THE GOVERNMENT is pushing for a minute's silence to mark the anniversary of the 11 September attacks next Wednesday. People will want to mark the pain and anguish of a day which saw almost 3,000 people killed in New York. But Tony Blair has his own agenda. He wants to exploit the anniversary to boost support for Bush's plans to launch war on Iraq.
There have been many other victims in the year since 11 September. The verified death toll as a direct result of US and British bombing in Afghanistan is over 3,100, with many more victims still unaccounted for. Israeli troops have killed around 1,200 Palestinians since 11 September, including 11 last weekend, without any condemnation from the US. In the year since 11 September more than 40,000 Iraqi children will have died as a result of sanctions imposed after the US-led war on Iraq in 1991. And each day over the last year 19,000 children have died as a result of the debt burden.
Where there is a minute's silence next Wednesday it should mark all these victims. That is not what Blair or Bush will want. This is because many of these people were victims of the US's global military and economic power. Bush now wants to use his 'war on terror' to ensure many more ordinary people are killed in Iraq.
Some 71 percent of people in Britain oppose an attack on Iraq, according to research for the Daily Mirror and GMTV. The most fitting tribute to all those who died on 11 September and have died since would be to build on that mood and ensure that such a war, with the horror and the victims it will create, is prevented. The key step in achieving that is to make the 28 September national demonstration in London a massive peace protest.
'Not in our name'
'A YEAR after 11 September we wonder how our loved ones lost on that day would feel about what has been done in their names. What would they think of the rush to military action? The contemplated invasion of Iraq - a nation that has no proven links to the events of 11 September - in the name of the 'war on terrorism' means that more American service people and more civilians would die. We need your help to make sure the anniversary of 11 September is not used to promote more war and violence.'
September eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, formed from families of people who died on 11 September
Earth Summit protest
UP TO 25,000 people joined a protest march at the Earth Summit in Johannesburg last Saturday. The protesters, mainly poor people from South Africa, were furious at what they branded a 'summit of the rich'. Some of the protesters carried placards denouncing US president George Bush and Britain's Tony Blair.