1991 Iraq war sounded opening guns of World War III

April 4, 2022

Below is a selection from New International no. 7, which features the article “Washington’s Assault on Iraq: The Opening Guns of World War III,” published just after the first Gulf War. Copyright © 1991 by New International. Reprinted by permission.


The war and its immediate consequences did not resolve, but rather exacerbated the economic and political contradictions in the United States and worldwide that increasingly drove Washington to use its military might in the first place. The war accelerated the rivalry between Washington and other imperialist powers and increased the likelihood of sharpening conflicts among them. …

The employers will try to take more out of the hides of the hundreds of millions of debt slaves in the semicolonial world. They will drive harder at home to lower living standards and step up the pace and intensity of production inside mines, mills, and factories. They will extend their efforts to chip away at rights and democratic liberties and seek to weaken and restrict the space open to the working class and its organizations for independent political action.

Washington’s war against Iraq was thus an announcement, a loud and clear one, of the conflicts that lie ahead as the imperialist rulers follow the historic logic of their declining world system of exploitation and oppression — a line of march that, willy-nilly, moves toward World War III.

For working people the world over, for vanguard working-class fighters, and for that section of the working-class vanguard who are communists, these political assessments are decisive in charting a course to advance the historic line of march of our class. The future of humanity depends on the independent political organization of the world’s toilers to resist the devastation the rulers seek to impose on us. It depends on our capacity to fight, to win revolutionary battles, and to take war-making powers out of the hands of the exploiters and oppressors by establishing governments of the workers and farmers. …

We will have our chance.