Category Archives: 2019-06

A new anti-imperialist movement is needed

Sandew Hira, The Hague 2019, June 5

In recent weeks the US has become more aggressive in its rhetoric’s and its military buildup towards Venezuela and Iran. In Columbia and Puerto Rico the US is deploying troops and special operations forces as a signal that they actually preparing a invasion. The US is planning to send 120.000 troops to the Middle East and has deployed an aircraft carrier to the Iran regional waters. Are we heading towards new wars and military invasions? The risks are certainly there, because there are aggressive hawks in the US establishment that push towards war. Furthermore, the regime’s of Saudi Arabia and the apartheid state of Israel are supporting these hawks. In Latin America, Juan Guaidó, the self-proclaimed president of Venezuela, is openly pressing for a military invasion by the US.

A remarkable feature of US internal politics is that Trump came to power on an anti-war ticket promising to make an end to wars in foreign countries and the liberal Democrats along with the right-wing extremists Republications are pushing for confrontation. In the case of North Korea the liberal media are mobilizing against a possible deal to make the Korean peninsula free from nuclear weapons. This deal seemed possible, but the liberal media with the hawks from the Republican party shift the focus from peace to the nature of the Stalinist regime in North Korea. Trumps rhetoric on Venezuela is not countered by a Democratic narrative for peace. The tacitly and openly support the aggression against the Bolivarian revolution.

Another risk factor is the absence of a worldwide mass movement against wars as was the case during the Vietnam war of the invasion of Iraq. The social movements in the sixties and seventies were based on a strong anti-imperialist tradition of the socialist movement. After the fall of the Soviet Union and the demise of socialist regimes in many countries new narratives of liberation took the center stage. Class analysis was replaced by narrative that were rooted in the tradition of liberalism: the individual replaced class in the analysis of oppression. With class analysis the question of strategy and focus on the main enemy – imperialism – put on the table the problem of alliances and building broad coalitions against the main enemy.

With the focus on individual oppression these questions disappeared. In fact narratives of liberation are now used to justify wars. The US invasion of Afghanistan was defended by Hillary Clinton by referring to the need to liberate Afghan women from the Taliban. When the drum beats for a war against Iran start, the oppression of homosexuals will be used to rally activists from social movements for an imperialist project.

The focus of these activists is not who is the main enemy or what is the relationship of forces on the world in the wake of new and devastating wars but on how are is the LGTB community oppressed in Iran?

The threat of war is there. The need for a new world movement against war is there. The question is if the activists in the current social movement are able to move from the analysis individual oppression to the analysis of imperialism and its global institution of power that threatens the existence of the planet and thus build a massive force for peace. Or will a new activism emerge that is able to go beyond this individual analysis and beyond class analysis and move to decolonial theory as a tool to understand imperialism.