children have died as a result of the economic sanctions that still apply against Iraq and given that the British air force continues to join the US in regular bombing raids over Iraq.

In true imperialist language the “civilised world” is ready to teach the uncivilised world a lesson it will not forget. The US-led coalition has declared an open-ended war on an unidentified enemy with no promise of when or how the struggle will be ended.

Nationalism and Religion Are No Solution for the Working Class

It goes without saying that we are opposed to all forms of religious fundamentalism. The idea that Islam offers “a third way” to capitalism and communism is absurd since Islam is not only NOT a different mode of production but sits comfortably with capitalism. The mushrooming of “Islamic” terrorism is an expression of the despair of the petty capitalist classes in the countries most bitterly oppressed by imperialism.

But the answer to capitalist imperialism is not the nationalism espoused by many in capitalism's peripheral countries. Nationalism, as has been demonstrated in every national liberation struggle, is no friend of the working class. The bourgeoisie who control the nationalist movements (however “socialist” they claim to be) either become the cats paw of one or other imperialism (and we should not forget that both Saddam and Osama Bin Laden were one time clients of the US Central Intelligence Agency) or when they get into power they oppress and exploit the workers just as before (look no further than Mugabe’s Zimbabwe or ANC ruled South Africa).

Let us say too that it is not just the final aim of these terrorists we object to. Our aim of overthrowing the obscenely rotten world of present-day capitalism cannot be achieved by acts of individual terrorism. For the action of a whole class terrorism substitutes the elitist idea that a handful of people can change society in a single act. This is pernicious nonsense. Capitalism and the exploitation, poverty, misery and war which go with it, can only be defeated when the bulk of the working class are ready to fight for socialism. And it is only through the collective resistance of the world's workers as they battle against capitalism's attacks that they will develop the practical organisational means to implement not the sham democracy of Blair and Bush, but working class democracy of workers' councils. These organs of mass democracy of the exploited will organise and generalise working class defence against the capitalist class leading to the overthrow of the old order and the organisation of production for the direct fulfilment of human need. The party of Internationalist Communists will play a vital role in helping the class understand and reach that goal.

Socialism will not be achieved without a violent response from the property owners (who, as history demonstrates will resort to any measure to hold on to what they have) but the working class will resist this as a class, not through individual acts. The terrorist act is anathema to the collective actions of the working class. New innocent victims of US terror will be the justification for further terrorist attacks from the Middle East and the spiral will continue. At the same time the “democracies”, with much hypocrisy will tighten control over the working class in the metropoles. Already some real working class revolutionaries who condemn terrorism have been pulled in for “questioning” in an attempt to stifle their opposition. And whilst it is obvious that gangsters like Putin of Russia and Sharon in Israel will use the attacks on the USA to cover their own crimes in Chechnya and Palestine more subtle campaigns will be used to limit freedom and resistance in the Western countries. More brutality is in preparation. Wesley Clark, the former supreme NATO commander in Europe has already stated that only “decisive force” can solve the problem of the terrorists (without a single word about the causes of terrorism). In short, growing barbarism is all the imperialist world has to offer.

The decay of capitalist “civilisation” has been evident for the best part of a century. The unspeakable horrors of the First and Second World Wars, the organised brutality of concentration and other death camps, the bloody regional wars fought with the highest technology at the expense of the most impoverished workers, the fire bombing of Dresden, the carpet bombing of Cambodia and, of course, the use of the atomic bombs were all part of imperialist barbarism before these most recent abominations. It is a naïve illusion to believe that such a system can bring peace and prosperity to the world.

Only the international working class, once aware of its own interests, is capable of changing the world. We have no interest in supporting either side in this “new war” - if the ruling class has its way our only role will be as victims and cannon-fodder. All the bourgeois factions whether US-led, national liberationist or Islamist are equally against the working class. Only by paralysing these forces and politically defeating all the irrational ruling class ideologies will we be able to create a world without war, exploitation and terror. Socialism or Barbarism. There is no third road.

Down with Nationalism
Down With Terrorism
Down With Imperialism
For Working Class Struggle Against All Capitalist Wars

International Bureau for the Revolutionary Party, September 2001