Socialist Worker

If we ‘move on’ from Iraq, so might Bush

Issue No. 1938

THE INVASION of Afghanistan in 2001 was a special case and had to be supported, claimed “liberal” warmongers at the time.

Then came Iraq. So we were told this was another special case of a particularly odious regime with weapons of mass destruction to boot.

Now the US has put Iran at the top of its list of potential targets.

George Bush’s new secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, said last week that the US has no plans “at this time” to attack Iran.

But in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq two years ago she also denied the US government was intent on war.

The truth was, as the world now knows, that Bush was set on war with Iraq the minute he became president four years ago.

Now the liberal warmongers are trotting out similar arguments over Iran to those over Iraq. At the same time they are calling on people to “move on” from the last war and the ongoing occupation.

But it is the international anti-war movement and the popular resistance in Iraq to the occupation that stand in the way of Bush launching another war.

Far from “moving on”, the threats to Iran and other countries are reasons to ensure an even bigger turnout on next Tuesday’s anti-war day of action and on the demonstration on 19 March.


Bush and Blair

United by policy at home and abroad

BUSH AND Blair have more in common than Iraq. Both are looking to attack pensions in 2005. Blair’s government is attempting to push through reforms that will see the retirement age rise to 65, and the end of final salary schemes.

In the US people are already only able to take out the full social security if they retire at 65. Bush wants to dismantle the current social security system and replace it with personal accounts where the tax workers pay would be invested in the stock market.

His proposals would affect everyone under the age of 55. Yet in Bush’s budget released this week, the president still found the money for a 4.8 percent increase in military spending bringing it up to $419 billion in 2006.


union elections

Support for those rocking the boat

THE WARWICK agreement between New Labour and the unions was an attempt to halt any strikes in the run up to the general election. Anger over pensions has blown a great hole in this plan. Inside the unions, too, the desire for leaders that challenge the government continues to grow. In recent weeks, the election of left-winger Christine Blower as the deputy general secretary of the biggest teachers’ union, the NUT, is a sign that its members want a serious fight over pensions, privatisation and attacks on comprehensive education.

Matt Wrack’s victory in the Fire Brigade Union’s assistant secretary election shows the bitterness at the union leaders’ betrayal of the pay dispute and a willingness to take on New Labour.

These elections are symbols of a growing mood to rock the boat — and to do so irrespective of the parliamentary timetable.


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What We Think
Sat 12 Feb 2005, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1938
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