Why We Must Take Things Into Our Own Hands

July 20, 2004

by Bill Foster

In my experience more and more people want to join in the anti-war struggle, yet many are having a hard time finding activities to get involved in.

A big part of the reason is that the organized forces of political opportunism are working hard to liquidate the anti-war struggle and replace it with electioneering for John Kerry and the Democratic Party.

The opportunists have gone so far as to actively undermine anti-war actions (such as the important and long-planned demonstration at the Democratic Party Convention and actions on June 30 organized to expose the fraud of the so-called "transfer of authority in Iraq").

The opportunists are undermining these mass actions because they don't want to embarrass John Kerry and have his real pro-war stand put under the spotlight.

The facts are that Kerry has not only ardently supported the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq but has continually expressed the concern that Bush may "cut and run" before the war is won. On July 4, Kerry again criticized Bush for not sending enough U.S. troops to Iraq. Kerry said: "We know that a chief of staff of the Army, General Eric Shinseki, was right when he argued that more troops would be needed to establish security and win the peace in the weeks and months after Saddam Hussein's fall." (Kerry, Op Ed article in the Washington Post, 7/4/04). And in the same article, Kerry again insists that U.S. troops will have to stay in Iraq "for a long time to come."

But the political opportunists are silent about this and the rest of Kerry's 100% pro-war, pro-imperialist stand - silent about his all-out support for Israeli aggression, silent about his program for increasing the size of the U.S. military, silent about his threats against Korea and Venezuela, etc.

In my opinion, covering over the pro-war stand of Kerry and the Democrats is a political crime, a crime against the consciousness of the people. Just as Bush lied about "weapons of mass destruction" to mislead public opinion about the aggressive character of the war, so opportunism is lying in order to mislead public opinion about Kerry's plans to continue this imperialist war.

The current activities of political opportunism should teach us important lessons.

Firstly, it is clear as noonday that the capitalists are using the elections as a way to actively liquidate the anti-war movement by substituting electioneering for the independent movement of the people.

Secondly, we can see that as long as the anti-war movement remains in alliance with and under the tutelage of the Democrats, political opportunism will liquidate the struggle at the key times.

The fundamental lesson is the anti-war struggle can only consolidate itself and keep growing if it is organized in opposition to and struggle against the Democratic Party and its opportunistic so-called "left-wing."

It is the people themselves who must take all the issues of the politics and organization of the anti-war struggle into their own hands.