The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

By the Editors

First, the bad:

The wars of aggression the United States Government is waging against the peoples of Afghanistan and Iraq. Also the wars the U.S. is threatening against Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, and elsewhere. Also, propping up and supporting the countries waging wars and occupations such as Israel. And the perpetual war against the poor and working peoples of the world, the theft of their resources, the exploitation of their labor.

The majority of the world’s people oppose these wars. A majority of the people in the United States oppose the war on Iraq and are looking for ways to end it.

Second, the good:

Resistance and opposition to war and social injustice. A World Against War Conference held in the UK December 2007, called for international demonstrations March 15-22, 2008. This is a very important call to action by delegates numbering over 1200 from 26 countries. [See call for international demonstrations.] The date set for the demonstrations falls on the 5th anniversary of a war waged by the U.S., Britain, and a few other puppet governments, against Iraq and the people of the world, ten million of whom demonstrated their opposition on Feb. 15, 2003, one month before the invasion began on March 19, 2003.

Third, the ugly:

Somehow, the plans of the ruling class to co-opt and derail the U.S. antiwar movement have succeeded, and the call from the UK international conference will not be carried out in the U.S. The largest national antiwar groups here have prevented united efforts in the United States for mass protest demonstrations here to end the war and pull out all troops immediately. [See Open Letters to the Antiwar movement.] This is a tragedy for the people of Iraq, but also for the American people. Sure, small local demonstrations will take place here, but the plan to unite disparate groups around a common call to action—to get the U.S. out of Iraq—has been thwarted and opposed by United for Peace and Justice, the largest U.S. antiwar coalition. Their opposition to united action has caused the other large national antiwar group, International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), to call off the plans for a national antiwar protest demonstration in Washington, D.C. originally set for March 15.

How do we know that this shameful default on the part of the U.S. antiwar movement is a result of the plans of the ruling class? It makes sense when you consider what the ruling class is doing to convince the American people that the war can be ended through the electoral process.

The “debate” of the Democratic Party Presidential candidates, on the eve of the New Hampshire primaries, is a lesson in obfuscation. Clinton, Richardson, Obama, and Edwards all tried to appear as strongly antiwar. Richardson is a Governor, but the others have all voted for the war in the form of voting for war spending! Clinton even exposed Obama for that despite her own support for the war until the American people started to oppose it. Kucinich, the most “antiwar” of all the Democratic contenders threw his support to Obama in the Iowa caucuses. All of the debaters listed above gave reasons to continue the war (by not calling for immediate withdrawal of troops). All had slightly different proposals: redeployment, begin to withdraw in 6 months, one year, begin 60 days after elected, etc. In other words, all are working hard to convince the antiwar majority that a vote for one of them is a vote against war when this is clearly false given their actual voting records.

The ruling class is on a full court press, media in tow, including “alternative” media like “Democracy Now,” to convince the American people that the road to peace is through the electoral machinations of the ruling class. “Democracy Now” after running a powerful expose on the policy advisors of all the candidates (one and all with ruling class credentials of the CIA, FBI, and other counter-revolutionary institutions), Republicans and Democrats, ran a whole show of the speeches of the winners in the Iowa caucuses (Obama, Edwards, Clinton, Huckabee, and Romney), allowing one minute (exactly, no joke!) for the antiwar protests of the candidates that took place in Iowa on the caucus day.

The lower levels of the state, all run by the political parties of the ruling class are part of the plan to derail and deflect all protest and independence. They did this by moving up the primary votes in many states in order to give the illusion that the people actually have some say about the basic political decisions of war and peace, social services and rights (like health care, housing and education), and economics, by voting for one representative of the corporate ruling class or another. Voting for one multi-millionaire or another. But the deck is entirely stacked against any demo-cracy, any real decision making, by the working class, the majority of the people.

That is why political movements that represent the interests of the working people, movements for peace and social justice, economic power and democratic rights must be organized completely independently from the ruling class political parties. Such independent action is expressed in mass street demonstrations against the war. Now, such actions are more important than ever.