Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/276/24490
31 October thousands say...
No To War With Iraq
FOUR THOUSAND protesters marched to 10 Downing St on 31 October as tens of thousands staged demonstrations across the country against war with Iraq. This follows the massive demonstration of up to 200,000 in Washington on 26 October and shows that opposition is still growing even at this early stage.
In a significant hardening of its position, Saudi Arabia has firmly ruled out the use of its air bases to launch an attack on Iraq even if the UN approves the use of force.
The election of the Islamic AKP in Turkey's general election further complicates the situation. Turkey is a member of Nato and an ally of the US but an AKP government could face a dilemma in supporting the invasion of neighbouring Iraq, a Muslim country.
However preparations for an invasion continue. The government this week will announce enforced mobilisation of up to 10,000 reservists, including plans to retain them in the army for an indefinite period.
Tony Blair is expected to overrule Treasury objections and authorise the deployment of an armoured division and aircraft carrier to the Gulf.
Meanwhile the US and the Kuwaiti government have sealed off a third of the country next to the border area for joint 'military exercises', in reality a rehearsal for the invasion of Iraq.
At the same time confusion reigns over the status of the prospective UN resolutions on Iraq, with Russia still insisting on two resolutions, Britain saying that a resolution is imminent and the US threatening to set a deadline beyond which they will act unilaterally.
Bush and Blair hypocritically talk about weapons of mass destruction while backing development of deadly chemical and biological weapons. They continue to export weapons around the globe as Blair has just done with his gift of Challenger tanks to Jordan.
And now they want to drag us into a war in which thousands of working-class and poor people could die for the sake of the prestige of the world's only superpower and the profits of the oil corporations.
This is why we need to build the anti-war movement and link it to the developing struggles of workers against low pay and privatisation. Above all else, to link these battles to the struggle for socialism and the ending of capitalism's ruinous hold on the world.
In The Socialist 8 November 2002: