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.

The war that is being prepared by the USA is a blatant act of aggression against the Iraqi people. It has not a single atom of progressive content. All the arguments used to justify this monstrous war are false to the core. This war is not in the interests of anyone except the imperialists and the big oil companies that stand behind the White House clique. Let us unite to organise a massive campaign of agitation against the war, with demonstrations, pickets, leafleting and mass meetings in every workplace, school and college.

This is the text of the Youth for International Socialism (YFIS) leaflet against the war, which can be used on the coming demonstrations.

Parts of the antiwar movement are basing their opposition on the fact that there is not yet any UN backing for action against Iraq. Fred Weston looks at who is on the UN Security Council and how the USA can bribe and bully most of them into supporting their war effort. And concludes that we must oppose the war, with or without UN support.

The long awaited Blix report to the UN has solved nothing. It is worded in such a way that anyone can use it to argue for immediate attack on Iraq or… for more inspections! Thus the United Nations is demonstrating once again that it can solve nothing. The real decisions will be taken by the major powers, in this case the United States, the only real superpower on the planet.

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