Iraq

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.

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 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 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.

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.

On December 1, 20,000 people took part in an anti-war demo in Istanbul. Although there was a lively and angry mood on some sections of the demo the turnout was rather low compared to previous demonstrations. The trade unions did not help as, although they were officially part of the promoting group, they did very little to mobilise their forces. This, in spite of the fact that an overwhelming majority of 80-90 percent of the population is against the war.

Resolution 1441 has given the green light to the warmongers in Washington and London. It was voted unanimously by the 15 members of the council, including Syria, the only Arab member. This scandalous result at least serves to expose a lot of things, starting with the UN itself. What all this shows yet again is the completely reactionary nature of the dis-United Nations, and the hopelessly utopian attitude of those "Lefts" and pacifists who always appeal to the UN to "defend peace".

The preparations for war are acquiring a more feverish and urgent character by the day. On September 16, Iraq offered to allow UN weapons inspectors back without conditions. But this does not mean that war is off the agenda. On the contrary, war is now much closer. The decision by Iraq to allow the inspectors back was a last desperate attempt to avoid military action. The press has described it as Saddam Hussein's ace card. But this is not a game of cards but a life and death struggle in which the rules are made up as we go along.

The events of last September were painful ones. But as the dust finally settles on the shattered ruins of the twin towers, a growing number of men and women are beginning to think and act for themselves. The terrible blows that shake the lives of the millions also help to knock out of their heads a hundred years of dust and cobwebs. Slowly, painfully, the fog is clearing from many minds and people are compelled to come face to face with reality. One year after September 11, Ted Grant and Alan Woods look at what has happened in the aftermath of the attacks.

The report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) is a most striking proof of this old saying that the first casualty of war is always the truth. It is being presented by the war party in Washington and Tony Blair as conclusive "proof" that Saddam Hussein is just "months away" from launching a nuclear bomb.

Last night up to a hundred British and American planes have attacked Iraqi air defences 240 miles west of Baghdad, alleging that their planes came under attack by Iraq. It is self-evident that the latest military operation was an act of unprovoked aggression and a calculated provocation.

The sound of war drums from Washington becomes louder and more insistent by the day. The recent declarations of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld leave no doubt as to the intentions of the ruling clique in the USA. They are impatient to launch a military operation against Iraq. When this perspective becomes reality there will be enormous potential for a massive anti-war movement around the world. The best activists in the workers' and students' movements will want to show their anger and to oppose the war, and we must be prepared.