Workers Solidarity Movement's Position Paper On The Gulf War (1991)

Workers Solidarity Movement's Position Paper on The Gulf War (1991)

1 The American presence in the Gulf is not to protect democracy or the freedom of small nations but rather to look after its own oil interests and establish a military base from which to police the gulf.

2 The UN is a rotten organisation, serving only the interests of the big imperial powers, particularly as it can only intervene with the permission of the imperialist countries.

3 Kuwait never was a democracy, if anything it was a feudal puppet of American interests. Until recently the same could be said for Iraq. However we oppose the forcible annexation of Kuwait and call for the immediate withdrawal of Iraqi troops. If Kuwait is to become part of Iraq it must be on the basis of the expressed will of the people who live and work in Kuwait.

4 Saddam Hussein's Iraqi regime is responsible for the massacre of tens of thousands of Kurds and workers. It was used as a puppet by American imperialism in the war between Iran and Iraq. Iraqi workers have absolutely no interests in protecting this regime.

5 Saddam was however put in power and maintained there by America serving to protect its interests in the region. This particularly highlights the real reasons behind the American actions. If they win they will place their man in control of Iraq, if they lose they have their ex-man in control. Obviously the Iraqi workers gain nothing from the overthrow of Saddam by American imperialism.

6 We oppose any US or any other western presence in the Gulf, we oppose the intervention of the UN. In Ireland we are against the re-fueling of US planes at Shannon or any other aid to the war effort and we urge Shannon workers to refuse to refuel US planes. We are against any Irish intervention through the UN.

7. Our side is that of the Iraqi workers and peasants. We wish to see them defeat Western imperialism and overthrow their tyrannical rulers. In Israel we wish to see a common struggle by Israeli and Palestinian workers for a secular, socialist Palestine.

8 We take no side between the major imperialists led by the U.S. and the would-be mini-imperialists led by Saddam Hussein. Saddam is no anti-imperialist and tying Iraqi workers to an "anti-imperialist" front with him would be criminal. The regime would betray such a struggle as soon as it believed it was n their own class interests to do so.

9 The task of anarchists is to argue for a boycott of war materials and for the building of an anti-war movement that is also anti-imperialist. For an American defeat to have progressive content it must be through risings in Middle Eastern countries.

10 We reject the argument that Iraqi workers should suspend the class struggle against Saddam to form a common front against imperialism. They should mount a military defence against Western imperialism but one that is also directed at overthrowing Saddam and his regime.

11 We call on Kurdish workers not to allow themselves to be used as cannon fodder by the imperialists against the Iraqi regime but rather to remain independent of both regimes and if the event arises demand support for their national rights from any Iraqi workers' organisations that arise.

12 If we were in a position to do so we would call on the workers of the countries in which the Americans are based to refuse to handle anything connected with the war, as a lead-up to declaring a general strike demanding US withdrawal. We would, simultaneously, call on U.S. workers to refuse to handle any war materials destined for the Gulf.

13. In the West our key task is to break Irish workers from any ties with their bosses. The war provides an opportunity for doing this. We should get Irish workers to to side against Western imperialism through using slogans like "Western forces out of the Gulf".