The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

NO to War against Iraq!

Jan 6, 2003

The year 2002 was marked by a permanent threat of war against Iraq. Unfortunately, this threat is still present and, in fact, growing.

Having added to the destruction and desolation in Afghanistan, the Bush administration then turned Iraq into a target for its next war, without bothering to offer any proof of its allegations. It simply flooded the airwaves, the TV channels and the press with accusations and threatening words, aimed at manipulating U.S. public opinion first, but also international public opinion.

No one can know when Bush and his team will choose to unleash this new war, and still less can we know what will come of it. But each day the preparations for war are more obvious. The U.S. military recently announced that 60,000 men had landed in the countries bordering Iraq, adding to the 60,000 troops with 400 planes already stationed there–an entire military arsenal surrounding Iraq, with several hundred thousand troops available nearby. And, as Bush himself recently announced, the U.S. is prepared to use nuclear weapons if it "suspects" that Saddam Hussein is about to deploy biological weapons.

Is it a bluff? Perhaps. Is the whole build-up a bluff? Perhaps–since top commanders in the military continue to question the wisdom of such a war. But, it’s equally possible that this is the buildup for a real war.

Saddam Hussein is a dictator who has used bloody methods against all the different peoples who live on Iraqi soil. This could be seen long before the politicians and journalists began to talk about it. In fact, many of the ones who today denounce him used to call this dictator their friend, or at least someone worth doing business with.

Bush and his advisors never have been worried about the fact that Saddam Hussein oppresses his own people and are not worried about it today. The United States has often supported other dictators equally or more bloody than Saddam Hussein, when it didn’t simply put them in power. The politicians and commentators who today talk about a possible future intervention against Iraq as a sad but necessary episode–part of the crusade against evil–know full well that this is not the issue.

What purpose will this war really serve? Colin Powell inadvertently let a small part of the truth slip recently when he declared: "If the forces of a coalition must reach the zone of oil fields, we’ll do what’s necessary to protect them, we’ll assure that they are utilized for the benefit of the Iraqis and not destroyed or damaged by a weakened regime..."Of course we know what it means when Powell talks about utilizing the oil fields for the "benefit of the Iraqis" or later on when he declares that, "the oil fields are the property of the Iraqi people." For Powell, the "Iraqis" he refers to are ExxonMobil and the other American and British companies that even today are taking enormous profits from the country.

For Bush and his advisors, "civilization" in Iraq consists essentially of the oil companies, the industrial companies and the banks. The real people in the area don’t seem to exist.

Powell’s comment–if we needed another proof–shows that this war isn’t our war. Not only won’t it contribute to freeing the Iraqi population from the yoke under which it suffers, but it aims to impose another yoke, just as horrible.

Moreover, the consequences of such a war will weigh also on other people, including the U.S. population. In order to carry out such a war, the government will impose greater restrictions on our liberty–it has already put in place the legal framework for carrying out repression against those who might oppose such a war or any other actions proposed by the government. And invoking the priority of the war, they will also try to make us pay for it, and attack us for "undermining the war effort" if we try to defend our own standard of living.

All wars are paid for by the people, to the profit of the major industrialists and bankers.