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Young Labour Condemns Approach of War


Young Labour Condemns Approach of War

"Illegal, wrong, and not worthy of support," is Young Labour's reaction to the impending hostilities in the Middle East, said President Jordan Carter today

"Young Labour condemns all states who think they have the right to unilaterally resort to force outside the United Nations framework.

"It is very clear that the UN Charter only provides for the use of force in self defence, or when authorised by the Security Council in a crisis situation. Iraq has not attacked the United States, nor Britain, nor Australia, and it shows no sign of doing so. Whatever spurious arguments are raised, an attack on Iraq is illegal.

"Not only that, but until hours ago the inspections regime was operating with renewed success, with the threat of force driving Iraq to substantially greater compliance than has been the case for some years.

"The hysterical misinformation being spread by the United States and others is not covering the simple fact that regime change - not disarmament - drives American policy in Iraq today. The reaction (dismay) from the Bush regime to each success of the inspectors [so eloquently described by Robin Cook in his resignation speech] proves the point perfectly.

"The coming war will kill and maim tens of thousands of innocents. It risks destabilising the entire Middle East. The reconstruction effort will no doubt be hampered by a lack of American support, just as has been the tragic case in Afghanistan. The warrior states will again rely on the United Nations to try and clean up the unholy mess they will leave behind.

"Questions abound, but the one that concerns us most is this: who next? With the establishment of a precedent for attacking in 'self defence,' who will attack whom next? Will it be the United States moving against the rest of the "Axis of Evil"? Iran? North Korea? Will it be some other power deciding to prevent the emergence of a competitor?

"The action of the states preparing to go to war outside the UN will achieve one thing and one thing only: it will make the world a more dangerous place. It has strained if not shattered the unity of the United Nations; it will drive further anger and thus further terrorism into the future.

"Even worse, it proves to all those states which might be considering the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction that the best thing they can do is hurry up and get them. The ridiculous focus on Iraq instead of North Korea, as just one example, proves this point. The lesson the West is sending the world is: if you have weapons of mass destruction, we will leave you alone.

"How is that supposed to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and how is it supposed to make the world a safer place?

"This is not the kind of world we want to inherit. A world dominated by fear, and driven by greed, is simply beyond the pale. The use of conflict as an excuse to ignore the causes of terror and insecurity beggars belief.

"It is that frightening vision of a ruined future which is driving the immense global opposition to what is about to occur.

"Young Labour calls on progressive forces inside the United States, the UK and Australia to redouble their efforts, now and into the future, to build a political situation in their countries where unilateral, cavalier, and highly dangerous abuses of international law will not occur again.

"The fact of American hegemony is well established, but that does not of itself mean the United States is to be feared. On the other hand, the Americans have to realise that the all-too-natural reaction to dominance is fear, and that the current actions of the Bush regime are driving fear to dangerous heights - which in itself creates an ever more dangerous situation.

"Young Labour calls on the United States, Britain and Australia to consider again the damage and danger their war will create, and to pull back from the brink. We do so with a heavy heart, because it appears the decision was made long ago, and the chances of peace seem slim, but the call has to be made nonetheless.

"We join with young people all over the world, in calling for peace on the eve of catastrophe," Jordan Carter said.

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