War in Iraq

The scourge of sectarianism in the internationalist camp

The end of the year 2003 saw world capitalism take a new step towards the abyss - a step represented by the second Gulf war and the creation of a military quagmire in a strategically vital area of the globe. This war has been crucial in determining the new imperialist equilibrium, with the Anglo-American occupation of Iraq and the opposition to this move from various imperialist powers who are more and more adopting positions antagonistic to those of the USA. In the face of this new butchery, the main revolutionary groups who make up the international communist left have once again shown that they are capable of responding to the propaganda of the bourgeoisie by taking up resolutely internationalist positions. Against the ideological campaigns of the bourgeoisie, which are aimed at disorienting the proletariat, these groups defended the ABC of marxism. This does not of course mean that these organisations all defend the same positions. Indeed, from our point of view, the intervention of most of them has shown important weaknesses, in particular concerning the understanding of the phase of imperialist conflicts opened up by the collapse of the eastern bloc and the resulting dissolution of its western rival, and also when it comes to discerning what is at stake in these conflicts. These differences must be understood as the expression of the heterogeneous and difficult process through which consciousness ripens within the working class - a process which also affects the groups of the political vanguard. In this sense, as long as class principles are not abandoned, these differences should not constitute an element of frontal opposition between the components of the same revolutionary camp; rather they prove the need for a permanent debate between them. A public debate is not only the precondition for clarification within the revolutionary camp, but is also a factor of clarification which makes it possible to draw the line between revolutionaries and the groups of the extreme left wing of capital (Trotskyism, official anarchism, etc). It can thus help the new elements searching for class positions to orient themselves vis-a-vis the different elements of the proletarian camp. 

Beslan, Iraq: a new step in the decomposition of capitalism

The latest developments on the international scene have plunged the world still further into “an endless fear”, an insane succession of terrorist attacks, bombings, kidnappings, hostage taking and murder. In Iraq, this has reached levels that could have barely been imagined only a few years ago. The savage killings in the Russian town of Beslan in North Ossetia bear witness to the fact that the rest of the world, especially its most strategic areas, will not be spared either. The situation is so bad that talk of chaos is no longer the domain of a few “catastrophists”, but has become an ever more present subject in the media and the political world.

Saddam's capture: the USA scores a point

The once all-powerful dictator reduced to a haggard tramp who didn't even try to defend himself when he was caught, humiliated by filmed medical examinations and soon to be put on a very public trial: these images, broadcast all around the world, aren't neutral. They have been carefully set up and selected by the Bush administration.

Iraq: debate on the real motives behind the war

This article was written for our German publication Weltrevolution, no 118 ('Internationalist voices against the war'). It was written in response to a growing number of groups and elements who are searching for an internationalist response to the capitalist war-drive. As such its arguments are not merely of local significance but can be applied to many similar efforts throughout the world, including Britain. We will come back to some of the latter in another issue of WR.

War in Iraq shows the chaos that threatens the world

14 years ago, just after the collapse of the eastern bloc, George Bush senior, followed by most of the western bourgeoisie, promised us a 'new world order' of peace and prosperity. The least we can say now - and the situation in Iraq is certainly the most crying example of this - is that what we have seen since then is growing chaos all over the planet.

Capitalism can only offer war and chaos

A year after the invasion of Iraq was launched, those who openly justified the war are looking more and more exposed.

Not only have the weapons of mass destruction not been found, it has become increasingly clear that the evidence for their existence offered by governments and intelligence services was no more than a tissue of lies, Hutton's attempted cover-up or other bogus 'inquiries' notwithstanding.

Iraq/Middle East: Heading towards chaos

Under the direction of US imperialism, the political and religious leaders of Iraq met on August 15 in Baghdad in order to hold the first session of a national conference whose official aim was to organise national elections for 2005. According to the New York Times, "the Americans and the present Iraqi government sought to show, through this conference, that the electoral process is on course despite the violence sweeping the country". This electoral perspective is doomed to total failure. The same New York Times article provided the proof: "the opening day of the conference was more marked by appeals to end the fighting in Najaf than by the future elections". Hardly had the conference begun when two shells fell nearby and forced the proceedings to be suspended. From August 5 on, there has been a clear acceleration of violence all across the country. This was the day that the radical Shia cleric Moqtada-al-Sadr declared holy war against the Americans and British after the latter had arrested four of his followers. Subsequently the US army lay siege to Najaf with the approval of its governor al Zorfi. For several weeks Moqtada's gunmen held out in the mausoleum of Imam Ali, the holiest site for Shiite Muslims the world over. This prompted Sheikh Jawad al-Khalessi, imam of the grand mosque of Kadimiya to announce that "neither this pseudo-governor, a former interpreter to the US army chosen for his ability to obey the maddest of orders, nor the highest religious authorities, have the right to authorise infidels to enter Ali's mausoleum". Fighting then spread to Kut, Amara, Dwaniyah, Nassariyah and Bassorah, as well as Sadr City in Baghdad, with hundreds of casualties, mainly among the Shia militia. Eventually the supreme Shia religious leader al-Sistani negotiated a ceasefire, but it can only be provisional. Iraq is a state in chaos and has no prospect of overcoming it.

Iraqi Resistance is fighting for capitalism

On May 1 2003 George Bush said that the war in Iraq was over and won. Since then the likes of Rumsfeld have had to acknowledge a "war that is complicated and difficult". The occupation forces led by the US now talk about "uprisings" across the country. With the Iraqi population caught in the chaos and the crossfire, with many deceived into joining pro- or anti-US militias, this is just what the capitalist left has been hoping for. Against the repression and torture of the occupation they celebrate the car bombs, kidnappings and land mines of the 'resistance'.

Response to John Berger: Michael Moore is no marxist!

The novelist and art critic John Berger wrote an article in the Guardian, 24 August, 'The beginning of history', praising Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 in glowing terms. "The film, considered as a political act, may be a historical landmark. Yet to have a sense of this, a certain perspective for the future is required. Living only close up to the latest news, as most opinion-makers do, reduces one's perspective. The film is trying to make a small contribution towards the changing of world history. It is a work inspired by hope". For Berger, this is an attempt by an artist to intervene in world politics and has both an immediate and a deeper and wider aim. The immediate aim "is to stop Bush fixing the next election as he fixed the last. Its focus is on the totally unjustified war in Iraq. Yet its conclusion is larger than either of these issues. It declares that a political economy which creates colossally increasing wealth surrounded by disastrously increasing poverty needs - in order to survive - a continual war with some invented foreign enemy to maintain its own internal order and security. It requires ceaseless war.

Hostage crises: French offensive in the Middle East

Hostage taking has become an almost daily part of warfare today. In Chechnya, in the Middle East, in Africa, wherever imperialist conflicts are out in the open, human beings are abducted, decapitated, massacred and filmed by the media. Capitalism was born in mud and blood, but if the proletariat leaves it with a free hand, it will drown us all in an ocean of suffering and destruction. French imperialism's offensive in the Arab/Muslim world

Hostage crises: Divisions in the British ruling class

At the time of writing, the British hostage Ken Bigley is still in the hands of the Islamist group 'Unity and Holy War' led by Abu Masub al-Zaqarwi. The mass media in the democracies, and Britain in particular, have not found it hard to wage an intensive ideological campaign around this kidnapping. This is after all one of the most ruthless and bloodthirsty of all the various armed gangs proliferating in Iraq today. It has already filmed the beheading of a number of its captives and is probably responsible for some of the worst bombing atrocities since the beginning of the US invasion, with the majority of its victims being Iraqi civilians. Ken Bigley is thus being held by the forces of 'evil incarnate'; his desperate video pleas for action to save his life and the dignified appeals of his family cannot fail to elicit strong feelings of sympathy throughout the world.

Capitalist society is sinking into the barbarism of war

The re-election of George Bush in the USA has led many commentators, especially in Europe, to warn about the danger of new military adventures by the US superpower. And it's quite true that while the ruins of Fallujah are still smoking, the mouthpieces of the Bush administration are already making threatening noises about Iran. The replacement of the 'moderate' Colin Powell as Secretary of State by the 'hawk' Condoleeza Rice is another indication that the US war machine is going to grind forward remorselessly in the period ahead.

ICC Congress resolution on the international situation

14th Congress of the ICC

The alternative facing humanity at the beginning of the 21st century is the same as the one which faced it at the beginning of the 20th: the descent into barbarism or the renewal of society through the communist revolution. The revolutionary marxists who insisted on this inescapable dilemma in the turbulent period 1914-23 could hardly have imagined that their political descendants would still be obliged to insist on it again at the start of the new millennium. Indeed, even the 'post-68' generation of revolutionaries, who emerged from the revival of proletarian struggles after the long counter-revolution that set in during the 1920s, did not really expect that a declining capitalism could be quite so adept at living with its own contradictions as it has proved to be since the 1960s.

Resolution on the international situation (2002)

The resolution on the international situation from the 14th congress, adopted in May 2001, focussed on the question of the historic course in the phase of capitalist decomposition. It correctly highlighted the acceleration both of the economic crisis and of the slide into war and barbarism across the planet, and examined both the problems and the potentialities of a proletarian response. The following resolution, proposed to the ICC's extraordinary conference of Easter 2002, is intended to supplement that report in the light of the events of 11th September and the ensuing "war against terrorism", which have largely confirmed the general analyses of the 2001 Congress.

Iraq, Kosovo

Between 16th and 19th December 1998, Iraq was hit by more cruise missiles than during the entire 1991 Gulf War. After threats which were not followed up in February and November 1998, the US has unleashed a new hell on an Iraqi population which has already been subjected to the terrible war of 1991 and the sanctions that followed, bringing in their wake famine, disease, and an intolerable poverty. When the Russian bloc collapsed in 1989, US President Bush announced "a new world order of peace and prosperity". Since then, we have seen increasing chaos, still more war, and an unprecedented chaos, still more war, and an unprecedented spread of poverty throughout the world. The recent bombing of Iraq has only added to the list. They also confirm what we wrote in the following article, which was completed before the last bombardment: "A bloody spiral of destruction in which the force employed by the US in defence of its authority tends to become more frequent and massive, the political results of these efforts more questionable, the generalisation of chaos and militarism more certain, the abandonment of common rules of the game more pronounced".

ICC leaflet against the war in Iraq

International ICC leaflet

War has always been a test for the working class and its revolutionary minorities.

The workers are the first to suffer the consequences of a war, whether through loss of life or through increased exploitation. At the same time, the proletariat is the only force in society capable of putting an end to its barbarity by overthrowing the capitalism which lies at its root.

Editorial: The "anti-terrorist" war sows terror and barbarity

The intensification of the US offensive aimed at maintaining its world leadership has led it to unleash a new war in Afghanistan, and to deploy troops there, on the pretext of a world struggle against terrorism. As we will show in the article that follows, this military escalation and its conclusion today in a crushing American victory, far from bringing any kind of stability to the world is, on the contrary, the precursor of new wars and new massacres. Since the article was written, the situation has worsened in the Middle East, which is the object of this brief introduction.

Iraq, Kosovo: the whole of capitalism is responsible

The war which has just broken out in ex-Yugoslavia, with the bombardment of Serbia by NATO forces, is the most serious event on the scene of world imperialism since the collapse of the Eastern bl of world imperialism since the collapse of the Eastern bloc in 1989. Although the forces in operation remain far fewer, for the moment, than during the Gulf War in 1991, the significance of the present conflict is of a different order of magnitude altogether. Today, the barbarity of war is unleashed in the heart of Europe, no more than a couple of hours away from its major capitals. This was already true during the previous conflicts which have ravaged ex-Yugoslavia since 1991 and which have already claimed hundreds of thousands of victims. But this time, it is the great capitalist powers themselves, including the USA, which are the direct protagonists of the war.

15th Congress of the ICC, Today the Stakes Are High--Strengthen the Organization to Confront Them

Today the Stakes Are High—Strengthen the Organization to Confront Them

At the end of March, the ICC held its 15th Congress. The life of a revolutionary organisation is an integral part of the proletariat’s struggle. It is therefore their responsibility to set before their class, and notably before their sympathisers and the other groups of the proletarian camp, the results of the work at their Congresses, these being moments of the utmost importance in the organisation’s existence. This is the purpose of the article that follows.

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