Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/294/13978
We won't pay
The Bloody Price Of War
A SENIOR US Army official has said that the US is ready to pay a "very high price" to win the war in Iraq. In fact this war for oil could kill thousands of Iraqis, Americans and British. Already the casualties - both dead and injured - are mounting.
In one incident US troops shot dead at least ten Iraqi women and children at a checkpoint outside Karbala. The victims were fleeing from fighting. Incidents like this may become more widespread as troops follow new 'orders of engagement' i.e. shoot first and ask questions afterwards.
As Iraqis keep resisting these attacks, the bombings will become fiercer. 8,700 missiles dropped their deadly cargo in the first 12 days of the war - while the forces were being kept on their best behaviour to placate hostile world opinion.
Even the smartest bombs go astray and kill civilians as they did in the shopping area in Baghdad on 26 March. Now the US Army admit American casualties could easily reach 1,000 - and who knows how many civilians and troops from both sides.
WORKING-CLASS and poor people not only pay the price of this war in blood but also in money. Cruise missiles at $1 million a go and bombs at $55,000 each will cost America's working class enormously in cut services.
In Britain too, chancellor Gordon Brown's 'war chest' is now officially £3 billion. The real figure is nearer to £10 billion. In next week's budget Brown is overlooking all those queuing for urgent action to help hard-pressed services.
For a start he's ignoring teachers who say schools need new staff, not the cuts which education authorities nationwide threaten. He's shafting the firefighters who need a decent pay rise and the staff to maintain a top-class service - New Labour offer them only cutbacks.
If this bloody war to control Iraq and its oil carries on for any length of time, this will get worse. It will push Brown's budget deeper into the red. We will pay for this through rising taxes and/or deeper public spending cuts and job losses.
The bosses caused this war but it will be workers who pay for it. Stop this war! Change the system!
In The Socialist 4 April 2003: