As the deadly game of hide-and-seek with the arms inspectors drags on, there is speculation by some that perhaps war can be avoided. Such diplomatic minuets should fool nobody. The military build-up in the Gulf has practically reached the point of no return. The USA is intent on occupying Iraq. There is not the slightest doubt about this. They have even made detailed plans of how the US-run colonial administration will operate. The aim of American imperialism is to make sure they have full control of Iraq and its oil.

The so-called "struggle against terrorism" is nothing but a cynical pretext for feeding the voracious appetite of the greatest economic and military power in the world. The arrogant war-mongering of George W. Bush reflects the brutality of the American ruling class, which in its struggle for the control of resources, raw materials, markets, trade routes and spheres of influence, is ready to destroy any obstacle it finds in its path.

Faced with the imminent war which US imperialism is preparing against Iraq, the Spanish Students' Union, as part of the international week of action against the war, has called for a Students' Day of Struggle on Thursday, February 13, which will consist of a national students' strike and demonstrations in all cities in Spain.

The western alliance is now deeply fractured on the question of war with Iraq. Divisions within the Security Council are growing. France and Germany have pledged to try to prevent a war, even if that means not supporting America in a UN vote. Does this negate what we wrote concerning the position of France and Russia? Not at all. It was always clear that the French, Russians and Germans were opposed to the policy of the USA in relation to Iraq. They have different interests and therefore different policies. That was never in doubt. But the point is that this will not deflect the American imperialists from carrying out their declared aims.

The words of George Bush’s annual state-of-the-union address were full of lofty sentiments. But the President aims were more prosaic. There is growing opposition at home to his war plans. And half way through his first term of office, his popularity ratings are falling. He is worried that he may not get re-elected in two years’ time.

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