From Steve Rosenthal on Progressive Sociologist's list

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Sun Feb 16 12:43:08 MST 2003

In addition to the enormous anti-war marches of millions of people that
took place yesterday throughout the world, there were many smaller marches
and rallies in cities and towns throughout the U.S. and many other
countries.  My wife and I and some of our friends went to a rally at the
Federal Building here in Norfolk, VA, yesterday.  The turnout of about 250
people on a cold rainy day was the largest anti-war rally I've seen in
Norfolk during the more than a quarter of a century I've lived
here.  Consisting of veterans, liberals, church based pacifists, college
students, whites, Asians, and blacks, the rally was covered by the local
television channels and newspaper and was a modest achievement in the
metropolitan area that hosts the largest U.S. naval installations on the
East Coast.  Vast numbers of warships, fighter squadrons, and military
personnel have been sent from here to the Persian Gulf area during the past
few months.

Speakers at the rally mirrored the contradictions evident in the larger
rallies.  There were Democrats, Greens, and pacifists, some of whom
reassured everyone of their patriotism and urged the government not to go
to war without the support of the UN and "our allies."  But there were also
speakers who explained why a U.S. invasion of Iraq is wrong, regardless of
who is bribed or coerced into supporting it.  They described the history of
U.S. ties to Saddam and Bin Laden, detailed the long history of terrorism
by the U.S. and its favorite allies from Israel to Turkey to Colombia,
documented the long record of U.S. defiance and manipulation of the UN,
analyzed the U.S. drive for oil, oil profits, and global domination, and
called for struggle against a system of imperialist capitalism.  The more
politically radical statements drew enthusiastic applause from the audience.

A poll published in our local newspaper today reported that only about half
of the people in this Hampton Roads area support a U.S. invasion of
Iraq.  A majority of women are opposed and only 29% of blacks support
war.  This in a metropolitan area dominated by active duty military,
reservists, military retirees, civilians who work for the military, and
military families.

The sharpening of divisions between the U.S. and most other governments is
clearly having a significant impact on the political consciousness of most
people in this country.  Whatever happens in the UN Security Council in the
coming weeks, the world has entered a period of sharpening
inter-imperialist rivalry.  If France withholds its veto and other
governments go along with the U.S. attack on Iraq, vast majorities in those
countries will be furious with their governments' betrayal.  If there is a
veto or a Security Council majority vote against the U.S. and the U.S.
invades Iraq anyway, the UN will be mortally wounded, millions who have
organized and demonstrated against war here and worldwide will see vividly
that U.S. imperialism will stop at nothing to wage war for global
domination.  NATO and other alliances that represented the main structural
pieces of the capitalist world order for over half a century will be
decisively undermined and will never be the same.

The analysis from Richard K. Moore forwarded by Dan Brook, is, in my
estimate, mistaken and misleading.  Although there are and there will
continue to be immense economic, political, and military ties between the
U.S. and E.U. nations, they will not stop the growing conflict.  It is
worth remembering that capitalist nations had close economic and diplomatic
relations with each other right up to the eve of both world wars, and some
significant economic relations even continued throughout the war.  Trade
and investment do not prevent inter-imperialist wars.

The argument that a trans-national capitalist ruling class has largely
become detached from nation states is a figment of the imagination of the
anti-globalization movement, a movement that mistook U.S. domination for
U.S. omnipotence.  The crudeness of the strategy of Bush and Powell has not
only taught millions that this is a "war for oil" and that underlying the
drive for war is U.S. imperialism.  It has also revealed much more clearly
the re-emergence of inter-imperialist rivalry as the driving force in the
post-Cold War world.  When the Wall Street Journal suggests that it is time
to abolish NATO, it is time for us to realize that our anti-war organizing
efforts should be guided by an awareness that we are in a period of war
times that may well lead to a third world war.  As we participate in all
sorts of anti-war coalitions, our most important task is to spread and
deepen the understanding that "regime change" must mean something far more
than getting rid of the Bush Administration.

Steve Rosenthal

Louis Proyect, Marxism mailing list:

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