According to the Sunday Times, two British service men were sent home from the Middle East after refusing to fight in the war against Iraq. The two face a court martial and up to two years in jail for disobeying orders.

With the latest issue the Socialist Appeal journal in Britain has gone fortnightly. It will be published twice a month for the duration of the war and its immediate aftermath. This is an important step forward for the forces of Marxism in Britain. It is a clear indication that Marxist ideas are getting a wider echo in the British Labour movement. To mark this occasion, we are publishing the Editorial of the first fortnightly edition.

Now the battle for Baghdad is under way, capitalist commentators are going euphoric. The war against Saddam could possibly be over in days. The stock market is already rocketing up on the prospect. Capitalism is renewed, such is the current mantra.

Tony Woodley, the left candidate for general secretary of the 800,000 strong (British) Transport and General Workers' Union, opened his election campaign by launching a bid to "reclaim the Labour Party", which was at odds with the union in a number of important policy areas.

As we go to press the TV is broadcasting scenes of US 'victory'. Yet if we have learned one fact in recent weeks it is that the first casualty of war is the truth. This war is not finished yet no matter what the headlines say.

Barbara Humphries looks at the conflicting tendencies within the British Labour Party on the question of war. It is clear that the rank and file members of the party have always tended towards opposition to war, while the leadership has swung the other way. At times however the opposition has been so strong that it has limited the ability of the Labour leadership to put all its weight behind war efforts such as the US war on Vietnam.

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Revolution 2018 - a three-day festival of Marxist ideas
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