George Bush has lit the fuse for war on Iraq, a war that will kill thousands of innocent people. Next weekend is your chance to protest against this rush to mass murder. The bombing of Afghanistan has been horrific, killing more civilians than died in the World Trade Centre. War against Iraq will be far worse.
‘Saddam Hussein needs to understand I’m serious,’ said Bush last week. Bush’s Secretary of State, Colin Powell, the supposed restraint on him, wants a ‘regime change’ in Iraq. US and British planes have stepped up their bombing of Iraqi air defences. Thousands of marines and other combat-ready troops are moving into the region. The commander of marine forces for the US central command has moved his headquarters from Florida to Bahrain, within striking range of Iraq. Commanders for the army, navy and air force are already there.
Over 1,000 military command and control personnel are in locations in the Persian Gulf, where they would be in position to coordinate larger forces of combat troops.
The US government will soon demand that nuclear inspectors are allowed back into Iraq. If Saddam Hussein refuses the humiliating terms on offer then Bush will demand war. The US also wants harsher economic sanctions, more inhumane than the ones which have already killed 500,000 Iraqi children.
Bush is touring Japan, South Korea and China to win their support for the new firestorm.
His vice-president, Dick Cheney, is off soon to the Middle East on the same mission. Bush and his supporters are involved in a bloody conspiracy to kill in the interests of US power and the profits of big business.
As Bush put it in his own special way recently, ‘We need to be able to send our troops to the battlefields and places that many of us never thought there’d be a battlefield.’
That is why he has increased his military budget to a staggering $396 billion. What Bush has done to Afghanistan is supposed to be a success. Yet it is in such turmoil that last week the new tourism minister, Abdul Rahman, was pulled from a plane and beaten to death by Northern Alliance security personnel.
British Paratroopers opened fire on a car carrying a pregnant woman to hospital last weekend, injuring her and killing her brother in law. They started shooting at 1.45am from a range of 1,000 metres. The soldiers are from the regiment that murdered people on Bloody Sunday 30 years ago in Ireland.
Many people hoped against the odds that Bush and Blair could bring some sort of peace to Afghanistan.Those hopes have been dashed. There is no shining new dawn for Afghanistan. Instead there is malnutrition, chaos, and a man’s guts shot away for driving a woman to hospital.
Next Saturday is our chance to protest against warmonger Bush and his loyal ally Tony Blair. Everyone should join this march.
Saturday 2 March-assemble 1pm, Hyde Park, London. Called by the Stop the War Coalition and supported by CND. Phone 07951 235 915 for information and publicity.
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Conference for all trade unionists
Saturday 16 March, 11am-4pm, Camden Centre, Bidborough Street, London WC1 (near King’s Cross station/tube)
Register with the Socialist Alliance-phone 020 7791 3138, go to www.socialistalliance.net or write to Socialist Alliance, Wickham House, 10 Cleveland Way, London E1 4TR
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