Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/275/24506
Stop The War Machine
"In just one year, the President has somehow squandered the international outpouring of sympathy, goodwill and solidarity that followed the attacks of September 11 and converted it into anger and apprehension aimed much more at the United States than at the terrorist network..."
Ex-US presidential candidate Al Gore reflects on how sympathy for the US following September 11 has faded in the face of the arrogance of Bush and his pursuit of war with Iraq.
The reaction to the Bali bombing shows just how this mood is changing. A 35,000 strong anti-war demo in Australia held a minute's silence for those killed in the bombing but were also very critical of John Howard, the Australian PM, for his slavish support for Bush.
They recognise that it is the policies of US imperialism, backed up by Blair, Howard and Co. that are primarily responsible for these terrorist atrocities. As Independent journalist, Robert Fisk said after Bali, "none of us are safe and Britons could be next".
Russia's barbaric military occupation of Chechnya devastated its capital Grozny, wiped out whole villages with the use of fuel/air bombs and destroyed the country's infrastructure. The Russian army have killed whole villages by strapping all the villagers together, men, women, children, and then blowing them up with explosives.
These were the causes of the siege of the theatre in Moscow that was so brutally and disastrously ended by Russian Special Forces. Moreover, as in Bali and New York, it was ordinary working-class people who were the victims.
Yet Bush and his poodle Blair have uttered no criticism of Putin since S11, as they need his support for their military adventures.
It is this hypocrisy and arrogance that is helping to build the anti-war movement worldwide and make no mistake these protests will have their effect. Tony Blair may not have looked worried after the 400,000 strong 28 September demo but it has shaken him.
It was even mentioned by Condoleezza Rice, US head of security, and the US government barely acknowledges demonstrations in America, let alone the rest of the world.
The potential exists to build on the 28 September demo. The day of action against war on Iraq on 31 October could be a step towards developing vibrant anti-war groups with firm roots in every college, school and workplace; of developing plans for civil disobedience if a war starts.
We live in uncertain times; every country will be affected by the world economic crisis. Across the world privatisation and deregulation are driving down workers' pay and conditions; famine threatens the countries of sub-Saharan Africa.
Imperialism brings misery to billions across the planet and the US' wars are just the tip of this iceberg.
Only socialism can provide a solution, where working people worldwide, with the vast resources of capitalism at their disposal, can begin to democratically and rationally plan society and solve the problems afflicting humankind.
In The Socialist 1 November 2002: