IBT speaker at Albany Peace Demo

The following remarks were made by an IBT supporter at a "peace" rally in Albany, New York on 9 March. The demonstration drew some 50 people, many of them students from local colleges and high schools.

Ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the world's sole surviving "superpower" has followed a foreign policy agenda that amounts to imposing a "New World Order" in the notorious words of GW's father [George H. W. Bush]. A critical element of this agenda has been an attempt to force the world to accept the idea that the Monroe Doctrine [an 1823 declaration by the U.S. aimed at excluding other colonial powers from further acquisitions in the western hemisphere] applies to the entire Middle East. This war has not been about WMDs or bringing "democracy" to Iraq. It has been about oil-not in the crude sense of the U.S. wanting to seize Iraqi oil fields, but because the U.S. corporations and the military-industrial complex understand that whoever controls the oil spigots throughout the Middle East has important leverage over the global economy. The U.S. imperialists have a vision of beating out their EU, Russian and Japanese rivals by controlling the Middle East through a series of garrison states from Afghanistan to Iraq, from Israel/Palestine to Saudi Arabia.

While giving no political support to the Islamic militants and jihadists, we must recognize that every blow struck against the U.S. military and their puppet police is a blow against imperialism….Bush's handlers recognize this, which is why they have fought so hard for injunctions against showing the body bags and the military funerals. It's why they fly the wounded in at night and try to prevent the media from interviewing them. Bush knows that every body bag brings this military adventure one step closer to the end.

Millions of Americans are appalled by this debacle. Just as millions are appalled by the use of torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. And just as millions are justifiably appalled by the U.S. military assassinating Middle Eastern journalists and killing an Italian official who had recently won the release of a left-wing Italian journalist, in defiance of the U.S. policy of "no negotiations." All over the world people are protesting the brutality of the U.S. occupation. It is our duty to demonstrate that opposition also exists here, in the imperialist heartland. But we must take this struggle beyond the streets, to our schools and to our work places. We need teach-ins and walk-outs in the high schools and colleges and strikes and other political actions on our shop floors.

I am a supporter of the International Bolshevik Tendency. And we believe that the choice before humanity is a stark one: socialism or barbarism. We remain optimistic that there is an alternative to endless military adventures, bloody occupations and inter-imperialist wars. That solution is socialism and the replacement of an irrational economic system driven by corporate greed with a rational, planned economy focused on human needs. The powerful, multiracial U.S. working-class has a crucial role to play in fighting for this future.

Posted: 14 March 2005