Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/289/20235
Hypocrite Bush's New Nuke Programme
JUST IN case George W Bush's constant propaganda calls for Iraq's disarmament made you think that he's against weapons of mass destruction, this week's news will make you think again.
A leaked new Pentagon document says that the US now plans to build a new generation of nuclear weapons. These include 'low-yield' mini-nukes, which may sound like low-alcohol lager, but these mini-monsters can kill you far quicker.
What's more, as they're smaller and can be improvised from a conventional weapon, they are labelled as more "usable"! There are also proposals for earth-penetrating "bunker-buster" bombs which burrow underground before exploding.
There is talk of reviving the neutron bomb, an "enhanced radiation weapon" labelled the capitalist bomb as it kills people but leaves property safe. The Pentagon is investigating using them to destroy chemical or biological weapons stored underground.
Bush wants to start testing these bombs in the deserts of western USA but if US imperialism started using them it would create deserts worldwide.
All this is on top of the USA's huge stockpile of over 10,000 nuclear warheads including 550 long-distance intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) with 1,700 warheads plus 18 Trident submarines with 3,120 warheads.
UN Security Council members Russia, Britain, France and China also have thousands of nuclear weapons. Israel has secretly developed some 200 nuclear weapons and won't let weapons inspectors in, but Israel is Washington's ally. India and Pakistan, who nearly went to war last year with arms sold by the US, Britain and France, both have scores of nuclear weapons.
Bush may never use these weapons - even the most arrogant governments normally see the use of nuclear weapons as a last resort. But the capitalist system produces unstable and militaristic leaders. Unless we build mass movements and fight to end that system, you can't rule out a possible nuclear conflict.
Bombing and sanctions in Iraq
AN ARTICLE by John Pilger in the Independent on Sunday (23 February) graphically shows the effect of the sanctions that have killed thousands of Iraqis.
Pilger details how much a shortage of drugs, a result of UN sanctions, is harming a beleaguered population who have been punished for over a decade for Saddam's crimes. Some 167 children are dying every day in Iraq. There have been 500,000 deaths above the anticipated rate amongst Iraqi children under five.
Deaths from cancers, congenital malformations etc. show the impact of depleted uranium (DU) shells. But it's not just the effect of last decade's warfare. Depleted uranium will be used in any future conflict.
Bombing has hardly stopped since the last Gulf War. Using the UN no-fly zones, US and British aircraft operate frequently over large parts of Iraq. Between July 1998 and January 2000, US air force and naval aircraft flew 36,000 sorties over Iraq - including 24,000 combat missions.
In what Pilger says is the largest US-British aerial bombardment since World War Two, planes dropped over 1,800 bombs and hit 450 targets in just one year 1999.
UN officials told Pilger they reckoned the West had been responsible for over a million deaths. This is the reality of Blair's 'moral war' even in what is officially still a time of peace.
Stuttgart: Young people strike against the war
TEN THOUSAND school students, apprentices and university students filled the streets of Stuttgart, Germany on 25 February as part of a strike called by Youth against War (YaW) against Bush's war plans.
This was part of a national day of action called by YaW - a campaign initiated by Sozialistiche Alternative. The very lively demo shouted slogans like "Strike in the schools, strike in the factories - that is our answer to your war."
One speaker at the end of the rally, Bernd Riexinger, Stuttgart secretary of Germany's largest trade union ver.di, called for five-minute protest strikes on Day X, the day war starts.
In The Socialist 28 February 2003: