1915

      2008

      Military myth-making

      Workers against war

      Workers can end war

1915

On 25 April, Australian and other troops of the British Empire stormed a Turkish beach. Amidst nationalist propaganda, nine million troops died fighting for their country’s capitalists in a war of economic rivalry between the imperialist powers. The European ruling classes set out to re-divide the colonies, slave labour and raw materials in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. From the safety of their offices and palaces the politicians, the capitalists and the crowned heads of Europe plotted the war and unprecedented numbers of young men were sent to their deaths. It was a demonstration of the efficiency of capitalism at applying murder on an industrial scale.

2008

Today, Australian troops assist in the United States occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. Most of the US troops are in Iraq, while Afghanistan has been substantially outsourced to its NATO allies and Australia. War has changed, however, from 1915. The primary targets of the military are no longer opposing military forces, but the civilian population and economic infrastructure of the enemy. Jets and helicopters rain indiscriminate death from the skies, while road blocks and house-to-house searches are the occasion for murderous rampages by trigger-happy troops of a racist occupation. In the dungeons of Abu Ghraib and Bagram Air Base, the War “on” Terror is shown to be a War of Terror.

Military myth-making

For decades, both major parties in Australia have used Anzac Day to propagate romantic myths about “our diggers” in order to place the enforcers of Australian imperialism above criticism. By making it politically compulsory to support “our” troops, they undercut the opposition to the Iraq War and provided themselves with a licence to defy public opinion on the war itself.

Workers against war

Workers around the world are on the same side. We have no “national interest” to defend, for our interests lie in global solidarity. We can reject the patriotic myths and reach out to the workers and the poor of Iraq and Afghanistan instead. We can reach out to the workers of China, who are struggling against oppression and exploitation, despite the “communist” dictatorship. We, the workers of the world, can make a revolution that destroys the State and capitalism. That, and only that, is the path to peace.

Workers can end war