Socialist Worker

Demands for peace

Issue No. 1768

Crime of war

'BUSH AND Blair say they are fighting a war for civilisation. Yet they have forgotten what civilisation means. What happened in America was a crime against humanity. The perpetrators should be brought to justice.

But the word is justice. If we talk of justice in the West then we must stop committing crimes against humanity ourselves. That means an end to sanctions on Iraq, an end to supporting dictatorial regimes and occupying powers in the Middle East, an end to the dirty war Bush is fighting in Colombia, and an end to the debt. It means justice for the whole world rather than vengeance.

Afghanistan is facing one of the biggest humanitarian crises anywhere in the world in the last 30 years. If you wage war on the people of Afghanistan, will that do anything except create an even more hostile response to the West? I believe in commemorating the people who died in America. The best way to do that is to make the world a better place, not a worse one.'

GEORGE MONBIOT


No to bloodbath

'WHAT IS beneath contempt is that a Labour prime minister is going so far down this road behind the US. We have a prime minister who only comes to life when other people are about to die.

The situation we are in is more serious than the Gulf War or the Balkans. We have an American government determined on revenge and a bloodbath. And it wants to settle lots of accounts. If the Taliban are toppled I will not be crippled with remorse, but let the Afghan people get rid of them.

Think also of the ironies of history. Who put the Taliban there? Who armed, funded and created them? It was the US, backed by its allies Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Osama Bin Laden worked for the CIA. We have to remove the causes which encourage desperate young people to do these acts.

The first demand of the peace movement should be to stop bombing Iraq. The second is to say the problem of Palestine has to be solved. This is not a Palestinian problem. It is an Israeli problem, and a problem of the West that has created and sustained Israel. Every day Palestinians are being killed.'

TARIQ ALI


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News
Sat 29 Sep 2001, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1768
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