Anti-Globalization Movement must oppose war
by Lorenzo Komboa Ervin (September 2001)
THE 3rd WORLD WAR: Message to the Anti-Globalization Movement
5,000 people have been killed in a murderous attack just a few days ago, clearly stemming from past events in the Middle East. Although the President of the United States correctly refers to this as "acts of war", he does not tell us that this war has been raging for many years, and is fueled by long standing American support of Israel, acting as its military proxy. The US is "no peace loving country," it is the world's largest salesmen of military armaments and has its hands in most of the wars waging around the globe.
Although millions have died around the world because of these wars, thousands have now died in this country because of the militaristic policies of this government, not just because of some scapegaot "Mad Mullahs" in Afghanistan, Iran or Palestine. The USA is the world's most hated colonial power. But in the name of those thousands recently killed in the USA, the President is planning for what he calls a "global war against terrorism". This global war, based on the new "Bush-Powell interventionist doctrine" will allow them to assemble an international war coalition of western powers to invade, occupy, and destroy numerous countries in the name of retaliation and "fighting terrorism. President Bush says that this war will last for years, and will essentially allow political assassination of heads of state, terrorist suspects, and other individuals and groups on the anti-American "death list" of the CIA and military forces. This is state terrorism itself, if not outright im iperialist aggression, even if it is cloaked in the gard of "national defense." It could lead to World War 3 and it must be opposed.
But instead of opposing this new stage of capitalist military and political domination, the anti-globalization movement is retreating. It is mourning, instead of organizing. The Movement for Global Justice (and other organizations which make up the movement) recently postponed its demonstrations in Washington, D.C. against the International Monetary Fund because of the attacks on September 11th. it is not clear that they intend to do anything in this period of crisis at all, and may even be dismantling its coalition entirely.
Even though this act of terror in the USA could be just the beginning of an all out war, the anti-globalization movement, a mass movement of millions and probably the most active anti-capitalist movement to be seen in decades, is taking a position of neutrality, if not outright abstention. However, if they passively stand by, these events could ultimately result in the slaying of millions, even resulting in the use of nuclear weapons. Further, the USA is not immune to another attack, killing even more like at the WTC. Where does it stop? According to Bush "if we hit them hard enough, they will give up". This will not happen.
Because there can be no peace without social justice, we must oppose this war on political and moral grounds. International poverty and racial/neo-colonial oppression are at the root of the conflict in the Middle East and many parts of the world. The same international elite that exploit the 3rd world and poor people at home are the same ones who would benefit from a war. They make and sell the military armaments, they benefit from Defense Department government contracts, and they have the coziest relationship with the Wall Street. The International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization, and other capitalist international institutions would love a war, and clearly covet Middle East oil reserves, which would be theirs outright if they can take over from those "meddlesome" Arab nationalist regimes and the oppressed peoples of those countries. And if they can silence the anti-globalization movement and other international movements, they can do that with ease. Clearly this movement cannot police itself for international capitalism, no matter the nature of this war, that is whether it seems "just" from the U.S. side. We cannot see the world as Americans, but rather as internationalists.
It is racism and national chauvanism to only be concerned with American deaths instead of consistent international mass murders of innocent civilians. Using right-wing patriotism, the U.S. politicians are pushing us towards a global catastrophe. The task of the Anarchists especially in the anti-globalization movement has to be to build an *anti-war* movement in opposition to any further military engagement. This retaliation is not for the good of the people of the USA or the rest of the world, it is for global domination.
This anti-war movement has to understand that it must call for an end to international terrorism, both that of small internal non-state resistance groups and that of nation-states. It must use its force of numbers and ability to gum up the works to prevent what clearly could be world war 3. After a few years of war, it will not matter who started it, the blood of civilian victims will flow like wine or water. We need to put ourselves in harm's way to stop this military preparedness, and prevent further attacks by the war-mongers on both sides. Clearly, the anti-globalization movement has the numbers and the organization to be a major factor in building an international anti-war resistance, now whether it has the political will to do so is another matter entirely. One thing for sure, whatever it does now will impact its legacy, and either the victims of the future will curse its inaction or praise its bravery.
- published on Struggle (19 September 2001)