NATO (in particular US imperialism and its poodle and junior partner, British imperialism) have been itching to further the break-up of Yugoslavia by effectively turning the Yugoslav province of Kosovo into a NATO protectorate through the deployment of 28,000 NATO troops as `peace-keepers’. When President Milosevic, quite correctly, refused to accede to NATO’s `reasonable and rational’ demands, to use the hypocritically cynical language of US envoy Richard Holbrook, namely that the Yugoslav governm- withdraw its forces from its province of Kosovo and replace them by a NATO-led ‘peace-keeping force’, i.e., an army of occupation, NATO was faced with the alternative of either having to effect a humiliating climbdown or wage a war of aggression against a sovereign state which had attacked no other country. NATO, by its previous conduct, statements and threats had painted itself into a corner. If it did not go to war, it was in serious danger of becoming a laughing stock; if it did go to war, such a course was fraught with great dangers, with the serious possibility of NATO being unable to impose its will by force on the Yugoslavs, and simply imploding through dissension and quarrels among its members, as well as public resentment at its brutal conduct. NATO thus found itself in the unenviable position, of its own making, of the man in the Chinese fable who was dying of thirst when the only drink to hand was a chalice of poison. If he did not drink it he would die of thirst, if he drank it, he would die of poisoning.
24 March – start of unprovoked aggression
NATO has made its choice. And the choice is that of waging a brutal and barbarous war of aggression against an independent and sovereign state. On 23 March, at 11.30 p.m. Brussels time, Javier Solana, the Secretary-General of the war-mongering NATO imperialist alliance, announced that he had authorised General Wesley Clark, NATO’s supreme commander, to `initiate air operations’ against the Republic of Yugoslavia, with the alleged aim of disrupting what he called the Serb forces’ attacks on the Kosovars and
“weakening their abilities to cause further catastrophe.”
NATO’s decision, he asserted, had been necessitated by the failure of the Yugoslav government to accept the demands of the `international community’.
This was the signal for the commencement of bombing the following day, with over 400 aircraft (valued at more than £5 billion) from the US, Britain, France, Spain, Italy, Germany and Canada taking part in the opening attack. These include F-117 Stealth bombers at £30 million each, F-16s (£25 million each), French Mirage fighters (£25 million each), B52 bombers (£20 million each), and British Harrier GR7 jets (£14.5 million each). Cruise missiles, 300 of which were dropped in just the first two days of air strikes against Yugoslavia, cost nearly £1 million each. Enormous as the above sums are, they pale into insignificance as against the weaponry of the US B2 `Stealth’ bomber, deployed for the first time in a theatre of war, each of which costs £1.45 billion. Two of these purveyors of death and destruction flew non-stop from their base in Missouri to Yugoslavia to drop 32 satellite-guided one-tonne bombs priced at £5 million each. B2, conceived at the height of the Cold War, with technology intended to avoid detection by an enemy, cost in excess of £50 billion to develop. The US Air Force has a fleet of 21, and its combat debut has been eagerly awaited in defence and armament-manufacturing circles, for whom war is no more than fabulous business.
NATO also has at its disposal the US, UK and French aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, destroyers, frigates and other vessels, costing nearly £3 billion.
Since the start of Operation Allied Force – this unjustified war of aggression – on 24 March, aggressors from the 19-strong NATO alliance, with a population of 600 million, possessed of unbelievable wealth and material resources, equipped with the most sophisticated technology and killing machines, and with a combined military budget in excess of $500 billion a year, have been pounding tiny Yugoslavia with a population the equivalent of that possessed by Greater London. Thousands of sorties have been flown and hundreds of cruise missiles launched.
Hitting civilian targets
As was to be expected, breaking its earlier promises that only military targets would be hit, NATO, in true NAZI manner, has been hitting bridges across the Danube, factories, government buildings, chemical plants, oil refineries, fuel depots, car factories, residential blocks, schools, kindergartens, hospitals, trains with hundreds of passengers aboard, and now even the Kosovan refugees (whose plight is the only flimsy pretext for NATO’s assault on tiny Yugoslavia), fleeing NATO terror bombing. On the evening of Monday 5 April, in a `surgical strike’, three `precision’ bombs were dropped by these NAZO gangsters on the southern Serbian town of Aleksinac, which demolished 11 houses and an industrial complex that included an ice-cream factory and an animal feed plant, leaving behind 14 civilians crushed to their deaths under piles of rubble, 40 wounded, flattened cars, and apartment blocks riddled with holes. NATO attributed the carnage to a `technical error’, while at the same time insisting that its target planning was `meticulous’!
On 9 April, NATO strikes seriously damaged the Zastara car plant, which produces the ubiquitous Yugo, wounding 120 workers who, to the full knowledge of the NAZO commanders, were sleeping at the plant. Correctly, the plant’s director characterised the incoming new millennium as `Tomahawk democracy’. On Monday 12 April, NATO warmongers struck a passenger train, killing a dozen people and injuring many more. They also hit radio and television transmitters used by RTS, the state-run broadcaster, as being a
“legitimate target which filled the airways with hate and lies over the years.”
The NATO spokesman uttering these words ought to have added that, on this criterion, all the broadcasting media in the imperialist countries are proper and legitimate targets for bombardment – aerial or otherwise. And on 14 April, NATO aircraft attacked a convoy of Kosovan refugees fleeing NATO bombardment, killing 70 of them. To begin with, through its spokesman Jamie Shea, who has very quickly established himself as an unscrupulous, cynical and consummate liar – on a par with the likes of Clinton, Blair, Cook, Robertson, Albright and Goebbels – NATO insisted that its aircraft had only attacked military vehicles on a road in Western Kosovo. But faced with the overwhelming evidence produced by the Yugoslav authorities, corroborated by some honest western journalists – rare commodities these days – it is having to admit the truth bit by bit.
Whatever the lying mercenary NATO spokesmen may say, NATO is waging a total war – military and economic – against a whole people. Its planes and missiles are daily hitting civilian, industrial and residential targets in urban centres. Targets in the centre of Belgrade, as in many other cities, have been hit. Novi Sad, considered the Venice of Yugoslavia, full as it is of cultural and historical sites, is being deliberately targeted, in a manner reminiscent of the notorious Baedeker raids of World War 2. NATO planes may not be painted with swastika signs, but that these NAZO bandits are acting just like the Nazi beasts, of this there cannot be the slightest doubt. The only difference is that the Nazis did not possess the power, the money, the material resources and the technology presently at the disposal of NATO. Further, the Nazis were opposed by some of the most powerful states of the day and, therefore, had to do some real fighting. The NATO neo-Nazis are, however, hurling themselves against small nations, such as Yugoslavia and Iraq, in the most cowardly fashion, compared to which even the bestial conduct of the Hitlerite armed forces begins to assume a somewhat soldierly honour. Even the
Independent on Sunday,
with all its imperialist prejudices and characteristic dithering, was compelled to observe that
” the war that he
has taken us into is inept, cowardly and dishonest.”
(Editorial, 18 April 1999).
As the neo-Nazi NATO military machine started its blitzkrieg of tiny Yugoslavia, just as Hitlerite Germany did in the spring of 1941, the political leaders of the chief NATO countries went into overdrive to justify this naked and brutal aggression, each vying with the other in uttering cynically false and nauseating hypocritical phrases, in comparison with which those the Nazis uttered in the 1940s almost pale into insignificance. Hitler’s propaganda minister, Goebbels, had he been alive, would have admiringly, if grudgingly, conceded primacy to the modern-day practitioners of the Nazi art of deceit and the big lie – the Clintons, Blairs, Schröders, Jospins, Albrights, Cooks, Robertsons, Fischers, Scharpings and Solanas of our own time. In a vain attempt to paint the neo-Nazi NATO aggression in humanitarian colours, Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister, told parliament that NATO had no alternative but to take action.
“We must act,”
“to save thousands of innocent men, women and children from humanitarian catastrophe, from death, barbarism and ethnic cleansing by a brutal dictatorship; to save the stability of the Balkan region, where we know chaos can engulf all of Europe.”
Earlier Blair had announced that NATO had been obliged to act by the
of the Serb leader, Milosevic, against the Kosovars. He promised the
“professionalism” of the British forces involved in the attack on “heavily-defended”
Yugoslav bases. The truth, however, is just the opposite of what is contained in the pseudo-patriotic lying assertions of Clinton, Blair, Schröder, Jospin, Solana and other flunkeys of imperialism. The fact is that NATO pilots are the modern-day successors of the Nazi Luftwaffe pilots, involved in wanton destruction and flagrant violation of the sovereignty of nations. And their piratical activity involves very little risk, requires no courage, and needs no professionalism other than that of mercenary mass assassins. This is known even to bourgeois journalists: writing in the
of 25 March, Mr Quentin Peel made this correct observation:
“Like the US and UK bombing raids on Iraq, whose benefits still appear questionable, it is an action dictated by the luxury of cruise missiles, against which few modern states can retaliate or defend themselves. Not least, it has been designed to ensure that casualties are minimised, that no US boys have to be brought home in body bags.” (‘Lessons of Kosovo’
Far from entertaining
“a real sense of pride at the contribution their loved ones make to peace and stability in Europe,”
(which Tony Blair exhorts the families of British servicemen to entertain) the thinking and honourable members of such families, if they possess the least sense of justice, can only feel disgusted at the carnage wrought by British servicemen, among others, in an unprovoked and unjust war of aggression against a tiny country with which we have no justifiable quarrel.
Führer Blair broadcasts the big lie
Finding that the Goebbelsian lies of Messrs Blair, Cook and Robertson in the House of Commons and at various press conferences were failing to attract the sort of support needed for the continuation of this imperialist war, the British establishment put Blair on television to broadcast his lies far and wide. In his 26 March broadcast, wearing a sombre suit and a regimental-style tie, dour of brow and grim of countenance – all in an effort to look the part of a latter-day Führer – Blair, with honey on his lips and murder in his heart, to use a Chinese phrase, went on to say that NATO had gone to war to prevent an
“impending humanitarian catastrophe”
and to ensure that
“barbarity cannot be allowed to defeat justice.”
Developing his government’s `ethical’ war policy to match its notorious `ethical’ foreign policy, Blair justified NATO’s war as being essential
“to defend our fellow human beings”,
obviously being of the view that the Palestinians, Kurds, Iraqis, Lebanese, Indonesians, the nationalist population of the occupied 6 Counties of Ireland, blacks in the US and Britain, do not qualify to be included in the category of
“our fellow human beings”,
and thus can be subjected to brutal treatment by governments of NATO countries with NATO’s active support. But of this more anon. He concluded by saying:
“We are doing what is right, for Britain, for Europe, for a world that must know that barbarity cannot be allowed to defeat justice. That is simply the right thing to do.”
There is one sense in which we share Mr Blair’s sentiment: namely, barbarity must not be allowed to defeat justice – but with this significant difference: it is the war-mongering neo-Nazi NATO alliance which is guilty of barbarity in Yugoslavia and elsewhere and must not be allowed to defeat justice. Justice in this case is on the side of the Yugoslav people who are defending themselves against naked aggression and wanton destruction, and on the side of those who are opposing NATO’s war – who are in fact opposing the very existence of NATO. And that surely is
“simply the right thing to do,”
for it is good for Britain, for Europe and the world.
Shameless lies of other NATO leaders
US President, Bill Clinton, too, has justified NATO’s air piracy in terms of the need to stop Serbs killing and
the Kosovars and to
“limit their ability to make war”
on the Kosovars.
“We and our allies,”
“have a chance to leave our children a Europe that is free, peaceful and stable.”
Other leaders of the aggressive NATO alliance have justified the attempted rape of Yugoslavia in similar stomach-churningly insincere and hypocritical phrases. Jacques Chirac, Lionel Jospin, Gerhard Schröder and others have all repeated the same sickening lie that their war against Yugoslavia is solely motivated by the concerns and demands of `humanitarianism’; that they are carrying out the will and the wishes of the `international community’; that they are bombing
“for peace and humanity,”
and so on and so forth
Alluding to his country’s heavy historical burden of fascism and genocide, Joschka Fischer, the Green foreign minister turned Luftwaffe Green, without the slightest inkling of the irony involved in his remark, said the following in justification of Germany’s participation in the war:
“Germany couldn’t have acted any other way.”
Yes, Mr trench pacifist, you are right! Imperialist Germany, engaged as it is in pursuing the same aims of imperialist expansion which she pursued during the Third Reich and earlier at the time of Kaiser Wilhelm, could not have acted any other way. And you, being its foreign minister, had no option but to carry out that foreign policy of German imperialism – that of pillage, rape and plunder of other countries in furtherance of the expansionist interests of German imperialism. Why should you feel shy about this? After all, your counterparts in other European countries – the social democrats of Britain, France, Italy, etc. – the Blairs, Cooks, Jospins and D’Alemas – are doing just the same as you are, and even more shamelessly than you do. We have a sense of déja vu. It is just like a re-run of the First World War, when social democracy in the imperialist belligerent countries, with the sole honourable exception of the Bolsheviks in Russia, deserted to the side of its own bourgeoisie, with each party justifying its support for its own bourgeoisie, and the treachery to the cause of the international proletariat, by reference to the similar conduct of its sister parties across the border. A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then. Social democracy has long since become the tried, tested and faithful servant of imperialism, in the service of which there is not a single crime that it will not commit. Why should you, Herr Fischer, be nervous about your role? After all, you are not even a social-democratic `socialist’. Your newness to the job is the only possible explanation of your hesitation and shyness. You will achieve self-assurance and confidence as you immerse yourself deeper and deeper into further crimes on behalf of German monopoly capitalism, and become just like our Cook, Robertson, Blair and `left-wingers’ of the time of Mr Livingstone who, with effortless ease and total lack of conscience, integrity, honesty, and possessing not one iota of humanity, are prepared to wage any war on behalf of British imperialism.
Shameful role of the `free’ media
Taking their cue from imperialist spokesmen, the journalist community – with the odd honourable exception – in all the imperialist countries, especially in Britain, instead of reporting facts, subjecting the statements of imperialist governments and imperialist politicians to a searching examination and analysis, have simply become part of a campaign in which broadsheets vie with the tabloids, and the electronic media with the print media, to turn the Yugoslav government, especially Milosevic,
“into a fully-fledged James Bond baddie.”
Well-known television anchormen have simply become cheer leaders for the government’s barbarous acts. The jingoist
depicted President Milosevic as the evil `Slobba’ – a paranoid drunk who gets through two bottles of spirits a day sitting in the dark –
who gets a sexual kick from power and killing (perhaps the
got confused between Milosevic and Bill Clinton?). Naturally the
was enthusiastic about what it hoped would be a clobbering of Yugoslavia by NATO. Hence its headline:
Obviously the broadsheets do not use such coarse language. All the same they carry on their menial job, as does every television and radio station, of acting as cheerleaders for NATO’s aggression against Yugoslavia, just as they did during the Gulf War against Iraq, just as they do now over NATO’s continued attacks on Iraq and the strangulation of its population through the rope of starvation under the sanctions regime. Even the
Independent on Sunday,
which entitled its editorial of 28 March 1999 ‘This is not a just war’
and the opening sentence of which reads:
“The best way to support British servicemen in the Kosovo campaign is to pull out and bring them home,”
nevertheless goes on mindlessly to assert that
“in some ways British interference in Kosovo is admirably inspired: genuinely disinterested
vengeful on behalf of the victims, violent against the aggressors
[aggressors in their own country?!],
biased on behalf of the weak against the strong “
Well, gentlemen, make up your minds! Either this war is unjust, as we firmly maintain it is, in which case there is no justification for British and NATO participating in it; or it is
“admirably inspired,” “genuinely disinterested”,
“on behalf of the weak,”
as you believe, in which case it is a just war in the fighting of which Britain is acting in the interests of justice! One thing or the other – you cannot have it both ways. Be that as it may, let us examine briefly the `reasons’ for this war as put forward by NATO and its leading imperialist spokesmen.
Creating a humanitarian catastrophe in order to `avert’ one.
The chief justification put forward by the NATO governments is that they are acting to
“avert a humanitarian catastrophe”
in Kosovo, which, they further claim, has resulted from the actions of the Yugoslav government. NATO Supreme Commander, General Wesley Clarke, has said that NATO forces would
“attack, disrupt, degrade, devastate and ultimately destroy Yugoslavia’s
Notwithstanding the unresolved problem of the national rights of the Kosovan people, what is referred to as the
did not make its appearance until the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), fully funded and armed by imperialism, especially German imperialism, appeared on the scene, with its attacks on Yugoslav police and army personnel, in response to which the Yugoslav security forces attacked the KLA. The real catastrophe, however, only made its appearance with the start of the NATO terror bombing of Kosovo, which forces people in their hundreds of thousands to flee their homes to escape being incinerated by NATO’s `humanitarian’ bombardment. If before the start of the NATO bombing there were 100,000 Kosovo refugees, today there are 800,000 of them.
Imperialist spokesman, and their docile apologists in the media, claim that NATO did not `foresee’ that bombing would produce a refugee problem of truly catastrophic proportions. This is a blatant lie. Jonathan Eyal, director of the Royal United Services Institute, had this today one day before the start of the bombing:
“The West is justifying the operation as necessary in order to avoid a humanitarian disaster. In fact, the biggest humanitarian disaster will unfold when the air attacks start.” (`The Aerosol myth’
24 March 1999).
And what was known to Jonathan Eyal was certainly known to NATO’s political and military establishment, who found it convenient to feign ignorance on this score, for NATO was bent upon creating a real humanitarian catastrophe so as to provide an ex post facto justification for its war against Yugoslavia and at the same time to enable it to practise its `humanitarianism’ after it had indulged in bombing to its heart’s content
“for the sake of humanity.”
NATO, not content with forcing these unfortunate victims to flee their homes, now bombards them while they flee, as it did on 14 April near the village of Dakovica, killing more than 70 people. NATO has, through its aggression and round-the-clock terror bombing, created a real humanitarian catastrophe so that it can practise its `humanitarianism’ on the victims of its air piracy. This is the essence of NATO’s humanitarianism. It is not new either. In Yugoslavia alone, NATO has been causing mayhem for several years, presiding over the ethnic cleansing of Croatia and Bosnia, in helping the fascist Tudjman regime, which has rehabilitated the fascist Ustashis responsible for murdering close to a million Yugoslavs in collaboration with their Nazi masters, secure an ethnically pure Croatia, cleansed of its Serb population. NATO spokesmen and Royal Air Force liberals alike maintain a deafening silence about THIS ethnic cleansing of which the Serbs are victims. Their concern for
“our fellow human beings”
is very selective indeed.
“a new Hitler”
We are told by NATO leaders, who support autocracy, fascism and oppression the world over, that they are waging a war against Yugoslavia because Milosevic is a `new Hitler’ who only understands the language of force. This assertion, however, does not bear even cursory scrutiny. If we look at the Hitler regime in Germany, the most outstanding characteristic of his Third Reich was a cynically scant regard for international law, a total disregard for the sovereignty of states, a flagrant violation of the internally agreed frontiers and flouting of international treaties, hand in hand with ceaseless aggression with its consequent wanton destruction and untold human misery – all in pursuit of the expansionist interests of German monopoly capitalism. Bearing these traits of the real Hitler regime in mind, one does not have to be exceptionally gifted to spot the regimes which today fit this description and the centres where they are located. On the basis of these traits, there is no need to look for Hitler’s heirs in Belgrade, which poses no threat to any other state. Their habitat today is Washington, London, Bonn, Paris. The `democratic’ leaders of the US, British, German and French governments, unlike Hitler, do not don uniforms decorated with swastika insignia, but that they are continuing the Hitler regime’s mission of world domination in the interests of their respective imperialisms, of this there can be no doubt. Particularly guilty in this case is the United States, which dominates NATO because of its overwhelming superiority in armaments, especially in the field of nuclear weapons.
Aiming for world domination
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and its disintegration into several states, US imperialism has become brazen in its attempts to establish its world hegemony and impose its `new world order’ by bullying, intimidation and force of arms. Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO spokesmen falsely claimed that it was a defensive military alliance which existed solely for the purpose of defending its members against alleged threats to their sovereignty from the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact countries. Now that the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact are no more, leaders of this aggressive alliance assert that NATO must exist precisely because the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact have ceased to exist! More than that, they are busy expanding NATO so as to incorporate within it the former members of the eastern bloc as well as some of the republics of the former Soviet Union. Barely two weeks before the beginning of the latest imperialist war against Yugoslavia, three east European countries – Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic – joined NATO. This development, posing as it does a serious danger to Russia itself, is fraught with the utmost danger as, for all her present weakness, Russia is no pushover for NATO. Further, NATO is no longer prepared to confine itself to its former role of being a `defensive’ alliance. It wants to arrogate to itself the role of world policeman under the slogan
“NATO out of area or out of business.”
In characteristic Hitlerian terms, NATO justifies its aggression by the assertion that
“modern humanitarian law”
now permits, indeed almost requires, military intervention by the `international community’ to ward off `humanitarian catastrophes’ anywhere in the world. Shorn of the euphemisms in which this assertion is shrouded, its plain and simple meaning is this: that there is no international law other than what US imperialism and its junior partners say it is; that the imperialist powers have the right to invade any country if THEY judge that it is in danger of being overwhelmed by a `humanitarian catastrophe’, i.e., a country where the interests of imperialism are threatened. Thus the books on international law can be buried, and professors of international law made redundant – except that, perhaps that won’t be necessary, considering that these mercenary fellows, to protect their lucrative salaries and comfortable lifestyles, will go along with what is required of them and write glowing articles in prestigious bourgeois journals elaborating `modern humanitarian law’ in response to the dictates of the `international community’, namely, the handful of imperialist blood-sucking parasites.
Never before have the Hitlerite aims of world domination pursued by the neo-Nazi NATO alliance, especially by US imperialism, been so clear; and never before has the need for progressive humanity to fight and frustrate this attempt at imperialist world domination been so urgent.
Will of the `international community’
NATO spokesmen never miss an opportunity to assert that their war against Yugoslavia represents the will of the `international community’. They know that this assertion of theirs represents nothing but an utter lie, for the real international community – humanity at large – is opposed to the small clique of imperialist bandits who vainly seek to arrogate to themselves the role of humanity’s spokesmen, is opposed to this dirty and genocidal war. Not only do Russia, China, India and dozens of other countries oppose this war but so do vast numbers of people in the countries which are members of NATO. And this notwithstanding the torrent of non-stop false propaganda put out by the powerful imperialist media portraying this war as a fight of the `international community’ aimed at averting a `humanitarian catastrophe’.
`There is no alternative; something must be done’, chorus the imperialist spokesmen, and, following them, the organs of imperialist propaganda. If the sole motivation for NATO interfering with the internal affairs of Yugoslavia were nothing other than `humanitarianism’, as its mouthpieces insist, then there are at least a dozen other places where national and human rights of whole peoples are being denied, where vile oppression is being daily perpetrated, where humanitarian catastrophes have been continuously enacted for decades, where whole populations have been brutalised, subjected to degrading and humiliating treatment and where millions of innocent people have been turned into refugees eking out a miserable existence – all of this with the active support of the very imperialist governments who are now waging war against tiny Yugoslavia in the name of `humanitarianism’.
Imperialism’s support for vile oppression by Zionism
Israel, Turkey, Croatia and Indonesia, to name but a few, are the darlings of `humanitarian’ imperialism. They are all guilty of the most brutal violation of the human rights of vast sections of their populations. Israel continues to occupy Palestine, subject the Palestinian people in the Occupied Territories to medieval torture and barbaric and vile oppression. It continues to deny the 4 million Palestinians forced into exile at gunpoint the right to return to their homeland, while allowing any Jew anywhere in the world, with absolutely no connection with Palestine, a right to settle within the boundaries of the Zionist state – which are forever expanding. It continues to build Zionist settlements in the Occupied Territories. It continues to occupy a fifth of the Lebanon. It continues to wage a ceaseless war of aggression against Lebanon. All this is in violation of international law and UN resolutions, but with the full support of imperialism in general and US imperialism in particular.
Imperialism’s support for brutal suppression by the Turkish government
The Turkish military staged three coups – in 1960, 1971 and 1980 – each coup being followed by brutal suppression of the communists and the Kurds, subjecting them to mass military trials in the course of which even the legal representatives of the victims were tortured and murdered. In April 1990, the Turkish government passed Decree 413 giving power to the governors of Kurdish provinces to depopulate their areas. As a result, 3,000 villages have been destroyed, creating a refugee problem of more than 4 million. In August 1990, the Turkish government abrogated the European Convention on Human Rights, to which it was a signatory, openly declaring that it would not abide by this Treaty. 35,000 Kurds, in addition to communists and trade unionists, have been killed in the Turkish state’s dirty and genocidal war against the Kurds and the left opposition. Turkey frequently raids and bombs Northern Iraq. Despite – or, more correctly, because of – its heinous conduct, Turkey is the third largest recipient of US aid after Israel and Egypt.
Imperialism’s support for the murder of 1 million Indonesians
The Indonesian fascist regime of Suharto came to power on the corpses of one million Indonesian workers and peasants. It illegally seized East Timor, killed thousands of East Timorese freedom fighters, receiving whole-hearted plaudits and support from the US and other imperialist countries, right up to the time of its downfall. Our `ethical’ Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, had little difficulty sanctioning the sale of arms to the Suharto regime for internal suppression of the Indonesian people.
Imperialism’s support for ethnic cleansing in Croatia
Croatia is one of the most ethnically cleansed places in the world, thanks to NATO imperialism, which happily looked the other way while helping the fascist Tudjman with money and weapons to clear Croatia of its Serb minority.
Imperialism’s genocidal war against the Korean and Vietnamese peoples.
We shall mention only in passing the `humanitarianism’ with which US imperialism and its junior partners waged genocidal wars of aggression against the people of Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and countless other countries, killing in the process millions upon millions of people, spraying them with napalm and Agent Orange, defoliating their countryside and littering it with mines which continue to claim human lives up to the present.
The imperialist genocide against the Iraqi people
Then there are the `humanitarian’ sanctions against Iraq, which have killed over a million innocent men, women and children. And the US Secretary of State, Albright, blithely says that this price in human lives is worth it in the pursuit of the `humanitarian’ foreign policy goals of US and British imperialism. Tiny Cuba, which threatens no one, has similarly been the target of imperialist blockade for four decades – for no other reason than that it has violated the most sacred `humanitarian’ law espoused by imperialism, namely, that of private property and the exploitation of one human being by another.
British imperialism’s genocidal war against the Irish people
Britain has waged a genocidal war against Ireland for centuries and has been indicted by the most respectable of organisations, with impeccable bourgeois credentials, of violations of the human rights of the nationalist population of the occupied Six Counties. It has been guilty of wholesale repression, murder, torture and rigged judicial processes. In the colonies it ruled, Britain practised nothing short of savage brutality in the pursuit of colonial and imperialist exploitation.
Imperialism’s racist immigration and asylum laws
All the imperialist countries are guilty of passing inhumane immigration and asylum legislation to bar entry to victims fleeing imperialist wars and imperialist-inspired civil strife. The number of such refugees is well above the 20 million mark, the majority of whom live a miserable existence in refugee camps in Asia and Africa, with their ranks swelling, on average, by 10,000 people a day.
Imperialism kills 35,000 children a day
Last, but not least, 35,000 children a day die throughout the world, most in the so-called Third World countries – one child every 2.4 seconds – from malnutrition and preventable diseases, thanks to the kind mercies of imperialist exploitation. 130 million children of school age do not attend school. Half the world’s children do not have enough to eat.
The above facts are an eloquent indictment of monopoly capitalism, which no amount of `humanitarian’ phrase-mongering by its representatives and apologists can serve to hide.
One could go on forever, but enough.
Real reason for this war
What, then, is the source of this latest war, and by what are the main powers who are waging this war motivated? The answer to this question can be given briefly thus:
First US imperialism and its junior partners are attempting to establish an oil monopoly stretching from the Middle East to the oil-rich Caspian and Black Sea basins.
Secondly, they are all attempting to encircle and enfeeble Russia even further, so as to prevent her from presenting a challenge to them, while at the same time taking measures aimed at ensuring the safety of the capitalist regime in Russia through NATO intervention on its behalf against any proletarian revolutionary movement threatening its existence (the NATO expansion into the former eastern bloc countries and the territories of the former USSR has these as its clear purposes).
Third, while being united in the pursuit of the above two aims, the various imperialist powers are engaged in a furious struggle over the division of the spoils. While German imperialism is hell bent on dominating Central and Eastern Europe (hence its support for the disintegration of Yugoslavia), US imperialism is muscling in to put every other imperialist power in its place. From whichever angle one looks at it, one cannot avoid the conclusion that it is an imperialist war aimed at world domination. Yugoslavia does not much like its own disintegration and has decided to resist the imperialist diktat. Precisely for this reason it has earned the ire of imperialism and brought upon itself the `humanitarian’ attentions of NATO’s awesome armada of death and destruction.
The results so far
The results so far have been the exact opposite of the declared aims of NATO. If it was the aim, at least for public consumption, of NATO to avoid a `human catastrophe’ in Kosovo, NATO terror bombing has helped to bring about a catastrophe on a far bigger scale not only in Kosovo but in other parts of Yugoslavia as well. On top of the 1 million Kosovan refugees forced to flee their homes, several hundred thousand people in Serbia have been displaced as well.
If it was the declared purpose of NATO `peacekeepers’ to bring `peace and stability’ to the region, its action have destabilised the entire Balkans region and turned it into a powder keg ready to explode into a much wider war with unpredictable consequences.
If the NATO terrorists entertained the illusion that their carpet bombing of Yugoslavia would cause the Belgrade regime to crumble, the bombing has merely served to strengthen the regime, with even the most critical opponents of President Milosevic uniting behind the government to oppose, and defeat, NATO’s terrorism.
“By targeting cities, factories and bridges,”
wrote Simon Jenkins in
of 9 April,
“and hitting enough houses to kill civilians (including, of all obscenities, native Kosovars in Pristina), the bombs have increased support for the regime and made compromise less likely.”
(`Will they never learn?’).
Four days into bombing, ignoring air-raid sirens and breakfast-time attack on the city, over 10,000 Serbs gathered in Central Belgrade for a `Music Against the Bombs’ rock concert in an overwhelming display of anger and defiance against the US and NATO.
“Sorry, we didn’t know it was invisible,”
read one placard, mocking the US F-117, radar-evading `Stealth bomber’, that was shot down outside Belgrade.
“Clinton, Hitler, fascists,” proclaimed another banner.
“New American Terrorist Organisation”
is how NATO’s acronym reads on slogans daubed across Belgrade.
As we enter the fifth week of NATO bombing, the
reports, as indeed do all other newspapers, that
“NATO’s strategy of high-level aerial bombardment has damaged Yugoslavia’s infrastructure and killed ethnic Albanian refugees, but broken neither the Serbs’ military forces nor their civilians’ morale”,
“NATO’s future will be decided not in Washington’s conference halls but in the Balkan crucible”.
If the NATO bombardment was intended (not publicly on this score) to provide air cover for the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), the result has been a crushing defeat for the KLA at the hands of the Serbian security forces who were freed from all obligations of restraint the moment their country became the target of NATO’s criminal bombardment. Anyway, the KLA
“had scant local support until its cause was adopted by Britain and others”
Instead of the neat and short, sharp campaign expected by NATO’s political and military leaders, it is turning out to be a long and messy affair.
“The collapse of `bombing alone’ this past fortnight has been spectacular,”
said Mr Jenkins in the article quoted above, predicting that
“the 24 American ground attack helicopters being sent to Albania are the first swallows of an awesome summer.”
The docile British journalist community has begun to talk about
“an inauspicious start to Operation Allied Forces”
and to say that NATO’s prosecution of its mission
“is beginning to look laughable”
“NATO is at the risk of being humiliated.”
Even Pentagon and NATO top brass acknowledge that they have been disappointed by the failure of the air campaign so far to do more damage to Yugoslavia’s resources and morale.
NATO officials, while putting on a brave face and insisting that their air campaign is making headway, have requested an additional 450 combat aircraft, bringing the total committed to this genocidal war to about 900, in addition to other armaments – a clear indication that the bombardment so far has been far from successful in achieving what Wesley Clark, NATO’s supreme commander, set out to do, namely, to
“attack, disrupt, degrade, devastate and ultimately destroy Yugoslavia’s forces.”
Notwithstanding the devastation wreaked by NATO on civilian targets, Yugoslavia’s armed forces are far from being degraded, let alone destroyed. What NATO has succeeded in degrading so far has been its own ability to prevail, by means of neo-Nazi blitzkrieg, over the forces of a tiny, but defiant, opponent. The US defence secretary, Cohen, has been compelled to admit that this war is
“not going to be quick, easy or neat.”
No one doubts now that NATO’s war is not going as smoothly as, according to its planners, a late 20th century high-tech war should. It is messy and risky, and risks becoming still messier.
The Times of 12 April makes this perceptive observation:
“The increase in the number of Prowlers being sent to the region, adding to the 18 already there, underlies the sombre fact that after nearly three weeks of bombing, the Yugoslav air defence systems are still running effectively, even at half strength.”
Haunted by memories of Vietnam, Somalia and the Lebanon, NATO leaders had intended to wage a `bloodless war’, i.e., bloodless on the part of the imperialist robber barons, an air war which they had hoped would be over in two or three days, just in time for NATO’s 50th birthday party. They find themselves, however, staring at a ruinous, long and bloody land war, with the prospect of their soldiers returning home in body bags. NATO, if it manages to survive this crisis, may be embroiled in the Balkans for years to come.
The scale of the refugee crisis created by NATO – and which its leaders had hoped to cash in on – turned into a public relations disaster, especially in view of the crude and clumsy attempts of NATO spokesmen to lie their way out of the human disaster created by NATO’s `humanitarian’ bombing, particularly of the civilian Kosovars on the road from Prizren to Dakovica.
NATO’s total disregard for public opinion and international law has split the Security Council, with Russia and China expressing strong opposition to NATO’s Yugoslav adventure that completely violates the norms of international behaviour. In the words of Simon Jenkins,
“Slobodan Milosevic has tweaked Uncle Sam’s nose and won grudging support of Russia and China, important if there is to be a land war” (ibid.).
NATO’s relations with Russia have reached a new low. Russian Prime Minister, Primakov, on his way to Washington for his twice-yearly talks with the US Vice-President, Al Gore, when informed of NATO’s decision to start bombing Yugoslavia, turned his plane round mid-air and headed back to Moscow. In protest at NATO strikes against Yugoslavia, Russia has expelled members of NATO’s information office in Moscow and broken off contact with it (NATO). In announcing this move, Igor Ivanov, the Russian Foreign Minister, accused NATO of perpetrating genocide in Yugoslavia, adding that those who have military orders should be held responsible for their
actions. In a statement reinforcing Ivanov’s message, Moscow accused the western imperialist military alliance of a double crime:
“NATO aggression and open genocide against the peoples of that country.”
In a subsequent television broadcast, Russian President, Yeltsin, took up the theme, saying:
want to bring in ground troops, they are preparing for that, they want simply to seize Yugoslavia and make it their protectorate we cannot let that happen to Yugoslavia”
(Reported in the
of 11 April).
Russia has dispatched its reconnaissance vessel, the
, to the Adriatic on an intelligence-gathering mission. There were even reports , later half-denied, that Russia had re-targeted her nuclear missiles
“in the direction of those countries which are today fighting Yugoslavia” (ibid.).
This report was serious enough to cause alarm bells to be sounded in the NATO countries. Robin Cook responded to it by this placatory lie:
“I would emphasise here that there is nothing we are doing in Yugoslavia or Kosovo that poses the remotest threat to Russia.”
Is that why, may we ask Mr Cook, the master of the art of deception and the big lie, NATO admitted Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic into its ranks on 11 March, barely two weeks before the start of its war against Yugoslavia?
Within two hours, as the Russian message sank in,
“France said Nato should not push its military campaign in Yugoslavia beyond what was acceptable to Russia; Germany said there was no need to send Nato ground troops to Kosovo; and America announced that Madeleine Albright, the secretary of state, would meet the Russian foreign minister in Oslo on Tuesday to discuss Kosovo” (Sunday Times,
11 April 1999).
Violent protests have been staged against US and British diplomatic missions in Moscow and Petersburg, such is the extent to which Russian public opinion has been outraged by NATO’s aggression. There is near-unanimous public demand that the Russian government give active material support to the Yugoslav victims of NATO aggression.
On the week-end of 24-25 April, NATO had planned to hold its 50th birthday party to celebrate
“the most successful military alliance in history”.
Events in the Balkans have forced the organisers to recast what was to be an exultant festival for this imperialist war-mongering alliance into
“a low-key council of war,”
of 18 April put it. The planned fly-past has been cancelled. The champagne banquet at the White House will be a
“working dinner”.”Dinner jackets have made way for lounge suits. The commemorative stamp to be issued by the US Post Office has been put on hold. And Barbra Streisand has been disinvited. Kosovo is officially the topic of a single event on Friday morning (23 April), but that arrangement is now as obsolete as the notion that everyone is here
for a birthday party”
Far from celebrating, the guests at this gathering will have only one thing to concentrate their minds on – the mess into which NATO has got itself in Yugoslavia, and how to extricate itself from this mess with at least a pretence of credibility.
Circumstances being what they are, NATO could hardly afford to be seen participating in a lavish extravaganza. In the words of Mary Dejevsky, writing in the
Independent on Sunday: ” with more than a million people displaced – the very people that alliance force was supposed to protect – several fatal mis-strikes by Nato planes, and the stability of neighbouring countries in question, celebration looks inappropriate, if not downright perverse”
(‘Can Nato really feast, as its forces fight and Kosovo starves?’ 18 April).
It will, however, be difficult to hide the fact that Russia and other Republics of the former USSR, who had been invited to participate in the stage-managed celebrations, won’t be there. Although no president of the US would be daring enough to cancel the invitations to a dozen multinational corporations such as Ford, General Motors, Kodak and Raytheon (the missile manufacturer), who had paid $250,000 each
“for a place on the `host committee’, with guaranteed places at the top tables for their executives, exhibition space for their promotions and the chance to court new customers over cocktails” (ibid.),
all the same, the agenda, fixed many months ago, is being rewritten with the focus on: how do we get out of this mess?
All in all it is likely to be a jolly good brawl, with brothers fighting each other. NATO and the US stand a very good chance of emerging from this meeting shorn of their world-transforming ambitions and the ability to undertake the role of self-appointed world policemen. And
“such a thin future,”
according to David Acheson, son of Dean Acheson (who was present at the creation of NATO),
“will ultimately make NATO not worth the expense of keeping as anything but a token and dispirited ghost of its original self” (Evening Standard,
If the 50th Anniversary of NATO coincides – and this is on the cards, and we hope it will be the case – with developments that put it on a fast track to demise, progressive humanity will heave a sigh of relief at the impending death of this monstrously blood-thirsty war machine directed at the heart of world culture and civilisation.
An exposure of liberal and labour imperialism
or all the horror and misery they entail,”
“wars bring at least the following more or less important benefit – they ruthlessly reveal, unmask and destroy much that is corrupt, outworn and dead in human institutions. The European War of 1914-15 is doubtlessly beginning to do some good by revealing to the advanced class what a foul and festering abscess has been developed within its parties, and what an unbearably putrid stench comes from some source” (The Collapse of the Second International,
Collected Works Vol. 21).
The genocidal war presently being waged by NATO, too, has begun ruthlessly to reveal all that is corrupt, outworn and dead in our institutions. It too has begun to reveal, at least to the advanced sections of the proletariat, the foul and festering abscess, full of unbearably putrid stench, constituted by lib-lab imperialism – particularly by the vile and rotten `left-wing’ of the equally vile and rotten Labour Party and its hangers-on.
The war in Yugoslavia has furnished new proof of the imperialist nature, of the rottenness and putrefaction, of Social Democracy (the Labour Party in Britain) and a whole host of `liberal’ warmongers, for whom no crime is too big in the service of imperialism, the promotion of their own careers and the maintenance of their comfortable lifestyles, which are entirely dependent on the continued flow of imperialist superprofits consequent upon the plunder of the whole world.
“A wild compulsion appears to have seized Western liberalism as it gazes ogle-eyed at whatever atrocity the networks have selected for the nightly `grief pornography’ slot”, says Mr Simon Jenkins in his article already quoted. Correct though it is, this observation does not go far enough to explain the economic roots of the mass social phenomenon whereby the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats, the Conservative Party, the Church of England, the BBC and ITV, the entire press, support this war. It does not even begin to explain why Tony Blair, William Hague, Michael Foot, Ken Livingstone – that darling of the Troto-revisionist counter-revolutionary renegades – Vanessa Redgrave, the Archbishop of Canterbury – our gun-toting parson – and a whole host of academics find themselves in the camp of the enthusiastic cheerleaders of warmongering NATO imperialism. It does not explain why, with the honourable exception of Arthur Scargill and the Party he leads, the Socialist Labour Party, not a single trade unionist of note and not a single national party has come out unequivocally against this imperialist war. And it does not explain why the Labour benches have stayed studiously loyal to the government. What is the explanation for this mass desertion to the side of the bourgeoisie?
The explanation is to be found in the monopolistic exploitation of the world by a handful of states, including Britain, each of whom occupies a monopolistic position in the world.
It is precisely this exploitation of the whole world by a handful of states, the parasitism and decay of capitalism, which are characteristic of its highest stage, namely, imperialism, which explains the rise and monstrous growth of opportunism, as well as the split in the working-class movement of the imperialist countries since the beginning of the 20th century (in Britain much earlier), for
“obviously out of such enormous superprofits it is possible to bribe the labour leaders and the upper stratum of the labour aristocracy. And that is just what the capitalists of the ‘advanced’ countries are doing: they are bribing them in a thousand different ways, direct and indirect, overt and covert.”
This stratum of
thoroughly petty-bourgeois in their style of life, the size of their earnings and their world outlook, serve as the
“principal social support of the bourgeoisie in the labour movement, the labour lieutenants of the capitalist class, the real carriers of reformism and social chauvinism. In the civil war between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie they inevitably, and in no small numbers, stand on the side of the bourgeoisie, on the
of the ‘Versaillese’ against the ‘Communards”
(Lenin, preface to the French and German editions of
Imperialism – the Highest Stage of Capitalism,
The function of this bribed upper stratum, the aristocracy of labour, is to act as an instrument of class collaboration and as a purveyor of bourgeois corruption into the ranks of the proletariat. The growth and strength of class collaboration and opportunism in the ranks of the working-class movement, not just in Britain but in all the imperialist countries, cannot be explained otherwise than by reference to the extraction of imperialist superprofits. There is unquestionably a profound economic connection between imperialism and opportunism in the labour movement.
Imperialism thus engenders a split in the working class, for it has singled out a handful of exceptionally rich countries and powerful states who plunder the whole world and who are, therefore, able to use a portion of the superprofits so derived to bribe the labour leaders and the upper stratum of the working class – and thus detach them from the vast masses of the working class.
In the words of Lenin:
“Unless the economic roots of this phenomenon
[opportunism in the working class movement]
are understood and its political and social significance appreciated, not a step can be taken toward the solution of the practical problems of the communist movement and of the impending social revolution”
Only on the basis of the above explanation is it possible to make sense of the fact that trade-union general secretaries, Labour MPs and prominent `left-wingers’ either fail to speak against this criminal imperialist war, or, worse still, are enthusiastic supporters of it. For their fat salaries, their privileged life styles, their importance, depends entirely on the maintenance of imperialist loot.
Is it surprising, then, that when the House of Commons debated the war on 25 March, at one stage, when the debate should have been at its height, the Chamber attracted no more than 32 MPs of whom only 15 were Labour backbenchers?
commented Alan Watkins in the
Independent on Sunday
of 29 March,
“that colleagues were proving remarkably indolent and incurious even by the suet-pudding standards of the 1997 Labour intake or that they had been instructed by the Whips to make themselves scarce: to adapt Lord Steel at the Liberal conference, go back to your constituencies and prepare to embarrass the Government. As the lobbies and corridors were as bursting with life as Brynamman on a wet Sunday, I suspect the latter.”
Obviously their jobs, the chances of promotion to the front bench, mean a lot more to these miserable lickspittles than the lives of hundreds of thousands of Yugoslavs, or any other, people.
It is in this context that we must view the behaviour of the Social-Democratic parties in Britain, Germany, France, Italy. It is in this light too that we must view the conduct of the German Greens, Ken Livingstone, Mary Kaldor of the European Nuclear Disarmament and what Andrew Murray, in an excellent article – all the more remarkable for being published in the
that devoted and unrequited lover of the Labour Party – aptly calls
“a whole flight command of Luftwaffe liberals in the comment pages of the Guardian and the Observer.”
As regards Ken Livingstone, our own stock exchange socialist, we would like to quote Andrew Murray’s trenchant characterisation of the Livingstone phenomenon.
Although written in the context of the opportunist Livingstone, these lines have the merit of giving a graphic description of the connection between imperialist loot and opportunism in the working class movement – the corruption of the privileged sections of the working class, the labour aristocracy, by the bourgeoisie, which has been using, and continues to use, a portion of its superprofits to bribe labour leaders and the upper stratum of the working class in order to detach the vast layers of the working class from the working class movement. Let Andrew Murray speak:
“And Ken Livingstone! It would be unkind to accuse Mr Livingstone of opportunism or of a desire to crawl to the mayoralty of London over the wreckage of international law and the sovereignty of states. True as that is, it does not do justice the inner consistency of his position.
“A few days before the government began the attack on Yugoslavia, Mr Livingstone gave the Financial Times an interview.
“Beyond declaring his support for the euro and his regard for Jeffrey Archer, he said: `A few years ago, the left said that the City should be towed out to sea. But if the City went into decline, it would mean that London would be doomed for a century or more.’
“No doubt this reassured the fat cats of the boardrooms and the red-brace-bonus millionaires of the dealing floors that they have nothing to fear from Mr Livingstone.
“But the rest of London’s population may well find themselves `doomed for a century or more’ by Mr Livingstone’s logic.
“For there is a straight line which leads from support for the City’s global financial role, sucking in super-profits from every continent, to Britain’s desire to see the world properly policed by the big powers, to this naked disregard for international law and, finally, to aggression against independent states which will not do the City’s bidding.
“A stock exchange socialist will end up a B-52 socialist as night follows day. Perhaps we should cut out all half-way houses and ask for Sir Charles Guthrie, chief of the defence staff, to run as London mayor instead. He may even make the London Underground run on time too.” (`Re-assessment of a dangerous logic,’
1 April 1999).
After this war, and the total collapse of the so-called `left’, as well as trade-union, sections of the Labour Party, will the New Communist Party, the Communist Party of Britain and the Socialist Workers Party still be campaigning for Labour in the forthcoming elections to the Welsh Assembly, Scottish Parliament, local councils and the European Parliament? Will the Socialist Workers Party in a year’s time still be campaigning for Ken Livingstone to become the Mayor of London? What crimes does the Labour Party and its illusory and non-existent `left’-wing have to commit before they forfeit the touching trust of these miserable apologists and hangers-on of Social Democracy who have the temerity to call themselves `socialist’ – even `Marxist-Leninist’? We shall see. These are interesting times indeed in which to be living.
Right-wing opposition to the war
It is sad to have to admit, but a sin against the truth not to admit, that some individuals with impeccable bourgeois and right-wing credentials, have OBJECTIVELY played a more honourable role, either by dissociating themselves from this war or by their outright denunciation of it, than our Luftwaffe liberals and stock-exchange socialists. Notable in this context are Lord Denis Healey, Lord Carrington (the former Secretary General of NATO), Henry Kissinger, Alex Salmond (leader of the Scottish National Party), and especially Alan Clark, former defence minister, whose statement, which we publish elsewhere, who literally put to shame the fraternity of Luftwaffe liberals and stock-exchange socialists. We are not concerned here with the motives of any of these individuals, who might be activated by considerations of inter-imperialist rivalry; or by the fear that having bungled this operation NATO might end up totally discredited; or by the fearful and unpredictable consequences of a possible widening of the war; or by the fear that the war might transform itself into another Vietnam; or worse, for them, by fear of the war causing a stir among the proletariat of several east European countries, including especially the countries which once constituted the former USSR, leading to a wave of revolutionary movements for the social emancipation of the proletariat. What is undeniably true is that their voices are helping to strengthen the anti-war movement and to undermine NATO’s warmongering. The essence of their criticism is that NATO air strikes are illegal in international law; that they erroneously assert NATO’s primacy over the UN; that they are an unwarranted intervention in a civil war within a sovereign state; and that they might end up preparing the ground for a wider Balkans war.
Lord Carrington has expressed the
adding that Yugoslavia should never have been threatened by air strikes. Henry Kissinger has said:
“I have not been this uneasy
[and this is saying something]
about any American military action since I left the government.”
As to NATO’s insistence on inserting its troops into a sovereign state to oversee an internal power-sharing deal in Kosovo, Kissinger saw nothing
“reasonable or rational”
in it. He likened this demand to
“asking the US to admit foreign troops to return the Alamo to Mexico because Texas’ ethnic mix has changed.”
(Reported in the
of 24 March, 1999).
War – a continuation of policy by other means
“War is politics continued by other (i.e., forcible) means,” said Clausewitz, one of the most profound writers on military questions. As Lenin correctly remarked,
“the Marxists have always considered this axiom as the theoretical foundation for their understanding of the meaning of every war”
(Political Report to the All-Russian Conference of the RCP(B), 2 December 1919).
For our part, we too must stress that war is the continuation of the politics of peace, and peace is the continuation of the politics of war. The war in Yugoslavia has grown out of, and is a continuation of, the politics of modern-day capitalism, viz., imperialism. And this war cannot be understood if we leave out of account
“class antagonisms in modern society, if we leave out of account the fact that the bourgeoisie in each and every one of its acts, no matter how democratic and humanitarian they may seem, is first of all and most of all protecting its class interests”
European Capital and the Autocracy,
15 April 1905).
In the light of the foregoing analysis, we conclude by saying that the war being waged by NATO against Yugoslavia is an unjust imperialist war aimed at cornering and monopolising the world’s energy resources, especially oil, stretching from the Middle East to the shores of the Caspian and Black Seas, that it is a war for world domination and for a share in the booty, and that it is a counter-revolutionary war for strangulating revolutionary proletarian movements.
Tony Blair is lying, as are the other NATO leaders, when he says that “[t]
his is a conflict we are fighting not for territory but for values, for a new internationalism where the brutal repression of whole ethnic groups will no longer be tolerated, for a world where those responsible for such crimes have nowhere to hide.
“We are fighting for a world where dictators are no longer able to visit horrific punishments on their own peoples in order to stay in power.” (Quotations reproduced in
of 12 April from Blair’s article in
The truth is just the opposite of what is asserted by Tony Blair, and he knows it. NATO is fighting for territory, for spheres of influence and maximum profits of the multinational corporations – from the oil giants to the armament manufacturers – who are rubbing their hands with glee at the juicy prize which, they hope, will come their way during and at the end of the war. This war has nothing to do with internationalism, human rights and democracy. It is a rapacious war made by a most blood-thirsty group of imperialist states on behalf of the robber barons and financial magnates of monopoly capitalism. The truth is that Clintons and Blairs are the political representatives of monopoly capitalism who are waging a genocidal war against tiny Yugoslavia, in the interests of a handful of giant monopolies. They are war criminals and perpetrators of genocide and must be branded as such, clearly loudly and unequivocally.
The wider working class (we are not speaking here of its privileged stratum – the labour aristocracy) have nothing to gain from it. They must oppose this war. More than that, they must work for the defeat of the neo-Nazi war-mongering NATO coalition.
Those who are waging this war against other people abroad are also the very people who are in the forefront of those launching attacks on working people at home – the unemployed, the lone parents, the pensioners, the sick, the low paid, the students and ethnic minorities.
The working class must take its cue from the internationalism of the Greek sailors who have refused to go to war against Yugoslavia and whose courageous statements we reproduce elsewhere in this issue, and not from the servile lackeys of the stock exchange and financial capital – the Blairs, Robertsons, Cooks and Livingstones of the stinking corpse known as the Labour Party.
Finally the working class must, as it ponders over the causes of this war, realise clearly that
“it is impossible to escape imperialist war , and imperialist world which inevitably engenders imperialist war, it is impossible to escape that inferno, EXCEPT BY A BOLSHEVIK STRUGGLE AND A BOLSHEVIK REVOLUTION”
The Fourth Anniversary of the October Revolution,
14 October, 1921).
This is the message that must permeate the working class movement.