Defend Iraq-defeat imperialism!

Fracción Trotskista - Estrategia Internacional (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Mexico)
League for a Revolutionary Communist International (Australia, Austria, Britain, Czech Republic, Germany, Sweden, and Ukraine)

Communist League, India
Revolutionary Socialist Tendency - Ucrania



We are issuing the following appeal to organisations and individuals on the international revolutionary left with an invitation to co-sign it and act together to realise its tactics and slogans in every country in the period ahead.
1. The war on Iraq will be a war for oil: for the plunder of the country's natural resources by a consortium of the biggest North American oil companies like Exxon and by Britain's BP. But it is at the same time another step in the drive for total world domination by the USA.
2. First Afghanistan was subjected to massive bombing ending in its effective colonisation. Now Iraq is in line for the same treatment but this time with a massive land invasion by over 250,000 US and British troops. A US general would hold power in Baghdad - with or without an Iraqi puppet government. This recolonisation is projected to last for a decade or more if George Bush gets his way. He must not!
3. The White House has asserted a new doctrine: its 'right' to take pre-emptive military action against any sovereign state. Bush claims the right to impose '"regime change" by military means wherever he deems the vital economic and security interests of the USA state and big business are threatened.
4. The massive oil reserves of Iraq will be used to undermine still further the already shaky sovereignty of the states of the Middle East. Bush and Ariel Sharon will impose a final solution against the Palestinians that will deprive them of every hope of achieving national self-determination for their people.
5. Meanwhile, the expansionist settler colony, boosted by billions of US dollars a year and state of the art weapons technology, is given free rein with its bloody occupation of Palestinian towns and cities. The Palestinians are stigmatised as "terrorists" and, like Iraq, told to change their leadership or suffer the consequences.
6. It is Israel and its transatlantic master that are the "terrorist states", armed to the teeth with "weapons of mass destruction" on an incredible scale. That Iraq poses a threat to them is laughable.
7. The major states of the European Union, plus Russia and China pose as upholders of international law and express their doubts about an attack on Iraq. Diplomatically they play a game of hide and seek in the United Nations Security Council to limit unilateral and pre-emptive action by the USA.
8. Their motives are not a disinterested search for peace but sheer self-interest. France and Russia have their own investments and concessions in Iraq to defend. Germany seeks to restrain the extension of US control because it wants to construct a rival imperial superpower with independent influence in the region.
9. Russia and China wish to continue with their own oppression of the Chechens, the Uighers and Tibetans without outside interference. Thus they wish to preserve the power of their Security Council veto. But as long as the price is right, they will not obstruct Bush. They have no reason to defend the independence or Iraq or any other country. The UN Security Council is truly a "thieves kitchen."
10. But thieves do fall out. Despite the present US global pre-eminence, imperialism remains a system of feral rivalry between several imperialist powers. None of them dares challenge the USA militarily today, but Washington's global offensive will inevitably force them to combine to resist it. Therefore all their talk of international law and "peaceful solutions" is a lie.
11. All those who advocate a UN solution are preparing a trap for the working class and all those resisting this war. As soon as bullying and bribery obtain UN approval- they will subside into a sorrowful acceptance of the decision of "the international community". No! With or without UN approval we must fight against this imperialist war!
12. Bush and Blair claim that the "war on terrorism" is justified by the need to secure the USA's national defence and security. This lie is repeated a thousand times every day in the millionaire media. By means of these weapons of mass deception, the US and British ruling classes want to rally support from the working class for their imperialist aggression.
13. What "anticapitalist" fighters in many parts of the world have come to call global capitalism or neoliberalism- the plunder of the entire planet by the IMF, the World Bank and the large multinational capitalist corporations, is integrally linked to the "war against terrorism" and the attempt to recolonise Iraq. Why? Because they are the essential characteristics- utterly destructive and inhuman- of imperialism. Therefore in order to put an end to war it is necessary to root out the imperialist system as a whole
14. For the working class, the "war on terrorism" means the suspension or abolition of key civil rights: today, freedom of movement and asylum is curtailed and state surveillance is massively extended. Racism and Islamophobia are given a veneer of respectability - on "security" grounds. As the war crisis mounts, freedom of expression and organisation will be in the firing line.
15. The War on Terrorism is a green light for all oppressor nations to step up military action against peoples who are denied the elementary right of national self-determination. The Spanish state bans the Basque party Batasuna. The British police raid Sinn Fein's offices in the Northern Irish assembly and then suspend it. Moscow seizes the chance to increase its murderous campaign against the Chechen. The war criminal Sharon reoccupies the West Bank and destroys the Palestinian National Authority. In name of the war against terrorism, the United States finances "Plan Colombia" and supports the reactionary Uribe
16. However it is not inevitable that Bush and Blair will succeed. They must not succeed.
17. Today around the world a mass anti-war movement lives and fights. In late September and early October mighty demonstrations of 400,000 people in London and one million in Rome showed what can be done. Class conscious workers, immigrant and Muslim communities, women and revolutionary youth oppose this war in their millions.
18. We seek to stop this war by mass mobilisations that will shake the system to its foundations and topple the warmongers and those who support them.
19. This must take place in the imperialist countries themselves. When fighting breaks out we must call clearly and unequivocally for the total defeat of the imperialist invasion and victory for the Iraqi resistance to it. As in the days of the Vietnam War, the victory of a former colony against Great Power aggression must be the rallying call of the international anti-capitalist and working class movement. Victory to Iraq!
20. We must demand that the trade unions take action against the war: boycotts, mass strikes, demonstrations. In the USA and Britain, the task is to convert the imperialist war against countries Iraq into a massive political social crisis, leading to the overthrow of Bush and Blair.
21. The deputies of the labour, socialist and communist parties must force debates in parliament - using its tribune to expose the real motives the warmongers. They must not only vote against the war, but also disrupt the normal business of the talking shops and summon workers and youth to active resistance.
22. We support mass intifadas across the Arab and Muslim world against the USA and Britain, against all the regimes that support them, actively or passively. We call for demonstrations and direct action against the bases and symbols of imperialist power and their corporate investments around the globe.
23. These actions alone distinguish anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist and revolutionary opposition to the war. The reformist leaders will oppose us on the grounds that support for Iraq's resistance against a US-UK attack means supporting Saddam Hussein, just as they claimed that defeatism in the Afghan war meant support for the Taliban dictatorship.
24. But only the Iraqi people - both Arabs and Kurds - have the right to overthrow Saddam's brutal dictatorship and at the same time ensure the independence of their country. To be colonised by the USA and Britain would be a terrible disaster for them all. Liberation can only be achieved if the workers and youth of the cities rise up and replace the Baathist and military regime with a democracy based on workers and peasants' councils.
25. The official leaders of the European labour movement have again betrayed the working class by offering either open or veiled support for the imperialists' war of plunder. Social Democracy is continuing its nine decades of treason by taking its place at the head of the war drive in Britain.
26. In Germany, France, Spain and Italy, the social democratic leaders follow the policies of their own ruling classes. They do not challenge the USA's crusade against Iraq: they simply demand that any war be sanctified first by the approval of the United Nations. The official leaders of the trade unions are no better. Pressed into declaring opposition to US unilateralism by the strength of anti-war feeling among the workers, they nevertheless tie themselves to the social democrats and, through them, to the UN and thus, in turn, to the imperialists.
27. The leaders of the so-called Communist parties seem more left wing. In opposition they support anti-war demonstrations and call for peace. But for the leaders these are merely pious words, not backed up by deeds. In government they act just like their social democratic brothers. The French Communist party was part of the imperialist government that attacked Serbia in 1999 and Afghanistan in 2001. The Spanish CP did not dare vote against the banning of Batasuna.
28. Even Rifondazione Comunista continued to support the Olive Tree coalition government when it sent imperialist troops to stop the Albanian uprising in 1997. Today all of them focus on respect for the United Nations. Not one of them dares, honestly and openly, to defend a nation under attack by the rogue superpower.
29. However as the reality of war becomes ever clearer, thousands of rank and file members and activists from these parties, and the trade unions linked to them, are beginning to resist the pro-imperialist stance, or reliance on the UN, of their party leaderships.
30. We call on them to intensify their opposition, to be more consistent and determined. We call on them and to either oust the warmonger leaderships or break with them en masse. There can be no consistent opposition to war without naming and declaring war on the warmongers.
31. Not only should give no recognition to any UN-bestowed legitimacy, we should not support calls for the return of the UN weapons inspectors. We do not deny Iraq the right to possess deterrents that Israel, not to speak of the USA, already has in enormous quantities. We recognise and support Iraq's right to defend itself against imperialism and its creation, Israel. We demand the immediate lifting of all UN sanctions that have cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians.
32. With or without the UN this war is an imperialist war of plunder and national oppression. Its initiators must be stopped from launching it or defeated if they do. Our position has to be "US and UN hands off Iraq!"
33. The task of anti-capitalists, anti-imperialists and all partisans of the working class is to intensify the social and political crisis caused by Bush's "endless war" into a revolutionary struggle for the overthrow of capitalism. This alone can bring lasting peace.
34. The increase over the last three years of internationally co-ordinated protest against neo-liberalism global capital, and imperialist war reveals one thing above all. The time is ripe to establish once again the highest possible level of international organisation of the working class, of youth, of all those who wish to replace capitalism with socialism.
35. This means not resting content with a "movement of movements". It means a worldwide organisation which is democratic but also a centralised - an International. This international can develop a strategy based on world revolution as the means and socialism as its goal.
36. All those who oppose or delay the creation of such an organisation of the working class are consciously or unconsciously, aiding the efforts of the global capitalists and imperialists to keep us divided. This is true whether they do so in the name of opposition to all centralisation or political organisation, or because they believe mass parties have to be first of all in each country and then united into an International.
37. Let the call go out from all the mobilisations against imperialist war for the formation of a New International, a revolutionary world party of the working class, the strongest weapon against imperialism and war. The Fracción Trotskista and the League for a Revolutionary Communist International believe that this International must continue and build upon the programmatic and organisational heritage of Lenin's Communist International and the Fourth International of Leon Trotsky. Nevertheless we do not make this into an ultimatum for those orgaisations and individuals who agree with stopping the war against Iraq and whose close collaboration in struggle we urgently seek.
No Blood for Oil! No war for the US Empire!
Hands off Iraq! Stop the war preparations!
Repeal all "antiterrorist" laws and release all prisoners and detainees.
All imperialist forces out of the region! US bases out of the Middle East and Gulf, the Indian Ocean and South/Central Asia!
No UN arms inspectors in Iraq - spies, provocateurs and advance troops of imperialism!
Lift ALL sanctions against Iraq! Break the blockade now!
Stop Sharon's murder of the Palestinian people. Victory to the Palestinian intifada!
Not a cent or person for the "war on terrorism" - vote against the military budgets.
Use direct action to impede the war effort: mass demonstrations, road and rail blockades, occupations of military facilities.
Broaden economic strikes against the capitalists' neo-liberal plans into political mass strikes against the war.
If the invasion takes place - Defeat for the US-UK armies: Victory to Iraq!
Turn the "war against terrorism" into a class war against the exploiters.
Down with global capitalism and imperialism.
For a new revolutionary workers' International.