Iraqui invasion and the "military question"

Regarding the USA’s "endless war", as was foreseeable, we’ve received and produced a lot of remarks, elaborations and notes. In an editing session we thought it would be useful to tidy up all this material and gather it into a monograph. Therefore, this review’s number is issued with 128 pages instead of the usual 80 and covers the issues of March-June. Ever since we’ve begun , we’ve issued more pages than that we had predicted. This is a good sign of collective work, even though sometimes we haven’t been able to keep up with the pace; March-June-September-December.

Just for this issue, we gave up the usual order of articles and surveys so that we can deal with only the subject of war in light of "our"analysis of military questions. Although we dedicated a great part of the two previous numbers to it, the decision of undertaking once again and going more deeply into this matter seemed to us a need in the face of the fact that in general today’s events are widely understated as objective phenomena referring to the state of capitalist system. Indeed, not only in the bourgeois mass-media, most of the papers one can examine overstate chiefs and governments’ subjective function, which always leads away from an understanding of the facts.

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which are just over, are only the first steps of a more general war belonging to a most ambitious project of re-ordering of the world, which has been widely circulated in newspapers and on the web, from both influential american lobbies and the goverment of the USA itself. The same forces that were ng pressing for an Iraqi invasion have selected a number of countries as a target the next battles of this war might aim at. Even before officially declaring victory in Iraq, already a series of threats was uttered to Syria. Intense propaganda activity is now aiming at Iran’s dangerous nuclear plants, its inner state of human rights and its alleged weapons of mass-destruction .

The declaration of a "endless" war, addressed to the world, which many people have taken as a sign of a certain powerful lobby’s mere madness, was instead a index of a deep sickness of both American politics and economics, pointing out that the system is going out of control. That’s why the war has eventually shown its real nature, that of an "unlimited" need, for a series of battles due to end up in not so brief a time. The capitalist world must face a real chance of breakdown owing to the shortage of surplus value production, as we’ll see later. At present it’s enough to say, for instance, that we keep on hearing tearfull and endless complaints that there is no money any more for health, pensions, welfare in general, that even for arms and wars there is no more money, which in the past were a Keynesian integration to welfare economics. Well, "money" is lacking just because surplus value is short.

As usual, the general scheme and development of work herein is a result of close relations between comrades and readers. The central core, entitled "28 timeless little theses", draws on two meetings we had in november 2001, that were registered and transcribed. We intended to put the events in a wider sphere than it was being done just after september the 11th and to establish a connection with the fundamentals of a war theory, as von Clausewitz says. That’s why we directly linked to the plan of his works and to the concepts expressed therein. In the meanwhile Afghanistan was invaded and already the next target was looming: Iraq. To develop the subject of the several attacks meant as single acts of a wider war, it was necessary to go beyond the limited media information about the same attacks, that is to say to go beyond the present events and to link oneself to a long historical process. This is because it’s the dynamics of events, from the past to the present, that give us the key with which to investigate the future.

Later, the original work was integrated with a study about the war in Afghanistan in connection with the USA’s emerging ideology of preventative war, which proves their weakness, not their strength. This clearly came out of a survey on the world economics on which the USA depends, and on the documents of global military doctrine that their government had issued. The need to control the flow of surplus value produced locally, in order to safeguard not only themselves, but also the entire capitalistic world, had necessarily to turn into an enormous and despairing tentative to reverse the wild praxis of the world market, to impose "free"circulation of capital and to plan against the international anarchy of capitalism, in opposition to every actual or potential adversary.

This work also was partially reported both in the past numbers of the review and, with further development, in a series of public conferences held in Rome, Milan, Venice, and Turin in early 2003, when it was evident that the war against Iraq was being prepared. The "double direction" that was established in these circumstances, the usual circulation of the "half-worked" writings and readers’ correspondence widely contributed to the text’s drafting.

The way the Iraq war was led and finished, together with the news about the behaviour of both invasion troops and American governors in Baghdad in the post-war, gave evidence that these events are important as a transition phase towards other objectives. The American administration in place denies such a thing, and states that war’s objectives are limited to Iraq’s reconstuction. But this contradicts both official and unofficial goverment declarations, its actual behaviour, of course, and especially the material determinations bringing it as far as it has.

Not so long ago as in the period between the two world wars, the Balkans were considered to be outside Europe, so that they were often named also as "Near East". Today Europe and the USA’s geopolitics has brought closer to the West further eastern areas (Russia, Turkey; in the European community even Israel is spoken of). Because of the shortening of distances in the globalized world, it’s not enough for the USA to exhibit a sporadic presence, modelled on URSS’ containment doctrine. Declaring of "vital interest" the Gulf area, ever since 1980 they have prepared themselves for a direct presence. Then the new Central Command sited in Florida came into being, and, as a complement, the "rapid deployment force" later used in the Gulf war, when eventually it was clear for what they served.

The URSS had just collapsed, and already the new military order was being experimented with by a war fought by the americans, and paid by the europeans, japanese and petrol monarchies. It was then that in Europe and in Japan the unipolar situation was first acknowledged: all were depending non so much on petrol (Russia as well, that had to sell it for food) as on the good health of american, and therefore world capitalism. For this health all Countries, willy-nilly, should have collaborated.