Imperialism & War

In a shock announcement, Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has told Russian state media: “NATO, in essence, is engaged in a war with Russia through a proxy and is arming that proxy.” In an uncharacteristically angry tone, he accused NATO of fighting a proxy war by supplying military aid to Ukraine, just at a time when western defence ministers have gathered in Germany for US-hosted talks on supporting Ukraine through what one US general called a “very critical” few weeks.

As ever, the outbreak of war has led to all manner of hypocrisy and propaganda from the agents of imperialism. Marxists must cut through this fog, and point out the real class interests at play. To end the horrors of war, we must end capitalism.

As the Russian army continues to shell the cities of Ukraine, the western press and politicians are doing their utmost to conceal the role of western imperialism in the disaster. Far from being a neutral party, the West have been provoking the conflict for their own imperialist reasons.

Were we to believe the war propaganda of the western imperialists, we would have to conclude that the current crisis in Ukraine began on 24 February 2022, when Putin ordered Russian troops to enter Ukraine. This is a reactionary imperialist war that we oppose, but our opposition has nothing to do with the hypocritical denunciations of the West. In fact, the crisis has a long background in which western imperialism has played an aggressive role – in Ukraine and throughout Eastern Europe.

We publish here a document written in 2016 by the leadership of the IMT as part of a discussion about the role of imperialism today and the character of China and Russia. We think it can serve to clarify questions that have been raised in relation to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The recent letter in praise of NATO by British Labour Party leader, ‘Sir’ Keir Starmer, is designed to impress the establishment whilst chastising the left. Instead of offering apologies for western imperialism, the labour movement must fight for socialist internationalism.

The conflict that has erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan is the bloody legacy of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the restoration of capitalism. This is a barbaric war with reaction on all sides. All the powers intervening in the conflict claim to be victims, but the only real victims are the working people, on both sides, who are paying with their blood for the cynical and reactionary games of their leaders. Only internationalism and class struggle can direct the workers against their true enemies: their own ruling capitalist class. This statement by our Russian comrades

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The coronavirus crisis is creating dissent within the ranks of the armed forces. This is a worrying development for the capitalist class, and a harbinger of explosive developments to come.

Today is the 45th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon. Prior to this denouement, from 30-31 January 1968, 70,000 North Vietnamese soldiers, together with guerrilla fighters of the NLF, launched one of the most daring military campaigns in history. The Tet Offensive was the real turning point in the Vietnam War. In 2008, on its 40th anniversary, Alan Woods analysed the events that led to the Vietnam War and the significance of the Tet Offensive in bringing about the defeat of US imperialism, and drew some parallels with Iraq.

On 28 June 1914, two pistol shots shattered the peace of a sunny afternoon in Sarajevo. Those shots reverberated around Europe and shattered the peace of the whole world. This was the beginning of the Great Slaughter. Could it have been avoided? Alan Woods uses the method of Marxism to answer this question. He explains that, actually, whilst individuals play an important role in history, to explain events such as wars, one must look at deeper causes.

At a recent public meeting at Queen Mary University in London (hosted by the Marxist Student Federation), Hamid Alizadeh of marxist.com provided a history of the Kurdish national liberation struggle, looking at how Kurdish fighters have consistently been used as pawns by the imperialist powers in their belligerent games.

In the third episode of IMTV  the International Marxist Television channel, hosted by the UK section of the IMT, Socialist Appeal Francesco Merli provides a Marxist analysis of the situation in Israel and Palestine.

The spectacle of celebrations for the opening of the new US embassy in Jerusalem on Monday 14 May stood in stark contrast with the bloodshed in Gaza, where on the same day, 59 Palestinian demonstrators were killed and more than 2,700 injured by Israeli snipers. As we stated in a previous article, the mass resistance movement by Palestinians in Gaza for the right of return for the Palestinian refugees of 1948, and against the 12-year-blockade by Israel, has been growing despite the harshest repression by the Israeli Army.