Letter from a young revolutionary communist
Confronting the Warmakers, Visioning a Different Future
Revolutionary Worker #1188, February 23, 2003, posted at rwor.org
"There will be no safe place in Baghdad." The words of U.S. military
strategists haunt me as I drift to sleep. Images of unfathomable wreckage and
destruction force themselves on me. Of the millions who will be trapped in a
city under siege. Of families buried alive in their own homes--or listening to
the screech of cruise missiles not knowing if they will be the target. Of the
thousands who will survive the bombs only to suffer a slower death as their city
is cut off from water, food, communication and medicine.
The empire has locked its sites on Iraq and the world is told to fall in step
or risk being next.
On their side is the weight of a brutal history, the blood of millions from
Indonesia to Iraq, from Nicaragua to the Philippines. There are Black Hawks,
bunker-busters, smartbombs, tens of thousands trained to kill and die for empire
and conquest. There is the scream of bombs, the combined lying power of CNN,
NBC, ABC, and a whole medley of hourly war-hungry propaganda and distortion.
There are military tribunals, "disappearances," torture islands in international
waters, wiretaps, profiling and shredding of basic rights. These are the tools
of a global power fiend trying to extend their grip--the tools of world-class
gangsters trying to ensure that no one is ever in a position to challenge them
Their arrogance, their cruel glee at their own butchery, their lying
hypocrisy, their seeming disregard of the people's heroic struggles is part
of their game .
We have to stop them.
And even as we can see their nightmarish world shaping up around us--of
Apocalypse Now around the world and Minority Report here at home--another side
is shaping up as well.
Think about it: The nation's most beloved poets are disinvited from the White
House and instead lend their poetry to the struggle against the war. Rebel kids
seize their five minutes in the ring with prime- time reactionaries and, in the
eyes of millions, make them into fools.
We give notice that there is a new, see-you-in-the-streets generation that
will not turn over the future of the planet to murdering cowboys. Those who
dwell in America are taking off the blinders--beginning to see the rest of the 6
billion people on the planet, acknowledging their humanity and acting on the
understanding that our futures are bound together. People who only a few months
ago were going about their own business are leading tens of thousands to take on
the biggest bully on the planet.
Society's voices of conscience have been relentless in breaking ranks and
making their moral opposition a force that inspires millions. Whole towns and
cities are rejecting reactionary laws like the Patriot Act. Veterans from the
imperialists' own military machine have reached inside themselves and found the
strength to tell the truth to the new recruits about the horrors of unjust wars.
We have the best poets and the bravest fighters.
Hundreds of thousands fill the streets again and again and again. Our voices
are joined with millions of people around the world, taking the streets in
opposition to this war.
But more is needed. Much more. First there is the urgency to do
everything we possibly can to stop this war. Using all our imagination,
defiance, skills and unity to speak to and mobilize millions. Behind their
fronting and force is the fear of a bully. Dubya and his gang need a
passive and cowed population because they are entering a high-stakes and very
What we do now will powerfully echo around the world, letting people hear
from people in this country who oppose the global oppressors and sparking
further resistance in other countries--which in turn will re-echo back here.
We need to make our resistance so strong that it makes it impossible for Bush
to pretend that he represents the will of the American people. We need to
support outbreaks everywhere, and we also need to build for a leap in the
intensity, strength and broadness of the resistance for the Moratorium on March
5. We need to make the Moratorium a powerful unified day that
dramatically exposes the utter illegitimacy of what Bush is doing--a gigantic
statement that we don't want this war. We need to galvanize those ready to act,
and go as far as we can in transforming tens of millions who are questioning
things, or even going along for now, into active resisters.
But what if, after 90% of the planet has made it known that they do not want
war, the U.S. goes to war anyway?
An unjust war is a terrible thing. It is also full of uncertainty. But wars
that begin between governments can end as a result of the action of the
people.... Especially if and as the bombs fall, it will be more important
than ever that the whole world see that there are people, with a whole new
generation at their head, who totally reject this war and are determined
to end it. They have to see people in the U.S. reaching out and making
common cause with them. They will draw encouragement from our actions, just as
we will take heart from theirs.
And if the imperialists go ahead with this brutal assault on Iraq, what does
it really say about them? To me, it is further proof that their profit-over-all
system is totally bankrupt and empty and will never bring about anything but
greater suffering for people all across the planet. It proves that we cannot
make peace with the future they are trying so desperately to nail in place. It
proves that we have to look elsewhere for a future worth fighting for.
Well, I have a vision of a different world, and I can see it emerging right
now, in the heart of the struggles of today. A future worth living and fighting
and dying for.
When I see women and men challenging and learning from each other on the
front lines--I picture a world where the abuse and domination of women is total
history, where women and men are truly equal in every way. When I see
native-born people joining in the struggles against the attacks on immigrants I
picture a world without borders, where one nation doesn't dominate the globe,
and where white people don't dominate and oppress people of color.
When I see hundreds of thousands, learning to move together, how to struggle
over differences and how to unite when it really matters, I imagine a whole
society--like the vision in the RCP Draft Programme--governed by the people,
struggling over priorities, with a revolutionary new power to come together and
solve the problems we face.
When I see the youth take to the streets and face off riot cops for people
halfway around the globe they have never even met--I see proof that "me-first"
isn't some law of nature, and that people are capable of great determination and
self-sacrifice for something much bigger than themselves! When I see religious
pacifists, and anarchists, and democrats, and revolutionary communists go into
battle together, even as we discuss our differences, I see that we can have a
society that thrives on and fosters diversity and debate. And when I hear the
songs and poems from the new people's artists--I get a taste of what humanity
When I see young people joining with veterans of the '60s to get into
revolution and raise the banner of MLM I see a growing force taking
responsibility and mastering the ideological tools to lead this new world into
being. When I see this new world coming into being in the revolutionary base
areas of the Himalayas I know that a better world is more than just a dream.
It may seem weird, for me to be talking so much about a better world even as
blood and fire loom on the horizon. We didn't ask for this war, with all the
horror that it entails. We didn't ask for this world, with all the misery that
keeps it going, even in the "peaceful" times. But when we face reality as it is,
we see the need to wrench something beautiful out of the muck and madness. RCP
Chairman Bob Avakian has taught us that the chance at a better world does not
emerge without confronting its opposite. And I know it will take a great
revolutionary struggle to bring about a whole new society.
But what we do today has everything to do with what will be possible
tomorrow. And the clearer our vision of tomorrow, the more powerful will be our
As they line up their forces for invasion, we have to develop a dynamic
resistance. Not just keeping on in the face of adversity, but seeing the
potential in a changing line-up, in millions of allies emerging from unexpected
corners of society. Not simply persevering, but stepping it up, finding daring
new ways to inspire those still on the sidelines and send a message of love to
the people of the world. Definitely not buying their arrogant bully's stance,
meant to intimidate, but resisting and ridiculing these bloodstained
"evil-doers" for daring to lay claim to our beautiful planet. Exposing them for
the global power fiends they are. Now is a time for heroes. For self-sacrifice
and determination to bring to bear all the fighting strength, accumulated
understanding, love and passion of millions.
Now is also a time for clarity. A time not to be thrown or lose sight of the
glimmer of a different future, even as they bring down heavy destruction and try
to break our fighting spirit. We will keep our heads up, because we can see a
better world emerging within our struggles--because we know who really
represents the future, and who is just clawing madly to extend and tighten their
Another World Is Possible! And We Pledge To Make It Real!
This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker
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