World Socialist Web Site Review: latest issue now available

4 November 2002

The latest issue of the World Socialist Web Site Review, the quarterly magazine of the WSWS, is now available for purchase by WSWS readers. The 72-page November 2002-January 2003 edition focuses on the impending US war against Iraq and includes many of the comments, statements and lectures that have appeared on the WSWS in the past several weeks.

The statement, Oppose US war against Iraq! Build an international movement against imperialism! issued by the WSWS Editorial Board on September 9, is published as the magazine’s editorial. Unequivocally declaring the opposition of the WSWS to the US war drive, it calls on all working people, youth and opponents of militarism throughout the world to develop a popular movement against imperialist war. The statement presents a detailed exposé of the flood of propaganda and lies used by the US government and the media to justify the war, and makes a considered comparison between the provocative actions of the Bush administration and those of the Nazis prior to World War 2.

The WSWS statement points to Washington’s three pre-eminent war aims: the military occupation of Iraq and the seizure of its oil resources; the global extension of US military power; and maintaining domestic political control. It draws out that, even with a speedy military victory, a US invasion would “implicate the American people in a crime of massive proportions, one of the greatest atrocities in modern history.”

In a seminal lecture, entitled The war against Iraq and America’s drive for world domination, delivered to students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, WSWS Editorial Board chairman David North subjects to detailed examination the Bush Administration’s “National Security Strategy of the USA” (NSS), exposing it as a blueprint for the right of the United States to “use military force anywhere in the world, at any time it chooses, against any country it believes to be, or it believes may at some point become, a threat to American interests.”

As North goes on to say: “No other country in modern history, not even Nazi Germany at the height of Hitler’s madness, has asserted such a sweeping claim to global hegemony—or, to put it more bluntly, world domination—as is now being made by the United States.”

North locates the origins of the NSS in the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991. He reviews the restraints imposed on US foreign policy after World War II by the existence of the USSR and the conflicts over these that emerged within the US ruling elite. The eventual demise of the Soviet Union was seized upon, by the most aggressive and militarist layers, as “the opportunity for the US to establish an unchallengeable global hegemony.”

Another crucial factor in the drive to war, North explains, is the “increasingly explosive state of social relations in the United States and the threat that this poses to capitalist rule.” He refers to the recent exposures of corporate corruption and explains that there is essentially no difference between the criminal methods employed by the ruling elite within the United States and those it uses internationally.

Several other articles expose the political cowardice of the Democratic Party; the role of the US media as spokespeople for the Bush administration and the Pentagon; the political manoeuvres conducted by the US with various Iraqi oppositionists to set up a puppet regime in Iraq; and the political calculations being made in European and other capitals in response to the US war drive. Taken together, these articles form an outstanding body of critical analysis on the most vital political issue confronting the international working class.

Also featured in the magazine is the international campaign being conducted by the WSWS and the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) of Sri Lanka against death threats made by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)—as well as an attempted assassination—against SEP members on the island of Kayts in the north of Sri Lanka in September.

The LTTE’s attacks on the democratic right of the SEP to carry out its political work coincide with its participation in peace talks with the Sri Lankan government. As the WSWS statement of October 5 declares: “Having fought a bitter and protracted civil war against the racist Sinhala state, the LTTE leadership is now seeking to establish its credentials with Colombo and the western powers. In exchange for official political legitimacy and a place in the corridors of power, it will enforce the free market policies required by the IMF and World Bank and summarily deal with opposition from the working class and oppressed masses.”

The WSWS articles and statements make clear that the LTTE’s attacks on the SEP are a forewarning of the type of anti-democratic measures that will be carried out against the Tamil masses as a whole, and insist that all individuals and organizations committed to the defence of democratic rights openly call for the LTTE to repudiate them.

Other articles include Patrick Martin’s assessment of the US congressional hearings on September 11, which, he argues, were “a clear demonstration of why the White House fought so bitterly to derail any official investigation into the events of one year ago”; an incisive piece by David North on the extraordinary political machinations surrounding President Bush’s recent colonoscopy; an explanation by Nick Beams of the significance of the “creative accounting” practices engaged in by WorldCom, Enron and other major corporations; a disturbing analysis by Bill Vann entitled The Fort Bragg murders: a grim warning on the use of the military and Kate Randall’s article Newsweek expose of war crimes in Afghanistan whitewashes US role.

The WSWS Review publishes a major lecture on world economy, delivered by Nick Beams, a member of the WSWS editorial board, to an international school held in Sydney in January, 2002. Entitled The World Economic Crisis: 1991-2001, the lecture makes a detailed examination of the economic underpinnings for the explosive turn by the United States to militarism and war. Beams demonstrates the organic relationship between the eruption of three wars during the past decade—the Gulf War of 1990-91, the war against Serbia in 1999 and the Afghanistan war of 2001-2002—and a growing economic and financial crisis, centred within the United States, and arising out of fundamental contradictions that have been intensifying within the world capitalist economy over the past 30 years.

Other features include a statement by the WSWS editorial board opposing a boycott of Israeli academics, initially advocated by Professor Steven Rose of the Open University in Britain. The boycott sought to oppose Israel’s reoccupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip but, as the WSWS statement conclusively demonstrates, in fact only served to sow political confusion. In addition, we reprint two extensive replies to the many letters, both pro and con, provoked by the statement. Written by David North and Bill Vann, the replies review the origins and history of Zionism and the conflict in the Middle East, and outline the attitude of the International Committee of the Fourth International, the world Trotskyist movement, to these critical and complex issues.

The magazine concludes with three important reviews. The first is of a fascinating new book, The Einstein file: J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret War Against the World’s Most Famous Scientist, dealing with the 22-year campaign of spying and slander conducted by the FBI against one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century, Albert Einstein. The second, Why are there so many disappointing films was written by WSWS arts editor David Walsh, about his assessment of the 2002 Toronto International Film Festival. Finally, Richard Phillips assesses Australian Rules, a recent Australian movie depicting racial tensions between Aboriginal and white communities in an impoverished country town.

The November 2002-January 2003 WSWS Review provides, in an attractive and convenient form, a sample of the Marxist analysis presented daily on the World Socialist Web Site. We encourage all our readers to become regular subscribers to the magazine, and to send articles, comments and correspondence to the WSWS.

Current and back issues of the WSWS Review can be ordered through Mehring Books at sales@mehring.com in the US for $US5 per issue, sales@mehringbooks.co.uk in the UK for £2.50 per issue and mehring@ozemail.com.au in Australia for $A6.50 per issue. Annual subscriptions (four issues) are available for $US30 in the US, £12 in Britain and $A30 in Australia.