"I was in the Gulf as a medic from October 1990, right through the bombing, and left in April 1991. I was in one of the major field hospitals dealing with casualties. We were told absolutely nothing about depleted uranium at all. We had daily briefings and it was never even mentioned once. The first I knew that it had been used at all was on the news a few years later. Yet soldiers have been knowingly exposed to it and nothing has been done. We got injections against what we were told was the threat of "biological weapons" such as bubonic plague and anthrax. Doctors since have warned that the effect of a cocktail of such injections could cause health problems.
US President George Bush ushered in the start of the Gulf War ten years ago. As the bombs pounded down on Iraq he made a speech about the dawn of a "New World Order". We have been living with that New World Order ever since. Bush's war lasted 42 days. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were dead by the end of it. Iraqi society was devastated. The war was backed up by British Tory prime minister John Major and Labour leader Neil Kinnock every inch of the way. We were told that it was necessary and just, because Saddam Hussein, the ruler of Iraq, was an evil tyrant. We were told he was a new Hitler who must be destroyed at all costs.
Kevin Danaher is the co-founder of the Global Exchange and an organiser of the anti-capitalist protests in Seattle. He will be speaking on the Globalise Resistance tour between 2 and 11 February. Here he writes about the challenges facing everyone opposed to the corporate agenda.
The multinationals Ford and General Motors (GM) have launched a massacre of jobs across the car industry. These giant firms are destroying the lives of thousands of car workers at Dagenham in east London and Vauxhall in Luton. How can we beat Ford and General Motors? In the United States in the 1930s thousands of car workers took on General Motors, the world's biggest corporation, and won. Their struggle forced GM to recognise the United Auto Workers union throughout its plants and transformed the trade union movement in the US. On 30 December 1936 some 3,000 workers occupied GM's Flint plant in Michigan. The workers went on strike, in the face of huge intimidation from management, to d
"Everything just getting worse. Health, education, transport-they all need to be in public ownership. Now they are being run down and sold off. It can't go on like this."
William Hague's Tory rabble playing the race card or Tony Blair's New Labour government privatising everything in sight. That is the choice presented to us in this year's general election. But there will be an alternative. Across Britain over 120 socialist candidates are preparing to stand in the election.
MANY OFFICIAL documents covering 1970 have just been released to the public. They reveal precisely what happens when there is a high level of strikes. Thirty years ago workers' action echoed through the whole of society and dominated government thinking at the highest levels. Almost every cabinet meeting, under both Labour and Tory governments, focused on strikes.
The publication of this year's school exam results has brought a hue and cry about whether educational standards are falling and why boys appear to be doing less well than girls. In fact A level results improved across the board, especially for women candidates.
THE FOCUS in the Russian submarine disaster has naturally been on the tragedy of the 118 sailors, many of them conscripts, killed as the vessel went down. But that will not be the only legacy of the disaster. The submarine's nuclear reactors and missiles pose a serious threat which could last for thousands of millions of years.
"PERHAPS THE most soul destroying aspect of Income Support." That was how Labour's Commission on Social Justice described the Social Fund when the party was in opposition.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank were conceived as instruments for holding down the Third World and maintaining American economic hegemony. Look at what the US delegation did during the 1944 Bretton Woods conference which gave rise to both these institutions.
Salem was a small town in Massachusetts in America. The witch-hunt took place in 1692. US playwright Arthur Miller wrote a powerful play, The Crucible, about it. An excellent film based on the play came out three years ago starring Daniel Day-Lewis.
"WE ARE making a stand and we're proud of it. We want to tell the New Labour government loud and clear-we want to stop our jobs being privatised and we want to stop the NHS being privatised."
'Better to die on your feet than live on your knees' - Emiliano Zapata
TORIES AND religious fundamentalists are trying to unleash a flood of anti-gay bigotry. Catholic Cardinal Winning and millionaire owner of the Stagecoach empire Brian Souter (an evangelical Christian) are leading a crusade to keep the anti-gay Section 28 law in Scotland. Tory lords and Church of England bishops have now waded in to defend Section 28 in England and Wales. All of them claim they oppose discrimination. Yet recently Winning called homosexuality a "perversion" and likened gay people to Hitler's Nazis. His insult is sick beyond belief. Gays were one of the groups Hitler sent to concentration camps.
AS RUSSIAN generals continued to wage their brutal war against the Chechen people, campaigners held a meeting in central London last week to voice their protest at the slaughter. All the speakers linked this war to NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia, which made the world a more dangerous place, encouraged military conflict and acted as a model for Russia. Liz Davies, a left winger on the Labour Party's National Executive Committee, opened the meeting. She spoke about the horror of the Russian assault on the Chechen capital, Grozny. "Thousands of innocent people are freezing in basements, living under the Russian bombardment. Many of these people are elderly and cannot leave the city."
Helen Keller's fight to overcome her disabilities made her life an inspiration for millions of people. Her story is taught in schools around the world. But what is not so well known is that Helen Keller was a committed and active socialist.
On Friday of last week 250 copies of Socialist Worker were sold outside Rage Against The Machine's concert at Wembley campaigning in support of Mumia Abu - Jamal. Workplace sales of Socialist Worker included 19 at Riverside House council offices in Greenwich, 15 at Manchester Royal Infirmary, 14 at Dunlop Tyres in Birmingham, 13 at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, 10 at each of De La Rue Printers in High Wycombe, Remploy in Neath, Glazier Metals in Glasgow, Sunderland Civic Centre and Nottinghamshire County Hall, 9 at both Chivas Regal in Paisley and Manchester Town Hall, 8 at both Vickers in Newcastle and the Inland Revenue offices in Nottingham. Despite the rain and wind Socialist Worker selle
THE APPEAL total stood at £170,490.34 at the beginning of this week. That puts us within striking distance of our target. Fundraising social events were due to take place in many areas of the country this week and money is still arriving at the office which was collected two weeks ago.
Workers at Pricecheck, central London, have won their battle for union recognition. One Pricecheck worker describes how workers greeted the news: "When our boss, Manzoor Choudhary, walked into the shop and said, 'I believe we have to accept the union,' everyone nodded and smiled politely. Ten minutes later he left. We all started cheering and hugging each other. After years of bullying, things are going to be different. We are going to be treated like human beings."