Anarchists Against The War



The U.S. government claims that its aggression against
Iraq is part of a so-called War on Terrorism, which
began after September 11, 2001. Actually, the rich and
powerful do not care about the deaths of the nearly three
thousand working people who lost their lives in the
World Trade Center attacks. If they did, they could
save the lives of many times that number in their honor,
by providing universal health care and by enforcing
safety regulations in workplaces.

Though Saddam Hussein's regime has an interest in maintaining
its ferocious domination over the Iraqi people and in
increasing power in its region, Iraq had nothing to
do with the crimes of September 11th. Nor does it pose a
significant military threat to the U.S. It is the U.S.
who is not only the main possessor of weapons of mass
destruction in the world today but the main broker of
these weapons to other countries. There is no dispute
that Hussein is a cruel dictator. Unfortunately, the
world is full of cruel dictators, most of them U.S.
allies or lackeys. Hussein should be removed from power
by the Iraqi people, who should also decide, for
themselves, how they wish to live. There is no moral
justification for the mighty U.S. to slaughter the
people of Iraq on the grounds that the Iraqi state might
someday be a danger. This slaughter is an act of
international aggression.

The real reasons for the U.S. war are economics and
power politics. Iraq sits on a huge supply of
oil. Control of oil means control of the foundation of
world industrial capitalism. Yet oil is a limited
resource, as well as one that pollutes, contributing to
the greenhouse effects that have been ruining our
planet. As long as we have industrial capitalism, big
corporations and their states must not only control
everything within their power but must continually
exceed their existing influence and range. The people
of the world must replace industrial capitalism with an
ecologically-balanced, cooperative system of production.

With this war, the U.S. wishes to demonstrate
that it is the most powerful, most dominant state on
earth, that its empire is the world. The U.S. openly
seeks to dominate poorer nations to show that they must
obey its will and not act independantly, as Saddam
Hussein attempted after being a U.S. agent. With the
collapse of the state capitalist Soviet Union, a
struggle for dominance is also fought out behind the
scenes with wealthy competitors, the imperialist states
of Europe and Japan.

Capitalist states like the U.S. exist to wage war. Their
international relations are battles for supremacy.
Most of their budgets are dedicated to military expenditures.
Their economies are intertwined with military spending. They
direct national trade and foreign investment to profit from
other countries. Big wars and small wars, hot wars and
cold wars--this is how and why they exist. Their
weapons threaten to destroy all life and to further
devastate the world's ecosystem. To limit their wars,
we must put pressure on these states. To end their wars,
we must end all states.


A new anti-war movement has been growing in the U.S. and
internationally. It is much greater now than at the
same stage in the Vietnam war. Along with established
left groups and peace organizations, the new movement
includes neighborhood and church groups. It includes
working people, as well as a growing representation from
within organized labor. It includes Black and Latino
groups and women's organizations. It overlaps with the
anarchist-influenced movement opposing neoliberalism and
working to achieve international social justice, notably
the cause of Palestinian liberation from colonialism and
political oppression.

A large movement is necessary, including a wide range of
viewpoints and methods, operating in a democratic and
pluralistic fashion. As anarchists, we are prepared to
work in a united front of anti-war forces, but we also
intend to work critically, to say what we think in an
open and honest manner. We hope to win over as much of
the movement as we can to our point of view.

We need a movement that does not rely on or work with
the Democratic Party. Neither in election campaigns nor
on the congressional floor have Democrats opposed the
war or the government's repression, though a few
Democratic politicians make pro-peace statements.
Their purpose is not to change the Democrats from a
party of war but to divert the dissent of the ani-war
movement to permissable, diffuse channels that won't
upset the status quo.

We need a movement that does not have illusions in the
United Nations or in multilateral action among
imperialist states. The UN represents governments and
their ruling classes, not the people of the world.
Relying on the UN is to justify the war, not oppose it.
Without supporting Saddam Hussein, we must clearly
state that the U.S. has no right to intervene in other
countries. We hope the U.S. is defeated in its
aggression. Regardless of what the UN says, we must
oppose this war.

We need a movement that has real social power to stop
war. The rank-and-file of the military can do this,
by refusing orders. The near-revolt of the ranks in
the Vietnam war played a big part in ending it and in
the abolition of the draft. Today, the military relies
on the 'poor draft', which leads many working class
youth into the dead end of military indenture.
If U.S. service men and women see that this war is
not in the interest of working people, neither in this
country nor in Iraq, they may stand up against it.

The multiracial, multinational U.S. working class also
has the power to stop the war, by ceasing the
production and transportation of war goods. They can
refuse to let pro-war concerns stop them from striking
for their needs. Right now, workers with representation
in organized labor are struggling for their rights.
Unions are relatively weak and top-heavy with
bureaucrats. But a real class struggle program would
shake up the capitalists and their state.


The are many confused ideas and misconceptions about
anarchism or anti-authoritarian socialism. Anarchism
is the most radical, participatory, decentralized and
direct form of democracy. An anarchist world is one
where capitalist corporations would be replaced by
networks of self-governing worker and consumer
cooperatives. Where armies and police forces would be
replaced by popular militias. Where society would be
managed by a federation of popular councils and
associations. Where technology would be redesigned to
function in balance with nature. Where creative,
fulfilling, self-directed work would be the rule, not
the exception. Where the poverty-stricken parts of the
world would be helped to develop in their own way, by
their own choice.

Such a world will not come about by itself. As we have
seen in the attacks against the anti-globalization
movement and in struggles for labor and human rights
around the world, a dedicated, unified movement for
social revolution will be fought aggressively, by the
U.S. state and its wealthy competitors. This is
what we mobilize to fight for.

New York City
February 15, 2003