The ISO like other trot groups such as Socialist Worker's Party and Worker's World are supported or funded by liberal capitalists. They may at times sound revolutionary but in fact are not. The ISO openly supported and endorsed Nader during the election 2000. The ISO is part of the Canadian and European I.S. and British SWP which are electoral liberal
The US ruling class can not tolerate another mass anti-war movement that is out of their control. They can not tolerate a mass anti-imperialist, anti-racist, even anti-capitalist anti-war movement. Groups like the ISO help the bosses build a liberal,anti-anarchist, anti-communist, pro-capitalist anti-war movement (i.e., an anti-war movement which is under their control; by the way, this kind of movement fits into the general liberal peace/pacifist movement push). The ISO members know about US imperialism and how this war is about controlling Mideast and Caspian Sea oil (see the current issue of their magazine International Socialist
review). They are not interested in spreading marxist thinking to masses of workers and students. They are liberal in practice. They oppose Bush and the right vehemently but are much weaker on exposing the liberals and the democrats. They do not discuss how capitalism breeds war and that
imperialism is the logical outcome of capitalism because of the need for capitalists to maximize profits and expand or die.
What little they say about revolution is of course the trotskyite idea of socialist revolution must happen in the whole world or at least in all the major imperialist countries first. They like all trot groups defend national liberation movements and nationalism too. They basically push the idea that we can reform away capitalism.
They are mainly focused on the campuses. They seem to focus on taking over student coalitions whenever possible such as the current anti-war coalitions. Again, this is so they can stifle political discussion about the capitalist roots of this war or other problems. Their actions are political because by focusing narrowly on just opposing the war, they impede others from understanding how this war is an imperialist war for oil.
Every member of the ISO particularly recent young members probably might consciously be trying to prevent anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist anti-war movement from developing. but These members are won to a liberal, pseudo-revolutionary line which is based on the idea that most students and workers can't understand how capitalism and imperialism works. Their elitist, dominating approach actually alienates people as many have discovered in Boston and Berkeley at the students agains war conferences. The effect is to disrupt the anti-war movement. The leaders of the ISO know better and are consciously trying to prevent an anti-imperialist anti-war movement from developing.
We need to fight the ISO by fighting to put forth our anti-imperialist, anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-capitalist views in our struggles against the war. We should not be afraid to talk to other students about this war and oil and imperialism and capitalism. The best way to deal with the ISO is to be bold (but not mechanical) and build strong ties with other students. We need to be leading the fight against military research and ROTC on the campus and the role of universities in developing racist ideology and imperialist policy. When we lead class struggle on the campus, fake revolutionaries like the ISO will only be further exposed.