Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/281/24444
For A Socialist Alternative To War
IRAQ HAS produced a 12,000 page document to the UN denying that it has any weapons of mass destruction.
Bush and Blair have said that this contradicts their own 'intelligence' reports, which they are however reluctant to share. Many are based on unreliable information from Iraqi defectors.
Bush has said that the document will be "thoroughly examined" and that will "take some time". But hawks in the US administration, like Vice-President Cheney, are pushing for an immediate declaration that Iraq is in "material breach" of UN resolution 1441 and for the launching of a military attack on Iraq within weeks.
They are determined to bring about "regime change" in Iraq. A war would have nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction, fighting terrorism or bringing democracy or stability to Iraq; it would be about carving up the Iraqi oil fields and enforcing US power in the region and internationally.
Behind the military might of the US are the battalions of big business and in particular the oil corporations. This is understood by the thousands of people who have taken to the streets to oppose a war with Iraq - including 200,000 in Washington, 400,000 in London and one million in Florence.
While the process of weapons inspections is going on, the preparations for war are escalating. There has been a 300% increase in the bombs dropped in southern Iraq since March this year. In other words a 'pre-war' has already begun in order to destroy Iraq's defence systems in anticipation of a full-scale conflict.
However, there are many obstacles on the path to war. The UN Security Council members are divided, as is the US administration, about what to do next. Any attempt by the US, backed up by Blair, to bypass protracted UN inspections and declare war would unleash widespread opposition.
According to a recent survey, since 2000, "favourable" impressions of the US have declined in two-thirds of countries. In Jordan, Pakistan and Egypt's large majorities have negative views. The secretary of the Arab League was not exaggerating when he said that war could open the "gates of hell".
War is rooted in a system whose motive force is the pursuit of profit. The urgent task we now face is to extend and strengthen the anti-war movement.
At the same time, the building of a socialist alternative to the capitalist horrors of war, poverty and terror is an absolute necessity.
In The Socialist 13 December 2002:
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