The Socialist 27 September 2002 |
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Blair's Dossier Can't Justify This War
TONY BLAIR'S much-hyped 'dossier' on Saddam Hussein's regime has finally been published. And guess what, the Iraqi dictator is ... a dictator!
The dossier is a clumsy attempt by the prime minister to justify backing a US-led war on Iraq. Bush and Blair will try to make this the basis for a resolution to the United Nations security council calling for action to "immediately disarm Saddam Hussein before he threatens civilisation".
As Labour MP Tam Dalyell says: "It seems to me that Bush and Blair are doing everything they can to avoid peace. That is why I am in favour of regime change - in number ten Downing Street."
The dossier - a mish-mash of historical facts, (with no reference to how and why the Western powers previously armed and financed the Iraqi strongman), rumour, speculation, and downright scare-mongering - also has elements of silliness. It says Saddam's hidden missiles could reach Cyprus, threatening Britain's national interest!
But many other countries ruled by rotten regimes possess weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons: eg Pakistan, India, Israel, etc. But there's no threat of military action against these regimes which support Bush's policies.
And if Blair is so concerned about the proliferation of such weapons, why has he allowed the export to Iran of key components such as beryllium needed to make nuclear weapons?
Even before this dossier, who was in any doubt that Saddam is a ruthless tyrant that has to be removed? The real question is, who should remove him? US and British imperialism want to install a pro-Western regime to secure their strategic aims in the region ie cheap oil supplies and political domination.
As the overthrow of the Afghan Tabliban regime shows, a US stooge regime in Iraq wouldn't secure its people a democratic future. It would remain a stifling military regime, siphoning oil revenues while Iraqi workers remain in poverty.
Iraqis and workers throughout the Middle East can only achieve national and social liberation by overthrowing the dictators and the capitalist system that underpins them.
Tony Blair hopes this dossier convinces sceptics of the need for military action. On the contrary, the warmongering prime minister will convince thousands more people to join the campaign to stop the war.
Oily Bribes And Dirty Threats
WHETHER THEY bribe them or threaten them, President Bush and his henchmen are trying to get governments around the world to support their invasion of Iraq.
The main people who could gain from Bush's war are fat cats. They're offering the greedy multinational oil companies the prospect of making huge profits from controlling Iraq's oil - if their governments back Bush's ousting of Saddam.
The oil companies all want a portion of Iraq's proven oil reserves, the world's largest outside Saudi Arabia. All five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the USA, Britain, France, Russia and China - have international oil companies who'd gain from a change in leadership in Iraq.
James Woolsey, a former CIA director and US hawk, is quite blatant about this bribery. "France and Russia have oil companies and interests," he says.
"They should be told that if they are of assistance in moving Iraq towards decent government, we'll do the best we can to ensure that the new government and American companies work closely with them."
But, he says. "If they throw in their lot with Saddam, it will be difficult to the point of impossible to persuade the new Iraqi government to work with them."
Well, you can see who plans to be in charge in whatever's left of post-Saddam Baghdad. That prospect doesn't please US imperialism's rivals, even if they come down behind Bush's plans. Many non-US oil concerns have met with leaders of the Iraqi opposition to argue that they should get a stake.
In the past US imperialism has found other powers' oil arrangements stopped them supporting decisive action. France, Russia and China had big deals with Iraq and wanted to be in pole position as soon as sanctions were lifted.
Now India, Italy, Vietnam and Algeria have also signed, or are about to agree in principle, agreements even if sanctions put them on hold at present.
Bush hopes that appeals to greed may make other powers more amenable to his war plans and abandon any reservations about the chaos that could follow an attack on Iraq. However, if they don't kow-tow, the US could still go ahead.
The Real Cost Of An Iraq War
AS HEAD of the US National Economic Council, Lawrence Lindsey is one of Bush's main economic advisers.
He recently predicted that the war against Iraq could cost as much as $200 billion, at least twice as high as former estimates.
Lindsey doesn't worry. "That's nothing," he said airily. He was comparing it to the huge US economic deficit but that off-hand dismissal of $200 billion speaks volumes about Bush's billionaire administration.
After all, Wal-Mart, the world's biggest company and one of Bush's favourite anti-union multinationals. got that much in revenue in 2001.
But a billion people world-wide live without clean drinking water. More than twice as many have no sanitation. Every year some 12 million people die from waterborne diseases which could easily be wiped out.
Instead Bush and Co concentrate on a war which could wipe out many of the people dying from the diseases. Who'll gain? Arms dealers, oil bosses - and undertakers.
But medical experts estimate that just $40 billion, just a fraction of what they spend on the war, could give every poor person on earth not only safe water and sanitation but also health care, decent education and sufficient food.
If that sounds a better option to you than dropping bombs on Baghdad, join us in our fight for socialism.