Archive article from The Socialist Issue 430
End this military adventure
TONY BLAIR first claimed the invasion of Iraq was to find weapons of mass destruction (WMD); then it was to bring democracy and stability to Iraq and the Middle East.
Now in desperation, finding that his lies cut no ice, he, like George Bush, claims he is on 'a mission from God'.
But Blair and Bush will find that even claiming to have God on their side will not shore up support for their failing invasion and occupation of Iraq; an occupation which is costing the US people over $1,000 billion, is daily increasing worldwide instability, and bringing dreadful insecurity and misery to the long-suffering Iraqi people.
Bush's problems mounted last week when a poll from Zogby International said that 72% of US troops believe they should withdraw from Iraq in the next 12 months, with 29% believing they should pull out immediately. 93% of US troops do not believe the war was conducted to find WMD but to remove Saddam.
Britain's armed forces are also suffering a crisis of morale. An Observer report showed that they are facing a "recruitment and overstretch crisis" where the UK is struggling to fulfil its military commitments due to "serious manning shortfalls" in 80 key operational areas.
The Ministry of Defence admits the crisis has led to a predicted shortfall of more than 12,400 recruits to the army this year. Overall, the MoD admits that the army is 50% short of its recruitment targets.
The Armed Forces Pay Review Board concedes Iraq is chiefly to blame for a crisis that "was creating such pressure that morale was being affected".
The US and British governments are talking about troop withdrawal or "thinning out" the number of troops in Iraq. But it is clear that they will face immense complications in doing so because of the sectarian quagmire they have created in Iraq.
Most people worldwide don't support Bush and Blair's 'mission' and want the troops withdrawn, and that will be shown in major demonstrations in 50 cities around the world on 18 March. A key issue that needs to be addressed at those demos is how to avoid further bloodshed and an escalating civil war if the troops are withdrawn.
The occupying troops must be immediately withdrawn. But, the present descent into civil war shows the hopelessness of all the solutions that are being tried by the imperialist forces.
At the same time, the sectarian-based ethnic and religious organisations inside Iraq are also not capable of independently representing the Iraqi working class and poor. Without the creation of democratic, class-based organisations, in a united struggle to drive out the occupation forces, the prospect of the break-up of Iraq looms large.
A decent future for all Iraqi people can only lie with working towards a socialist solution, in which Iraq's oil wealth and other natural resources can be used to benefit the unity, security and living standards of working class and poor Iraqis in every ethnic and religious group.
Stop the War Coalition demo 18 March
Assemble 12 noon Parliament Square,
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