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From the belly of the beast

Message by the Int`l Action Center, USA, to Assisi 04

31. July 2004

On behalf of the International Action Center, I would like to greet the meeting of the Anti-Imperialist Camp in Assisi, Italy, on August 1-6 and send our solidarity to the participants.

The AIC is known for mobilizing solidarity for the oppressed peoples and nations of the world that are in struggle against imperialism. In most cases it is U.S. imperialism that is the chief enemy of these peoples and nations and the most heavily armed, so it is fitting that we from `the belly of the beast` extend our solidarity to these struggles, whether they be in the Balkans, in Palestine, in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Latin America and the Caribbean, in Korea or the Philippines, in Nepal, or anywhere else in the world.

We see that several organizations that are participants in the Iraqi resistance are scheduled to address the camp. We would like to specially recognize the contribution that the people of Iraq have made to the world struggle for liberation and peace in the past year and send our solidarity. On May 1, 2003, from the deck of an aircraft carrier, George W. Bush boasted that the U.S. had won the war. He and his gang had failed to anticipate the reaction of the Iraqi people and their refusal to accept the role of colonial subjects. He had planned to march on and on to Iran, to Korea, but the U.S. imperialist war machine can barely get out of its armed fortresses in Iraq. This is a tremendous accomplishment of the Iraqis against the most difficult odds.

I think you know all the above already and what you would really like to hear from someone in the U.S. anti-imperialist movement is the state of the struggle in the United States. After all, U.S. imperialism depends on the compliance of the U.S. working class to carry out its war on the world. So what are we doing to end that compliance?

I can report the following. The failure of the Bush administration to control Iraq has caused a split in the ruling class here. There is now much disillusionment with the Bush gang from big capital that had earlier supported all the war plans. This in turn has led to swinging broad sectors of the population against the war and against the occupation. The phenomenon of Michael Moore´s Fahrenheit 9/11, setting all records of attendance for an anti-war documentary film, drawing large audiences even from military base towns, is a sign of the growing mass discontent with the occupation.

We can expect that at the Republican National Convention in New York on August 29 there will be a massive demonstration against Bush that will be essentially anti-war and anti-occupation. The protests in that period, August 26-September 2, are the next big actions planned.

This anti-Bush sentiment is important, but there is another side to it. It is a sign of political backwardness of the U.S. population that during the national elections all political dissent tends to be submerged in the electoral struggle between the Republican and Democratic parties. These parties have different constituencies, and have minor differences in program, but they are both representatives of the U.S. imperialist ruling class. So we have a situation here where a sector of the population that is 80 percent against the occupation will support John Kerry, who himself refuses to campaign against the occupation. He instead wants Germany, France, NATO, the EU to send troops to help the U.S. rule Iraq. Apparently he will offer them a better share of the loot than Bush did, just as Clinton did to the European imperialists when they ganged up on Yugoslavia in 1999.

We in the International Action Center are organizing a hearing of the World Tribunal on Iraq, charging Bush and Company with war crimes, on August 26. This will be in solidarity with the right to resist. That is, the right of the Iraqi people to resist occupation, which is recognized even in the United Nations Charter, and another resistance that can become very important: the right of the U.S. soldiers, sailors, air force and Marines to resist orders to commit war crimes in Iraq…—indeed the duty to resist these orders.

Another important activity coming up is scheduled for October 17. This is the initiative of progressive trade unionists to call a protest demonstration of organized labor and anti-war forces for Washington that day on what is called the Million Worker March. It is also a challenge to the conservative leadership of the labor movement in the United States, who also want to limit all their activity to supporting the Kerry candidacy.

These are the actions planned now, but everything is in motion and changing day by day here and it is all influenced by developments in Iraq as well as in the rest of the world.

Down with U.S. imperialism and its allies, long live the struggle for liberation and for socialism

John Catalinotto, IAC