Draw a Clear Line Between the Politics of War and the Politics of Peace

Reprinted from "The Worker," newspaper of the Workers Party, USA.

February 27, 2006

As the anti-war struggle develops, the people are becoming more and more outraged at how the Democrats collaborate with Bush. After all, the Democrats' "criticism" of Bush is that he has "mismanaged" the war and "doesn't have a plan for victory."

Confronted with the growing consciousness of the anti-war activists, the opportunists are resorting to new ways of infiltrating the Democratic Party into the anti-war movement. The opportunists will denounce various leading Democrats, while, out of the other side of their mouths, the opportunists insist that the people rally around the "good Democrats" in Congress. For example, various liberals, social democrats and the so-called "Communist" Party, are using the ongoing mass actions against the war to try to channel the movement into the 2006 elections.

This "bad Democrat, good Democrat" routine is a double and triple fraud. For more than 50 years this trick has held out the hope that even though the "bad Democrats" are at the head of the party and set the policy, the "good Democrats" might some day gain power. This slippery slope logic was used in the last election to get anti-war activists to first embrace Kucinich, then Dean and finally Kerry.

Secondly, when one looks into the stand of the so-called "good Democrats," one finds that in both words and deeds they support the war. Their "opposition" boils down to this: while they vote the money for the war, they piously mouth a few words calling for an "exit strategy," i.e. calling on Bush to begin talking about setting a date (sometime in the future) to begin withdrawing some U.S. troops, if the security situation in Iraq warrants it.

The plain fact is that the politics of the Democratic Party is openly and unabashedly the politics of war and imperialism. And the anti-war movement cannot be indifferent, passive, or neutral about this fact. The Democrats are a very real presence in the anti-war movement. They work every day to reconcile people to the line that the U.S. must "stay in Iraq, now that we're there," to buy time for Bush to continue the war as well as to promote the entire ideology and war program of imperialism. If we remain silent about this influence and refuse to oppose it, it will continue to corrode the consciousness of people and divert the struggle.

Most importantly, the line of rallying behind the "good Democrats" and the line of refusing to actively oppose the Democrats, work to prevent people from taking matters into their hands and strengthening their own independent, anti-imperialist politics and organization.

But this is precisely the burning issue facing us: to give an organized, political expression to the aims, program and demands of the people. This is the program of fighting for the immediate, unconditional end to the war and occupation in Iraq; this is the program of fighting for the immediate, unconditional end to the war and occupation in Afghanistan and Haiti, for an end to U.S. aid to Israel, for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops stationed abroad and an end to U. S. intervention in all its forms. This is the program of anti-imperialism.

In our opinion these two issues are not matters of choice but necessity. To defend the unity of the anti-war movement and advance our struggle, we must:

- Denounce and Oppose the Republican and Democratic parties - the parties of war.

- Strengthen the independent, anti-imperialist politics and organizations of the people themselves.