1990s >> 1999 >> no-1138-june-1999



    * Legal war?
    * Mistaken identity
    * “Socialism” or what?


Legal war?

Dear Editors,
I am horrified to watch that NATO are waging war on Yugoslavia without declaring war, in fact, no UN Resolution was passed by the Security Council permitting NATO’s barbaric bombing of Serbia.

I do not condone ethnic cleansing anywhere on this planet, equally I cannot condone Anglo-American-led NATO International Gangsterism in the Third World, getting one country or religion against another and promoting proxy wars for hegemonistic goals.

The Western alliance which arrogantly describes itself as the “International Community” has now embarked on a multi-faceted aggressive campaign to bring Iraq, Yugoslavia and other Third World countries to their knees.

Curiously, Russia and China, permanent members of the Security Council of the UN, are not being consulted; on the contrary they are being rebuffed. China is more interested in her world-wide economic interest and as such China is not challenging the Anglo-American aggressive designs anywhere. The US has become the UN and Kofi Annan its General Secretary, is reduced to an American stooge.

I often ask myself: what have we done to deserve this. “New World Order” or more appropriately “New World Disorder”, especially after the ending of the Cold War.

Is this what is called the “Ethical Dimension” of foreign policy? The self-appointed “International Community” has become judge and jury and executioner.

In the political dictionary, the word “imperialism” is out of style but the barbaric bombing in Serbia, Yugoslavia tells us that “imperialism” is alive and kicking, bullying, intimidating, bombing and killing small nations of the third world.

AVTAR PABLA, Coventry  

It is true that, unless they conform to the UN Charter, wars are technically illegal under international law. Yet even since it was adopted in 1946, wars have gone on in some part of the world, the biggest of which, the Korean War, was waged under the UN flag. This merely illustrates what Socialists have always argued, that peace treaties are merely worthless scraps of paper. We have never placed any confidence in the UN as a means of stopping war. As wars are caused by the rivalry between capitalist states over markets, trade routes, investment outlets and raw materials that is built into capitalism, only the abolition of capitalism and its replacement by the world-wide system of common ownership, democratic control and production for use not profit can do that- Editors.  


Mistaken identity

Dear Editors,
I can’t work out your rationale on Serbia—Stop the bombing!!—Stop the bombing!! And? Then what? Count how many hundreds and thousands of Albanian Kosovan refugees have been forced out of their homes?

Count how many unmarked, mass, civilian Albanian Kosovan graves are currently being filled over by Serb tractors?

Count how many Albanian Kosovan women, young and old, have mysteriously “disappeared” into “Serb safekeeping”?

Count how many Albanian Kosovan houses, shops, workplaces, villages and small towns have been left in smoking ruins by the Serb military?

Count how many mines the Serb authorities are placing around all the Kosovo borders so that Albanian Kosovans “who have nothing to fear” can feel safe and wanted in their own country?

Is this the same SPGB who claim to be on the side of the oppressed and powerless? Supporting the demands of one of the most brutal, right-wing, authoritarian, unreconstructed, military regimes in Western Europe? With the Serbs’ proven track record in Bosnia and Croatia over the last 10 years?

Shame on you?


Although we are in favour of the immediate stopping of all wars, i.e. of the killing of innocent workers on both sides, the posters you have seen proclaiming “Stop the Bombing” have not been put up by us, but by some Trotskyist group which is no doubt supporting Serbia as the lesser evil in the current NATO-Serbia war. So your criticism is misdirected. Besides, of course, as V.I. Lenin you may be their uncle but you’re no relation of ours.

And just because we don’t support the NATO bombing campaign does not mean that we therefore support the Serbian army. We are against both sides, Serbian capitalism as well as NATO imperialism who are fighting over an issue—who should control the territories of the former Yugoslavia—which is not worth the sacrifice of a single worker’s life- Editors.  


“Socialism” or what?

Dear Editors,
Your pathetic reply to Paul Azzario’s letter (April Socialist Standard) illustrates quite convincingly the need to change the name of the party.

When the “S” word is propagated by Socialists, the bemused recipients will have mental pictures triggered of anything stretching from the Labour Party, the “Socialist” countries via Russia’s Soviet past. Surely, even you must admit that nearly 100 years of dedicated slog, has produced no discernible dent in the solid front of political ignorance.

Socialist propaganda goes in and out of the mind with the greatest of ease, because actual examples of Socialism in action are difficult to point to, thus the mind has nothing to work on.

Whatever Socialists do, life will be difficult, so I am suggesting that they try “Lateral Thinking” to assist in getting around part of the problem.

At the moment Socialists use “Direct Thinking”!, e.g. we are “Socialists”! and refuse to change our name no matter how great the confusion! It is the “Charge of the Light Brigade” mentality, the ruinous head-on clash! We count the few survivors and honour them but we are no nearer to Socialism.

Why not attack from the flank. Disarm the enemy by changing your name and use only meaningful words, where others cannot follow. E.g. “One World, Free Access to Everything Produced”. This is a bit of a mouthful, but it is pure Socialism, where no-one else can follow!

I am sure that a competent wordsmith can improve on such a heading, which cuts out all mistaken ideas associated with that “S” word. Supporters of Blair, Benn, Yeltsin, Castro, Trotsky and others will have the ground cut from beneath their feet and be forced to start thinking positively—for the first time.



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