A surperficial reading of the current international situation could let think that a modification is under way in the aggressive process of imperialist bipolarisation, engaged since a few years, between the USA and some of the European countries standing behind the Franco-German couple.
Would the bourgeoisie of these two imperialists poles have suddenly given up their fundamental opposition of interests ? Has the warlike policy of the USA - developed especially by the Bush administration since September 11, 2001 - been postponed at the second level ? And more globally, the generalised warlike confrontation that the world bourgeoisie prepares, as ultimate "way out" vis-à-vis the economic crisis of its system would it be abandoned today?
At first sight, it would be thus a historical reconciliation which is under way between the USA and Europe. Accompanied by a great gesture of diplomatic travels, by successive tours in Europe of the big names of the American government, it is "the policy of the hand held out " which is proposed and everyone (imperialist) can please on the will of "reconciliation" which would currently dominate: one declares to whom wants to hear it that the quarrel which has occurred concerning the war in Iraq is not setting any longer, that it is a bad episode which forms part of the past henceforth. On both sides, one displays a will of greater co-operation so as to found "peace" and "democracy" in the world. And all of them congratulate each other about the "successful" elections in Iraq, they affirm their "getting closer" on the Israel-Palestinian question, up to Blair who perceives, with an obvious satisfaction, the possible end of its posture of false-referee between the USA and Europe: "It is a good sign that France and Germany, with which we were in disagreement on Iraq, work very narrowly with us about Iran " (AFP [French Press Agency] 08/02).
Such a major reversal of the situation would have obviously an immediate impact for the revolutionaries and would have to involve a significant modification in their reflection and their intervention in the working class. Would they have the possibility to lower the guard in the denunciation of the warlike preparations of the international ruling class ? Could they be diverted of their work of explanation, of setting ahead the major reasons which lead capitalism to a new generalised imperialist war ? Would they have the possibility of concentrating their propaganda effort elsewhere than in firstly denouncing a warmonger system ? Could they consequently give up, for a while, warning the proletariat against the risk to be involved behind the current national union campaigns which, historically, always preceded and accompanied the warlike conflicts ?
Actually, the fundamental interests of these two imperialist poles, as well at the economic, political, as at the strategic and military level, are more and more clearly opposed and in a number increasingly more significant of the world areas.
A detailed analysis of the various zones of tensions - on which the imperialist gangsters, especially the largest ones, divide today - would require a lot of pages of our bulletin such is great and complex the overlap between the economic, strategic, political interests in these various zones. We will limit ourselves, here, to answer a question : does the "historical" meeting between the American and European government representatives make it possible to conclude that an appeasing or, on the contrary, a reinforcement took place in the warlike tensions ? In other words, does the grip of the warlike orientation of the world bourgeoisie - such as it has been set in place these last years - go towards a looseness or, on the contrary, towards an increase of the pressure, i.e. towards an intensification of the warlike preparations ?
One would make only a crass and dramatic mistake while trusting, even partially, the official statements made at the time of C. Rice and Bush's, journeys to Europe. Actually, the assertion of the "great reconciliation" between the USA and Europe is especially a question of "public relations" (i.e. of completely untrue propaganda), a vast operation of communication which badly masks a redoubled affirmation of the tensions between the two imperialist poles. From the point of view of the American interests, these travels expressed rather the aggressiveness of Washington and clearly appeared for what they were : a very insistent attempt to push the advantage obtained by the US policy, the last two months, in particular with the elections in Iraq and the resumption of the "peace negotiations" between Israelis and Palestinians ; and that, with the aim of putting the European rivals in bad posture (if they look at the "results" obtained by the policy of Bush's administration, weren't the Europeans wrong not to support it ?), to even carry them back behind the US spangled banner so as to defend their alleged "common values" throughout the world. As for the answer of Europeans to this aggressive policy, we will let speak the German chancellor Schröder who summarised their position perfectly while saying, after Bush's visit to Berlin: "We agreed not to underline any more the topics on which we do not agree". One cannot be more diplomatically clear !
On the main "files" about which Bush came to seek a "consensus" with the Europeans, it is almost a fiasco. The interests of the great imperialist powers prove to be increasingly antagonistic.
Iraq ? If the American government could not hope for a radical change of the whole European countries opposed to the Anglo-American military intervention of 2003, nevertheless the stake, from this point of view, was to obtain a minimum support from Germany and France, by wringing from them an engagement to be more involved on the terrain, in particular for the formation of the Iraqi forces of security. The platonic enthusiasm of the latter did not succeed in masking their heavy reserves : neither France, nor Germany, nor Spain will invest themselves or will take part on the Iraqi ground ; their contribution will be limited to an help for the formation of military and police forces, but out of the Iraqi territory.
As for the economic (and policy) burden that Iraq represents for the Anglo-American coalition, it is in no way relieved, and the extra 82 billion dollars that Bush has just obtained US members of Parliament to finance his military operations, in particular in Iraq, will have to be re-examined for the rise.
Armaments sales to China ? The USA did not obtain the retreat they hoped concerning the European countries unilateral decision for removing the embargo, dating from 1989, on the weapons sales to China. For the United States, this question is part of a priority strategic stake : to limit China claim to reinforce its armament capacitie for fear of a rupture in the balance of the forces in the Taiwan strait. For Europe it is, above all, the economic and commercial constraints which are the priority : the European Union is China first trade partner and this one is the second partner of Europe. "The greatest challenge of the UE, for the coming years, is the reinforcement of the ties with China" declared the new European Commissary of Trade Policy, P. Mandelson, before going to Peking (AFP 23/02/05).
NATO ? It is a true failure the USA endure concerning their claim to give, under their supervision of course, a legitimacy to this organisation. Anticipating the American will of starting up again this institution, Schröder gave the tone: "NATO is no longer the principal place where the transatlantic partners discuss and co-ordinate their strategies… its potential has not been fully used because the attitudes of "getting it alone" from the part of certain States" (quoted from the AFP 15/02/05). In other words, Europe does not want NATO under US protectorate, it has got other places where it can co-ordinate its imperialist strategies : they are those which concretize, in particular, within and around the Franco-German alliance. From a military tool of intervention, NATO became a "forum of consultation" after Bush's visit to Europe, therefore brought back to be only one simple organ of informations exchange.
On the Lebanese question for example, Bush and Chirac expressed highly and strongly, once again, their deep convergence concerning the withdrawal of the Syrian troops from this country. After having been the principal protagonists of the vote, against Syria, of the resolution 1559 in the UN, here is that the assassination of the Lebanese grand bourgeois Hariri is, for them, the opportunity to accentuate their pressure on Damascus and to gather, on the place, behind their common orientation, most of the Lebanese bourgeois fractions (which organise, since then, great "popular" anti-Syrian demonstrations in Beirut). The current evolution of the situation in this country can enable us to think reasonably that Hariri was sacrificed, by the USA and France, for the benefit of their combined interests, and not on the altar of the Syrian interests, as one wants to make us believe it. The goal of the two great imperialisms, before they engage the battle one against the other, is to get rid of the third small thief (a small "gangster of district") which, until now, has the insolence to play its own card. The current agreement between Paris and Washington, which is done on the back of Damascus, is not a sign of appeasing of the imperialist antagonisms. It carries, on the contrary, competitions and warlike tensions at higher level.
The other example on which Americans and Europeans would be "as thick as thieves" is Iran. According to Schröder: "There is a community of objectives between the Europeans and the Americans to lead Iran not to obtain an atomic weapon… the two sides of the Atlantic wants to achieve this goal by the way of the negotiations." There still, it is clear that these "big godfathers" seek to lower the ambitions of a "second knife", to prohibit it "to play in the real game". And there still, they clearly indicate that they will do everything, from now on, so that the imperialist confrontations which will be on the agenda, are primarily those which oppose them against each other.
The results of this masterly and excessively mediatised Bush's journey ? A message of "reconciliation" in direction of the public opinions of the whole world, whereas actually, it is the certainty that the warlike tensions not only will persist but also will worsen.
"It is time, now, to unite us for the cause of peace " said Bush, greeted by Chirac and Schröder.
Beyond the propaganda which relates to the immediate events, it is a question of making believe that capitalism can be "a system of development, of peace and of freedom for all" - provided that the goodwill of the dominant class links their forces for it - whereas it reveals, each day in a more obvious way, its bankruptcy and its incapacity to give answers to the human needs.
No ! The tensions between the imperialist powers which rule over the bipolarisation of the today capitalist world are not clamed down under cover of Bush's travel to Europe. The number and the contents of the sensitive questions approached during various "summit meetings", the continuing major disagreements testify and open the perspective for a new heating for the tensions between these two main imperialist poles.
The capitalist barbarity, for which the great powers have the essential responsibility, is not ready to subsite. One would like, for example, to make us believe that Iraq is on the eve of a lucky period of its history since democracy triumphs there, as it seems. Didn't all the ruling class saluted in the elections these "people which walk towards freedom and democracy" ? However, each day, the war rages everywhere in this country, the bombs make tens of new victims within the population and the situation is far from improving for this one. And it is the same sweet talks that all the bourgeois propagandists serve us concerning the other conflicts which set ablaze the planet.
The preparation of the generalised war is not behind us ; it is indeed in front of and it is checked, each day, in a brighter way.
One has only to look at the disgusting exploitation developed about the catastrophe of the Tsunami in Asia to be convinced of this criminal orientation in which the world bourgeoisie tries to involve all the society. In addition to the nationalist orgy in which it wanted to involve the populations (specifically the proletariat), in addition to the squalid overbid game in which all capitalist States have engage, without exception, in connection with the financial assistance delivered to the populations, victim of the disaster, in addition to the hypocritical calls to "the generosity" of each one, calls to be pulled in behind a ashamed show of "solidarity", it was also an immense swindle, built by the dominant class for purely military goals (see article in this same bulletin).
How not to see, in this international operation known as "solidarity", a common military operation of life-size ? After having quarrelled about the highest financial promises extorted to the populations, the great powers States sent thousands of soldiers, tens of warships, tons of military materials with the only goal of testing and improving the logistic capacities their armies.
The Japanese Ministry for defence straightforwardly estimated that sending of 700 soldiers constituted "a test for future military deployments in the area " (remarks collected by the daily Mainichi).
The French government did not remain in margin of this military operation; its Minister Villepin draws the lessons from the French intervention during this catastrophe proposing three requirements : "urgency vis-a-vis not easily foreseeable situations, evaluation to improve quality of our speed of intervention, gathering on a nation scale and on the international community level " (AFP 15/02). In addition to the military aiming, the operation known as of solidarity has an ideological goal which cannot be more clearly : each government proposes to be exerted "to gather the nation " behind the State.
An other significant example of the ideological campaign, aiming to warlike preparation, it is that which relates to the deafening and obscene beating which was made, especially in Europe, at the moment of the commemorations of the release of the Auschwitz camp. One had accustomed us, until now, to the respective mea culpa of Germany and France, with the celebrations side by side and the eternal regrets expressed on the victims of the concentration camps, with the lawsuits of the persons in charge for Nazi crimes in the regained democracies. But this year, the tonality changed. Europe, "reconciled", makes great din on the massacre of the populations of Dresden and Hamburg by the English and American bombers, and recalls that the "allied" States (the USA especially) knew the existence of the death camps long before "releasing them". One indicates here, explicitly, the responsibility for the USA and Great Britain in the gigantic massacres of populations at the end of the 2nd World War but also, by their conniving silence, in the Jewish genocide. It is in the logic of things in Europe : the idea has to be inserted that they are the same ones who pelt, today in Iraq, and who were yesterday able to do so. They are the upholders of the aggressive and warlike policies of yesterday and today.
Indeed, the spectrum of the generalised war still hang over the planet and the forced march that the bourgeoisie carries out in this direction is not pushed away because Bush European tour. The working class holds the only viable prospect for humanity, the only alternative to this mortal outcome. For the revolutionaries, there cannot thus be any discussion about lowering the guard today; they must, on the contrary, reinforce their denunciation of the warlike aimings behind which the dominant class tries to attract the proletariat ; they must be more decided than ever to gather their forces and to carry this combat at the head of their class.
February 25th, 2005
Communist Bulletin Nš 30 - Internal Fraction of ICC