Socialist Worker

Don't trust these men to stop Bush

Issue No. 1817

BLAIR: Bush's poodle, chief warmonger in Europe
PUTIN: butcher of Chechnya, linked to gangster capitalists
JIANG ZEMIN: Chinese leader thanks to the bloodshed of Tiananmen Square
CHIRAC: wants to make money from blood spilt for oil

'IT IS okay to go to war as long as there is approval from the United Nations (UN).' That was the spirit behind a statement from the TUC's general council this week. It is also what some Labour MPs who have doubts about war against Iraq argue. But the UN has never been a block on the US or any other big power unleashing its military against weaker states. The UN is not some democratic body where all states have an equal voice. Five big powers dominate the Security Council, the UN body that can authorise military action.

The US is the biggest power. The other four states are Britain, France, Russia and China. They have all shown individually that they are prepared to use brutal methods to get what they want. When they act together they are no less brutal.

Britain
BLAIR SOUNDED like some psychotic Mafia godfather last weekend when he said that Britain's 'special relationship' with the US means we will have 'to pay a blood price' and support Bush's military adventures. He has allied himself with the most right wing leaders in Europe-Spain's Jose Maria Aznar and Italy's Silvio Berlusconi - to push rampant neo-liberalism and support for US interventions.

Blair is already feeling the pressure of the anti-war movement in Britain, which reflects majority public opinion. That forced him throughout August to pretend the coming war is about 'weapons of mass destruction'.

France
FRENCH president Jacques Chirac is a hard right wing Tory, mired in corruption scandals. He attacked German leader Gerhard Schroeder last week for opposing war. Chirac's main concern is that France should not lose out to the US in the scramble to secure access to Middle Eastern oil supplies. France participated in the last Gulf War in 1990-1 and the Balkans War, and supported the US attack on Afghanistan.

The French state has traditionally supported some of the most murderous forces in Africa, such as Joseph Mobutu, the former leader of Zaire. It also aided the Hutu militias which were responsible for the genocide in Rwanda in 1994.

Russia
PRESIDENT Vladimir Putin is a former KGB officer who is backed by the Russian oligarchy, the gangster-style capitalists who run swathes of the economy. He rose to power in 1999 on the back of bombing the people of Chechnya. Russian forces destroyed the Chechen capital, Grozny.

They killed tens of thousands of people in the war against Chechnya. They used fuel-air explosives, which create a firestorm, sucking the air out of civilians sheltering in basements. Over the last year Putin has tightened the savage repression against the Chechens.

There has barely been a murmur from the US state. It turned a blind eye to Russian atrocities in return for Putin's support for Bush's 'war on terror'.

China
CHINA IS one of the few states to execute more of its own population than the US does. The Chinese state has pursued its own 'war against terror' over the last year, targeting minorities in the west of the country who want independence.

It has stepped up repression against Tibet, which it has occupied for over four decades. It has unleashed state terror against the Uighurs and other Muslim peoples. Last week the US government placed the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, a pro-independence Uighur organisation, on its 'Foreign Terrorist Organisation List'. The Asia Times reports this has 'opened the floodgates of Chinese persecution against the Uighur people'.


'RUSSIA AND China will not stand in the way. France will join in if it has an appropriate UN resolution. We fought the Kosovo War without UN approval.'
Senior British Official


In the name of the UN

THE UNITED Nations Security Council authorised the 1991 Gulf War, which left over 100,000 Iraqi people dead. The UN agreed to sanctions, which killed 500,000 Iraqi children between 1990 and 1998. Over 100,000 have died since. The UN did not stop Bush's assault on Afghanistan.

Instead it sent in bureaucrats after the bombing to preside over the chaos that is still gripping the country. It has not been able to get donations from rich states for even the pitiful amount of aid promised to Afghanistan at the start of this year.


US weapons of mass destruction

BLAIR SAYS weapons inspectors should have unfettered access to any Iraqi government building. But the US state has refused the same access to its own facilities. It passed an opt-out to an international treaty on chemical weapons.

This opt-out allowed the US president to bar inspectors from sites. The US also shattered an international convention on biological weapons last year. It has biological weapons.

The FBI admits that weapons grade anthrax sent through the post last year originated from a US military laboratory. The US is the only state in the world that has used nuclear weapons in war - against the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.


Hypocrisy on resolutions

BLAIR SAYS Iraq should be punished because it has broken resolutions passed by the UN Security Council. But there is no such ultimatum being given to Israel. Israel has broken even more resolutions than Iraq, including Resolution 242 that calls for it to withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories.

But there are no B-52 bombers homing in on Tel Aviv. Instead the US and Britain are supplying weapons to Israel.


One nuclear power without inspections

THE WARMONGERS are falling back on the big lie that they are concerned about weapons of mass destruction. There are weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. But the US and Britain are not demanding that teams of UN inspectors inspect the weapons. That is because they belong to Israel, their main ally in the region. Israel has 200 nuclear warheads pointed at Arab cities.

The man who revealed Israel's nuclear programme, Mordechai Vanunu, remains in an Israeli prison cell. The warmongers say Saddam Hussein is a threat to his neighbours. But the only state in the Middle East pushing for war against Iraq is Israel. Bush and Blair have effectively admitted they want to go to war whether there are weapons inspections or not.

Blair said after meeting Bush last weekend that 'inaction is not an option'. His words are almost identical to the most gung-ho members of the Bush gang, vice-president Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld. Both have said they want 'regime change in Iraq' - whether Saddam Hussein lets weapons inspectors in or not.

Former weapons inspector Scott Ritter, a marine and member of the Republican Party, admits that 'UN inspection teams' were riddled with CIA spies when they were in Iraq between 1991 and 1998. They passed information on to US and Israeli intelligence services, both of which have been authorised to assassinate Saddam Hussein. The most cynical cry from the warmongers is that Saddam Hussein used 'chemical weapons against his own people'.

He did, in 1988 against the Kurds in the north of the country. The weapons were supplied by the West and Russia. The US and Britain backed Saddam in his war against Iran. That support encouraged him to use chemical weapons.

Scott Ritter says the combination of weapons inspections in the 1990s and sanctions means Iraq is incapable of making weapons of mass destruction. He said last weekend, 'Iraq is today not acting in a manner which threatens anyone outside of its own borders.'


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Features
Sat 14 Sep 2002, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1817
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