The Republican Communist Network is proud to be part of the SSP, which has consistently upheld the line of opposition to the threatened war on Iraq. It has led the anti-war movement in Scotland on a principled basis. The SSP and the RCN are completely opposed to any war against Iraq regardless of any subsequent resolutions or votes in the United Nations. We are aware that present in the anti-war movement are elements who will drop their opposition once a second UN resolution has been agreed. The UN is a veil for imperialism. The five permanent members of the Security Council – US, UK, France, Russia and China – all have weapons of mass destruction. They have the power of veto while continuing to bully and bribe other states into adopting their line.

We condemn the vicious dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and the Baathist Party, both of which have enjoyed the support of the US and UK states in the past, when brutality against Iraqis and others, met immediate imperialist needs. We support those democratic and socialist forces struggling to overthrow the Iraqi regime. However, this does not include those who were previously enthusiastic supporters complicit in this torture-house of the Iraqi people. Remember Afghanistan!

Never before in history has such a vast and internationally coordinated opposition to a war existed before a conflict has exploded into full scale war. Using the excuse of the atrocities of September 11, the US is taking this opportunity to implement their plan for total war and full spectrum dominance. Furthermore, if they get their way, this will only be the first of many wars. As Gore Vidal has put it, US state policy now means permanent war for permanent peace! Opposition to specific government policies and actions and support for anti-militarist reforms will not be enough to counter this new phase of imperialism. We now have the makings of a genuinely international movement, being formed from the anti-globalisation and anti-war struggles. We must counter the imperialist drive for permanent war with the need for permanent revolution.

The main enemy is at home

Our main target must remain the ruling class here in the UK, represented by Blair and his clique. They are a vital support to Bush and the US state. The socialist strand in the anti-war movement in the UK therefore must play a pivotal role. The state’s difficulty must be our opportunity. We must continue to support the fire-fighters in their struggle, giving them confidence and strength to pursue their fight for a proper pay settlement while defending the quality and quantity of the service they provide. Prescott’s proposed enforced settlement heralds a new more general drive against trade unionists, particularly in the public sector. The use of the armed forces to cover fire duties weakens the war drive. The ruling class always claims they have no money to improve wages or public services, but they always find money to wage war and destroy lives. If there is a war, thousands of Iraqi men, women and children will be slaughtered and our social services will continue to crumble.

However, we can stop this war. If, following on from the mass, international demonstrations on February 15, the Labour government ignores the will of the people for peace we must intensify our struggle to include strikes, more demonstrations and organised, mass civil disobedience. Blair’s Labour government has no democratic mandate to pursue this war.

To end war, end capitalism

The imperialist drive for war is inevitable but it’s success is not. The 1914-18 war was stopped in part by mutinies and strikes including the Russian Revolution. Similar forces undermined the US war against the Vietnamese, which of course the USA lost.

To end, forever, the threat of war requires the ending of capitalism, a system based on profit competition and environmental destruction, and its socialist transformation to a society based on the needs and co-operation of the entire human race – communism.

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