I wish to challenge John Richmond's argument (Feedback, Socialist Review, November 2009) and also to question his agenda and motives.
Firstly, he states that the war in Afghanistan has "no real impact on voting patterns" and then that those who oppose war are "upset about the Taliban and Islam".
As Marxists, we don't soak up the prevailing ideas like sponges - we challenge them and explain the truth. Not only is imperialism the highest stage of capitalism, but war (and fascism) is the ultimate barbarity of imperialism.
The brutality meted out to workers in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last eight years is horrifying. As Marxists, we are part of the international working class and defend the right of the colonised workers to defend themselves against imperialist aggression.
So, what exactly is John Richmond's agenda? He writes about fighting "for our programme" and not being "against things". Well, the people of Afghanistan are not outside "our programme".
The rise in Islamophobia is a consequence of the most recent invasions and as socialists we fight against racism and anything which divides the working class. If the people who John Richmond works with are "upset about Islam", perhaps he should show them the statistics (and human stories) of those who have been attacked, simply for being Muslim.