THE BIGGEST day of anti-war protests the world has ever seen took place last Saturday. But instead of listening to the majority around the world who oppose war on Iraq, Tony Blair sent a quarter of the British army to the Gulf. Support for the war in Britain has fallen to a new low and outright opposition has risen to new heights, according to a poll in the Guardian that has tracked opinion since August.
The size of the anti-war movement has shaken the warmongers. George Bush still says he is prepared to go to war without United Nations backing. But he and Blair believe they can disarm the anti-war movement by getting the UN on side.
Everyone should be clear. Bush's war is wrong. And it is still wrong even if all five thugs who run the UN's Security Council go along with it. Russia's president, Putin, has butchered the people of Chechnya. China's rulers drowned democracy in blood in Tiananmen Square. French president Chirac is a crook busy restoring France's imperial influence in west Africa.
If five warmongers, not two, launch an attack, how does that make it right? And the US is busy bribing and bullying any other state on the UN's Security Council that may be doubtful about war. Two Russian warships have left for the Gulf. The French government is raising a 15,000-strong force.
China is predicted to fall into line in return for greater influence. And the US (with Blair's craven support) is piling pressure on the UN weapons inspectors to find a pretext to trigger war. Last weekend the US claimed some 20 year old yellowing documents are proof of an imminent threat of nuclear attack on the West.
Then they wanted us to believe a handful of empty artillery shells (designed to be fired 30 miles) constitute a 'serious' threat to world peace. Chief weapons inspector Hans Blix shows every sign of caving in to US pressure.
A second UN resolution will not change the reality of this war. It is a war for oil and US power, a war that will kill thousands of civilians and bring misery to millions. Faced with that, many people hope the UN might be one institution that will stand in Bush's way.
But the build-up to war has shown how the warmongers dominate every official body. It will be down to the mass of people in this country and across the globe to stop this war.
That means building the biggest possible movement against it and a huge turnout for the anti-war demonstration on 15 February.