World Socialist Web Site Review: April issue now available

The latest issue of the World Socialist Web Site Review, the quarterly magazine of the WSWS, is now available. Published just prior to the US-led invasion of Iraq, the 72-page April-June 2003 edition features articles from the WSWS exposing the lies, distortions and falsifications disseminated by the US and British governments to justify their criminal war of aggression against Iraq, as well as statements and analyses reviewing the political and historical background to the eruption of US militarism.

The magazine opens with an assessment of the historical significance of the massive antiwar protests that erupted simultaneously around the globe in mid-February. The tasks facing the antiwar movement, a statement issued by the WSWS Editorial Board on February 12, 2003, which was distributed in several languages at demonstrations throughout the world, is published as the Review’s editorial.

“We welcome these protests,” the editorial declares. “They show that the overwhelming majority of the world’s people are opposed to war.” The statement goes on to warn, however, that the demonstrations “will not alter the fact that Washington decided on war long ago. While people are taking to the streets in unprecedented numbers, the countdown to war is inexorably proceeding. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the rest of the war cabal in Washington will not be impressed by public opinion in America or around the world.” The editorial explains that the struggle against war requires a conscious political program, based on “an understanding of the causes and driving forces behind this war. Not unity at any price, but clarity is the demand of the hour,” it states.

Also published in the magazine is a statement issued the day after the weekend demonstrations of February 14-16. The WSWS Editorial Board argues that the global protests “exposed the deep and unbridgeable political, social and moral chasm that separates the ruling elites and their media propagandists from the people” and irrevocably shattered “all pretence of democratic political legitimacy for the war policies of the Bush administration in the US and the Blair regime in Britain”

A series of articles highlights the cynical lies and deception at the heart of Washington’s diplomatic manoeuvring in the weeks leading up to the war. The articles subject to withering analysis US Secretary of State Colin Powell’s speech to the UN Security Council on February 5, the so-called “intelligence dossier” released by the Blair government on February 3, President George Bush’s State of the Union speech on January 28, as well as the contemptible role of the US media in embracing the administration’s warmongering.

Two incisive features are published . On the eve of US war against Iraq: the political challenge of 2003 draws a direct parallel between the foreign policy of the Bush administration and that of the Nazis in the 1930s and 40s.

“What were the hallmarks of the foreign policy of German imperialism under Hitler? An ever-expanding cycle of military aggression, targeting first those countries too weak to seriously resist the Wehrmacht. Occupying countries, overthrowing governments and installing puppet regimes. Fabricating crude pretexts to justify preemptive and unprovoked wars. Open contempt for international law and the flouting of traditional norms of diplomacy. In short—a policy of seizure and plunder.”

The political economy of American militarism in the 21st century, a lecture delivered by Nick Beams in Australia, establishes that the “increasingly aggressive character of US foreign policy is bound up with vast changes in world capitalist economy stretching back some three decades, to the beginning of the 1970s and the breakdown of the post-war economic boom.”

Other articles featured in this issue of the WSWS Review include WSWS Editorial Board chairman David North’s How to deal with America? The European dilemma, which assesses the historical and political background to the growing conflict between the United States and Europe; Bill Vann’s “What is bin Ladenism?, an assessment of the reactionary political and social views underlying Osama bin Laden’s brand of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism; The death of US Senator Paul Wellstone: accident or murder?—an editorial board comment that raises serious and disturbing questions about the circumstances surrounding the death of Wellstone, just one week before the hotly contested US Congressional elections; and US midterm election: the meaning of the Democratic debacle, another important editorial board comment.

Two pieces deal with the mounting political crisis in Latin America: Venezuela “strike”: the anatomy of a US-backed provocation, by Patrick Martin, and Brazil’s Lula: from Porto Alegre to Davos by Bill Vann. The magazine also contains analyses of Sharon’s election victory in Israel; Putin’s gas attack in Moscow; the growing confrontation between the Bush administration and North Korea; the Chinese Communist Party’s 16th National Congress, held late last year in Beijing, and the October 12, 2002 Bali bombing.

Other articles include, The tragedy of SIEV X: Did the Australian government deliberately allow 353 refugees to drown? a four-part series by Linda Tenenbaum, and A reply on Rosa Luxemburg’s attitude to Lenin, David North’s response to a letter from a WSWS reader.

From the WSWS Arts Review, the magazine contains Richard Phillips’ assessment of the movie, The Quiet American, directed by Phillip Noyce and adapted from the novel by Graham Greene, as well as Arts editor David Walsh’s searing critique of The Hours, entitled Virginia Woolf cannot be held responsible.

The April-June 2003 WSWS Review provides, in an attractive and durable form, a sample of the political 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 $A8.00 per issue. Annual subscriptions (four issues) are available for $US30 in the US, £12 in Britain and $A35 in Australia.