WHY IS George Bush so hell bent on a war on Iraq? The US devastated Iraq in a war 11 years ago. US-backed economic sanctions have already killed 500,000 Iraqi children, according to Unicef. A US war on Iraq risks destabilising the Middle East and sparking wider wars. It looks mad, but behind Bush's crazy logic stands his desire to have a war to assert US dominance around the globe.
He wants a world where US political interests come first and multinationals can race after profits, all backed up by US B-52 bombers and troops. The Middle East has 75 percent of the world's oil reserves, making it of major strategic importance to the US, the world's most powerful military and economic machine.
The US economy threatens to nosedive into recession under the weight of financial scandals that stretch right to the Republican administration. Bush's vulnerability on domestic issues could press him to launch all-out war on Iraq to shore up support at home.
Over 6,000 children and their parents in Afghanistan have already been killed in the first wave of Bush's so-called 'war on terrorism'. Many people are horrified at his bloodlust over Iraq. In Britain we can play a vital role in upsetting his relentless war drive. Bush relies on Tony Blair as his recruiting sergeant.
But Bush and Blair embark on this war weaker than in the 1991 Gulf War. Then there was a coalition of 21 countries backing the war. Today's international coalition is the US, Blair and the right wing leaders Berlusconi in Italy and Aznar in Spain.
Even Douglas Hurd, who was the gung-ho Tory foreign secretary during the last Gulf War, said this week, 'It is hard to believe that a massive invasion lasting weeks would get the support it would need if its aim was to install a pro-Western government in Iraq.'
Leaders from the major trade unions have spoken out against the war. Former military chiefs have expressed their doubts and church leaders have launched their biggest opposition to British military action since the Suez crisis.
The popular demonstrations against the war on Afghanistan and in support of Palestine have shown the wide support for an anti-war movement. This growing movement could force Blair to withdraw his support for Bush's war. This would remove Bush's key prop and deal his plans a very serious blow. A Channel 4 poll this week revealed that 52 percent of people are opposed to British military involvement in any US war on Iraq.
Anti-war activists have to urgently build on that groundswell of opposition to take on Blair and Bush. Blair has increased military spending by £1 billion while public services are crying out for cash.
Britain faces the real threat of recession with manufacturing output already at its lowest level since 1979. The anti-war demonstration on 28 September is a great opportunity to show the wide opposition to the war. Already anti-war activists are mobilising, with 30 coaches booked from Glasgow alone.
Everyone in workplaces, trade unions and communities needs to start mobilising now to make that protest in seven weeks time as big as possible.