Welcome... / FRFI 169 Oct / Nov 2002

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FRFI 169 October / November 2002

As we write the October/November issue of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! Prime Minister Blair is preparing to bathe in the blood of the Iraqi people, just one year after Britain and the US flattened Afghanistan. Al-Qaida vanished as the dust rose from the rubble of one of the poorest nations on earth.

It is over a decade since the Gulf War, but in reality the military attacks have never stopped. Since 1997, the Labour government has spent around £1 billion bombing Iraq, killing 1,500 people. Meanwhile, UN sanctions kill 180 children every day, over half a million in total, according to UNICEF, by denying them medicine and food stuffs. These were the sanctions that many on the British left, including Tony Benn, pleaded for as an alternative to war; a deadly, silent and costless way to kill a nation (see page 8/9).

The anniversary of 11 September was commemorated with great fanfare and the crocodile tears of imperialist leaders. This so-called War on Terrorism unfolds like a science fiction nightmare. We are reduced to the role of a cinema audience, watching helplessly, perched terrified on the edge of our seats. Whose war is this, which Blair told us would reshape the world in Britain’s interests? It is certainly not a war to safeguard human life. Almost three times as many Afghani civilians have been killed as the number of people who died in the Twin Towers. This is not a war for justice. This is war over oil, a strategic war for control of the world’s resources. It is a war to demonstrate the military superiority that comes with spending hundreds of billions every year on weapons of mass destruction. It is a war of political and economic domination.

If possessing weapons of mass destruction qualifies a country for attack, then what about the vast arsenals of western Europe and the USA? Britain spends more on armaments than any other NATO country except the USA. And what about Israel, which has the fourth most powerful military force in the world, including nuclear weapons? If breaking UN resolutions is the issue then why is there no war on Israel?

The Revolutionary Communist Group has never had illusions in the Labour Party. Our book Labour: a party fit for imperialism demonstrates that the party was founded to protect the interests of a layer of privileged workers. These privileges are based on imperialism – the exploitation of the people and resources of the oppressed nations. This means that the Labour Party is inherently imperialist.

Racism is the form that national oppression takes within imperialist countries. Britain is a racist country. Labour is a racist Party. While Blair fights imperialist wars abroad, Home Secretary David Blunkett launches racist attacks on asylum seekers and minority ethnic groups at home (see page 16).

No-one who considers themselves progressive or socialist can possibly justify remaining a member of this racist, imperialist Labour Party. That includes the darlings of the left, such as Tony Benn, Jeremy Corbyn and George Galloway. Whilst they are happy to take centre stage on every ‘leftie’ platform and strongly oppose ‘New’ Labour and Blair, they do not take any effective action against Labour imperialism or Labour racism. They refuse to renounce their own membership of the party. Is it fear of losing the status and privileges that arise from being MPs? Or is it because they have never conceived of the destruction of capitalism and the working-class taking power in a just and equal society? Leaders of the trades unions are no better. Their threatened revolt against Blair’s warmongering withered into a standing ovation by two-thirds of the delegates at the TUC in September.

The Revolutionary Communist Group believes that we must build an independent working class movement against capitalism, against racism and in unity with the poor and exploited who constitute the majority of the world. Join us in building it! If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.
Don’t just get angry, get active!

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