Socialist Studies Socialist Studies

Peace Talks or Socialism?

Protest or Socialism?

What of the opposition to the Syrian civil war in the UK? Stop the War, although it condemns Russia and Iraq, weights its criticism of the conflict in Syria against the US and the UK for invading Iraq in 2003. This might be true but they demonstrate against the UIS and the UK but never against Russia and Syria. In short, they take sides.

Stop the War Coalition sees the US as the villain of the piece and portrays its ambitions of global plunder and world domination as though the US has a monopoly over war, conflict and destruction. Putinís annexation of the Crimea did not bother the leadership of Stop the War Coalition but US imperialism and Trumpís decision to order military strikes against Syria has led to call for demonstrations and political action.

Stop the War conveniently forgets that the capitalist class of all the nation states in the world need to be able to enforce and defend its interests in the world. This means that capitalist governments must keep exclusive control and use of the forces of the state to pursue its interests alone. The political machinery of government remains in the hands of a tiny minority so that it can be exercised to enforce class exploitation at home and to plunder land, populations and resources of their rivals abroad. The US does not have a monopoly in geo-political war and

Here is Stop the Warís message to the working class:

Please ask your MP to support the campaign against Trump and May's plans for escalation of the war in Syria. Military interventions from external powers have failed to bring an end to the war. The only solution in Syria is a ceasefire on all sides and a political settlement.

While countries are pursuing their interests in the region ďa ceasefire on all sides and a political settlementĒ is remote. And MPs will support the airstrikes if they believe it is in the interest of the UK not what their constituents might or might not think.

Unlike the Stop the War Coalition, socialists point out to the working class that wars and conflicts are a direct result of global capitalism. A political settlement in Syria would only be a settlement in capitalist terms. A political settlement would not benefit the working class in the region. The only solution to end all wars is the one consistently put by the Socialist Party of Great Britain - to end the cause of war first requires the working class to abolish capitalism.

The Stop the War Coalition does not exist for this purpose and are as politically ineffectual as CND before them. For decades CND organised protests for the abolition of nuclear weapons and were not successful. All the leading capitalist countries have nuclear weapons and North Korea has just joined them.

Stop the War does not explain why wars occur in capitalism. They do not criticise the existence of nation states (except the present territorial contours of Israelís borders). There is no socialist critique of war and there is no socialist conclusion that to end war you first have to end capitalism.

While capitalism exists and rival nation states compete over resources like oil, water and gas, spheres of strategic influence and pipelines and trade routes there will be death, destruction and misery afflicting one generation of workers after the other.

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