THE WAR against Iraq is about brutal occupation, not liberation. And every honest commentator admits it's going to get worse. More death, more destruction. Yet the government and its friends in the media say that having started this war, we have to finish it.
Even some of the New Labour figures who spoke out against the war are now saying that there is no alternative but to back the US conquest of Iraq. They have done a Clare Short and ditched their opposition to the slaughter. Mo Mowlam argued for a 'quick victory' in an article in the Daily Mirror this week.
She called 'for more bombing and taking the war to the enemy, even if that means the dreadful level of casualties that go with it'. Robin Cook retreated from his statement that the troops should be brought home. He argued, 'I am not in favour of abandoning the battlefield. Having started this war, it's important to win it.'
But stepping up the bombing is not going to ease the horror the people of Iraq are already suffering. It will only lead to more deaths and more agony for civilians in Iraq. A quick US victory will make it easier for Bush and his right wing gang in the White House to impose their will and brutality around the world. They have a 'project' where any state that does not submit to its interests will face the might of the US military.
US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell made this clear last week. They threatened the US's next targets, Iran and Syria. This is the reality of the US's invasion of Iraq. It means the US trampling on the bodies of Iraqi people to move across the Middle East and engulf the whole region.
Three decades ago the US did not simply stop at the borders of Vietnam but went on into Laos and Cambodia, bringing 20 years of horror. A US victory will not end the suffering of the Iraqi people. It will pile it on, and allow the US to bring death and misery to many, many more in other countries.
The answer is to stop this war. The only way to do that is to get the troops out. In Iraq the only way is to resist the 'coalition' troops. That can't stop the death, destruction and chaos which has already been created in Iraq. But it can stop that horror becoming fifty or a hundred times worse. As a slogan of protesters in the US puts it, 'Bury the Bush project in the sands of Iraq.'
It is vital we build even greater resistance to the war in Iraq than the magnificent protests we have seen already. The Sun attacked George Galloway this week, branding him a 'traitor' on its front page.
To this right wing rag Galloway is a traitor because he opposes the US project of domination across the globe in the name of the American Century. That charge is levelled against all of us who say no blood for oil and US power. But we will not be deterred from fighting back and doing our utmost to stop this bloody war.
Join these protests against the war
LINDSEY GERMAN, the convenor of the Stop the War Coalition, sets out the next steps for the anti-war movement.
'THERE IS huge opposition to this war. It is hardening and people are getting more angry. It is more important than ever that we stay on the streets. Everywhere - at work, in schools and colleges, communities - we want people agitating, and deepening the anti-war movement.'
SATURDAY 5 APRIL 'We've organised a demonstration in London which will go from the BBC's Broadcasting House to the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square. It assembles at 2pm, Portland Place (Oxford Circus tube).'
BUDGET DAY: WEDNESDAY 9 APRIL 'We want a day of action where people, especially trade unionists, organise local protests and demonstrations, which make the connection between the billions spent on the war, and the lack of spending on hospitals, schools, services, transport.'
THURSDAY 10 APRIL 'School students have organised a 'picnic for peace' at 4pm in Parliament Square in Westminster, central London.'
SATURDAY 12 APRIL 'The Stop the War Coalition, along with CND and the Muslim Association of Britain, have called for a national demonstration in central London. This will be part of an international day of protest with mass demonstrations in cities around the world. We want this to be a huge show of opposition.'
MAY DAY 'We've called for a day of walkouts and industrial solidarity against the war on Thursday 1 May. We are calling for workers to leave work and to join in May Day demonstrations and local protests against the war. In London for example there is a TUC-backed May Day demonstration, and one of its themes is against the war. We want people to do what they did the day war broke out and to organise walkouts and lunchtime meetings at work.'