International alliances against NATO

First published: December 1999

When, on 24 March 1999, NATO launched its biggest bombing campaign in Europe since the Second World War, it expected a rapid and complete victory over Yugoslavia – a state of little more than 10 million people. Instead the people of Yugoslavia held out for 11 weeks of 24-hour bombing and the majority of the world’s population opposed NATO’s aggression. As a result, the United States had to retreat from some of its original objectives and hundreds of millions of people throughout the world were alerted to the threat they face from an imperialist alliance committed to offensive military action whenever it wishes over a vast area of the globe.

It looked at the outset as if Yugoslavia provided ideal conditions for an awesome demonstration of the United States’ military might. Indeed, the first CNN television pictures, of precision-guided bombs and missiles raining down on Belgrade, were intended to convey the impression that a modern, albeit small, industrialised country could rapidly be brought to its knees by the flexing of NATO’s military muscle. Those responsible for Washington’s global public relations machine obviously intended that the significance of this should not be lost on the inhabitants of Moscow, Beijing, Havana or anyone else contemplating defiance of the US.

But within days it was clear that things were not going to work out as planned. Yugoslavia showed no sign of giving in to the most powerful military alliance in history. Instead of blaming their government for the bombs falling on them, the Serbian people blamed NATO, and by their actions made clear that they considered resistance to a foreign occupation of Kosovo to be a just and unavoidable necessity. The same spirit was shown by the Yugoslav army in Kosovo. The post-war television pictures showed hundreds of tanks and heavy weapons retreating intact, together with thousands of soldiers who appeared anything but demoralised. These scenes were totally different to those which followed the US-led war on Iraq.

The fact that the Yugoslavian people had held out over 78 days of bombing gave the world time to wake up to what was taking place. By the end of the war, even the tiny trickle of information about civilian casualties allowed into the mainstream media of the NATO states had started to shift public opinion – which had been told this was to be the world’s first humanitarian war.

In the NATO states, the demonstrations against the Gulf War had been larger – reflecting the fear of NATO casualties in a ground war. But the breadth of the international opposition to the bombing of Yugoslavia was far greater. For the first time the United States was openly claiming a right to attack any sovereign state it saw fit. The implications of this doctrine, previously only applied to Washington’s so-called backyard – in Central America and the Caribbean – threatened any country in the world which might find its interests in conflict with the US.

No Russian government could have got away with voting for the bombing of Yugoslavia in the UN Security Council in the way that Gorbachev had provided the legal pretext for the Gulf War. Nor was there a chance of anything other than a Chinese veto of the bombing – in contrast to their abstention on the Gulf War.

In China, the population responded to the destruction of its embassy in Belgrade with the biggest anti-war demonstrations in the world. In Russia, although President Yeltsin wanted to assist the United States, he was constrained by the near total opposition of the population and army to NATO’s war. In Greece, the nearest NATO state to the conflict, whose proximity gave people local knowledge of the real state of affairs in Yugoslavia, 98 per cent of voters opposed the bombing. They expressed this not simply by massive protests, but by practical steps to block the movement of troops and equipment through their country – including protests by Greek military personnel.

The peoples of the new NATO members in Eastern Europe – Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic – were traumatised by their involvement in a war on their doorsteps within days of joining NATO.

In Italy and Germany, opposition to the bombing was such that the social democratic governments, while totally backing the bombing, had to be seen to be constantly seeking to open the way to a negotiated solution involving Russia.

Throughout the third world, the new world order of unilateral war-making by NATO was universally threatening and opposition to the bombing was the norm rather than the exception.

This international alignment of forces profoundly affected the course of the war and demonstrated the international strategy necessary to oppose the future conflicts which the precedent of Yugoslavia has put on the agenda.

The most fundamental lesson of the anti-war struggle, and the biggest problem for NATO, was the way in which a de facto international anti-NATO alliance emerged during the course of the conflict.

The first element of this was the people of Yugoslavia. They had been demonised and vilified by the western media for a decade. This campaign had a tremendous impact on the West European and American left, as well as on the so-called intelligentsia. The left in the semi-colonial countries and Russia were more sceptical. They have seen anyone who stands up to the West, whether it be Colonel Nasser, Fidel Castro, Saddam Hussein, the parliamentary opposition to Boris Yeltsin or Somalia’s General Aideed, for example, routinely labelled modern-day Hitlers. The common view was that NATO would say that about anyone they intended to bomb.

But from the very beginning of the bombing, the courage of the ordinary people in towns like Belgrade and Novi Sad started to puncture the tissue of lies circulated by the NATO influenced press. The pictures of incredibly brave people standing on bridges holding target symbols while the most sophisticated weapons in the world hung over their heads, just did not tally with the spin doctors’ image of a nation of cowardly psychopaths.

These impressions were countered by the Western media focus upon Albanian refugees streaming out of Kosovo. But as NATO extended its range of targets, and civilian casualties consequently increased, international disquiet deepened. NATO had claimed from the outset that it had no quarrel with the civilian population of Serbia and that its bombs and missiles were focused on military targets. But whatever propaganda line was spun by Jamie Shea, NATO commanders were in a position to have a more accurate appraisal. They knew they were having minimal impact on the Yugoslav forces or their equipment deployed in Kosovo. Instead, they focused on trying to demoralise the population of Serbia by destroying the country’s infrastructure.

Yet, after weeks of bombing, there was no sign that this was going to work. This faced NATO commanders, that is the Pentagon, with some difficult choices. To have started the war and then be seen to back off would have been a catastrophe for NATO, undermining US hegemony in Europe. They had to win and be seen to win.


NATO’s military options


This meant they had three options. The first was to step up the bombing. But this would massively increase the numbers of civilian casualties outside Kosovo, in circumstances where, amid Russian attempts at mediation, public support for the bombing within the NATO states was starting to wane. An Associated Press poll in the United States, published on 17 May, found that support for the air war had fallen from 68 per cent to 59 per cent, and 60 per cent wanted immediate negotiations to end the war with the Yugoslav government. Moreover, there was no sign that it would produce the desired result of a capitulation by the Serbs. On the contrary, mounting civilian casualties were undermining all the work of vilification of the Serbs, giving them the moral high ground over NATO. The longer that went on, the greater risk that at some point Western public opinion would turn against it.

Second, they could launch a ground invasion into Kosovo. For NATO’s political leadership this was preferable to anything that might be seen as a defeat. But it posed a further range of problems. To invade Kosovo through the mountains from Albania would have involved a qualitatively higher order of risk compared to bombing defenceless cities from 15,000 feet. It might have meant large-scale NATO casualties from the intact Yugoslav army. Whatever the rhetoric, the Pentagon did not want to risk serious American casualties – not out of concern for the lives of rank and file soldiers, but because of the political backlash losses might provoke. A Washington Post poll published on 18 May found that only 15 per cent of Americans supported sending in ground troops after nearly two months of bombing.

The alternative routes for a land war, given Macedonian unwillingness to allow an invasion from its territory, would have meant cutting a path through Serbia itself, from Hungary, Croatia and/or Bosnia. Although that meant crossing easier terrain, it also risked significant casualties and, equally important, would have enormously escalated the international stakes – quite possibly creating a terminal crisis for Yeltsin in the Kremlin.

A land invasion could also have deepened the splits within NATO. Majority opposition to bombing in Greece and Italy would have intensified. In Germany, 78 per cent of voters opposed participation in a land war.

The third option was to isolate the Serbs by drawing Russia into NATO’s camp and in that context step up the threat of a land invasion. This involved a retreat from NATO’s original objectives of unilateral action to crush the Serbs – because it meant accepting a Russian role in the conflict, for which a price would have to be paid. The Yeltsin regime had to contend with near unanimous support for the Serbs on the part of the army, the population, the parliament – which called for sending arms to the Serbs – and most political parties.

Underlying this was the fact that the Russia people felt deeply threatened. Typical TV coverage included discussions of whether the latest Russian anti-aircraft systems could deal with NATO jets. If the Russian and Chinese vetoes in the UN Security Council were to be irrelevant then Russia itself, or parts of the former Soviet Union, could be next in the line of fire.

From the point of view of the Russian military, the bombing confirmed the disintegration of its strategic position in Europe. Too blatant assistance to NATO in this context could have resulted in Yeltsin’s removal from power. Moreover, with China very publicly demanding that the bombing stop before any settlement would be possible, an overt stab in the back by Yeltsin would have been difficult to conceal.

This, the Russian people’s solidarity with the Serbs against NATO, was the second key link in the chain of international solidarity. It meant that Yeltsin required a gesture towards international legality before he could deliver NATO’s ultimatum to the Serbs. That required giving the UN a role in any post-war Kosovo settlement.

As the alternatives were even worse, NATO opted for dealing with Russia. Yeltsin’s envoy Victor Chernomyrdin duly delivered his message to Milosevic: to the effect that if a military occupation of Kosovo under the auspices of the UN were not accepted, then Russia would wash its hands of the situation opening the way for a land invasion by NATO.

Faced with Yeltsin’s ultimatum, the destruction of much of their country, and some significant retreats from the original Rambouillet ultimatum, the Yugoslav leadership clearly felt that they had little alternative but to agree. They had not won – hardly surprising faced with a military alliance of the most powerful states on earth – but they had extracted significant concessions: the military force in Kosovo would be formally under the auspices of the UN not NATO, it would include a Russian contingent, it would not have access to the whole of Yugoslavia and Kosovo would, on paper at least, remain part of Yugoslavia.

The sticking point was NATO’s demand that the Yugoslav army should start its withdrawal from Kosovo before the bombing stopped. This posed the kind of massacre which the US had perpetrated during the Gulf War against the Iraqi army and civilians as they had retreated from Kuwait along the Basra road.

Here, a third element of the international solidarity with Yugoslavia came into play – manifested in China’s refusal to contemplate any UN Security Council resolution ending the conflict until the bombing stopped. That robbed NATO of the opportunity of a gruesome attack on the withdrawing Yugoslav army.

Even in the final farce of NATO having to stand by in disbelief while Russian troops raced to occupy Pristina airport ahead of them, the international anti-war movement played a material role. The Greek government faced such violent opposition from its people to NATO’s war that it delayed US troops’ passage across Greece, for fear that it would otherwise have been decimated in the European elections. Even so the left wing anti-war parties won more than 20 per cent of the vote, 200 British trucks had been misdirected in April to a market where they were pelted with fruit, protesters had blocked rail lines carrying British troops, railway workers had threatened to strike if Greek trains continued to carry NATO personnel, and other workers had taken strike action including a two hour closure of the country’s schools.

The delay in the deployment of US troops led Clinton to demand postponement of the entry of the other NATO forces into Kosovo – he wanted an American triumph. However, the spin doctors were speechless as it all went wrong and the Russian flag was the first to fly at Pristina airport.

While anti-bombing feeling ran highest in Greece, it was significant throughout the European Union. A European Barometer poll published on 1 June showed that more people opposed the NATO military action than supported it in Austria (43 per cent against 41 per cent), Italy (46 per cent to 37 per cent), and Spain (48 per cent to 34 per cent). Opinion was fairly evenly divided in Finland (44 per cent for bombing, 43 per cent against), Ireland (45 per cent for bombing, 41 per cent against) and, slightly less so, in Germany (52 per cent for bombing, 40 per cent against). The weakest, though still substantial opposition was in Denmark (20 per cent), France (27 per cent) and the UK (33 per cent). Majorities of voters supporting the use of ground troops were found in only three EU states – the UK, France and Denmark.

These international forces – the courageous stand of the Yugoslavian people against colossal odds, the solidarity of the Russian people, the opposition of the Chinese government, the Greek anti-war movement, the scale of opposition to bombing within the NATO states and far greater scale in the semi-colonial countries – combined in the course of the war to materially affect its outcome. They imposed limits on NATO and American power – a land invasion was too risky, the bombing was limited by the way public opinion had been mobilised behind the lie of a humanitarian war and the significant opposition even to this. China imposed limits on what could be given a fig leaf at the UN. The Russian people and army restricted Yeltsin’s ability to betray and even new East European NATO entrants, particularly in the Czech Republic, feared public hostility to war in Eastern Europe.

International recomposition


This international anti-war struggle was not amorphous. It was led by definite political forces and to some degree even internationally coordinated. The bombing of Yugoslavia provoked the biggest recomposition of the left wing of the international workers’ movement since the period between 1989 and dissolution of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1991. Virtually all of the forces which had supported the movements which resulted in the re-introduction of capitalism into eastern Europe – social democracy, the right wing of the Greens, the right wing of the former Communist Parties, and various components of the so-called far left in particular the Fourth International, and in Britain groups like Workers’ Liberty, moved further to the right (one exception was the British Socialist Workers’ Party which had welcomed the victory of Yeltsin in Russia, but opposed the bombing of Yugoslavia).

Most of the forces which had recognised that whatever the crimes of Stalinism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, the restoration of capitalism would be worse, stood out against the bombing and began to forge new links with each other internationally.

As in the period after the collapse of the Second International on eve of the First World War, or the Comintern following the victory of Hitler in 1933, only the living experience of vast class struggles and wars could clarify and start to unite the politically disparate currents which had emerged out of the left wings of the former Communist Parties in Western Europe after 1989.

After 1914, the political struggle within the Zimmerwald anti-war left, clarified by the rise of anti-war struggles culminating in the October 1917 revolution in Russia and upheavals throughout central Europe, had been the basis on which the Third International was finally brought together in 1919.

After the collapse of the Communist International marked by Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, it was only experiences on the scale of the Spanish Civil War and then Second World War which produced Communist leaderships in countries like China, Yugoslavia and Vietnam which broke with the political line of the Soviet bureaucracy to lead socialist revolutions. In Cuba, Fidel Castro led the overthrow of capitalism as part of a movement which, at the time, did not include the Moscow-influenced Communist Party.

Following 1989, the first such test was the Gulf War – which clarified where Gorbachev’s concessions to the United States were leading the international workers’ movement. The second was the offensive against the welfare state in Western Europe, which brought together the parties which had emerged from the left wings of the former Communist Parties mainly in southern Europe with the left social democratic parties outside the Socialist International in northern Europe and Scandinavia to form the New European Left Forum. The consolidation of these parties electorally then posed the problem of how to relate to the larger social democratic parties to their right, particularly where their parliamentary votes could make or break social democratic governments. This issue split, for example, Communist Refoundation in Italy, whose majority quite rightly refused to back the Italian social democratic government’s austerity program.

The bombing of Yugoslavia posed a colossal new test. It started to bring together the anti-imperialist socialists in Western and Eastern Europe for the first time since 1989, in parallel with the international recomposition to the world wide anti-imperialist left wing of the workers’ movement – including the Cuban, South African and Indian Communist Parties and the Communist Party of the Russian Federation.

The war also consolidated a shift in the foreign policy of the Chinese Communist Party, reflecting the growing threat to China from US imperialism. The bureaucracy of the Chinese workers’ state remains committed to the strategy of socialism in one country which previously led it into its alliance with the United States against the Soviet Union. But in the face of rapidly escalating US threats against China, the axis of its foreign policy was changed to combat first and foremost the US military threat. This provides no guarantee for the future, but enormously increased the weight of the international anti-war movement, for which the need to construct a united front with China against US imperialism is now a crucial political task, and test.

On the other hand, every social democratic party in the European Union supported the bombing. This was doubly significant as most of them were in government. The Blair government in Britain was, as is known, the most belligerent supporter of the bombing in any imperialist state, seeking to utilise the war and the opportunity it gave to show its usefulness to the United States, to pose itself as the bridge between Washington and the European Union.

The Red/Green coalition in Germany presided over the first deployment of German forces in war since the fall of Hitler. The Jospin coalition in France played a key role in the bombing. The Italian coalition government led by the Party of the Democratic Left – formerly the standard-bearers of Eurocommunism – defied public opinion to allow Italy to be used as the main take-off point for NATO bombers. The PASOK government in Greece put NATO before the views of its population.

The war marked the final demise of the majority leadership of the German Greens as a force to the left of social democracy. Germany’s Green foreign minister played a key role in blocking Green opposition to the bombing at its special conference in May. French Greens also supported bombing. In Britain, the much smaller Green Party opposed the bombing.

The bombing also confirmed the transition of the right wing of the former Communist Parties in Eastern and Western Europe to right wing social democracy — the former communist president of Poland backed NATO, as did the Italian Party of the Democratic Left government, as did the Hungarian Socialist Party leadership.

The leading forces of the anti-war movement in every imperialist state came from the socialist left wing of the labour movement.

Within the social democratic parties, minorities opposed the war – with very large opposition in Germany from both the social democratic left, led by Oscar Lafontaine, and significant opposition in a number of other states including France and Britain, where the part of the Labour left which opposed bombing provided the parliamentary platform of the anti-war movement.

The New European Left – the German Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS), Communist Refoundation in Italy, the United Left in Spain, the Greek Communist Party and Synaspismos, as well as left wing social democrats in Greece, the United Left in Spain, and so on – many of which originated in the left wing of the former Communist Parties, played a key role in the European anti-war movement. These parties are linked in the New European Left Forum which took an important initiative at the end of the war in inviting parties from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union to its first meeting after the war, in Madrid, to discuss the common anti-NATO struggle in Europe. The Greek left played a leading role internationally with numerous initiatives to draw together the anti-war struggle on a European level.

In Ireland, there were numerous anti-war protests, and on behalf of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams totally opposed NATO bombing, highlighting the hypocrisy of a British government which lectured the Irish about peace, while bombing defenceless civilians in Yugoslavia.

While opposing the bombing, the Italian Party of Communists (which had split with Commuinst Refoundation to support a government carrying out welfare cuts) and the French Communist Party refused to make this an issue of confidence in the coalition governments in those states. Had they done so a tremendous blow would have been struck against NATO – with the possible fall of two governments which were absolutely decisive for the bombing campaign. Nothing could justify participation in governments which were bombing Yugoslavia. The French Communist Party also made denunciation of Milosevic a condition for anti-bombing mobilisations, as did the French Fourth Internationalists, the Revolutionary Communist League.

In Eastern Europe, the anti-war struggle was mainly led by the left wing forces and parties which emerged from the crisis of the Communist Parties after 1989. In the Czech Republic this was led by the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia which went on to overtake the ruling social democrats at the polls after the war. In Hungary, left wing members of the social democratic pro-NATO Hungarian Socialist Party, like Tamas Krausz, launched a committee for peace in the Balkans. In Poland, the Polish Socialist Party, which originated in the left wing of Solidarity, played the leading role in the anti-war struggle and its parliamentary motion opposing the bombing was backed by the majority of the former Communist, pro-NATO, Democratic Left Alliance MPs.

Immediately after the bombing some of these forces came together at an international anti-war conference in London organised by the Committee for Peace in the Balkans. Participants included Lothar Bisky, the Chair of the German PDS, MPs and MEPs from the Greek anti-war parties, the Vice Chair of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia, the President of the Polish Socialist Party, the French Communist Party and the Swedish anti-war movement. Although they could not attend, the Chinese Embassy, Communist Refoundation and the Spanish United Left sent their best wishes to the conference. This was the most broad-based conference of the European anti-imperialist left organised in Britain for many years, and marked a decisive breakthrough in links between the left in Britain and Europe.

Internationally, Fidel Castro expressed total solidarity with the Serbs against NATO. The South African Communist Party opposed the bombing, stating: ‘Behind the bombing lies a US strategy to push the military presence of NATO ever eastwards. The tragedy of the former Yugoslavia, that has been unfolding over the last decade, has been induced at all stages by foreign interference, beginning with German encouragement of the break-up of this multi-ethnic country.’ The Indian Communists also came out in support of Yugoslavia against NATO.

In the United States, a leading role in the anti-war struggle was played by the International Action Centre and Noam Chomsky’s ZNet. Former US attorney general Ramsay Clarke played a high profile role in this both during the war and in launching an international tribunal to investigate NATO war crimes following the bombing.

In addition various bourgeois forces also opposed the bombing for their own reasons. Most importantly, bourgeois nationalist parties in some semi-colonial countries saw no reason to endorse a new international order which could be turned upon their own countries in future. In Britain some Tory politicians and commentators saw no reason to assist the establishment of a US/German hegemony in the Balkans – historically within British imperialism’s sphere of influence. In the United States, some right wing Republicans saw the war as a chance to undermine Clinton. Exploiting these divisions in the imperialist camp was another critical task in maximising the strength of the anti-war movement. The British movement, for example, was quite right to invite Conservative and Scottish Nationalist MPs onto its platform, while making no political concessions to their other views.

An important role in the international war movement was also played by all but the most abjectly pro-NATO currents in the ex-patriot Serb communities. Although the most prominent organised forces in most of these communities are anti-Communist, and though subject to the intense demonisation by the media, they nonetheless mobilised in de jure or de facto patriotic alliances against the bombing of their country. Their high level of mobilisation was critical to the momentum of many of the anti-war movements. A further test of the anti-war struggles in each country was to link up with these Serbian alliances against the bombing of Yugoslavia irrespective of their views on the history or current politics of the country. This in turn often provided first hand information which helped refute the Western media’s lies.



The part of the far left which had welcomed the transition from planned economies to capitalism in Eastern Europe continued its degeneration in the course of the war. The largest internationally organised such current was the Fourth International. While formally opposing the bombing, the Fourth International played little role in the international anti-war movement because its primary axis before, during and after the bombing was opposition to the Milosevic regime and ‘self-determination’ for Kosovo – when the real issue was the plan by US imperialism to establish a new NATO colony in the province. The French language journal of the Fourth International, Inprecor, codified this orientation with the headline on its editorial: ‘Neither NATO, nor Milosevic, self-determination for Kosovars.’ This ‘third camp’, of opposition to the Yugoslav army and NATO, no more existed in the war than it had at the time of the Bay of Pigs US invasion of Cuba or the war in Vietnam. The Fourth International confirmed its trajectory towards the camp of liberal imperialism in the course of the war by calling for support for the International War Crimes Tribunal and its indictment of Milosevic (‘Not that we reject the International War Crimes Tribunal nor its indictment of Milosevic’ – From the Balkans War to the world order: balance sheet of the war, September 1999). Even bourgeois observers were capable of recognising that the Tribunal is a pure instrument of NATO intervention in Yugoslavia. As NATO spokesperson, Jamie Shea, put it on 17 May: ‘Without NATO countries there would be no International Court of Justice, nor would there be any International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia because NATO countries are in the forefront of those who have established these two tribunals, who fund these tribunals and who support on a daily basis their activities’ (John Luaghland, The Times, 17 June 1999).

One of the most grotesque such currents was the British Workers’ Liberty, whose main activity during the bombing was to participate in the KLA’s small pro-NATO counter-demonstrations against the anti-war movement – on which the main flags were always that of NATO, alongside the union jack and the stars and stripes.

The left wing intelligentsia was also deeply polarised by the war. In the United States, figures like Noam Chomsky played a crucial role in debunking the lies of the US government on the war and organised an international call by Jewish intellectuals to the German Green Party calling for opposition to the bombing. In Britain, New Left Review vigorously opposed the bombing, with Tariq Ali and Peter Gowan, among others, speaking on anti-war platforms.

No organised international movement existed or coordinated these forces. But, nonetheless, some international coordination did exist: between China, Russia and Yugoslavia; between the New European Left Parties which opposed the bombing in Western and Eastern Europe; between the different anti-war committees all over the world, notably via the internet; through delegations to Yugoslavia at the height of the bombing. The anti-war struggle in each country was built upon and reinforced by this international alignment of forces against NATO.

The most important lesson of the struggle against the bombing of Yugoslavia is that, while no individual country can withstand the full might of US imperialism and its allies, no single country should be allowed to stand alone. The war revealed, like Vietnam before it, that the United States is powerful but not omnipotent. Its Achilles heel is that, because it aspires to hegemony over the entire planet, every progressive struggle in the world is a problem for the United States, with the result that it can rarely focus its full resources upon a single opponent.

The core of the strategy necessary to fight the new US-led colonialism is the necessity of bringing together the broadest possible international solidarity with those in the front line of the imperialist attack. Che Guevara encapsulated this when the Vietnamese people were in the front line of the struggle for human civilisation and progress against the US war machine — with his call for international solidarity ‘Create two, three, many Vietnams.’ Lenin made the same point in the last article he ever wrote, where he noted: ‘In the last analysis the outcome of the struggle will be determined by the fact that Russia, India, China, etc, account for the overwhelming majority of the population of the globe’ (‘Better fewer, but better’, Collected Works, Vol 33).

Due to the endurance of the people of Yugoslavia, the left wing of the international workers’ movement took a giant step forward in its political clarification and its international alliances during the bombing of Yugoslavia. The most important single task at the end of the war is to build upon that international realignment, forge closer links and deepen discussions in order to create the most powerful possible starting point for the struggle against the next imperialist descent into barbarism.

Given that imperialism has not yet finished its project of Balkanising and pacifying Yugoslavia, solidarity with that country’s people will be the first issue around which this recomposition moves further forward.