Letters to the Editor: What Does It Mean to Be "Anti-War?"

I recently had a discussion with a student "activist" about what it means to be anti-war.

He insisted that the anti-war movement must be led by the Democrats.

I reminded the "activist" of some of unpardonable crimes of the Democrats, who for decades have waged aggressive wars against the peoples of the world and who keep beating the drum for war against North Korea, Syria, Palestine and other countries. No Democratic politician fights for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq or other countries for the simple reason that their party is a vehicle through which the U.S. capitalist class extends its imperialist domination of the world. Adherence to the line of the Democratic Party is a way of importing pro-war politics into the anti-war movement.

With these facts put on the table, the "activist" admitted that these politicians were not genuinely anti-war. However, he insisted that such politicians as Dennis Kucinich and Cynthia McKinney are the "best we can do" because their constituents, the people, would never support the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

This activist turns the world upsidedown. According to him, pro-war politics does not come from the capitalist class and its political parties - the Democrats and Republicans- but from the masses of people. Accusing the people of being the source of pro-war sentiment and backward ideas is a slanderous attack. In the past 3 years, tens of millions of people have created a massive anti-war movement through their own efforts, despite the intimidation and infiltration by the capitalist class to liquidate the movement. The masses of people are not only overwhelmingly against the war, but they are the motive force that will ultimately bring about a genuine and lasting peace.

In the end, cornered by the real political facts, this "anti-war" activist exposed his real stand. As it turns out, he is not really anti-war at all but insists that Iraq needs an "external force" to keep the Iraqi people from killing each other. "Of course I'm against the war, but we can't just withdraw immediately," he said.