Oct 28, 2002
One year to the day after the U.S. went to war against Afghanistan, Bush spoke via TV to Congress, asking for a blank check to carry out a new war against Iraq. And why? "On any given day" – so declared Bush – Iraq could attack the U.S. or its allies with chemical or biological weapons launched from Iraq. Moreover, Saddam Hussein was poised and ready to hand over "weapons of mass destruction" to Al-Qaida.
Never mind that such claims had already been refuted by George Tenet, head of the CIA. And even Britain's prime minister, Tony Blair, who is trying so hard to be Bush's sidekick, hadn't dared to say such nonsense.
But Bush's concern is hardly accuracy, much less the truth. He simply was looking for something that Congress would go for to justify a declaration of war. And Congress went for it – the more outrageous the lie, the better. They voted, Republicans and Democrats to authorize Bush to carry out war when he wanted, how he wanted, for whatever ridiculous excuse he might come up with.
Outrageous – and not simply because Bush was so ready to thumb his nose at the truth, and Congress so willing to help him do it!
It's outrageous because the U.S. already is carrying out a war against Iraq, a disastrous war for the Iraqi people. Practically every day, new reports come in of U.S. or British bombing raids over Iraq.
The U.S., in fact, has carried out a never-ending war against Iraq ever since the bombing and invasion of that country in 1991. U.S. troops may have been pulled out of Iraq, but the bombing has continued unrelenting.
The people of Iraq continue to pay a horrifying price: at least a million and a half Iraqis are dead, over 80% of them after the so-called end of the Gulf War in 1991. Over half of the dead are children.
And they are continuing to die. They die from cholera, typhoid and other various diseases springing from bacteria-ridden water. The U.S. leaders targeted water treatment facilities for destruction – which could only lead to the spread of disease and germs throughout Iraq. And Bush dares to talk about germ warfare! The Iraqi people are dying a slow death by starvation and disease, produced by the boycott which still limits the import of food and medical supplies. They are wasting away as the result of contact with the depleted uranium-tipped armaments that the U.S. used – the same armaments that are believed to have produced the Gulf War syndrome among U.S. veterans.
If Bush follows through on his threats, the consequences can only be more horrifying for the people of Iraq.
And not just for the people of Iraq, but for the people of the United States also. An attack on Iraq won't prevent terrorism – in fact, it gives every promise of provoking more terrorist attempts. U.S. military actions around the world against other people have created a deep reservoir of anger against the U.S. This is what a terrorist like bin Laden draws on.
Bush plays with war, but we will pay its price as the victims of new terrorist attacks. And the workers of this country once again will spill their blood on new battlefields. We will be called upon for sacrifices, in the name of any war against Iraq, so that the capitalist class can increase its wealth.
And why? Not because Iraq has "weapons of mass destruction," but because Bush is using the threat of war against Iraq to draw attention away from the corruption of his own regime and the disastrous situation of the economy.
Bush says that "a regime change is needed" – yes! But the regime that needs to be changed is the one which Bush himself heads. They are the ones who threaten the people of the world, including the people in the United States of America. Change this whole regime – Bush, the capitalist class whose interests he represents and the state apparatus which sends its armed forces to war to defend U.S. corporate interests overseas – toss them all out.