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The "Battle in Seattle" announced to the world that even in the "belly of the beast", there is outright opposition to the policies of imperialism. Around the world, subsequent meetings of the IMF, World Bank, G8, and NATO have been met with a rising tide of militant protest and increasingly ruthless repression by the ruling class. But the attacks of September 11th cast a shadow over the movement - anyone voicing opposition to the policies of imperialism was considered unpatriotic and even a terrorist - "you're either with us or against us!" This forced the cancellation of the anti-IMF protests planned in Washington DC for late September, 2001.
We are opposed to the horrific attacks and to the tactic of individual terrorism. It is clear that these attacks hurt the workers, and played right into the hands of Bush, and served only to strengthen the more openly reactionary elements in the government. Now Bush has declared an open-ended "war on terrorism", and began by bombing and invading Afghanistan. The ongiong war in Afghanistan is only the beginning of a global push by US imperialism to dominate strategic resources such as oil and natural gas, and to quell any opposition to its policies towards the ex-colonial world.
President Bush has stated that any country that harbors terrorists will be considered as a terrorist state and treated accordingly. It is estimated that al Qaeda operates in 60 or more countries, this allows a lot of leeway for military action. In his State of the Union address, Bush labeled Iran, Iraq, and North Korea an "axis of evil", and has also mentioned Sudan, Somalia and Yemen as possible targets. US advisers are now operating in Yemen and the Philippines, not to mention in Colombia. Bush has proposed a massive increase in the military budget, and is still pushing the National Missile Defense program even though it would have done nothing to stop the hijacked airlines from crashing into the World Trade Center and Pentagon. But spreading this war will not be as easy as Bush and his corporate backers would like.
In the early weeks of the war, Bush had massive approval ratings - it seemed he could do no wrong. He imagined he had been handed a blank check to do as he pleased. The leaders of the world lined up to support Bush, and used his example to declare their own "wars on terrorism" - a cynical cover to attack the rights and conditions of their own people. But as the world economy worsens and the "goals" of the war on terrorism lose focus, there is opposition growing here and abroad to US militarism. Even the Democrats, who supported Bush 99% after the attacks have demagogically raised "concerns" about the scope of the war. The specter of the Vietnam War looms large in the minds of the US ruling class. We must remember that ultimately, the war was not lost in the tiny Southeast Asian country, despite the heroic struggle waged by the Vietnamese masses. In the end it was the opposition of the US working class and the demoralization and breakdown of the military itself which forced the US to withdraw.
After a period of retreat, the energetic anti-globalization movement is reviving - this time against the "war on terrorism". We must make it clear that "globalization" and the "war on terrorism" are both expressions of the same phenomenon - the imperialist aim for markets and influence. On April 20 in Washington DC, there will be a mass mobilization against the war. These protests are the first major protests against the new US "fight terrorism" face of imperialism.
The working class has nothing to gain from the war - only the ruling class stands to profit. While billions are being spent to bomb weak countries into the Stone Age, hundreds of thousands of workers are losing their jobs, millions are without healthcare, and millions live in poverty and hunger in the world's richest nation. The corruption of the entire ruling class was exposed by the Enron crisis. They cannot be trusted to act in the best interests of the American or world working class. In spite of all the patriotic flag-waving and "God Bless America" signs, the "war on terrorism" will never eliminate terrorism or solve the problems of the vast majority of humanity.The only way to rid the world of terrorism and war once and for all is to overthrow the capitalist system which produces the greed, poverty, ignorance, degradation and despair which breed fundamentalism and militarism. The anti-war movement must join with the anti-globalization movement, and these must be linked closely to and led by the labor movement. We call on all workers and youth to join the WIL and to participate with us in the demonstration against the war on April 20. For a working class program and leadership for the anti-globalization and anti-war movement!
* US Troops out of Central Asia!
* Not a Penny, Not a Soldier for Imperialist Wars!
* Money for Healthcare, Education, and Housing!
* Quality Jobs for All!