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Bush And Blair's War Plans Increase World Tensions
AS THE Socialist predicted, Bush and Blair's 'war against terrorism' has not gone according to plan.
Preparations for extending the war into Iraq had to be pushed back as the Israeli government intensified its offensive against the Palestinians. Now, nuclear powers India and Pakistan are once more teetering on the brink of war over Kashmir.
US vice-president Dick Cheney has warned that "it's not a matter of if, but when" a new al Qa'ida terrorist attack takes place in the US. This is a clear admission that the 'war against terrorism' has completely failed to destroy al Qa'ida. But it was also an attempt by Cheney to deflect attention from mounting criticism of events leading up to 11 September.
It's been revealed that both the FBI and the CIA had information prior to 11 September warning that al Qa'ida might be preparing to hijack US planes. Yet nothing was done to improve security.
No doubt this inaction had something to do with a reluctance to cut into the profits of the big US airlines. Also, at the time, the hawks in the US administration were more concerned with increasing spending on the National Missile Defence system than countering terrorism.
Bush has been riding high in the opinion polls since 11 September. But these revelations and the fact that they have been kept under wraps for eight months could well lead to a fall in his support.
The situation in Afghanistan is also unravelling. Aid agencies estimate that 20,000 Afghans died as an indirect consequence of Bush and Blair's war. This is in addition to the 3,000 - 8,000 civilians killed by the bombing itself.
There is no real peace, security or prosperity for those who have survived the war. 30 different warlords are opposed to Hamid Karzai's interim government which has no real power outside of Kabul. Intense fighting has broken out between rival warlords and ethnic groups, sometimes encouraged and aided by the US. It's not surprising that no country wants to take responsibility from Britain for the international peacekeeping force.
1,700 British marines were sent to continue the US's ground war against al Qa'ida/Taliban (AQT) after US troops were killed.
Despite numerous 'operations' they don't seem to have even found any AQTs let alone enter into battle. The only thing they seem to have caught is an unidentifiable stomach illness.
Brigadier Roger Lane, commander of the British troops in Afghanistan said recently that "the war is all but won". Now he is being removed from his position.
In reality, most of the al Qa'ida leaders have disappeared over the border in Pakistan and the stage is being set for a prolonged guerrilla war which could embroil the outside powers for an indefinite period.
The suicide attack in Karachi, Pakistan which killed 14, including eleven French, shows how events in Afghanistan threaten to destabilise the region. Conflict between India and Pakistan over Kashmir could inflame the entire situation.
Capitalism is an inherently unstable system. The 'war against terrorism' has aggravated and intensified already existing tensions, unleashing events which can rapidly spiral out of the control of US imperialism and the major capitalist powers internationally.
In The Socialist 24 May 2002: