Mar 3, 2003
One after the other, Bush's excuses for going to war with Iraq were demolished. Even the CIA rebuked him when he claimed Saddam Hussein was linked with al Qaeda. U.N. inspectors found no sign that Iraq had "weapons of mass destruction." When the U.N, under Bush's prodding, came up with a new demand at the last minute, Iraq complied, agreeing to destroy the short-range missiles guarding its cities because their range was 120 miles, instead of 94 miles.
Nonetheless, the Bush administration continues to push ahead to drag the world into a new and even more destructive war.
Why? The issue is not Saddam Hussein, no matter how vicious a dictator he is. For years – when Saddam Hussein was massacring Kurds, for example – he was in the stable of U.S.-sponsored dictators, given weapons and money so he could carry out his massacres. Even after the first Gulf War, Papa Bush gave Saddam Hussein his army back so he could put down the revolt of the Kurds which broke out at the end of the war.
For this new war, Junior Bush has arranged to bring in the Turkish army to control the Kurds. Following behind U.S. forces into Iraq, the Turkish army is to mop up resistance among the Kurdish population. Turkey already has a big experience putting down the Kurds inside its own borders, having slaughtered tens of thousands of Kurds over the years.
This war will not be fought to protect the Kurds, any more than it will be fought to liberate the Iraqi people. They will both be its victims.
And what about us – working people in the United States? What will it mean for us?
And what happens if U.S. troops are tied up in the region for years – which could happen even if Saddam Hussein were to be quickly removed. Millions of young men learned a painful lesson in Viet Nam: when you are part of an invading army in someone else's country, when your bombers have destroyed cities and villages, when your country's war leads to the deaths of millions of civilians, including children, you will be hated.
A new generation of young people is about to learn this same painful lesson in the Middle East.
The American workers' standard of living is already plummeting. Bush even now pretends that in order to pay for the war, he must cut Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment and welfare benefits, public services, education.
Bush's budget proposals tell the whole story. While expenditures for new military research and weapons jumped up drastically, every social program, every public service and even the schools are all targeted for cuts.
Bush is using the pretext of this war to cut social and public services – so he can give even more presents to big business and to the wealthy clique which owns and controls big business. He supports every attempt made by big companies to lower wages and cut benefits. Companies rush to court to declare bankruptcy, in order to dump their pension plans – even while paying executives million dollar plus salaries and bonuses. Not a peep comes from Bush. Of course not. Bush is in the service of the wealthy class, for whom the whole country and even the whole world is their private hunting grounds.
Bush is leading two wars at once – the first one is against us here at home; the second one is against the Iraqi people. Both of these wars are being carried out to help big business increase profits. Both of these wars will cost us dearly – in material terms and in human terms.
We may not be able to stop Bush's rush to war immediately. But we don't have to cheer him on. We can show that American working people do not support these wars carried out to enrich American big business.
We can dig in our heels, refuse the attacks aimed at us, whether by Bush's government or our own bosses. Our fight is here at home – not against other people like us. American workers will fight here to protect ourselves from all their wars.