Home > Juan McIver, The 'Solidarity' Group > Against both blocs! For the working class!

Against both blocs! For the working class!

Unsigned leaflet, written by Juan McIver and distributed by Solidarity members at a Vietnam War demonstration in 1973.

What makes the Vietnam war the endless nightmare that it is? Nixon, the Provisional Revolutionary Government (PRG), the leaders of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV), the Pope, any amount of ‘peace talks’ of ‘Indochina Solidarity’ demos such as this can’t end it: Why not? The reason is that all these forces can only prolong the war and inflict further suffering on the Indochinese and American working populations.

The Vietnam war is not a struggle for ‘self-determination’ or socialism. It is an inter-imperialist wart from which working people can only expect further massacres; it has been like this ever since the war began 40 years ago.

US imperialism has a log history of intervention in Indochina, filling the gap left by a collapsing French colonialism. This came as a result of the redivision of the world caused by Wolrd War II, as war which created all the national liberation struggles of today.

Russian and Chinese imperialism have also developed interest in Indochina. Insofar as the major imperialist powers compete for world markets and spheres of influence their competition can only be an international jostling for power. In this sense, with the world divided into major imperialist camps, any talk of ‘national liberation’ is so much rubbish. Those who present the Vietnam war as an unilateral imperialist effort (the Us’s) are perpetrating a criminal mystification which can only confuse and demoralise working people.

The way the Vietnam ceasefire negotiations have dragged on since October, the ruthless bombing of the last few weeks, the secret Paris ‘peace talks’ between Kissinger and Le Duc Tho, the repositioning of DRV/PRG troops in the demilitarised zone and in the south, the massive US military aid to Saigon’s ‘Vietnamisation’ program Thieu’s mass imprisonment of opponents – all these factors indicate that no real pace is at hand. Despite any ceasefire in Vietnam the fighting will continue in Laos, Cambodia, ad Thailand. Whatever ‘peace’ is achieved now, it will be the peace of the grave. The peace most atuned to the ghoulish nature of capitalism. West and East. It is a peace that will inevitably be followed by wars, peace and more wars.

The stage is set for a renewed continuation of barbarism. The Seventh Fleet remains in Indochinese waters, the USAF bases are there to be used when necessary. Through frenzied aid the South Vietnamese air fore is the third largest in the world.

Similarly, the other side has not stood idle. The DRV/PRG gained many positions since the 1972 sprig offensive. Their forces control large areas in the countryside. Even if Russia and China reduce their military and economic aid (amounting to a billion dollars a year) to the DRV to appease Nixon and Thieu, this measure can only be temporary propaganda. Too much is at stake for any bloc to abandon the carve-up at this point. The military and industrial dependence of the DRV on Russia and China is total now, the US have insured this partly by shattering the DRV’s small industrial base. The SAMs which downed 32 American B-52s over the DRV show not the ‘self-determination’ of the Vietnamese people but the fierce determination of Russian capital pitted against American capital.

Revoltionaries in Britain must advocate the defeat of British participation ion the US war effort – British involvement in SEATO, USAF bases in Britain, etc. But revolutionary deafeatism doesn’t mean siding with the ‘humanists’ of the TUC and Labour Party (like Jenkins) who bewail the war from capitalism’s standpoint. Neither should this approach mean identification with the Trotskyists of the IS, IMG. SLL not with the pro-Peking or pro-Moscow Stalinists, not with any of the organisations which have sponsored the ‘Indochina Solidarity Confernce’ actions. All these tendencies advocate critical or uncritical support (spot the differnce_ for the state capitalist imperialisms. Working people must oppose both.

The war in Vietnam can only be ended by the revolutionary efforts of the international working class to overthrow both imperialist bloces and to establish socaislm the world over.

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