The US has unleashed on Iraq the greatest military machine the world has ever seen. It recalls the colonial wars of 100 years ago. Bush, Blair and their media cheerleaders began to hail victory as US tanks entered Baghdad on Monday. Occupation, not liberation, is the reality facing Iraq. The Ba’athist regime of Saddam Hussein has inflicted horror on the Iraqi people. For much of the time it was backed to the hilt by those now waging war against Iraq.
The regime the US plans to impose on Iraq will be worse. The tanks and troops are leaving chaos, casualties and destruction in their wake. The basics of life for ordinary Iraqis are collapsing. The lack of electricity, medicine, food and water will take many more lives in the weeks ahead. The US plans to impose a military dictatorship on Iraq. It will work with some of the most brutal elements of the regime it claims to be liberating people from.
Journalist Patrick Cockburn, writing in the Independent on Tuesday, reported an ‘uprising’ against Saddam Hussein in one village. The leaders of the uprising were ready to work with the US. They were the local Ba’ath Party officials who until a few days ago had been running Saddam Hussein’s security apparatus there.
That picture will be repeated as the US tries to impose its ‘order’. The US plans to make its ‘new Iraq’ a close ally of the regime most hated by ordinary people in Iraq and the Arab world-Israel. The would-be US overlord of Iraq, General Jay Garner, is a long-time supporter of Israel.
US business interests are jostling to carve up Iraq, seizing its oil and infrastructure and plundering the country to boost their profits. Iraqis who hated and opposed Saddam Hussein’s regime but who resist US occupation will be treated to bound hands, hooded parades, and routine brutality-at best.
Bush and his gang already have other targets in their sights. James Woolsey, a former director of the US CIA intelligence agency, is lined up for a key role in Iraq. He talks of the conquest of Iraq as the start of a ‘Fourth World War’ for US global domination. Syria, Iran, North Korea, Libya and on to Cuba, Venezuela and more. The list of countries the US wants to target is chilling.
A US occupation of Iraq will, as colonial regimes everywhere have done, produce bitterness, hatred and resistance. Across the Middle East the resistance to the US, and local regimes who bow to it, has grown and will continue.
Millions of people around the world know exactly what Bush and Blair are about. They know the reality behind the lies of ‘liberation’. These millions will stand against a US occupation of Iraq, the continuing horror and death that will bring, and US plans to extend their war to other states. That global resistance is the only power that can break the drive by the US’s rulers to create their ‘new world order’.
NOTHING IN the last three weeks has proved the anti-war movement wrong. Every day of the horror in Iraq has shown how right it is to demonstrate. On Saturday right across the world there are protests against war and US occupation of Iraq.
In Adelaide, Athens, Auckland, Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Dubrovnik, Halmstad, Los Angeles, Managua, Manila, Mexico City, Oijek, Oslo, Poznan, Pula, Rijeka, Rome, Rotterdam, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Shannon, Split, Stockholm, Victoria, Vukovar, Warsaw, Washington, Zadar and Zagreb people will be marching.
The national demonstration in London is a crucial link in that chain of resistance. In the Middle East people have been inspired by the size of the anti-war movement in Britain, and encouraged to step up their own resistance in much more difficult circumstances.
Around 3,000 people demonstrated against Bush and Blair’s war meeting in Belfast on Monday. Everyone who has opposed this war should throw themselves into ensuring the London march is the biggest possible show of opposition to war and US occupation.
From Saturday’s protest we need to return to every workplace and local area to continue to build the movement against the US’s wars and imperial conquests.
Demonstrate in central London
Saturday 12 April at 12 noon
Route A (for the south and south London): assemble York Road (Waterloo tube) Route B (for the north and north London): assemble Victoria Street/Broadway (Victoria and St James’s Park tube)
Both marches will unite at Parliament Square and march to Hyde Park Called by the Stop the War Coalition, Muslim Association of Britain and CND. Phone the Stop the War Coalition on 020 7053 2153/4/5/6 or go to www.stopwar.org.uk
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