To be against war and militarism, in the tradition of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, is one thing. But to have a record of consistent support for war and militarism, from the Red Army in Eastern Europe to the Serbian ethnic cleansers and the Taliban, is quite another. It is really a disgrace that the liberal press refers to such enemies of liberalism as ‘antiwar’ when in reality they are straight-out pro-war, but on the other side .
.....Mr Hitchens describes himself as an ex-Trotskyist, though judging by his recent hagiography of the eponymous “old man”, one should not assume that this self-description amounts to a full apostasy from the faith. With such intimate knowledge as he possesses, therefore, Mr Hitchens should not be surprised to find that Trotskyists pursue their ends by any means – whether by terrorism, war or the watchword of peace; for they follow the example as set by their founder:
[T]he revolution does require of the revolutionary class that it should attain its end by all methods at its disposal—if necessary, by an armed rising: if required, by terrorism .
The watchword of peace undoubtedly played an enormous part in our struggle; but precisely because it was directed against the imperialist war. The idea of peace was supported most strongly of all, not by the tired soldiers, but by the foremost workers, for whom it had the import, not for a rest, but of a pitiless struggle against the exploiters. It was those same workers who, under the watchword of peace, laterlaid down their lives on the Soviet fronts .
Karl Liebknecht: Seize the quarters of your officers; disarm them immediately. Make sure that your officers sympathize with you. In case they do so, let them lead you. Shoot them immediately in case they betray you after they have declared themselves supporters of your cause......Soldiers and marines! Fraternize! Take possession of your ships. Overpower first your officers. Place yourselves in communication with your comrades on land and seize all harbours and open fire, if necessary, on loyal groups .
Rosa Luxemburg: It is only the overcoming of war and the speediest possible enforcement of peace by the international militancy of the proletariat that can bring victory to the
workers' cause .
.....It is no wonder that these traditions appear as one, however; for they are but strands in the poisonous tangle of Marxism, in whose very roots the meanings of peace, terror, militancy and principle are twisted. Engels, for instance, tells us that “[a]n end to wars, peace among the nations, the cessation of pillaging and violence - such is our ideal”, but also that “[t]he war of the poor against the rich will be the bloodiest ever waged”  and that “[t]he next world war will not only cause reactionary classes and dynasties to disappear from the face of the earth, but also entire reactionary peoples. And that too is an advance” . Marx tells us that “there is only one way in which the murderous death agonies of the old society and the bloody birth throes of the new society can be shortened, simplified and concentrated, and that way is revolutionary terrorism” . Lenin, for his part, is quite plain about the need for Marxists to be open to all expedient means by which socialism might be attained:
Marxism differs from all primitive forms of socialism by not binding the movement to any one particular form of struggle. It recognises the most varied forms of struggle; and it does not “concoct” them, but only generalises, organises, gives conscious expression to those forms of struggle of the revolutionary classes which arise of themselves in the course of the movement. Absolutely hostile to all abstract formulas and to all doctrinaire recipes, Marxism demands an attentive attitude to the mass struggle in progress, which, as the movement develops, as the class-consciousness of the masses grows, as economic and political crises become acute, continually gives rise to new and more varied methods of defence and attack. Marxism, therefore, positively does not reject any form of struggle .