Sabotage the war effort! - No War But The Class War

Leaflet put out during the Gulf War, giving numerous examples in history of the working class stopping wars, and posing class struggle as the only solution to the Gulf War.

Submitted by Spassmaschine on August 14, 2009

We do not yet know the full scale of the massacre in the Gulf. We can be sure though that many have already been killed, and that many more working class people on both sides will die until this war is stopped. The idea that the war would be over in a few days is looking as stupid as the claim that World War One would be over by Christmas 1914.

It is not just in blood that our class is expected to pay for the war. As the Daily Mirror put it on the first day of fighting: 'All of us must steel ourselves for whatever hardships, shortages and sacrifices we may have to make. And we SHALL have to make them.' This doesn't mean that people like Robert Maxwell, the Mirror's millionaire owner, will suffer. It means that the rest of us will be told to put up with price rises, longer hospital waiting lists (7500 beds have been put aside for the military), conscription, ecological disasters and whatever else the war throws up.

Behind all the hypocritical garbage about freedom, democracy and liberating Kuwait, this war is about the naked pursuit of profit by rival capitalist gangsters. The real issues are control of the oil fields and crushing the class struggle in all the countries involved.

But we do not have to accept our rulers' murderous power games. There have been many occasions on which the working class, in and out of uniform, has stopped wars. The First World War ground to a halt as a result of uprisings in Russia, Hungary, Germany and elsewhere. British Government plans to start another war in Russia immediately after had to be abandoned when soldiers went on strike demanding immediate demobilisation.

The American war effort in Vietnam collapsed partly because of mass refusal to fight by troops. This ranged from sitting down on the battlefield to blowing up officers ('fragging') - in 1970 even the Pentagon admitted to over 200 fraggings.

During the Iran-Iraq War there was mass desertion on both sides. There were at least two occasions when the Iraqi Air Force was used to bomb mutinous Iraqi troops. Saddam Hussein's infamous chemical attack on Halabja in 1988 was carried out because the city was full of army deserters.

The war can and must be opposed on the home front as well as in the armed forces. There have been massive anti-war demos throughout the world. In France and Holland people have blocked munitions trains. In Spain and Italy millions of workers and high school students have gone on strike against the war. In San Francisco a cop car was burned on an anti-war demo and the Golden Gate bridge has been blocked several times. Anti-war groups are being set up in hospitals and other workplaces in Britain.

We can also refuse to pay for the war in any way by resisting attacks on our living standards - by carrying on refusing to pay the poll tax and other bills, by striking for more pay, by opposing cuts... Only class war can stop the bosses' war.

Keep the home fires burning!

February 1991

Taken from the Practical History website.