Socialist Worker

Dictators of war ignore the masses

Issue No. 1840

BUSH AND Blair are desperately seeking new ways to justify their slaughter in Iraq. They have now resorted to claiming they want to bomb Iraq into freedom and democracy.

They've got a nerve talking about democracy. They are ignoring the millions across the world who marched on 15 February against war. Bush and Blair's coalition of the countries willing to wage war is completely undemocratic.

Britain: Over 55 percent of British people oppose war, and two million marched through London against it. Blair is so terrified of dissent he won't even let his tame parliament, in which his party has a 167-seat majority, have a proper vote on the war.

US: Opinion polls suggest that enthusiasm for war is on the decline, while anti-war feeling is growing. Some 500,000 joined the anti-war protest in New York despite being banned from marching. Bush may claim he has majority support in the US for war, but he has had to pour out lies and propaganda to get it.

He cannot boast that he himself was democratically elected. He lost the US presidential election. Bush was appointed president by Supreme Court judges who were themselves appointed by his father, George Bush Sr.

Spain: Upwards of 80 percent of people in Spain are opposed to the war their prime minister, Aznar, is so keen on. An estimated 10 percent of the entire Spanish population, over four million people, marched against war on 15 February.

Aznar hardly comes from a background proud of its democratic traditions. He began his political career in the National Movement, the political organisation set up by Spanish dictator, the fascist General Franco.

Italy: Opinion polls show that around 80 percent of people in Italy are against an attack on Iraq. Over three million marched against war in Rome. Deputy prime minister Gianfranco Fini accused them of 'totalitarian pacifism'. Fini has described the fascist dictator Mussolini as 'the greatest statesman of the century'. Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's prime minister, gave Fini the job as his deputy.

Australia: Some 75 percent of people in Australia are against war on Iraq, according to opinion polls. Around 500,000 joined anti-war marches on 15 February. Yet Australian Tory prime minister John Howard attacked them for 'giving comfort' to Saddam Hussein. He is cheering Bush on and has sent more than 10,000 Australian troops to the Gulf.

These dictators of war do not represent the wishes of the people. To make them listen we have to mobilise, protest and take to the streets again and again.

No time to lose

A WAR could start in just two weeks time. We don't have a moment to lose. Every day is a chance to build the anti-war forces that pile the pressure on Blair. He has already been shaken by our protests. We need to go further. We need to organise the most effective types of direct action against the war machine.

Train drivers in Motherwell were an inspiration to the anti-war movement when they refused to move munitions trains. Now their actions are being taken up on a much bigger and more significant scale by Italian rail workers.

This weekend campaigners were set to lobby their Labour MPs. More local demonstrations are being planned. And across the country people are preparing for mass protests and walkouts if Bush and Blair unleash war.

In every workplace and college and on every street there are scores of people eager to throw themselves into organising against the war. We urge all Socialist Worker readers to put themselves at the heart of building the anti-war movement.

Italy: arms train halted

ANTI-WAR rail workers and activists in Italy have been holding protests to stop weapons trains. Tom Behan told Socialist Worker, 'Action is centred on the US military base Camp Darby, just outside Florence. Activists have identified goods trains carrying military equipment and have delayed their movement throughout Italy.

Rail workers are putting up posters in the relevant stations warning passengers that war material is being carried on the same lines as passengers. The Americans have admitted to having serious problems in moving equipment. Any war material for the Gulf would have to go through Genoa or Livorno ports. Both Roberto Piccini, president of the Livorno dockers' association, and Guido Abbadessa, national secretary of the CGIL union's transport section, have spoken out against the movement of military equipment.'

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What We Think
Sat 1 Mar 2003, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1840
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