Socialist Worker

More than ever it is right to say no

Issue No. 1843

BUSH AND Blair have signalled the start of mass murder in Iraq. They are prepared to turn Iraq into a wasteland of blasted bodies, shattered minds, mangled corpses and weeping children. This war has always been wrong. It remains so now. It does not become better or 'moral' or worthy of anyone's support because the missiles are launched and British soldiers are sent into battle.

It was wrong for the US and Britain to threaten to incinerate Iraqi civilians. It does not become right when threats turn into a chilling reality. It is still a war for oil and US power. All the casualties of the war will be the responsibility of Bush and Blair. That includes all the Iraqi civilians and soldiers, and the forces who the politicians cynically call 'our boys'.

Politicians will sit in the comfort of their offices and armchairs in London and Washington and order people recruited from mainly working class areas to carry out the killing, and be killed.

And when war is finished those soldiers will be tossed aside, just as those suffering from Gulf War syndrome after the last war on Iraq were. We should have no truck either with those politicians who oppose war until it starts.

Clare Short deserves all the backlash that her pathetic excuses for backing Blair will bring. Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy too deserves nothing but contempt. He said last weekend, 'If we find under whatever circumstances that British troops are committed in the name of this country to take action they will have our unequivocal moral support.'

He was against war without UN backing - until it actually happened. Some Labour MPs have gone down the same route. They are putting their name to butchery. Others say that now the war has started we must hope for a quick victory for the US. But the quicker and more decisively Bush's army wins, the longer will be the suffering for people across the world.

It will strengthen every rabid rightwinger in the White House. It will feed a cycle of more wars to extend the US empire. The US will feel stronger to squeeze the Third World dry and trample on any obstacle to the rule of profit. In the last three wars the generals have resorted to ever more barbarous methods as war has gone on.

This time the scale of the anti-war feeling is such that we can make it more difficult for them to do that, provided we keep up the protests. Far from stifling our criticism of the war, it is now more urgent than ever to protest. Far from 'pulling together around Tony' we should be demanding even louder that he goes now.

Turn anger into action

HUNDREDS OF millions of people across the world are more revolted and angrier than ever about the war. That feeling has to be immediately turned into action. We are part of a global movement. Protests when war starts, and demonstrations on Saturday, are planned across the world.

We need a massive, angry protest to fill the streets of London this Saturday. As Socialist Worker went to press on Tuesday we were getting scores of reports from across Britain of workers, students and others deciding to walk out to join protests when war starts.

The Stop the War Coalition, backed by trade union leaders and many others, has called for protests in schools, colleges and workplaces when war starts, and on following days. At the People's Assembly last week Billy Hayes, general secretary of the CWU post, telecom and finance workers' union, said, 'When war breaks out we want to see as many CWU members as possible out on the streets protesting against this war.'

Bob Crow, leader of the RMT rail union, also issued a rallying cry for action: 'If Tony Blair is going to take illegal action then we should also take illegal action in the form of civil disobedience. We need non-violent demonstrations. If that means stopping the traffic, if it means sitting in the streets, if it means occupying our factories then so be it. We can start having extended work breaks to discuss the issue and to go and visit other workers. We've got to start putting our money where our mouth is.'

The first day of war must not be the end of protests. We must continue to build demonstrations and to focus the outrage that could grow even stronger as the killing goes on.

  • When war starts we will rush out a special issue of Socialist Worker. Supporters should be prepared to distribute it.

  • What you should do:

  • When war starts organise walkouts, protest, take direct action
  • Join the national demonstration in London on Saturday
  • Stop the war coalition
    Phone 020 7053 2153/4/5/6 E-mail [email protected] Web Write to PO Box 3739, London E5 8EJ

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    Article information

    What We Think
    Sat 22 Mar 2003, 00:00 GMT
    Issue No. 1843
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