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100,000 say Bush is the real enemy

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US and Britain have destroyed Afghanistan – Somalia and Iraq next?
Issue 1776

The warmongers aim at new victims

The US is preparing to attack more countries even as the chaos and horror in Afghanistan unfold daily. ‘There are 40 to 50 countries which harbour terrorists and which could be targeted for diplomatic, financial or military action,’ said US vice-president Dick Cheney last week.

George W Bush, with Tony Blair in tow, is out to prove US domination of the world. Iraq and Somalia are top of the list. US leaders have bombed and starved Iraq for 11 years. Around 150,000 Iraqis were killed in the 1991 Gulf War. Over 500,000 children have died since as a result of sanctions. US defence secretary Rumsfeld is now claiming there are ‘links’ between the 11 September suicide attackers and Iraq.

The UN Security Council discusses sanctions on Iraq next month. If Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein refuses to allow back UN weapons inspectors (who were unmasked as US spies) then this could be used as an excuse for war. Somalia in east Africa is the other prime target. It is one of Afghanistan’s rivals for the unwelcome title of ‘poorest nation on earth’. For ten years there has been no central government.

Islamic organisations have partially filled the gap. Within days of 11 September the US government claimed that one Islamic group, Al Itihaad, had links to Osama Bin Laden. Then senior CIA officials said Bin Laden was moving his operations to Somalia. There was not a shred of evidence for any of this. But it is being used to undermine the Somali government of Abdulkassim Salat Hassan and to prepare for a future war.

He was appointed president last year by Somali elders. He controls only about half of the country and is opposed by many of the powerful forces which have been tearing the country apart for years. Cynical They include Hussein Aideed, the son of General Farah Aideed, who humiliated the US forces sent to Somalia in 1992.

Hussein Aideed was trained in the US and achieved officer rank in the US Rangers. US officials recently met with him despite their bitter memories of his father. Cooperation between the two is on the cards. The pro-US Ethiopian government is also preparing for action against Somalia. The cynical and deadly manoeuvring is typical of what we can expect if Bush and Blair get their way.

They will prepare more wars and hurl millions of people into conflict and poverty to clear the way for their power and the power of the multinationals.

Build on the mood against the war

THE US and Britain have so devastated Afghanistan that the media has not found it difficult to find some Afghans desperate for someone to bring stability. Tony Blair is keen, according to his aides, to send in thousands of British troops.

But any deployment of troops will be about backing one or other rival warlord and will mean repression for ordinary Afghans. Crowds of Afghans, who rightly reject colonial-style occupation of their country, have already protested against the small British force outside Kabul.

The US is wary of sending in large numbers of troops. Deputy defence secretary Paul Wolfowitz says, ‘One of the lessons of Afghan history we’ve tried to apply is, if you’re a foreigner, try not to go in. If you do go in, don’t stay too long, because they don’t tend to like foreigners who stay too long.’

The message is clear-bomb a poor country, bring chaos, encourage a fractious group of murderers, refuse to let refugees escape, and then sit back and watch the nightmare unfold. And Blair dares to talk of ‘nation building’.

The words of the Roman historian Tacitus about the callousness of an earlier empire fit better, ‘Where they create a desert, they call it peace.’ More and more people are seeing through our rulers’ lies. That’s why 100,000 people joined the magnificent Stop the War demonstration in London last Sunday.

The anti-war movement needs to take the arguments against the new imperialists into every college, workplace, school and locality. We need to deepen the opposition that already exists, reach out to those who are only now questioning the war, and make the links with the attacks big business is driving through.

An anti-war movement, growing in size and clarity, can connect with the bitterness at New Labour and the multinationals to produce a force capable of derailing the warmonger in 10 Downing Street.

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