Aggression against the proletariat there and here!

Another war – but this time the danger is on our doorstep! The bombs and missiles of NATO (led by America, but with Italy at its side) are spewing their stream of fire over Serbia. Against the background of a chorus of deliberate disinformation on both sides, let us make one thing clear: although the bombardment is formally directed against the Serbs, it is also directed against the Albanians of Kosovo (precisely the people it claims to "protect") and the entire Balkan proletariat. At the same time, it will not be without consequences for Italian workers, who the government and mass-media would like to see favourable towards – or at least silent about – this nth "humanitarian intervention". It is for this reason that Italian workers and the young must not remain indifferent in the face of the aggression launched against the Serbian people, but adopt an autonomous class position and understand that it is in the interests of the proletariat here to come together and fight the aggression. The first step in this direction is not to be taken in by all of the propaganda concerning the causes and the aims of NATO’s military operation and the policy of Western governments.

"We are going for humanitarian reasons to defend the unarmed Albanian population of Kossovo."

This is the consensus-grabbing argument. But can you really believe that the West is intervening to "defend women and children from massacre" when it has been using its arms and embargo to massacre them for the last eight years in Iraq (for the highly "humanitarian" reason of maintaining the zero cost of oil)? Can you really believe in an Italy that defends the rights of Albanians in Kosovo, when it is the first to have set up a naval blockade of the Albanian coast (and even gone to the lengths of ramming a ship full of refugees), and super-exploits those that manage to arrive by forcing them into underpaid work or throwing the women onto the streets? Wasn’t it the Italian government that intervened with its military "mission Alba" in order to put down the people’s revolt following the colossal expropriation of the wealth of the Albanian population represented by the "pyramids" guided by Italian financiers and mafiosi? And haven’t we seen over the last few months how dear Europe and the USA hold the concept of the self-determination of peoples … in Kurdistan or in Palestine?
All of this "humanitarian" talk is nothing other than an enormous lie designed to hide the real reason for the intervention: the USA, Europe and Italy are acting on behalf of their own economic and political interests of imperialist domination not only over Serbia, but also over Kosovo, Albania, all of the Balkans and beyond … towards Russia!
This is the real reason behind the support given by the West to various "independence movements" (yesterday in Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia, today in Kosovo, and tomorrow …): it is a means of recolonising the area and an attack against all of the working masses with the aim of breaking their resistance against the drastic worsening in their living conditions – implemented by local nationalist micro-bourgeoisies, but directly driven by the "steam-masters" over here. Imperialism couldn’t care less about the people of Kosovo. What it does care about is to rekindle a war whose dividends (called "peace") will enable it to profit by reaching its objective of breaking up ex-Yugoslavia. The real and decisive pyromaniac of the Balkans is the class of Western imperialist exploiters!

"Serbia is responsible for the war and, in any case, is a danger to peace"

The truth is very different. What is Serbia and the government of Milosevic "guilty" of according to the West? It is certainly not guilty of having opposed the break-up of ex-Yugoslavia (something it did not do) nor of failing to apply market rules against Serbian workers (something it has done all too well); the guilt lies in the fact that it wanted to negotiate or even worse oppose – from the point of view of its own bourgeois interests – the further penetration of Western capital.
The Serbian regime’s oppression of the Albanians is a matter of fact. On the other hand, as is by now universally recognised, the UCK is an army under the pay of the USA and its accomplices, whose aim is to destabilise the area of the Balkans even further for their own ends in order to be able to impose first the war and then an imperialist peace. If the local Albanian population ends up by "spontaneously" submitting itself to such a design, this will simply be the result of the dead-end reactionary policy of a Milosevic who has pushed and continues to push Serbians against Albanians (workers against workers), and the sell-out to the West of Alabanian political forces. But the Kosovians will never be able to recover their national and social dignity by means of a "self-determination" acquired under the aegis of an imperialism that is exclusively interested in submitting the Balkans to fire and flame; they can only do it by uniting themselves with the workers of all nationalities in the area in a unified class battle against this interference and its local supporters.

"If we do not intervene, we will be submerged by further massive waves of refugees"

But it is precisely the (economic, political and military) intervention of the West that drive enormous masses from the South and the East towards the "rich countries" – where they certainly do not find themselves on a pleasure tour. We are "invaded" because we are invaders, because we allow "our" masters, "our" governments to pillage, devastate and tamper in such a way as to pour the impoverished masses into what has become a world labour market. The example of ex-Yugoslavia is highly instructive: ever since the enormous penetration of Western countries reached the point of breaking up the country, the misery of the masses there has increased to such an extent that they are driven to emigrate – and this is drive that no closure of the frontiers can ever stop and no type of "programming" can ever contain. A growing mass of Yugoslavian workers is becoming increasingly and more directly dependent on the international circulation of capital, and super-exploited at home and in Italy; this means that Italian workers are also becoming more dependent on the "competition" of this cheap and borderless labour. Insofar as every Western military aggression is an armed expression of the continuation of this "peace" policy of robbery, it cannot do anything other than feed the spiral of greater misery, more immigration, more degradation of workers here and there, and finally a war in which proletarians will provide the cannon fodder.

Consequently, do not give any credit to this new pro-aggression campaign in the Balkans: the "human rights" that imperialist governments talk about are nothing more than the rights to protect their interests in pillaging the Blakans and the rest of the world. Their intervention "in protection of the Albanians in Kosovo" has the sole purpose of putting more chains around the necks of the Kosovians themselves, all of the peoples in the Balkans, and the Western proletariat.

The aggression must be stopped, but this can only be done by the proletariat and only provided that, first and here, we strip the talons from "our" masters, "our" country and "our" imperialism in such a way as to obstruct the aggression against our class brothers in the Balkans, Iraq and elsewhere, and build a common front with them and their immigrant cousins in order to fight together against a mechanism that, in different ways, enslaves both them and us.

Secondly, it is necessary to construct there a united front between the Serbian and still scarce Kosovian proletariats which, although now set against each other as enemies, are both interested in putting an end to the spiral of misery, division and war.
It is the task and in the interests of the working class here to ensure that this comes about! Fighting against our imperialism in order to establish a bridgehead with the Balkan masses, and supporting the recovery and reorganisation of the Yugoslavian working class against its local bourgeoisies and their Western masters, is not a question of aiding "others" but of helping ourselves and our class. This war – and the imperialist peace of which it is a forerunner – is also being fought against our own workers who, already suffering the continuous erosion of their living conditions and bowed down by a "left" that is increasingly responsible for the dictates of the market, will not only have to pay for the material costs of the aggression (including the lives that they will have to sacrifice – it is only a matter of time), but also the political costs: unless it is stopped, the Balkanisation of a part of our international class will give the bourgeoisie the strength to take advantage of divisions and contrapositions among Western workers (currently in economic, but tomorrow also in military terms).
It is for this reason that it is necessary to reject the "solutions" offered by Rifondazione Comunista, some elements of the "left" and Lega Nord, who present the (armed and political) intervention of the West as inevitable and in any case necessary, provided it is made under the more democratic and "less American" aegis of the UN (as in the case of the Gulf War and subsequent embargo!), or who believe in the "humanitarian" face and potential "alternative" role of Europe and Italy once they are "freed" from their submission to the USA.
Although there is no doubt that, as in the case of Iraq, the situation in Kosovo is leading to a divarication in the interests and and behaviours of the various Western powers, this has nothing to do with humanitarian reasons or the defence of oppressed peoples, but is only an expression of the insufferance with which some European bourgeoisies see the excessive power held by the USA. The "distinctions" made by European countries in the face of the "excesses" committed by their ally (and the call for a more autonomous European and Italian policy) serve only to hide the desire to extend the imperialist dominion of Europe and Italy at the expense of America.
Any support for such a line would be suicidal for both the metropolitan proletariat and the super-exploited masses of the periphery, because it does nothing else but to defend the interests of capital, which will continue to dictate the rules against both.
On the contrary, it is now more necessary than ever that the proletariat separates its fate from that of all types of national or European imperialism, and that it begins to defend its Balkan class brothers not only from the bombs of NATO, but also from the poisoned pills of the "humanitarian" and "pacificatory" interventions of its "own" imperialism.

The proletariat of ex-Yugoslavia
and the need for international class unity

One subject never appears in the "information" given by parties and the media concerning the situation in the Balkans: the proletariat. But we, as internationalist communists, follow with great interest every concrete step that the proletariat takes on the way towards the resumption of its struggle on an international scale.

One very concrete case:

Last June, the Italian engineering trade union Fiom-Cgil organised in Venice a meeting with the engineering trade unions of Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro and Kosovo.
The trade unionists of ex-Yugoslavia (not the old instruments of the self-management system) denounced the war as a means of penetration on the part of globalised capitalism, designed to destroy trade union rights and precipitate the workers into conditions in which they can be submitted to every type of blackmail.
On the basis of this realisation imposed by the experience gained during the few years that have passed since the breaking up of ex-Yugoslavia, they made the following appeal: "We must speak and fight for the interests of the workers regardless of their ethnic origins or political positions".
The individual contributions also underlined the fact that the unity of the workers’ struggle must be seen as a primary objective and, in order to obtain it, it is essential to clear the field of all of the ethnic hatreds cultivated by local and international bourgeoisies. Furthermore, in the face of the social and political devastation produced by the globalisation of capital, it is essential to internationalise trade unions in such a way as to internationalise the struggle itself.
It is this hard reality facing the proletariat that underlies our awareness that we are all involved together and must therefore organise ourselves together.

Friday 9 April: 5.30 p.m.
Che Fare Headquarters – Via del Reti 19/A (San Lorenzo) Roma

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