Approved by the Plenary of the ILPS First International Assembly, May 25-27, 2001
Zutphen, The Netherlands
Workshop No. 4
The Cause of Just Peace against Wars of Counter-revolution and Aggression and against Nuclear, Biological, Chemical and other Weapons of Genocidal and Random Mass Destruction ================ The 20th century bears abundant proof that indeed, “Imperialism means war”. Two inter-imperialist world wars in the first half of the century caused death, suffering and destruction that dwarfed all previous wars put together. In August 1945, the US dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, each obliterating an entire city and killing tens of thousands within seconds. Rather than put an end to war and herald a new era of peace, this bore a grim omen of the horrors imperialism would still inflict on mankind.
The US emerged from the two world wars as the most politically and economically powerful nation in the world. With its atomic bombs, it was militarily supreme. On the other hand, socialist states arose from the ruins of world war in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and Asia. By mid-century, socialism had encompassed one-third of the world population. Socialism was thus transformed from a mere vision to a real alternative for the exploited and oppressed peoples of the world. The socialist path to peace through the eradication of exploitation and social iniquity posed a challenge to the bourgeois road of harmony between ruler and ruled, exploiter and exploited.
The Soviet Union's acquisition of nuclear capability in 1949 broke US imperialism's short-lived monopoly and forestalled its aggressive thrust toward world hegemony. The Cold War started out as a struggle between the US-led imperialist camp and the socialist camp. The imperialist powers embarked on a strategy of containment to prevent their colonies from taking the path to socialism through revolution. Multi-state economic and defense alliance organizations were formed for this purpose such as North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) and Central Treaty Organization (CENTO).
To blunt the people's demand for national freedom, the imperialist powers granted formal political independence to some client states while ensuring and preserving economic control over them. Political domination was effected through control of the military and the cooptation and collaboration of the local ruling classes. These puppet regimes violently suppressed popular struggles for genuine peace, freedom and democracy. In many countries in Asia, Africa and Latin-America, wherever there was danger of a client state losing out to a national liberation or decolonization movement, the imperialist powers resorted to overt intervention and aggression.
The Cold War transformed into a conflict between the US-led alliance of Western imperialist powers and the Soviet Bloc led by the Soviet Union. All in all, 45 years of the Cold War wrought as much death, destruction and human misery as does a world war. On the other hand, it was also marked by successful liberation and de-colonization struggles.
The US and USSR embarked on a nuclear arms race and rapidly acquired the capacity to annihilate mankind several times over. Contrary to the US imperialists' dream of nuclear monopoly, Britain (1952), France (1960), the People's Republic of China (1964), India (1974), Israel and Pakistan eventually acquired the capability to produce nuclear weapons.
Various agreements to reduce the probability of nuclear war have been inked among the nuclear powers. But these could not stop the arms race nor the danger of nuclear war. Imperialist wars of aggression, intervention and genocide, domination and oppression of weaker states and peoples, and nuclear blackmail continued. These were resisted and opposed by national liberation struggles, socialist states, workers' parties, and by a broad array of peace, anti-war, anti-nuclear and anti-imperialist movements.
The US suffered its first humiliation in its war of aggression in Korea where it was defeated despite the use of the newly-established United Nations Organization under the guise of “defending democracy”. After its humiliation in Vietnam 25 years later, the US adopted a low-intensity-conflict geopolitical strategy to subvert the Soviet bloc regimes and to contain and defeat the anti-imperialist struggles in the third world. This was also aimed at securing local support for its imperialist policies and neutralizing and coopting the anti-imperialist, anti-nuclear and anti-war movements at home.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union and East European regimes in 1989-91, the Western powers declared the end of the Cold War and the beginning of an era of world peace. They launched a massive ideological and propaganda offensive proclaiming “globalization” — the unprecedented integration of all economies into the world capitalist system — as the path to universal harmony and progress. But after a decade of untrammeled implementation of so-called neoliberal policies, it has become clear that the “new world order” is really nothing but the old disorder gone worse.
Upon the disintegration of the Soviet bloc, the US and its European allies freely expanded NATO and used it to instigate and intervene in various local conflicts to secure control of oil reserves and pipelines in the Balkans, Caucasus, Caspian Sea, the Near East and the Middle East. In Asia, the US has strengthened bilateral security arrangements such as basing, access and cooperation with Japan and other countries in the region. In Africa, imperialism launched a cruel war, by using Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi against the revolutionary Congolese, causing 3.5 million deaths.
Inter-imperialist contradictions are growing at high speed. The European Union, aiming at becoming a competing imperialist power, is starting the development of its own European army to intervene, whenever necessary, and pursue its own political and economic interests. US imperialism colludes and collaborates with Germany, Japan and other imperialist powers in waging wars of aggression and fomenting proxy wars against weaker and smaller states. At the same time they maneuver and compete against each other for a bigger share of the world market, wider spheres of influence, and ever more countries to dominate.
Meanwhile arsenals of nuclear, biological, chemical and other genocidal weapons have not been dismantled. Rather, their continuing development and production remain a lucrative business for the monopolists who control their nation's military-industrial complex. Russia remains a nuclear power. The threat of inter-imperialist war, even a nuclear war, looms larger and is in fact more inevitable than ever.
In the midst of an insolvable crisis in the world capitalist system, the oppressed and exploited peoples all over the world are advancing their struggles against wars of counterrevolution and aggression by imperialists and their puppet states in neocolonies and against nuclear, biological, chemical and other weapons of genocidal and random mass destruction.
A. The ILPS aims to prevent, frustrate and ultimately defeat unjust wars of imperialist aggression and the use of nuclear and other genocidal weapons, and shall work for genuine peace based on freedom, social justice and equality among nations. The ILPS:-
Condemns imperialism as the main source of war and upholds national liberation, social emancipation and the policies of peaceful coexistence among nations, i.e., mutual respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit as the path to genuine peace.
Aims to expose, oppose and thwart the interference and intervention by imperialist powers in the internal affairs of nations.
Demands the disarming, dismantling and destruction of all existing nuclear and other genocidal weapons and a total ban on their manufacture, development and deployment, as in the case of the NMD (National Missile Defense).
Demands the dismantling of imperialist regional military alliances, especially NATO, and the abrogation of such treaties as the US-Japan Security Treaty and Defense Cooperation Agreement; and they oppose the development of a European army.
B. These shall be undertaken through the following means:-
Launch information and education efforts for a deeper understanding of and unified stand against imperialist wars of aggression and the use of nuclear and other genocidal weapons. This includes:-
a. Building a common understanding on how imperialism has led to two world wars and the Cold War
b. Exposing and opposing the imperialist hand in current post-Cold War conflicts such as in the Balkans, the former Soviet republics, Turkey, Iraq, Palestine, Southeast Asia, Colombia, Congo and others.
c. Conducting studies on recent and current wars of aggression and countering the imperialist propaganda line that local conflicts are rooted in racial and ethnic strife, border disputes, corruption, and despotism in order to rationalize imperialist intervention in such conflicts.
d. Promoting a fundamental understanding among progressive forces and people's organization as to how military production is rooted in the structure of capitalist production relations.
e. Holding conferences, symposia, etc. for the purpose of common study, information dissemination and for organizing and galvanizing various forces into undertaking common programs and specific actions.
Build a broad anti-imperialist peace movement consisting of various international and national movements, formations and outstanding individuals committed to the cause of just peace. This movement shall reject bourgeois pacifism and shall have a clear commitment to oppose imperialism as the real source of war and uphold national liberation, social emancipation and peaceful coexistence among nations as the path to genuine peace.
Build national and international networks for research, interfacing, coordination, etc. This will facilitate production and dissemination of information and analyses of concrete situations and problems relating to the question of peace.
Undertake national and international campaigns to expose, oppose, and eventually help defeat specific cases of imperialist intervention, aggression and genocide. Focus shall be on current conflicts such as in Colombia, Congo, the Balkans, Iraq, Palestine, the Philippines, and Turkey.
Actively promote and engage in solidarity work in support of peoples struggling against imperialist aggression and intervention. Create and muster widespread opposition to acts of aggression and intervention and to the use of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction.
Serve as a coordinating center for various independent initiatives of member organizations relating to the quest for peace.
Cooperate with all institutions, organizations, parties and other formations that oppose imperialist wars of aggression and intervention and the use of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.
C. In their own countries, regions and specific concerns, the participating organizations shall:-
Undertake campaigns and programs to help advance their people's struggles for genuine peace and against wars of aggression and the use of nuclear and other genocidal weapons. These campaigns and programs shall be an integral part of the people's struggle for basic social reforms, and for respecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of nations.
Expose and oppose the militarists, fascists, agents of imperialism and all those advocating and carrying out policies of aggression, interference and intervention, fascism and genocide.
Coordinate with other participating organizations and support each others' efforts and specific campaigns.
Approved at 6:00 PM 26 May 2001
Abdou, Idrissa – Onide Assalam Niger (Niger)
Alcuitas, Ted – BC Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (Canada)
Alves, Jorge – Debout Congolais (Congo)
Ballesteros, Jaime – Organizacion de Solidaridad con los Pueblos de Asia, Africa y America Latina (Spain)
Barkey, Chuck – Latin Amerika Centrum Den Hague (Netherlands)
Casambre, Rey – Philippine Peace Center (Philippines)
Casambre, Cora – Philippine Peace Center (Philippines)
Chartzalakis, Yiannis – Committee Against Military Bases (Greece)
Custers, Peter – Bangladesh PeopleÃ¢ÂÂs Solidarity Center (Netherlands)
De Vos, Paul – Anti-Imperialist League, Belgium (Belgium)
Ecresa, Laarni – Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Philippines)
Lambrou, Aris – Militant Movement of Working People (Greece)
Lidasan, Amirah Ali – Moro-Christian People's Alliance (Philippines)
Quail, Brian – Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament & Trident Ploughshares (Scotland)
Ray, Ranjit Dhar – All India Anti-Imperialist Forum (India)
Sonali – Progressive Organization of Women (India)
Pestieau, Jean – Anti-Imperialist League, Netherlands