Nov 25, 2002
The countdown to war against Iraq has begun. Iraq was given 30 days to provide a complete list of all its "weapons of mass destruction" and 76 more days in which it must prove to the inspectors it has no such weapons.
Bush says that if, during those 106 days, Iraq violates the U.N. resolution, he will have the U.N.'s blessing for going to war on Iraq.
Who is to decide whether or not Iraq has violated the resolution? Why, Bush himself! And Bush has already declared that Iraq is "in substantial violation" of the resolution. According to Bush, Iraq fired missiles at U.S. planes that were "patrolling" the so-called "no-fly zone." This "no-fly zone" is nothing but the airspace over almost one half of Iraq, which the U.S. has declared it has the right to enter – and has regularly entered during the last 11 years, often to carry out bombing missions over all of Iraq.
Kofi Annan, head of the U.N., says that Bush's interpretation of the U.N. resolution is wrong, that Iraq did not violate it. But, as we well know, it's not Kofi Annan nor the rest of the U.N. that controls the murderous U.S. war machine. It's Bush, and behind him the permanent U.S. state apparatus. And they go by the old capitalist philosophy, "Might Makes Right."In fact, all this talk about the U.N. resolution and inspections is only just that – talk. The war against Iraq is already going on, having never stopped. Since the official "end" of the Gulf War in 1991, about a million and a half people have fallen victim. And the victims of this U.S. war on Iraq have been overwhelmingly civilians; almost a million of the dead were children.
That isn't to say that things can't get worse for the people of Iraq. Today, the U.S. is preparing to carry on a much more murderous offensive against them. There are already a quarter of a million U.S. troops stationed around Iraq, with more on the way, as well as a vast fleet of planes, equipped with, and already using, some of the most advanced "weapons of mass destruction."Don't tell us this war is about Saddam Hussein. He is a vicious dictator, his hands awash with blood. But this didn't prevent the U.S. from arming him and providing him with intelligence when it used him to carry out a long and bloody war against Iran, which claimed a million dead. Nor did this prevent the U.S. from handing him his army back after the Gulf War, when it used him to put down revolts of the Kurds in the north of Iraq and the Shiites in the south. It did nothing to interfere with him until after the revolts, which threatened to spread out and engulf the whole region, had been completely crushed.
Leaving Saddam Hussein in place after the end of the Gulf War was not a "mistake" of U.S. policy. That was U.S. foreign policy in all its naked, disgusting reality.
But times have changed. And the U.S. has another policy today, equally disgusting. Needing to draw attention away from its powerlessness to prevent terrorism on its own soil, the Bush administration seeks to make an example of its power by destroying other countries and other peoples. First, there was Afghanistan, but that war isn't going as well as Bush once claimed – so now there is Iraq.
Bush himself has personal reasons to push to a new war – diverting attention away from the vast quagmire of corruption in which his administration has already been shown to be engaged. It's not a coincidence that Bush suddenly turned attention to Iraq last July – just when Bush's own crooked dealings were coming to light and when it seemed possible that either Vice-president Cheney or Secretary of the Army White – or both – might be indicted. Not to mention all the oil interests that all of these people have – which make control over Iraq look very inviting to them.
It is from this dirty, filthy swamp of corruption that Bush today asks us to go to war against another people.
NO! This war is NOT our war. We have no reason to shed one drop of blood in defense of Bush or his oil companies. Not one drop of blood for corporations that require wars so they can go on draining wealth from other countries, while imposing slave-labor conditions on the workers they employ in their sweatshops around the globe.
Don't let Bush and the other crooks carry out their war in our name.