A - I n f o s
a multi-lingual news service by, for, and about anarchists **

News in all languages
Last 30 posts (Homepage) Last two weeks' posts

The last 100 posts, according to language
Castellano_ Català_ Deutsch_ English_ Français_ Italiano_ Polski_ Português_ Russkyi_ Suomi_ Svenska_ Türkçe_ All_other_languages _The.Supplement
{Info on A-Infos}

(en) When peace is war - from Willful Disobedience

From dr.woooo@nomasters.org
Date Wed, 26 Feb 2003 14:34:22 +0100 (CET)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

We are all aware that the United States is gearing up
for an attack on Iraq. The formalities are still being
worked out, but at this point, US military action
seems almost certain. But this war will not be without
resistance. There have already been numerous
protests against the war, and the attack on the
recruiting station in San Jose (see "Chronicles of
Revolt" in this issue) certainly seems to be a response
to the call for war as well. When the actual fighting
begins, more resistance can be expected. But
resistance to this war cannot simply rely on methods
and concepts from the past. An "anti-war" movement
that is not also an attempt to completely overturn the
ruling order no longer makes any sense. Therefore it
is necessary for anarchists to make a serious analysis
of the situation that is arising.

Anarchists have already put out a number of calls for
non-compliance and insubordination toward the war
effort, and these are certainly worthy endeavors. But
to understand what this would mean requires careful
examination of the situation. A 'zine of "proletarian
grumbling" out of London called The Whinger points
out a few things we should consider in developing our

Even if there was a general strike in the west it would
probably be too late to stop an attack. They no longer
need the labour of the bulk of us in the "developed"
world directly in their war effort. In the west they no
longer need mass conscript armies or mass forced
militarization of labour in specific industrial war
production to directly sustain the war effort. Most of
the weapons are now produced beforehand under
capitalist "peace­time" in dispersed commercial arms
production which is not labour intensive. Much of the
"fighting" by US or british or European forces can be
done by privileged protected elite professional
technicians and officer-bureaucrats, leaving some
shooting and mopping up and patrolling on the ground
for regular soldiers. This sort of changes the role of
regular soldiers from an attacking and war-fighting
role to an occupying and heavy policing role.


There are a number of significant points that can be
drawn from these observations. While a number of
opponents of the war are seeking to play on the
1ossibility of another Vietnam as a way of inspiring
wider opposition, this is, in fart, very unlikely. For all
practical intents and purposes, the US has been
carrying on a war against Iraq since 1991, with no use
of ground troops since the end of Operation Desert
Storm and only the occasional bombardment, relying
instead on the UN-sanctioned embargo to impoverish
and kill Iraqis. Unlike the war in Vietnam, this
operation has not had any visible effects on the daily
lives of the American populace. The current effort to
heat up this war is simply intended to get rid of a
former ally who has become a liability in order to
increase US control in the region. On this level, it has
far more in common with the "humanitarian bombing"
of Yugoslavia than with the Vietnam war. And we can
assume that this war will be fought in a similar fashion: 
intensive aerial bombing with high tech weapons
causing a fair amount of "collateral damage"
consisting of Iraqi civilian dead and wounded, but few
if any American casualties, followed by an occupation
by an armed, military peace-keeping" force. In fact,
the Bush administration has been talking of setting
up an interim American-run military government
ruled by a US military officer, similar to that which
was set up in Japan following World War IL The point
is that this specific war is likely to be very short. It is
the military role of "peace-keeping" that will

In fact this war (like every war) is the product of
capital's peace-time policies on every level. Contrary
to Orwell's thinking, "war is peace" is not a
totalitarian "big lie". It is, in fact, an accurate
description of the current functioning of the ruling
order, though it may be more precise to say, "Peace is
war". This is what we need to keep in mind as we seek
to build resistance to this war. My grumbling
proletarian friend goes on to say: '...the slogan
'sabotage the war economy' is actually strictly
speaking mistaken. The problem is that the majority
of us are not directly in a war economy at the
moment, most of us are still very much in a
'peace-time' economy and that is what we need to
sabotage and socially subvert." For the ruling order,
peace-time is simply the time to calmly prepare for
the wars to come. With the current military
technologies and methods, most of us in the west will
rarely experience any significant change in our daily
routine due to a war such as the one proposed. We will continue 
to experience capital's "peace', that fine civilized peace that so
bores, yet pacifies, us. Therefore, any effective
resistance to this war must also be a subversive
attack against the peace of the ruling order. So it is
not so much in terms of any immediate effect on the
current war effort as on the level of the necessity to
destroy current social order in order to make wars of
this sort impossible that the practice of
non-compliance and insubordination becomes

But "peace is war" not only because the ruling class
uses peace-time to prepare for future wars, but more
significantly because their 'peace" is itself carried on
as a war. Who are the peacekeepers in Bosnia, in
Kosovo, in Afghanistan? They are armed military
personnel. And even on the streets of the cities here
in the west, peace is maintained by armed people in
uniform, often with military training. The police also
constitute an arm of the state, and those who live in
poor neighborhoods often know what it is like to be
occupied and under the threat of death or capture if
they make the wrong move. Consider as well the
obvious militarization of the police involved in crowd
control during demonstrations and protests.
Peacekeeping is really nothing other than
war­making. Thus, it can be said that the entire world
lives in a state of permanent war, the unending
violence through which our rulers maintain their

This is why no call for peace makes sense any more. It
would simply be a call to maintain the order that
sustains war. There can be no negotiation, no coming
to terms with this civilized world. It requires war to
suppress the desperation of those it has excluded that
is breaking through its doors as everything falls apart.
All we can oppose to the bombs over Iraq, if we want
our opposition to be more than symbolic, a mere
appeasing of our consciences, is class attack. We
must liberate the smoldering hatred and hurt it
against those who have stolen our lives and the lives
of all the exploited of the earth. Identifying the
common enemy - the owners, the rulers, the
technological and productive network, the totality of
a civilization based on domination and exploitation -
is the primary form of solidarity toward the bombed
and the refugees. Attacking this enemy is the only
real tool we have for transforming the wars imposed
by the social order - in which we end up killing each 
other in our real enemy's interests - into a fight for
liberation from exploitation and domination, from
every form of rule.


       ****** The A-Infos News Service ******
      News about and of interest to anarchists
  COMMANDS: lists@ainfos.ca
  REPLIES: a-infos-d@ainfos.ca
  HELP: a-infos-org@ainfos.ca
  WWW: http://www.ainfos.ca/
  INFO: http://www.ainfos.ca/org

-To receive a-infos in one language only mail lists@ainfos.ca the message:
                unsubscribe a-infos
                subscribe a-infos-X
 where X = en, ca, de, fr, etc. (i.e. the language code)

A-Infos Information Center