No War but the Class War


The following page is a collection of documents by the group Internationalist Perspective, along with an introduction by Red & Black Notes


Days like These

The consequences of the horrific slaughter witnessed upon the citizens of New York on September 11 continue to echo around the globe. It is likely that the spectacular suicide crashes of the two aircraft into New York's World Trade Center buildings will be remembered for decades to come.

Yet the atrocity is not the unique occurrence many commentators have described: Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Mei Lai; the death camps of Treblinka, Auschwitz; the Soviet gulag. All litter the political landscape of recent memory. Whether carried out by states under the "justification" of national self-defence, or by national liberation or other armed organizations, the use of terror against civilian populations has an all too common feel to it. What is new in the events of September 11 is that they took place in the heart of the United States, signaling that the world's most powerful imperialist nation and only remaining superpower will no longer be excluded from the cycles of terror that have been a reality for so many other nations for so long.

Indeed, as capital has pushed across the globe, its social polices have been responsible for creating global shanty-towns of hopelessness; themselves spawning grounds for the politics of desperation and hatred displayed on September 11. In the case of Osama bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda network, there is a particularly ironic twist: It has become common knowledge that he was a creation of the US proxy war against the USSR in Afghanistan in the 1980's. Bin Laden's providers, the Taliban militia were themselves the creation of US-ally Pakistan. This horrific Frankenstein is not an isolated incident. Just as in the case of Saddam Hussein and Manuel Noriaga, the US has created a puppet that has learned to walk without strings.

Instead of asking the forbidden "why," the actions are attributed to "evil" men who must be made to pay The natural outpourings of grief and sympathy for the victims of September 11 however, have been pushed into a sinister direction. Shortly after September 11 US President Bush announced "You're either for us, or you're for the terrorists." Across North America the cry has been not whether civil liberties will be curtailed in the "war against terrorism," but by how much. Although "terrorist groups" are allegedly the focus, the state will not waste time turning its suspicious eye toward leftist organizations it deems insufficiently patriotic. In Ontario, even before September 11, the state and cops publicly referred to the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty as a terrorist group. But for capital, although a symbol of capitalism was destroyed, life has gone on. Not a day has gone by when a firm laying off thousands of workers has not solemnly declared "everything has changed since September 11 . . . " and that's why we're firing you: Oil prices jump, the airline industry sheds massive numbers of workers, banks show record profits.

Opposition to the war in Afghanistan has largely fallen into two reciprocal groups. The most popular approach has been to argue that "war is not the answer." This is merely the tired old slogan of negotiation and sanctions. Many who argued that bombing Iraq was not the answer to the invasion of Kuwait readily agreed to support sanctions. Sanctions, that are still in place and have cost hundreds of thousands of lives. Ironically some of those who call for "peace" are secretly revolutionaries. In the US, the Workers World Party (WWP) formed its own anti-war coalition, Act Now to Stop War & End Racism (ANSWER) which, at a recent demonstration in San Francisco carried signs which read "save American Lives by stopping US Aggression abroad." Similar sentiments can be found in Canada. As reported in the October 24th issue of Socialist Worker, the newspaper of the International Socialists, as Canadian troops sailed to the Middle East members of the IS joined a protest carrying peace signs and wrote "we were a presence both in solidarity [!] with the troops themselves and against Canadian involvement in the war."

The other position taken by some on the left has been to say "Defend Afghanistan against Imperialist Attack." The Spartacist League (International Communist League ) and the International Bolshevik Tendency in the eighties quite rightly criticized other leftist groups for their back handed support of the CIA-backed Mujahadeen fighters who today include both sections of the Taliban and the Northern Alliance. Ironically, in the name of a curious "anti-imperialism" they have now switched sides in the conflict; even though few groups have been willing to call the Taliban "anti-imperialist" who can deny they are fighting an imperialist power?

Despite the apparent difference between these two positions they are in reality merely a reflection of the same worldview: A re-division of the world according to a new imperialist balance of power. The articles contained in this pamphlet are drawn from a different political tradition and perspective: One which sees that capitalism is a global system and that as a global system, it will not alter the balance of forces to support larger or smaller imperialist powers.

Fischer / December 5, 2001

A slightly different version of this introduction appears in Red & Black Notes #14


Four of the five articles published here are by the organization International Perspective, which publishes a magazine of the same name. Information concerning publication details follow each article. For more information about IP, contact them directly by writing to as follows to

AM : PO Box 40231

Staten Island, NY, 10304, USA


 The Reality of the First War of the Twenty-First Century

Refuse Both Terrorism and Militarism

The Rationality of Self-Destruction

Profit Kills

Islamism: Political Ideology and Movement