lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Jan 31 16:09:22 MST 2003
The Militant, Feb. 10, 2003
Why antiwar protests dont stop wars
(Reply to a reader)
BY PATRICK ONEILL
In his letter, Joe Lombardo asks about the Militant coverage of the antiwar
protests. Along with "international pressure," such mobilizations, he says,
are "all that is stopping the launching of war" by the U.S. government.
Wars and depression are the outlook provided by this system. Such
developments go hand in hand with a push against workers rights, as the
bosses and their government seek to carve more profits from working people
and to curtail our ability to fight back.
Antiwar protests have never by themselves stopped the imperialists march
to war. We shouldnt draw the wrong lessons from the U.S. defeat in
Vietnam. Washington was defeated by the workers and peasants of Indochina,
who waged a heroic and increasingly large-scale war against the most brutal
and heavily armed power the world has ever seen. The antiwar protests and
the defeatist moods that penetrated the armed forces were important allies
in that revolutionary fight.
At present the large antiwar protests have a pacifist stamp characteristic
of a pre-war period. Alongside the capitalist politicians and liberal
forces, who will fall in behind the war effort when the shooting starts,
are many young people looking for a way to respond effectively to the
brutality of capitalism. The Militant aims to provide factual coverage of
the war buildup and to explain scientifically the foundations of the war
drive. We also explain that out of the struggles of today and tomorrow,
including the fight against imperialist war, working people will go through
the defeats and victories necessary to forge a revolutionary movement. Only
by overthrowing their rule can the capitalists be disarmed and the drive to
war be stopped.
Workers Vanguard No. 795, 17 January 2003
What brought an end to the Vietnam War was not NPACs peace crawls or even
the more militant civil disobedience protests. Rather it was the
battlefield victory of the Vietnamese workers and peasants, who were
fighting not only to expel the American invaders but for a social
revolution against the capitalist order. We called for military victory to
the North Vietnamese deformed workers state and the South Vietnamese
revolutionary fighters and raised the slogan All Indochina Must Go Communist!
The Spartacist League fought to win radical antiwar activists to the
proletarian struggle. In an October 1967 leaflet titled From Protest to
Power, we explained:
A political movement built solely around the war is incapable of unifying
the various forces of discontent within American society. On the contrary,
the necessary support given to the suppression of the American working
class by establishment doves[antiwar Senator] Wayne Morse is a leading
Congressional advocate of government strike-breaking while the liberal
establishment, including King, unanimously supported the bloody suppression
of the ghetto risingsis a major obstacle to building a mass anti-war
The anti-war movement can force Johnson to withdraw U.S. troops only if he
is more afraid of it than of the victory of the Vietnamese Revolution. No
demonstration, however effective and militant, can do this. Only a movement
capable of taking state power can. The anti-war movement has no future
except as a force for building a party of revolutionary change.
Today, as well, we fight to break the ideological chains that bind the
working people, oppressed minorities and radicalized youth to the lesser
evil Democratic Party of American imperialism. The central task remains
the forging of a revolutionary workers party to lead the workers to power.
Only by wresting the means of production from the hands of the capitalist
imperialist rulers and creating an international planned economy can the
needs of the billions of toilers now consigned to hideous poverty begin to
be met and the threat of war ended once and for all. Anti-imperialism
abroad means class struggle at home! Defend Iraq against imperialist attack!
Louis Proyect, Marxism mailing list: http://www.marxmail.org
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