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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 January 2003

No to war with Iraq

Build The Anti-War Protests

The US is set to increase the number of its troops in the Middle East to 150,000, stepping up preparations for a war against Iraq while, as yet, the UN inspectors have uncovered no evidence of weapons of mass destruction.

Ken Douglas

Bush's hypocrisy can be seen in the US government's treatment of North Korea - another member of his 'axis of evil'. Here is a state, which probably has nuclear weapons, is exporting Scud missiles and has expelled UN inspectors yet the US proposes 'tailored containment' rather than invasion.

Iraq is being targeted for its vast oil reserves. The US has a military presence in almost every country that either has oil or borders a country that has oil.

Meanwhile more information about the likely cost on war with Iraq is emerging. It is estimated that UK spending could exceed 5 billion. The cost of war in Afghanistan is set to spiral to 618 million which only involved about 1,500 combat troops, since reduced to 300.

This compares to 10-15,000 British troops that are likely to be used for a full scale invasion of Iraq, quite apart from any peace-keeping role afterwards. Blair says there's no money for the firefighters who perform an essential, life saving service but at the same time he's prepared to squander billions on war with Iraq.

Opposition against this war is growing. On 15 February there will be a worldwide day of protest - hundreds of thousands of workers and young people will demonstrate their opposition to an invasion of Iraq.

The national demonstration in London could surpass the magnificent 400,000 that attended the protest on 28 September last year. We need to do all we can to ensure that the anti-war voice is heard loud and clear by Bush and Blair.

We need to build an organised campaign with groups in every workplace, school and college and prepare for a mass walkout if war starts, followed by a campaign of civil disobedience.

Whether there is war in Iraq or not, US and British capitalism will continue to inflict misery on the world. Every year the US spends 237 billion on the military - a fraction of this amount, just 15 billion, would ensure that everyone had access to a clean water supply.

A socialist world would ensure that the working class and poor could democratically own and control the vast resources currently controlled by the multi-national corporations.

The struggle for socialism is essential to the elimination of poverty and war.

National demo

1 pm, 15 February

Central London

(Further details to follow)

Stop The War Campaign National Conference

Saturday 11 January, 10 am to 5 pm, The Camden Centre, Judd Street, London WC1H 9JE

Contact 020 8988 8767 for details.

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In The Socialist 10 January 2003:

Economic crisis, war, attacks on public services

No to war with Iraq

Support the firefighters

Venezuela: Why The Oil Bosses Are 'Striking'

World Economy: The Crisis Deepens

USDAW executive elections

New Labour Claims We Live Too Long


 

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