Ray O. Light
An Open Letter to February 15th Protesters Around the World
Today, February 15th, outstanding demonstrations against the Bush-led, US imperialist-led war drive are being held throughout the world on the initiative of European anti-war forces. One positive feature for those of us who are activists in the US anti-war movement is that we can now better recognize the following: while we have a great responsibility to do our part in solidarity with the exploited and oppressed of the world who are under the iron heel of imperialism, headed by "our" imperialists, by US imperialism, we are not leading the movement for peace and justice in the world. More importantly, today’s world-wide demonstrations make it all the more clear to the rest of the world’s foes of imperialist war that while they reach out their hands to anti-imperialists and anti-war forces in the USA, they do not have to wait for or rely on "progressives" in the USA to take the lead in this titanic conflict. Indeed, it is the international working class and the oppressed peoples who lead this fight.
This is of great significance because war is not the enemy – imperialism is. The remarkably conciliatory attitude of Bush and US Imperialism toward an unapologetically sovereign and "nuclear" North Korea stands in stark contrast with the arrogant, bullying, threatening attitude of these same Bushites toward Iraq. Along with the fact that the USA possesses most of the world’s weapons of mass destruction, this double standard toward Iraq and North Korea utterly exposes the fact that Bush and US imperialism are not really concerned about such weapons. Indeed, they cannot conceal the zeal with which they want and need to seize the oil and natural gas resources of Iraq and grab control of the entire Middle East. Control of these vital resources is key to the ability of US imperialism to maintain its hegemonic position in the world capitalist economy. This is precisely why Germany and France, which together represent the biggest current rival to US imperialist hegemony, have been among the strongest opponents of Bush’s Hitlerian conduct in relation to Iraq and the Middle East.
These more "civilized" imperialists in France and Germany have made common cause with other important powers such as Russia and China, all of which have a strong tactical disagreement with US imperialist hegemonism. Together, unless and until one or another is cut a better deal by the Bushites regarding post-Saddam Arab oil fields, they stand in opposition to the Iraqi (and Palestinian) phase of the Bush-led war of terror against the peoples of the world, but not the war against the people of Afghanistan, Colombia and the Philippines. It is they who have rallied the forces of international Social-Democracy to oppose "war," but not to oppose the imperialist system which breeds war!!
Eighty-seven years ago, during the First World War, great Lenin exposed that, "The principal feature of modern capitalism is the domination of monopolist combines of the big capitalists. These monopolies are most firmly established when all the sources of raw materials are controlled by one group. And we have seen with what zeal the international capitalist combines exert every effort to make it impossible for their rivals to compete with them; for example, by buying up mineral lands, oil fields, etc. Colonial possession alone gives complete guarantee of success to the monopolies against all the risks of the struggle with competitors… The more capitalism is developed, the more the need for raw materials is felt, the more bitter competition becomes, and the more feverishly the hunt for raw materials proceeds throughout the whole world, the more desperate becomes the struggle for the acquisition of colonies." (Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism, Our emphasis)
In Lenin’s time, just like today, there were middle class liberals, opportunists, labor misleaders, and the like, who asserted that, "monopolies in economics are compatible with non-monopolistic, non-violent, non-annexationist methods in politics…." These social democrats prettify imperialism by portraying the annexationist policy as if the imperialists could choose some other way. The political line of social-democracy is to oppose "war" while supporting the monopoly capitalist and imperialist system that systemically generates war. Lenin noted further: "Unless it strikes at the economic basis of the trusts and banks, the ‘struggle’ against the policy of the trusts and banks reduces itself to bourgeois reformism and pacifism." (Ibid)
Around the world, international Social-Democracy, whether in state power in Germany or in the "radical" Committees of Correspondence in the USA, are today promoting social pacifist and social democratic illusions about imperialism and the United Nations Organization based in New York City, in the USA (on land donated by the Rockefeller Oil Family!). International Social-Democracy wants to use the UNO to stop Bush and US imperialism from launching its war on the peoples of Iraq and the Middle East. But the UNO is today merely one instrument of the status quo, of the current monopoly capitalist system, of imperialism, headed by US imperialism. If Bush and his cronies are unable to connive, coerce, and corrupt their partner-rivals into supporting their take-over of Iraq and the Middle East, the UNO will be shoved aside.
Within the USA itself, Social-Democratic forces – including some prominent Democratic politicians as well as some of the main social props of US imperialism such as AFL-CIO President John Sweeney and the NAACP top leadership, have at long last begun to express tactical differences with the Bush Regime on foreign policy. And many of the opportunist forces who remained silent while AFL-CIO and NAACP leaders openly supported Bush’s post 9/11 unending war of terror in Afghanistan, US-backed Israeli aggression in Palestine, escalation of the Plan Colombia, and introduction of US combat troops into the Philippines, as well as martial law measures in the USA itself, are now maneuvering to take over the leadership of the anti-war movement!
Peace is in the interest of the masses of humanity. Fortunately, the international working class and the oppressed peoples more and more understand that we must not allow the Bush Regime and US imperialism to divide and conquer us any longer and that the only path to world peace is through the defeat of imperialism, headed by US imperialism, leading to the elimination of the system of exploitation of man by man and the establishment of Socialism.
Today, working people from the streets of New York City to Manila are providing a working class backbone to the anti-war demonstrations. Such proletarian forces will demand and generate a Leninist-Stalinist leadership capable of uniting the oppressed and exploited on the basis of proletarian internationalism. Ultimately, these are the forces which have the capacity to bring about world peace.
Workers of the World and Oppressed Peoples – Unite!
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