The ILRS expresses its deep concern over the US/British military actions in Afghanistan.
This crisis must not be allowed to escalate into a material war between peoples, religions, civilisations, or states. We should not allow ourselves to drift into the thinking of 'us versus them', (i.e. Western values versus Islam); this is the mindset of the terrorists, and we can only defeat it if we uphold the idea of unity and the common bond of all humanity.
As we seek safety against terrorist acts and justice for the victims of 11 September, we must also take this opportunity to call for all those in our own societies, who have chosen to use violence against other nations, to be brought to justice. The democratic community shares a commitment to the process of law to achieve such justice. We call for the creation of a new and binding international legal justice system for resolving disputes and guaranteeing universal human rights.
Such a system would include the creation of an international court where those who commit crimes against humanity can be charged and brought to justice. When criminals can be apprehended by universal means, i.e., by public security forces in civil society, the option to use force between nations to seize criminals will no longer exist. An international legal justice system would be the most effective long-term response to terror, by ensuring that no one, from any nation, will be beyond the reach of international law.
Any global campaign against terror must also be a campaign against global poverty. After 11 September, we must recognise that the amount of money being spent on security and defense will be of no use if we do not take a longer view of the problem, by committing an even greater amount of funds to ending the kind of poverty which creates the extreme conditions that can be manipulated by extremists into hate, violence and terrorism. Relieving the debt of the world's poorest nations is an urgent priority, along with raising the percentage of specifically targeted foreign aid donated by the world's richest nations to 1% of their GDP.
In regard to the international economic system, it is essential that radical reform of the WTO, IMF, and World Bank take place immediately, in order to implement fully transparent and democratic processes for strengthening the global economy in such a way as to help raise the standards of living in the poorer nations.
As members of the socialist political movement in democratic society, we do not believe that the ends justify the means in political matters. Rather we believe that the means shape the ends. Therefore, while we condemn and confront those who choose terror, it is all the more important that we carefully consider our own means of response to this crisis. Because as the use of terror results in a world living in terror, the means of our response will eventually have to correspond to the end we seek for the future of our entire world.