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(en) UK, AF, Organise #60 - At War With Iraq

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sat, 24 May 2003 08:32:11 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E

As we send Organise off to the printers, war has
finally broken out. The USA and Britain have
launched their attack on Iraq. We expect this war to
be over quickly, with minimum casualties for the USA
and its allies and at enormous human cost to the
people of Iraq. The following pieces will necessarily
be dated by the time you read them, however they are
worth reading as they provide some background into
this latest round of dominance games being played by
the USA. We now have to ask, "Who next?" This war is
just part of the USA's attempt to reshape the world at
the beginning of the 21st century. Certainly Colombia
is in the firing line, maybe Iran, maybe even a
'democratic' coup in Saudi Arabia. Only time will tell.
One thing they all have in common is enormous oil
resources. We do predict that resistance from Iraq will
continue, even when the formal war is over. How the
USA and Britain will react to a steady trickle of body
bags over the months to come is anyone's guess.
Short of working class rebellion, we expect this to be
the picture of the world for years to come.

The United States Prepares For Regime Change

The State and the ruling class of the United States
seem determined to carry out their war threats all
around the planet. Whilst the US normally prefers to
conquer new territories by the penetration of its
capital, there is always the option of a follow through
with military domination if that fails. Other Western
powers that wish to increase their influence now see
the US in the ascendant. In the Persian Gulf, the chief
obstacle to American domination is now Iraq. Up until
recently, US interests meant that the Saddam regime
was supported and armed. Today, the American boss
class needs to sweep away the Saddam regime and
establish a protectorate under its military control. If
that regime is not dealt with, US capital will not have
enough freedom of movement in the Gulf region.

To find a pretext to launch a war, the American ruling
class has sought to use the United Nations weapons
inspectors, but there have been problems with this, as
their reports have not provided sufficient evidence for
such an attack.

A series of ultimatums that Iraq cannot accept are to
be used in the same way as the Rambouillet accord
was used as a pretext to smash what was left of

Not only has the overthrow of the Saddam regime
been decided but the USA has decided who to put in
its place. This will consist of the Group of Four (the
Democratic Party of Kurdistan, The Patriotic Union of
Kurdistan, the main Shiite opposition group, as well
as the National Iraqi Accord) and the organisation of
ex- military officers of the Baath regime (backed by
the Central Intelligence Agency). US support to this
Group of Four represents a policy change from
support for the National Iraqi Congress, now
considered insufficient to the task ahead. This itself
points to a more aggressive American strategy, as all
these armed groups are involved in smuggling and

The American effort to isolate Iraq has collapsed.
Russia is owed vast amounts by Iraq and economic
links between the two countries are estimated at
billions. The Russian oil enterprises LUKOil and
Zarubezhneft and the French company Total-Fina-Elf
have major interests in Iraq. Iraq is currently working
to reopen its oil pipelines towards the port of Ceyhan
in Turkey and in constructing a new pipeline to
Jordan and another towards Syria and Jordan. Other
countries such as China, India, Indonesia and
Vietnam have economic interests in Iraq. Iraq has the
second biggest reserve of oil in the world.

The strategic position of Iraq in the Gulf and the
reserves of gas and petrol close by in Central Asia
mean that the domination of the region is crucial for
US interests. As was admitted recently in the Chicago
Sun Times: "Military victory is anticipated inside the
Bush administration as the tonic that will prompt
corporation officers and private investors to unleash
the American economy's dormant power. Although it
is impolitic to say so, the fact that the United States
will be sitting on a new major oil supply will stimulate
the domestic economy. That puts a high premium on
quickly gaining control of Iraq's oil wells before they
can be torched--a major uncertainty in an otherwise
strictly scripted scenario."

But there are deep divisions within the US
administration on how this can be done. General
Tommy Franks in the Washington Post predicted that
200,000 military would be needed and an invasion
would incur heavy losses. The obstruction of US
"allies" like France and Germany have slowed the
American offensive. The Russian ruling class, despite
lying prostrate before US military power, is deeply
opposed to any military attack on Iraq. Since
November 2000, Iraq has preferred to use the Euro
rather than the dollar for its oil transactions. In the
meantime the bombing by the US and its British ally
has continued. From 17th December 1998 to 18th May
2002, warplanes carried out 38,504 raids and the
bombing still continues. The US has systematically
destroyed the Iraqi infrastructure.

At home in the USA, the government has acted
rapidly to establish a more flagrant dictatorship of the
ruling class and the industrial-military complex. The
government no longer needs proof, trial or legal
defence. It can put anyone on its territory, with or
without citizenship, into its civil or military prisons.
The recent arrest of Abdullah al-Mujahir accused of
plotting a "dirty" nuclear bomb demonstrates this,
with still no evidence offered by the government. New
legislation, like the proposed Patriot Act, will
strengthen this.

The US government has revived its old Cold War
propaganda and even of the Second World War. The
National Security Agency has launched a campaign
with the motto "Loose lips sink ships". Indeed the US
and British governments are attempting to re-launch
"anti-fascist" sentiment that proved so useful in
gaining popular support for World War II, but with
little success so far, as a dictator not even able to rule
over the whole of Iraq hardly compares to a confident
and expansionist Hitler. All restrictions on espionage
and domestic surveillance have been lifted. A huge
new bureaucracy is being created under the banner
of the Department for Security of the Country,
centralising every aspect of surveillance, of
application of the law and of public security.

According to official statistics of the US government,
foreign investment in the USA has plunged by 60%
from 2000 to 2001. This shows the real crisis of
confidence in the US economy because foreign
capital is searching for better dividends elsewhere.
This is the biggest slump in the USA for more than 10
years. The US administration has to maintain the
circulation of capital in the USA in the same way that
it has to assure the control of the most important
merchandise of capitalism: oil. The only option for the
US boss class is war. Using war on terrorism as a
pretext, the US administration has, and this is no
exaggeration, declared war on the whole planet.

The realisation of this grim fact is an underlying and
as yet not fully expressed factor within the huge
anti-war movement that has effected so many
countries around the world and which has spread to
many sectors of society- with special reference to
young people who are taking direct action in their
schools and in the streets. So the anti-war movement
should not be underestimated in a strategy for
developing a revolutionary answer to the war.
Hopefully large numbers of people involved in this
movement can become increasingly radicalised. The
readiness to take direct action, the fact that a huge
movement has emerged even before the war is
officially declared, are positive factors.

What About Britain?

Why has the Blair regime sided with the US rather
than with the Franco-German bloc? It is true that
there are divisions within the British boss class over
the war, (this explains the favourable coverage given
to the anti-war movement in some of the
establishment media) but the bulk of the ruling class
has traditionally allied itself with the US. The
Conservative Party stands solid with Labour on the
war, and the core of Labour is totally loyal and
compliant. The bulk of the British establishment
regards it as political suicide to break with their US

The Liberal Democrats have marched into the ranks
of the anti-war movement. But their stance and that of
their leader Charles Kennedy is not anti-war as such.
They take the side of the Franco-German bloc, and
that section of the ruling class in Britain that sees the
most fruitful way forward is to develop a strong
European bloc in opposition to the dominant US bloc.
Their emphasis is on gaining UN approval, and so
legitimising a war with a larger percentage of the
population. They -and France, Germany, Russia and
China- would not be opposed to any war to further
their own economic and strategic interests, if it was
more politically effective. This would mean better
thought-out military strategies that did not involve
such mass opposition. Their role within the anti-war
movement will have the long-term strategy of
confusing and demoralising that movement.

In the long term, the US's aggressive foreign policy
may be its epitaph as a dominant world power. Huge
new movements are springing into life, partly based
on previous mass mobilisations of the last 40 years.
The mass movement of millions of working class
women and men can yet halt the rush to war and
barbarism. The key factors are a break with
nationalism, with the chloroform of establishment
media propaganda, and with the obstacle of dogmatic
non-violent pacifism. There is a whole future to be
won, and anarchists must prepare themselves to take
a full part in helping this come about.

The following comes from a talk delivered by a
member of the AF Ireland in Belfast in February:

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