No to War Against Iraq!
Build a Popular Anti –War Movement
The Planned war against Iraq by the United States, slavishly supported by Tony Blair, will without doubt lead to the killing of thousands, if not tens of thousands, of innocent people. It is completely without justification.
The arguments, if that is not too strong a term, in its defence are completely worthless and are based on the crudest lies and hypocrisy:
Saddam Hussein threatens the world with weapons of mass destruction! – Iraq is a destitute and devastated country after the Gulf War and years of punitive UN sanctions. One US citizen, Bill Gates has a personal fortune bigger than the Gross Domestic Product of the whole country. The US economy is 200 times larger than Iraq’s and its military spend now exceeds that of the next 25 countries combined. The Iraqi military is a third of its Gulf War size. It has no long range missile capability and has never sought to develop one. Former UN weapons inspectors Scott Ritter and Richard Butler have categorically rejected the assertion that Iraq has rebuilt the weapons destroyed in the 1990s.
Saddam Hussein is violating UN resolutions – So he is. And so is Israel in its 35 year occupation of the West Bank yet the US gives Israel the weapons to do it. So also is the US – its demand for a ‘regime change’ in Iraq is contrary to the UN charter. George Bush’s speech to the UN was a cynical threat – the UN must support the US attack on Iraq because Iraq has ignored the UN but if the UN refuses he will also ignore the UN and attack!
Saddam Hussein is linked to the Al Qaeda terrorists – Absolutely no evidence of such a connection has ever been provided. In fact Al Qaeda has repeatedly called for the downfall of Saddam Hussein. On the other hand bin Laden and the other Islamist fundamentalists were armed and trained by the US when they were fighting against the Russians in Afghanistan and the US previously supported Saddam as well!
Saddam Hussein is a vicious dictator – So he is. But so is the Saudi regime and the US has been quite happy to support it and other dictatorships around the world – as long as they do as they are told.
All these ‘arguments’ are but pretexts for an old fashioned imperialist war for resources. The US seeks to get its hands on the world’s second largest proven oil reserves worth 112.5 billion barrels to the exclusion of its economic rivals. It seeks to extend its global military control and to install a puppet government in Iraq that will do is bidding. The war will be used too shield the Bush administration from the corporate scandals that threaten to engulf it and to restrict the democratic rights of its opponents under the pretext of a war against terrorism. All around the world governments have attacked civil liberties with this open ended, undefined war as an excuse.
Iraq is only the latest of a long line of countries from Nicaragua to Somalia to Afghanistan who have suffered from the US drive to make the world secure for its money and power. Success in the war against Iraq will see new countries join the list of those the US will seek to invade and turn into neo-colonial puppet states. When Bush threatened the world with a decades-long open-ended war he meant it – unless he is stopped.
Many opposed to war have looked to the UN to stop it. They have failed to notice that Bush and Blair have looked to the UN to do exactly the opposite – to provide a fig-leaf of legitimacy for a war of imperialist plunder. The UN has never acted to prevent the US waging war. The US has ignored UN resolutions with impunity when it has wanted to and used it to rubber stamp its wars when required. During the last war against Iraq some opponents of the war called for sanctions instead. As it turned out UN sanctions killed more innocent people that the war.
The US has already set about bribing and threatening the countries that currently make up the UN Security Council to support their war. No one should expect that countries like Russia or China that are waging their own wars will stand against the US, or that Ireland with its forelock tugging Taoiseach will either. The opposition of states like Germany or France has nothing to do with principled opposition to war but a desire not to lose out to the US in the competitive scramble for resources.
Only a popular anti-war movement independent of all states, made up of working class people from the US, Britain, Ireland and many others will consistently oppose this war. Only by trying to build this sort of anti-war campaign can we turn widespread suspicion of the motives of Bush and Blair into an effective opposition. In Ireland this means targeting those who collaborate with the war by, for example, allowing US military aircraft to use Shannon as a base. All those, from politicians to trade union leaders, who fail to speak out against the war and fail to take real action must be targets of a campaign to expose their role and seek their replacement.
This war is not ultimately the result of the criminal policies of George Bush. It is the latest in a string of wars that result from a social system that puts pursuit of wealth by a tiny section of the world’s population based mainly in the west above the needs of the worlds poor and its working class. This war is an imperialist war and only an end to imperialism across the world will finally witness a new world order based on peace and equality.