Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/292/14003
The Horror Begins
DESPITE MASS protests by tens of millions of people around the world, Bush and Blair's war machine has unleashed a horrific attack against Iraq.
"War is inherently violent. People are going to die" stated Air Force General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Pentagon planners expect to hit more targets in Baghdad in the first 24 hours of this war than in all 43 days of the last Gulf War: "Such a shock on the system that the Iraqi regime would have to assume early on that the end is inevitable".
Tony Blair wants a 'perfect war' - over quickly, with the minimum of casualties.
But nobody can be sure how long this war will last. It could be over within days. On the other hand troops could become embroiled in bloody hand-to-hand streetfighting in Baghdad.
Whatever the war's duration, however 'smart' the bombs that pulverize Iraq, Richard Myers is right - thousands of civilians could be slaughtered, thousands injured and millions forced to flee their homes and face starvation.
At the same time, US and British soldiers are risking their lives to guarantee the vulture oil corporations control of Iraqi oil reserves and to reinforce US military, economic and political supremacy in the Middle East and across the globe.
The worldwide consequences of this war are incalculable. The superior US war machine is bound to emerge 'victorious'. But 'victory' could mean the Iraqi people facing US military occupation. It could mean an even more unstable world environment with increased war, conflict, poverty and terrorism internationally.
That's why tens of millions have protested against this bloody war for oil. Millions more will be involved in mass protests, strikes, walkouts and civil disobedience over the next few days.
In an extended editorial we outline the way forward for the anti-war movement and the need for a political alternative to the pro-war, pro-big business policies of New Labour and the main capitalist parties.
Other articles explain how war is the inevitable consequence of the super-exploitation, the relentless pursuit of profit and the ruthless competition which are inherent in the capitalist system.
We also explain how ending war is inextricably linked to a struggle for 'system change'. And we appeal to everyone involved in the anti-war movement to join us in our struggle to change the world along socialist lines.
- Organise walkouts, strikes, mass protests and civil disobedience against the war.
- Blair out. For a new mass party that represents the millions not the millionaires.
- Shut down the war machine. Spend the money waging a war on poverty.
- Democratic ownership of the oil and energy industries.
- For a socialist world without war and terror.
In The Socialist 21 March 2003: