Help Stop The Next War Before It Starts!
Help Stop The Next War Before It Starts! No New War On Iraq!
Statement from the International A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition
The Washington Post frontpage headline of March 14 couldn't be clearer: "U.S. will take action against Iraq, Bush says." Bush made it a central point in his March 13 press conference that the U.S. will do whatever it takes to overthrow the government in Iraq. The U.S. seeks to replace it with a regime that will function as a proxy for U.S. interests in the region.
When Vice-President Dick Cheney traveled to England this week he requested a commitment of 25,000 British troops to be part of a larger 250,000-invasion force for war in Iraq (The Independent, March 8, 2002). Some in Blair's Cabinet may split on the issue. The British and European press are ridiculing Bush's war plan and more and more public sentiment is crystallizing into anti-war protests.
A new war in Iraq seems like madness to most of the world. It is madness! Will we sit by and let hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and thousands of young GI's perish so that super hawks in the Administration can fulfill their right-wing Rambo-like fantasies?
The people of the United States must act now! The clock is ticking. In the coming months the Bush administration plans to launch the largest U.S. ground and air war since Vietnam unless they are stopped by the mobilization of popular power. We can expect worldwide protest against the coming war but the whole world will be looking to see if the people of the United States are capable of mounting mass mobilization and resistance to a government that speaks in their name and is preparing to send their young people to kill and be killed in large numbers.
Bush's cynical use of anti-terrorism
Iraq had nothing to do with the September 11 attack. Endless searching by the CIA turned up nothing. When U.S. workers were killed by Anthrax attacks last fall the Bush Administration spent months in an "intense effort" to link the attacks to Iraq so that the Administration would have an excuse to launch a new war against Iraq, even after they knew the source of the Anthrax was from the U.S., diverting the investigation from this domestic sponsored terrorism. (New York Times, December 22, 2001) Unsuccessful in every effort to find a plausible pretext to attack Iraq, Bush has now conveniently redefined terrorism, and thus his next target, by alleging that selected nations produce "weapons of mass destruction."
By taking the war to Iraq, Bush inadvertently reveals that the war on terrorism is not about "protecting Americans" but is an extension of pre-existing imperialist strategies and objectives in the oil-rich Middle East.
George Bush's big lie on Iraq ...
Iraq is a weakened country. The image painted by Bush of Iraq as threatening "evil power" is ludicrous, a total fabrication. Economic sanctions have taken the lives of 1.5 million civilians mainly children under the age of five in the past decade. Sanctions have proved to be a weapon of truly mass destruction for Iraqi babies, 5,000 of whom die each month from malnutrition and hunger-related illness (source: UN Food and Agricultural Organization.)
Iraq has been severely weakened militarily. The U.S.-led UN weapons inspectors conducted 9,000 weapons inspections between 1991 and 1998. Iraq was largely disarmed by 1995. The weapons inspectors left Iraq not because they were expelled by Iraq but because they were ordered out by the U.S.-dominated UN in December 1998 so that the U.S. and Britain could begin the massive bombing campaign December 16-19, 1998. Since then U.S. and British warplanes have bombed Iraq several times a week - for more than three years. Iraq is not bombing the United States; it is the victim of routine state-sponsored terrorism.
War as high tech genocide ... but with certain limits
During the last war in 1991, more than 100,000 Iraqis perished from relentless bombing. The combined number of soldiers and civilians may be double that. The Wall Street Journal of March 20, 1991 reported that General Norman Schwarzkopf and his aides provided information to Congress that more than 100,000 Iraqi soldiers were killed (not counting civilians) from the 88,500 tons of explosives that were dropped on Iraq during the 42-day air campaign. Only 148 U.S. military personnel died during the war - 37 from friendly fire accidents --making the conflict one of the most one-sided massacres in human history.
George Bush's father made the decision not to press the war further into a massive ground invasion of Iraq to topple the government because he knew that scenario would likely lead to thousands and perhaps tens of thousands of U.S. casualties.
George Bush, Sr. was concerned that the people in the U.S. would turn against the war in the event of huge U.S. casualties. Most of the high government officials feared a repeat of what they called the Vietnam Syndrome meaning a massive and militant anti-war movement at home. That's the real reason they didn't "finish the job" (in the words of the war-mongers) with a full invasion of Baghdad and the overthrow of the Iraqi government.
The Administration's ultra hawks most notably Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rice, and Wolfowitz believe that in the post September 11 political environment of frenzied hyper-patriotism, that they can send thousands of young GI's in a new war of aggression and the people will not rise up as they did during Vietnam. The demonstration on April 20th must send a clear, loud, unmistakable message that a new anti-war movement is taking shape and that it too, like the worldwide movement in the 1960's and 70's, will prove to be a potent and decisive factor in the politics of war and peace.
Weapons of mass destruction: Bush and the Pentagon are the real nuclear terrorists
While vowing to wage new war to destroy Iraq because it may have a nuclear capability some day, the Los Angeles Times has revealed that the Pentagon, under Bush, has secretly re-oriented U.S. nuclear doctrine to prepare for the actual use of first strike nuclear weapons against a host of countries including Iraq, North Korea, Libya, China, Russia and others.
Even the New York Times in its lead editorial of March 12, 2002 entitled "America as Nuclear Rogue," pilloried the reckless new orientation. "If another country were planning to develop a new nuclear weapon and contemplating preemptive strikes against a list of non-nuclear powers, Washington would rightly label the nation a dangerous rogue state. Yet such is the course recommended to President Bush by a new Pentagon planning paper ..."
George Bush vs the whole world
The Bush administration has now locked into its war course. Since day one of this crisis, this "unelected" President has chosen a path of extreme cynical manipulation of the raw emotion and horror experienced by people in the U.S. on September 11. With barely a whimper of protest from the other party of Big Business, Bush and the Pentagon, have sought to use the attack as a pretext to use U.S. military domination as the prime vehicle in an unabashed quest for world domination.
The whopping $48 billion increase in the war budget this year is a first step to even more gargantuan budget requests. By 2007, the annual "defense" budget will be nearly $500 billion. The U.S. will soon spend more on the military than all the other countries in the world combined.World public opinion currently opposes a new, massive war against Iraq. U.S. allies in Europe (and puppets) in the Gulf region consider it lunacy.
But Bush made it crystal clear is his speech on the 6th month anniversary of September 11 that the administration is now to embark on the "second stage of the war."
Cheney has been dispatched to Europe and the Middle East to tell allies and puppets alike that they must decide "are you with us or them?" The European imperialist powers chafe (of course, with the exception of Tony Blair, lap dog to the Pentagon and its demand) at the unbridled arrogance of U.S. politicians acting like the masters of the universe. The puppets, like the regimes in Saudi Arabia, fear popular revolutions. But all governments are being confronted by Cheney as Bush's envoy with one of two options that will simplify their choice: support the U.S. war effort or support Iraq and face the consequences.
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