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Monday, Feb. 24, 2003 at 5:14 PM
Letter from a young revolutionary communist
"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 again.
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 uncertain situation.
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 could be.
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 struggle today.
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 brutal grip.
Another World Is Possible! And We Pledge To Make It Real!
This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
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