Jan 20, 2003
The Pentagon continues to announce more troop shipments to the Middle East. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops are already there.
Why this rush to war? Does Saddam Hussein have weapons of mass destruction?
So far, the inspectors – all of whom were chosen with U.S. approval – say they haven't found any, nor have they found sites capable of having made any.
Yes, the inspectors say that Iraq has not really "co-operated." By that, they mean that while Iraq has allowed them to go wherever they want, and do whatever they want, it hasn't told them where the weapons are!
They act as if a nuclear bomb could be made in someone's closet, or anthrax produced in a van moving around the country. As the investigation in the anthrax attacks here demonstrated, only a very few high tech facilities are capable of producing such weapons.
The fact is, no "weapons of mass destruction" have been found – nor are there any traces that such weapons are being produced.
Bush says that this doesn't matter – he "knows" that Iraq has these weapons! And, he says, he has proof – but he won't show the proof, not even to the weapons inspectors, because it's a military secret!
It's as though the cops told the prosecutor to take you into court, but refused to give the prosecutor any evidence – and on top of that demanded that the death penalty be imposed without any trial.
No, when the U.S. begins this war, it will not be because Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.
As for the charge that Saddam Hussein is a bloody dictator – that he is, but it's not the reason the U.S. is going to war against the people of Iraq. Saddam was a bloody dictator in the first years of his reign, when the U.S. gave him the biological and chemical weapons he used to impose his control over the Kurds and the Shiites. He was a bloody dictator when he then carried out a war for the U.S. against Iran, whose people had recently overthrown the Shah, one of the U.S.'s main bloody dictators. He was a bloody dictator when the U.S. under Papa Bush then defended him against all charges. He was a bloody dictator when the U.S. left him in place after the Gulf War in order to put down the uprisings of the Kurds and the Shiites.
No, the U.S. is not going to war for any of these reasons. It is going – if and when it goes – in order to demonstrate to people around the world that U.S. imperialism is king of the hill, and that no one dare defy it.
The U.S. today is the sole superpower. Its corporations go wherever they want, seeking out natural resources and the lowest wage labor. They need military force backing them up in order to move into other countries. And the U.S. needs to demonstrate occasionally that it will use that military force.
No matter what pretext is given, wars like these are fought to let U.S. corporations drain wealth and impose low wages around the world – that is, to close as many factories here as they can, while shipping the work overseas.
Bush is set to take us into a new war to demonstrate U.S. power. How many Iraqis will die, adding to the one and a half million who already died? How many U.S. troops?
Those troops, when they go, will not be going for a few months, as in the Gulf War. Already the Pentagon is telling us that the military occupation that follows this invasion will last for "at least a year and a half."
That's what they said about the military occupation of South Viet Nam when it started in 1954 – and it lasted for 21 years. It turned out to be a full scale war, fought against most of the Vietnamese population.
This war, when it comes, will make our situation worse in every way. The working class has every reason to oppose it, every step of the way.