The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) in Sri Lanka are pleased to announce that American Trotskyist leader David North will address our online public meeting entitled “Oppose US–NATO war drive and the Russian invasion of Ukraine!” The event will be held at 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 20, (Sri Lankan/Indian time) via Zoom and live-streamed on the party’s Facebook page.
North, the chairperson of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site and the SEP in the US, will review the economic, political and historical background to the war, outside of which the conflict cannot be understood. He will outline the socialist perspective the working class must fight for, to prevent a global nuclear catastrophe.
The US and its NATO allies have intensified their war drive against Russia, exploiting the Putin regime’s invasion of Ukraine as the pretext and deploying thousands more troops to Eastern European countries near the Russian border. They have also armed the extreme right-wing government in Ukraine to the teeth.
These moves are the preparation for a full-scale military conflict against Russia, which could lead to World War III and the use of nuclear weapons, putting the lives of millions in danger.
After provoking the invasion, the US and European powers have created increasingly explosive conditions for its expansion with the imposition of severe sanctions that have thrown Russia’s financial system into turmoil.
The International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) opposes the Russian military intervention in Ukraine because it divides the working class and advances the interests of a reactionary capitalist class. But it insists that the central responsibility for the war rests with Washington and its allies. US imperialism is seeking to reassert its global dominance against potential rivals by military means.
This is the driving force behind the numerous and unending series of wars launched by the US over the past 25 years including military interventions in Iraq, Somalia, Serbia, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. The current war drive against Russia has been accelerated by the immense and deepening economic, political and social crisis in the US intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Biden administration is attempting to channel internal tensions at home outward, through the medium of war.
The escalating conflict in Ukraine has exacerbated geopolitical tensions globally, including in South Asia. The Narendra Modi government in India is trying to walk a tightrope between New Delhi’s strategic partnership with Washington and its historic defence ties with Moscow. This balancing act is becoming increasingly impossible amid Washington’s demands that India line up with the US–NATO war drive.
Although the Sri Lankan government has declared it “takes no sides” in the Ukraine war, it is also under heavy pressure to back the US provocations and, in particular, to break its relations with Beijing. None of these manoeuvres will prevent India, Sri Lanka and other countries from being dragged into the maelstrom of a nuclear war.
The only way to prevent the eruption of such a war is to build a global anti-war movement of the working class based on socialist internationalism. Only the ICFI and its sections have placed the fight for this global perspective at the centre of their political work.
The SEP/IYSSE online meeting on March 20 is in order to advance this struggle in Sri Lanka and in the South Asian region. We urge workers, students, youth, intellectuals and WSWS readers to participate in this crucial political event.