Emergency Convergence March 15 to Stop Countdown
Tens of Thousands to March on the White House Against the War Deadline
The Politics of Deceit, Diplomacy, Oil and War
Dear VoteNoWar Member,
We are writing to urge you to join and support the tens of thousands of people who are holding an Emergency March on the White House Saturday, March 15 and conducting solidarity Stop the War actions all around the world. On March 15, workers in Italy are staging an anti-war General Strike. In Spain, Greece, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, the UK, and in Los Angeles, San Francisco and cities around the world people are coming together in Emergency Mass Action on March 15 to stop the U.S./UK war against the people of Iraq.
Bush and Blair have announced a March 17 deadline for war and demanded the international community's ratification. They are paving the path to war by racing to convince the world that war is inevitable and that they answer to no one except George W. Bush and his warmongering associates. They want to demoralize and immobilize the opposition at the most critical moment.
But the warmakers can still be stopped, and they know it. If it hadn't been for the worldwide uprising against the war the carnage would have started months ago. We can and must intensify the mobilization for March 15.
While there are multiple plans for activities in the event of war or after war has begun, all people of conscience recognize that there are no planned actions more important than those called to prevent a war before it starts, and for people in the United States at this time that is particularly true. We must do everything in our power now to prevent the government of the U.S. from its planned killing in the Middle East. That is what makes the March 15 Emergency Convergence so crucial. It's time to Take it to the White House.
Confronted with the revelation of their own lies and concealment, Bush and Blair are rushing to begin the slaughter lest the growing global antiwar opposition overwhelm their plans. One day after his national television "war speech," the U.N. weapons inspectors and others exposed Bush's pretext for war as a lie in their March 7 report. According to the U.N. weapons inspectors, the U.S. and the U.K. provided "faked evidence" to the U.N. to support the claim that Iraq was pursuing nuclear weapons, a series of forged letters. ("Some Evidence on Iraq Called Fake, U.N. Nuclear Inspector Says Document on Purchases Were Forged," Washington Post, March 8, 2003, A1) As claims made by Bush and Powell are dismissed and discredited day by day, they are desperate to have the headlines focus on the coming war rather than the crumbling façade that they have asserted justifies the war.
The underlying premise of the White House propaganda for months can be summed up into one single message: This war will happen because no one can stop us. Bush and company know that they don't have the truth on their side, nor the law, nor world public opinion, nor the governments of the world, nor the UN.
Their strategy is based on the myth of invincible military superiority: a supremacy in arms and equipment that can always crush those that it targets and always succeed in intimidating and bullying those who attempt political opposition. It is this same arrogance of power that dragged the country into twelve years of war in Vietnam killing more than a million Vietnamese and 58,000 GI's before the madness was brought to an end. It seems that the only lesson taken by the Bush Administration from the Vietnam War is that the administration should launch massive and obliterating destruction and killing with the belief that this will eliminate protracted battle for the U.S. This is a dangerous fallacy. A war launched by the U.S. government in the Middle East will have catastrophic consequences in the region and in the U.S. for years to come.
The Bush Administration's Justifications for War: Frauds and Forgeries
*UN Chief Nuclear Inspector, Mohamed ElBaradei's March 7 report to the UN exposed as a fraud the main U.S. argument about Iraq's supposed nuclear activities. For months, U.S. officials have cited Iraq's importing of aluminum tubes, and the purported effort by Iraq to purchase uranium from Niger as proof that Iraq posed a "grave and imminent danger." ElBaradei told the UN "there is no indication that Iraq has attempted to import aluminum tubes for use in centrifuge enrichment" of uranium into weapons-grade material. Powell was briefed on the falseness of the aluminum tube claim prior to his testimony before the U.N. on the subject last month, and made misrepresentations to the Security Council with this knowledge. ElBaradei also revealed that the documents cited by U.S. officials about the purchase of uranium by Iraq from Niger "are in fact not authentic" and were forgeries.
*To the dismay of the Bush administration, Hans Blix reported that Iraq was cooperating with the inspectors and that the inspections could be fully completed and "will not take years, nor weeks, but months." Iraq originally agreed to accept the weapons inspections in 1991 with the promise that economic sanctions would be lifted when it was confirmed that it was "disarmed" of non-conventional weapons. Thus Iraq could be finally free of the economic sanctions that have killed more than one million Iraqis in the last decade. That the inspections process was constructed solely as a pretext for war is demonstrated by the fact that when the inspections failed to serve as a trigger for war, the administration had no further use for them.
The Economic and Social Consequences of this Planned Oil War -- Who Wins, Who Loses?
The very day that Bush and Blair set a March 17 deadline for war, the Labor Department issued its surprise report that more than 300,000 people were put out of work just in the last month as corporations slashed jobs. The Jobs Report was expected to show an increase of 20,000 jobs. The Pentagon's military campaign of "Shock and Awe" may help kill tens of thousands of Iraqis in the next weeks but it won't help even one of these laid-off workers get their jobs back. But Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Powell's real constituents are not unemployed workers but the oil, banking, and military corporations who stand to profit handsomely from gaining control over Iraq's vast oil reserves (the second largest in the world).
While the danger of war and world instability sends unemployment and gas prices sky high, not all are suffering.
"There are lots of business opportunities embedded in this war. It represents the larger oil and energy issues at stake," the Chronicle quotes Michael Renner of WorldWatch Institute. "Regime change in Baghdad would reshuffle the cards and give U.S. (and British) companies a good shot at direct access to Iraq's oil fields for the first time in 30 years a windfall worth hundreds of billions of dollars," he said.
Iraq's proven oil reserves of 112 billion barrels are the world's second largest behind only Saudi Arabia. The majority of Iraq's potential oil fields though remain unexplored. Daily oil output capacity is about 2 million barrels. Oil industry analysts believe that if western oil and engineering companies take over Iraqi oil production, it could surge to 10-12 million barrels a day within a decade. (San Francisco Chronicle, March 8, 2003) The prize of Iraq and the other oil riches of the region could constitute the single biggest boon for Bush's corporate clients in decades. As one oil executive stated, "For any oil company, being in Iraq is like being a kid in F.A.O. Schwarz." ("Iraq Is a Strategic Issue for Oil Giants, Too," The New York Times, February 22, 2003)
The U.S. government initially placed Iraq on the "terrorist nations list" in 1972 after the Iraqi government nationalized its oil fields, which had been in the hands of U.S., British and other western companies.
On March 15, people in the United States will take to the streets again. It is unacceptable to let a government representing the corporate few, send the sons and daughters of this country to kill and be killed, in a war for Big Oil and corporate profits.
The plan for the Emergency Convergence on the White House is to gather at 12 noon at the Washington Monument (just south of the White House, Constitution Ave. between 15th and 17th Sts. NW) for a rally and march.
Contact information for BUSES, VANS AND CAR CARAVANS traveling to DC -- and an easy-to-use form to sign up to list the transportation options from your city -- is available at http://www.internationalanswer.org/campaigns/m15/m15transp.html .
A FLYER for the March 15 Emergency National Convergence on the White House is available at VoteNoWar.org. You can easily download a PDF of the national flyer for the Washington DC demonstration, as well as a version for those in New York City planning to travel to DC. Flyers for West Coast events in Los Angeles and San Francisco are available, as well.
If you cannot download and print the flyers, you can pick up stacks at A.N.S.W.E.R. offices around the country, or you can call 202-544-3389 and request a packet of flyers.
For logistical information -- such as a map of the rally area, directions, public transportation in DC, disability access, housing and more -- go to http://internationalanswer.org/campaigns/m15/logistics.html .