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(en) Workers solidarity, 72 Sep. 2002 - Why does the US want war with Iraq?

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sat, 28 Sep 2002 23:41:42 -0400 (EDT)


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Saddam is certainly a nasty shit. His regime is
brutal. He has used biological and chemical
weapons against his own people. He allows no
opposition, and uses murder and torture to
remain in power. The thought that he might have
nuclear weapons is a frightening one. Yet it is
naive in the extreme to think the Bush
administration is motivated by these issues alone.

The most common reason for war, cited by both
Democrat and Republican members of Congress is
Iraq's attempts to build weapons of mass destruction
and his violations of UN resolutions. The trouble is
the same arguments could just as easily be applied to
Israel, which possesses nuclear bombs now and
ignores UN resolutions. Yet there are no plans to
bomb Tel Aviv. Or how about Pakistan, which is run
by a military dictator, has actually test detonated
nuclear weapons and in recent months has been one
half of the quite credible threat of a nuclear war (with
India).

Algeria and Egypt are both countries in which serious
human rights abuses have been reported. Yet the US
isn't talking about invading either of these countries
either. In the past the US was quite in favor of
Saddam's dictatorship. They sold him arms
throughout the Iran/Iraq war. During the Iran and
Iraq war Saddam dropped gas on a village called
Halabja. The US not only blocked UN resolutions
condemning Saddam but issued reports blaming Iran
for the attack. They kept silent as he carried out
genocide on the Kurds in the 1980s. Given US
history in Iraq it is stretching it to imagine that they
suddenly have a problem with the use of chemical
and biological warfare.

Which brings us to the question of motivation. Why
is this war going to be fought? There doesn't seem to
be a simple answer to this question. The Republican
Party, US business interests and other countries in
the world all seem to be split on the issue. Indeed
only Bush's immediate administration and Blair
seem to be in favour of war. Comment writers have
even been wondering if is this a moral crusade?

However, like most other wars, this is about control
of resources. Bush Jnr is the Oil Barons' president.
Vice President Dick Cheney is the former head of an
oil company called Halliburton Co. In 2001 the
Washington Post reported that he signed contracts
with Iraq worth 73 million dollars. Dick Chaney
explained his opposition to Saddam by saying "He
sits on top of 10 percent of the world's oil reserves. He
has enormous wealth being generated by that. And
left to his own devices, it's the judgement of many of
us that in the not too distant future he will acquire
nuclear weapons". It's interesting to note that
Chaney places oil above nuclear weapons in his list of
concerns.. US corporations have heavily invested in
the Audi Arabian oil industry. That most of the
September 11th bombers came from that country
makes the US nervous about its dependency on the
Saudi royal family.

Wars are also good for the economy, and the US
economy certainly could need some help at the
moment. Although the stock market falls in the lead
up to conflict, once the bombs start going down, the
share prices start going up. According to the Sunday
Times business correspondent Kathryn Cooper,
American share prices rose by 36% during four
recent wars. Oil companies also benefit. Iraq is the
world's second largest producer of oil (after Saudi
Arabia). An attack would disrupt its oil supplies.
Other oil producer countries could then increase the
price of their oil. Arms dealers also benefit, and also
fund election campaigns. Something Bush JR knows
well.

Yes Saddam has to go. But it is mistaken to think
that if the US get rid of him Iraq will become a better
place. After the 1991 gulf war George Bush Snr
called on the people of Iraq to overthrow Saddam.
The US then stood back and watched as Saddam
massacred whose who tried. Collateral benefit is the
idea that although the war is being fought for
'non-humanitarian' reasons such as oil, side effects
such as the removal of Saddam can be positive. Any
idea that there are 'collateral benefits' to US
intervention have already been exposed as false by
experience. As the Revolutionary Association of
Women of Afhanistan have pointed out women still
lead insecure fearful lives. The Northern Alliance
replaced the Taliban, but nothing much has changed.

                         Aileen O'Carroll

  What can we do to stop this war in Ireland?

        Stop refuelling at Shannon

In the past most of Ireland's opposition to
international events has been symbolic. We march up
and down Dublin's O'Connell Street and we picket
embassies. This time we have the opportunity to be
more ambitious. Shannon Airport is being used to
refuel US military planes. For the last year, with
almost total silence from the government, several
massive US Air Force Hercules KC-130 airplanes
have been landing daily. As well as re-fuelling they
have being practicing military maneuvers.

In December of last year, and August of this year, a
group of about 70 people demonstrated at Shannon in
order to highlight the presence of the US military. In
September Eoin Dubsky painted peace slogans and
signs on a Hercules war plane. As far as we in
Ireland are concerned, the war against Iraq is being
fought in Shannon. So it is to Shannon we must go to
oppose it. The SWP controlled 'Irish Anti-War
Movement' has provisionally called for a
demonstration at Shannon on Saturday October the
19th. It is in all our interests that this demonstration
is as effective as possible.


See also

   Anarchism and the fight against Imperialism
http://struggle.ws/wsm/imperialism.html
   Areas covered include S11, the 1991 Gulf War,
   2001 Afghan war and the UN interventions in
   Somalia and Yugoslavia.

This page is from the print version of the Irish Anarchist paper 'Workers
  Solidarity'.  http://struggle.ws/worksol.html

We also provide PDF files of all our publications for you to print out
 and distribute locally http://struggle.ws/wsm/pdf.html


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