Socialist Worker

Stop this mad missile plan

Issue No. 1758

Stop this mad missile plan

TOXIC Texan George Bush planned to fly into Britain this week to pat his poodle Tony Blair on the head before jetting off to Genoa.

While the US president is plotting his missile madness and damning the planet to global warming, Blair is at his side.

Bush wants to "fast track" Son of Star Wars after a recent test over the Pacific showed the missile defence might work. It would mean any missile fired at the US could be shot down. So the US could target bombs anywhere in the world without fear of retaliation.

Bush is defying the 1972 anti ballistic missile treaty between the US and Russia with plans to build a new missile base in Alaska next month. This ratchets up instability across the globe, risks a new arms race and threatens more major wars.

The world is not safe in Bush and Blair's hands. We have to stop them.


Blair 'bows to US'

Bush's STAR war plan needs Britain. The missile system cannot work without a special radar network spanning the globe. The US bases in Britain at Menwith Hill and Fylingdales in Yorkshire are central to this network.

Bush wants New Labour to upgrade the bases to fit in with Star Wars. Blair instinctively wants to back Bush. "There has never been doubt about which direction Tony Blair would jump," wrote David Clark, New Labour former special adviser to the Foreign Office, last weekend.

Clark also said New Labour was prone "to bow to every American concern, no matter how ill founded". But growing opposition to Bush's plan is creating ructions in Labour's ranks. Clark himself opposes the plan.

Over 235 MPs, mostly Labour, have now signed a parliamentary motion condemning Star Wars and George Bush.

Most major trade union leaders have signed a statement opposing Star Wars and calling on the British government not to support it (left). There have also been anti Star Wars protests, such as Greenpeace's invasion of the Menwith Hill base.


China enemy

BUSH CLAIMS his Star Wars plan is simply a defence shield and poses no risk to anyone.

The pro New Labour Observer newspaper last week denounced this. Its foreign affairs editor, Peter Beaumont, rightly argued, "Far from being a passive defensive system Star Wars is emblematic of America's shift towards being a more aggressively threatening military power."

Using a US government document Beaumont argued, "The missile defence programme, as that report makes clear, is only one element in a transformed US military landscape that, taken to its logical conclusion, would extend the notion of casualty-free warfare way beyond operations like the US bombing missions over Kosovo."

Beaumont says US rulers "are now beginning to believe they can have a casualty-free (on the US side at least) nuclear war".

That mad idea lies behind the Star Wars plan. A particular US target is China. Beaumont argues that for the US "the enemy in waiting, as numerous officials and fellow travellers of the Republican right have made clear, is China, a country marked out as an economic and military rival which will inevitably come into conflict with the US over dominance of the Pacific."

To these lunatics "when war is inevitable, timing is everything. America may have to strike first. By that twisted logic they need their missile umbrella to do it."


Statement

"WE NOTE with alarm George Bush's plans for an anti ballistic missile system. This initiative will not make the world a safer place and will do immense damage to international treaties covering weapons of mass destruction.

It will also considerably undermine international confidence in treaties as a system of resolving problems if the US is to set them aside when it feels it is expedient to do so.

We therefore consider it wholly inappropriate for our government to support this initiative and strongly urge it not to do so."

  • Joe Marino, general secretary BFAWU; Roger Bolton, general secretary BECTU; Jackie Johnson, president NATFHE; Andy Gilchrist, general secretary FBU; John Edmonds, general secretary GMB; Tony Dubbins, general secretary GPMU; Judy McKnight, general secretary NAPO; Jim McCusker, NIPSA; Paul Mackney, general secretary NATFHE; John Foster, general secretary NUJ; Gordon Taylor, general secretary PFA; Mark Serwotka, general secretary elect PCS; George Brumwell, general secretary UCATT; Dave Prentis, general secretary UNISON; Bill Morris, general secretary TGWU; Derek Hodgson, CWU.

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News
Sat 21 Jul 2001, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1758
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