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A reply to the Internationalist Manifesto Against the War

16 April 2022

A woman walks past a burning apartment building after shelling in the southern port city of Mariupol.

We have many concerns with the internationalist manifesto circulated at the request of Gilbert Achar and call on the distributors to circulate our response.

We agree with the assessment that the “main culprit for this dangerous situation is US imperialism”. However, the Manifesto, in a methodology frequently applied by Achar, immediately turns through 180 degrees to assert that it was Russian action that reinvigorated NATO and that therefore the overall task is to condemn Russia.

Russian aggression is highlighted and the NATO proxy war ignored.

The evidence is all the other way. The main thrust of the Biden presidency has been to reassert US dominance across the globe. A key component of that has been action against Russia and China and the revival of NATO, alongside the creation of a sister organisation, AUKUS, (Australia, the UK and US) aimed directly at China. All this predated the Russian invasion.

The manifesto declares itself “for the right of the Ukrainian resistance to get the weapons it needs ... from whatever source available”.  We don’t have to speculate about the source. For over a decade the Ukrainian army has been reorganised, trained and rearmed by NATO and has served with NATO in other theatres of war. Weapons have flooded into Ukraine and a new supply of weapons, with greater offensive capability are now on their way. The result will be a war of attrition with more casualties and a greater danger of a wider war, possibly involving nuclear weapons.

The signatories; “pledge to launch, as soon as this war ends, a new campaign for global disarmament”... so the time for disarmament and disbanding NATO is after the war. Why not now, during the slaughter?

We can only react with revulsion to the call for; “the dissolution of all imperialist military alliances and an alternative architecture of international security based on the rule of law”. If we want to end war, we will have to bring an end to the capitalist world order, not propose a new legal system!

The manifesto grandly proclaims itself internationalist. One thing it isn’t is socialist. There is no mention of the working class and its needs.

The workers’ interest is best served by an immediate end to the war, NATO disbandment and Russian withdrawal.  We also need to organise across the globe to defend ourselves from militarism, increasing state power, attacks on freedom of speech and a new level of austerity to pay for this war and further wars.

The manifesto is an obstacle to advancing a working-class fightback.

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