The following statement was initiated and drafted by Workers Democracy, an Argentinean Trotskyist group. Since the ‘December 20’ uprising last year, Argentina has been a ‘laboratory of revolution’: at last count 1,200 factories had been occupied by workers, and numerous ‘Popular Assemblies’ have been set up to replace the rule of corrupt politicians with direct democracy. Workers Democracy has been heavily involved in events in Argentina, and its revolutionary experiences give it an important perspective on international developments like the War of Terror and the Palestinian revolution. The CWG has been developing links with Workers Democracy for some months and reached sufficient agreement with it to co-sign this statement.
Halt the attack on Iraq! Down with den of thieves of the UN!
For the military defeat of Yankee and British imperialism, and all the imperialist powers!
For the military victory of Iraq! Arms for Iraq and Palestine!
Facing the new upsurge of the world financial and economic crisis that has already hit the domestic economy of the United States, after dragging down every region of the planet in its successive interventions, after provoking sharp revolutionary and counterrevolutionary clashes, as in Palestine and Argentina, and wars of aggression and re-colonisation as in Afghanistan, US imperialism is trying to solve its problems at the expense of the workers with new wars against the oppressed peoples of the world.
Yesterday it did it by crushing Afghanistan to guarantee the control of the petroleum pipelines from the Caspian and Central Asia, transforming that oppressed nation into a protectorate occupied by imperialist troops. It attempted a Pinochet-style coup in Venezuela to guarantee cheap oil for industry and transport in the United States, but was defeated by the revolutionary intervention of the exploited masses, who restored the elected President Chavez to power.
It is imposing a brutal economic policy in Argentina, to try to terrify and make the workers and people who in December began the revolution to submit, and as an example to the exploited and oppressed nations of Latin America and the world. It is also doing it through its gendarme the Zionist state of Israel, where Sharon and its destroy the magnificent revolution that began two years ago.
Today, the US prepares a new attack against Iraq, putting on alert thousands of airplanes, ships, artillery and bombs with an unheard-of capacity of destruction, preparing to spend more than 200 billion dollars to reduce to debris that oppressed nation.
As their own imperialist economists admit with total cynicism, the need for a "war of short duration" will allow them to "reactivate the world economy", while no less cynically Bush and the killers already count the hundreds of billions of dollars that they will get by regaining the enormous reservations of petroleum in Iraq, saying that the 200 billion dollars that this war will cost will be recouped many times.
It is clear that capitalism system in the era of imperialism can only survive by forcing the exploited workers to sink into misery and starvation, and by destroying enormous productive forces with re-colonial wars such as that against Afghanistan and such as the one that they prepare against Iraq.
Imperialists fall out over the spoils
The US imperialist warmongers and their British, French, German, Italian, and Japanese rivals are squabbling over the spoils of Iraqi petroleum - the second largest reserve in the world after Saudi Arabia - and over control of the oil pipelines in the Middle East.
While the British imperialists have already given their total support to the war against Iraq the Germans have broken ranks and said that they are against any type of attack on Iraq, whether on the part of the Yankees or with the "cover" of the UN.
This is because the German imperialists - whose troops intervened murderously in Affghanistan and in Kosovo - are already in negotiation with Saddam Hussein to make large investments in Iraqi petroleum wells, and because already a year ago they broke, together with the French imperialists, the blockade imposed on Iraq since the Gulf War of 1991.
The French imperialists, in turn, have just sent their troops to the Ivory Coast, the major world producer of cocoa, in the latest of many military interventions in a continent where inter-imperialist disputes over control of the sources of raw materials has resulted in starvation, the super exploitation of workers, and the epidemic spread of HIV/AIDS.
Other imperialist powers like Japan, Italy, Belgium, and Spain, say that any war against Iraq should be done under the ‘umbrella’ of that ‘den of thieves’ that is the UN. These countries want to participate in the war and be better positioned for the distribution of the shares in Iraqi oil wealth.
Opposing this, the Yankee imperialists want to use their overwhelming power and military supremacy and attack directly, without the "permission" of the UN. These murderers had no fear of going it alone in the war against Afghanistan and ignored the shrieks of "protest" of imperialist rivals who left out of the division of oil wealth, so they are not frightened of now to unilaterally perpetrate a new massacre in Iraq.
The new war of recolonisation is intended to teach a lesson to the Palestinian and Argentinean revolutions, and to the exploited masses of the whole planet. However, the imperialist warmongers and the different fractions of monopoly capitalism are divided about how best to defeat the masses.
The war that the imperialists prepare against Iraq is a warning to the world revolution, and especially to the two major revolutions under way in the world: to the Palestinian revolution, and to the Argentinean revolution. But there are divisions among the US ruling class. Al Gore, ex - vice president to Clinton, says that the war should be the last option, and that the first option must be an appeal to the UN and to its "inspection of weapons". Among the other imperialist powers, there are differences about how best to respond to the revolutionary struggles of the workers and the massses.
Sections of the Yankee bourgeoisie, as well as the German and French imperialists, fear that a unilateral attack by the United States would throw fuel on the fire of revolution and the anti-imperialist struggles of the masses in the Middle East and North Africa. They fear this because the partial defeat that the army of Sharon and Bush gave in the last few months to the Palestinian people in their national war has failed to finally defeat the living social revolution.
That is to say, they have failed to crush and to disarm the peasant and worker militias and liquidate the dual power that they these militias established, to recompose the state power disabled by the revolution and to impose a naked apartheid, or to guarantee the oppression and the double exploitation - on the part of the imperialism and the Zionist bourgeoisie, but also of the Palestine bourgeoisie and that of Lebanon and Jordan - of the Palestine people. This failure is shown by the uprisings in Gaza in recent days, where the Palestine militias made three Israeli tanks retreat, and in the massive mobilisations facing the new attack and siege of the Israeli army in Ramallah
Sections of the imperialist ruling classes fear that the attack on Iraq would create a massive response from the masses of the Middle East angry at their own ruling classes for allowing the massacre in Palestine and in Afghanistan. They fear that a new war against Iraq will multiply a thousand fold the hatred and the anti-imperialist struggles of the working class and the exploited of Latin America. But above all, they fear that they will provoke the uprising of the own working class in the imperialist countries, a working class that, in Europe especially, is showing signs of waking.
The world’s working class must urgently prepare an international response to the aggression against Iraq. The workers of England gave the first blow with their enormous mobilisation of 250.000 persons on the 28th September. They are the allies of the Iraqi people and of the oppressed people of the entire world!
The outcome of this new war being prepared by the imperialist warmongers against Iraq will be decided by the confrontation of revolution and counter-revolution in Palestine and the Middle East, and also in Latin America and Argentina. If the imperialists succeed, and the Iraqi masses are defeated a lasting blow will have been struck to the working class and the Palestinian people and to all the masses of Medium East. But it will be a lasting blow also for the Argentinean revolution and the fight of the masses in Latin America, because the imperialists will be strengthened and will redouble their re-colonising offensive in the continent.
Also depending largely on the outcome of the war is the destiny of the working class of the US and of the European powers. If the imperialist ruling classes crush the Iraqi people and have a great victory, they will become even stronger, and will deepen the attack that has
The European and North American workers, shackled by the labour aristocracy and the union bureaucracies of the US AFL-CIO, of the CGT and CFDT of France, of the German and Italian central unions, and of the TUC of England, have not been able, in the last ten years, to intervene to support their brothers and sisters in Kosovo, in Afghanistan, or in Palestine. Already they have paid a very expensive price, suffering more than one million unemployed, slashed wages and job insecurity in the United States, attacks on past gains, and a brutal flexibilisation of work, and a privatisation offensive in Spain, Italy, France and Germany.
It is therefore necessary that the world working class prepares an international response, placing itself unconditionally in the trenches of the attacked Iraqi nation, of the Palestinian working class and oppressed people, of the workers and the people of Argentina and ofother countries oppressed and attacked by imperialism.
It is necessary to raise the war cry: Halt the attack to Iraq! Down with the den of thieves of the UN! For the military defeat of US imperialism, British imperialism and all the imperialist powers! For the military victory of Iraq! Weapons for Iraq and Palestine! Break off relations with the governments and states of all the imperialist powers and countries that support the genocidal war against Iraq!
We must transform the Palestine revolution, the attack on Iraq, and the oppression of other peoples in the Middle East into a new 'Vietnam' for the warmongers, and a grave for Sharon and the state of Israel!
For the defeat of the genocidal army of Sharon and Bush!
For the destruction of the Zionist state of Israel!
For the victory of the workers' and peasants' revolution!
For a secular, democratic and multiracial Palestinian state under a workers' and peasants' government of the revolutionary Palestinian masses!
In England, in the heart of the murderous government of Tony Blair, a fight against the recolonising war has begun. On Saturday 28 of September, more than 250,000 people went into the streets of London, shouting "George Bush, we know you: your father was a killer too!" and confronting their own imperialist bourgeoisie and the government of Tony Blair.
In this mobilisation - one of the most massive since the Vietnam War - large delegations of the unions were present, giving expression to the groundswell within the English labour movement that is pressuring its union leaders to break with the Labour Party and Tony Blair. Also present were enormous numbers of Islamic and Arabian immigrants, women for their most, carrying the Palestinian flag in their hands.
In France, there was a great demonstration in Marseilles in support of the Palestinian people, and the need to organise a boycott of trade between France and Israel, most of which passes through that Mediterranean port, has already started been discussed. The unions, the organisations of immigrants and the left parties have called for a demonstration against the war in Iraq for the 12 of October.
In the United States after the 11 of September a campaign of "national unity" was imposed, with the leaders of the AFL-CIO giving support to Bush’s "war against terrorism", permitting terrible attacks on the working class with millions of redundancies, with persecutions and accusations of being "traitors to the country" against all who raised a dissident voice opposed to the war or who go on strike, with thousands of Arabs or people of Islamic origin imprisoned on "suspicion" without trial and without the right to defense.
Today, facing the imminent attack on Iraq, and the divisions opened inside the Yankee bourgeoisie, mobilisations and actions against the war are already being organised. Hundreds of writers, university professors, artists, etc. have signed a statement against the war called "Not in our name", a phrase dating from anti-Vietnam days. The demonstration in Washington against the meeting of the IMF will be followed by demonstrations in New York and in hundreds of university campuses, and these are expected to culminate in massive mobilisations on October 26 in Washington and San Francisco.
What is more important, a number of local unions, including some unions with state-wide organisation, have begun to raise positions against the war and against the bureaucracy of the AFL-CIO. Thus, for example, the Washington State Labour Council says:
"The uncritical support of the AFL-CIO for this war went against the opposition of the workers to military spending, to subsidies to corporations, and against government spying, and provided political cover to the Democrats’ joining the "antiterrorist" campaign. The support of the AFL-CIO for the war was a criminal abandonment of our solidarity with the working class and the poor of other countries that are suffering and dying as a result of this conflict".
The working class of the imperialist countries, now beginning to mobilise, has in its hands the ability of paralyse the imperialist war machine from within. It is necessary to fight staunchly so that the industrial workers of America, Europe, and Japan break the control imposed on them by the labour aristocracy and confront their own imperialist bourgeoisies, paralysing from within, with their class struggle methods of strikes, mobilisations, boycotts and blockades, the imperialist war machine, so that no warship, no warplane, no soldier, can attack Iraq, and at the same time make sure that weapons, food and medicines are delivered to the workers and people of Iraq, and to the workers and people of Palestine.
The signatories to this statement call on all workers organisations of the international left in the imperialist powers to immediately proclaim loudly the war cry: "The enemy is at home: boycott and paralyse from within the machinery of war! For the military rout of our own genocidal imperialists, for the military victory of the Iraqi nation under attack!"
We raise our voices against the war and say that the expropriation of all the properties and interests of the imperialist monopolies in the Middle East, by the revolutionary mobilisation of the workers and peasants of the region, is the most powerful missile, the most certain weapon to defeat the imperialists. We say that in Argentina, the deepening of the fight to break with the IMF, and the fight for a new 20 of December to bring down the government of Duhalde and to end the infamous regime is part of the same anti-imperialist fight of the workers and the people of Palestine, of Iraq and of all the Middle East.
The war cry of the working class and the oppressed masses of the entire world must be heard: Yankees and all the imperialist powers: hands off Afghanistan!
The impending attack on Iraq is designed also to finish and consolidate the victory already won in Afghanistan, and to teach a new lesson to all those who dare to stand up against imperialism. There are still anti-imperialist fighters rotting in jail in Guantanamo, as hostages of imperialism! There are thousands of Moslem workers and workers of Arab origin rotting in the Yankee jails! It is necessary for the working class and the exploited people of the whole world to inscribe on their battle flag the demand for the immediate and unqualified release of the military prisoners in Guantanamo and of the Arab and Moslem prisoners in the jails of Bush!
The workers and the oppressed people of the world must impose "a new Vietnam" on the Yankee - and also the European and Japanese – imperialists. No military defeat of the imperialists is going to come from the hands of the Saddam Husseins, or Arafats – that is to say, from the Arab national bourgeoisies that want to haggle with imperialism for their slice of the income from oil and the exploitation of their own people. As soon as the struggle of the masses threatens their political control and their own property, they will quickly turn their guns on the masses. They prefer a national defeat and the total bombing of their own countries to the armed uprising of the anti-imperialist working class and the peasants threaten the property or interests of the imperialist monopolies!
Because of this, we socialist revolutionaries, while we locate ourselves unconditionally in the military trench of the attacked Iraqi nation, affirm that the defeat of the imperialist warmongers, in the new 'Vietnam' that we must impose them, can only result from an alliance of the working class and the poor peasants of Iraq and of the Moslem and Arabian nations, taking in their hands the leadership of the national liberation war against imperialism, and in close alliance with their class brothers and sisters of the imperialist powers and with the workers and the exploited masses of the whole planet.
The fight for the defeat of imperialism in Iraq and in the Middle East, and for the victory of the Palestinian revolution, should be a fight for the creation of a Federation of Workers and Peasants Republics of the Middle East.
For the widest unity of action in support of our Iraqi and Palestinian brothers and sisters!
With this perspective, the socialist revolutionaries that sign this statement call on the peoples' ad workers' organisations in all countries, on the workers and anti-imperialist parties, to unite in the broadest anti- imperialist action, to take to the streets with marches, strikes, demonstrations, and to raise in the peoples' and workers' organisations everywhere the fight against the common enemy, imperialism, and against the client states and governments of the semicolonial countries that are its servants, so that the workers and exploited are up to their task of fighting the new genocidal war and re-colonisation that is being prepared.
Let’s take to the streets in support of our Iraqi and Palestinian brothers and sisters! For the military defeat of the Yankee and other imperialist powers! For the military victory of the attacked Iraqi nation! Weapons for Iraq and for Palestine! For the destruction of the Zionist state of Israel, imperialist gendarme in the middle east, for the triumph of the rural poor and working class revolution that have initiated the Palestinian workers and oppressed people!
Out with Yankee and EU imperialist warmongers in Afghanistan, in Africa, in Asia and in Latin America!
Out with the IMF in Latin America and in Argentina! Down with Duhalde and all the client governments and servants of the Yankees and the IMF!
Iraq, Palestine and Argentina, together with the working class of the imperialist countries making war, shall wage the new Vietnam that destroys the imperialist rulers, raising the war cry of the world working class: "So that the working class and exploited of the world can live, imperialsm must die!"