The War on Iraq and the People's
Fight to Stop It
Revolutionary Worker #1190, March
9, 2003, posted at http://rwor.org
We are in the rapids. Powerful
forces in Washington are clearly determined to launch this war. And this
moment demands that millions of people respond with an even more powerful
determination to resist.
The Revolutionary Worker
salutes all those who manifest bold resistance to this war on the
National Moratorium to Stop the War on March 5 and in the days ahead.
The people of Iraq are standing
in the cross hairs of the "Shock and Awe" bombing plans -- while
U.S. war planners rev up the troops, plot the occupation, and secretly
plan to carve up Iraqi oil reserves.
And, in the global arena of
public opinion, the warmakers are now pulling out the stops. They are
pumping out rivers of war-time disinformation -- to portray themselves
as "liberators" and to demonize anyone who opposes them. We
can expect them to manufacture incidents and rumors to generate a war
fever in their "homeland."
The U.S. government has been
stung by its isolation -- both from the governments and people of the
world. They are looking for Iraqis who welcome and endorse their invasion.
And U.S. agents are ruthlessly arm-twisting governments all over the world.
Their so-called "coalition
of the willing" is truly "a coalition of the bullied and the
The world was forced to watch
the ugly bartering between the U.S. and Turkey's oppressive government
-- haggling over how many billions of dollars Turkey needed to join an
invasion of its southern neighbor. While the U.S. demanded permission
to use Turkish bases, airspace and troops, Turkey's ambitious ruling class
demanded their cut of the spoils -- including a slice of Iraq's
northern oil production.
Then there is the hour-by-hour
drama of the United Nations Security Council -- where the U.S. is seeking
to pound together approval for a pro-war resolution.
The extortion used against
Angola, an African country on the Security Council, is a raw example:
After 1975 the U.S. government poured military and financial support behind
UNITA, a brutal, contra-style, anti-government force, and helped plunge
the country into 15 years of civil war. Angola was left in ruins -- hundreds
of thousands of people were killed, and a million desperate people live
as refugees. Now, after all this, the U.S. hints it may provide funds
needed for reconstruction -- but only if Angola's government votes to
give the U.S. permission to devastate yet another third world country.
It is not just the world's
poorest countries like Angola or Guinea that are being arm twisted to
support this war. Britain's Tony Blair often pauses in his hyped moralist
speeches to coldly argue that only by standing at the side of the U.S.
in whatever wars it launches can Britain maintain global influence in
the future. France, Germany and Russia publicly oppose this war, but they
feel heavy pressure from the U.S. gangster logic of "with us or against
us." Few ruling classes in the world are eager to piss off the world's
only superpower -- and virtually all of them are vying and shoving for
the best place within any "new world order."
If the U.S. wins approval for
a UN war resolution, it will not be "the voice of the world community"
-- it will be an ugly victory of the most naked bourgeois power politics.
The U.S. government wants to
make this war seem like an inevitable and "liberating" thing.
And it is all the more important for us to keep a firm grip on what this
war for and why it must be opposed.
First of all, this war would
be a great injustice against the people of Iraq. For its predatory purposes,
the U.S. government is willing to batter the Iraqi people again, shatter
their cities, and decide what their future will be.
The public justifications of
this war are rooted in colonial logic -- on the outrageous idea that this
superpower has the right to pick the rulers of other countries. It is
openly said that third world countries, like Iraq, have no right to self-defense
and self-determination -- if the U.S. chooses, they are to be disarmed
and ruled by military conquerers.
Second, it is important to
peel away the layers of rhetoric and uncover the larger purposes this
war serves for those running the U.S. empire and what this war will mean
for the people of the surrounding region and the world.
The real, underlying motives
for this war are imperialistic -- they are about using a moment of military
supremacy to promote U.S. domination in the world. If the U.S. succeeds
in crushing Iraq's defiance -- it will only be emboldened to threaten
and bully many more countries.
In addition, the U.S. also
wants to cement its control over this whole Persian Gulf region -- with
its highly strategic oil production and reserves. This is not only, or
even mainly, to make more money off oil or to secure more petroleum for
wasteful domestic consumption. Control over Persian Gulf oil would make
the U.S. better able to control all those people and countries that rely
on Persian Gulf oil -- including much of the third world and major powers
like France, Germany and Japan.
This is a power move intended
to help cement the U.S. position of "sole superpower" for decades
to come -- and preemptively make it difficult for rival powers to challenge
In short: a U.S. victory over
Iraq would have a profound impact on the future for billions of people,
including on how the labor of working people is exploited, on where the
wealth of the planet flows, on who is served by the governments and armies
of the world.
And, for that reason, such
a victory would be deeply against the interests of the people of the whole
world. And it will not become "better" or "supportable"
if there are adjustments in how it is waged or who joins in.
Let's be clear: It is the
antiwar resistance that represents the interests of the people of the
world, not the United Nations.
It is important to grasp that
this war would still be totally illegitimate -- even if the U.S. coldly
arm-twists a pro-war resolution (or a dozen resolutions) from the U.N.
This war would be unjust and
colonialist -- even if the rulers of France, Russia or Germany all
climb onto the war-wagon, in hopes of a slice of the action.
This war would remain unjustified
-- even if the UN inspections provide the invaders with some "trigger
for war" (which is what the U.S. demanded of them from the beginning).
In fact this war would be illegitimate even if Hans Blix puts on a powder-blue
helmet and personally helped launch the American cruise missiles.
This war would be wrong if
the U.S. finds powerful domestic Iraqi forces to welcome the conquerors
-- and even if the TV cameras can find Iraqi crowds confused, frightened
or hungry enough to wave U.S. flags in public.
This war would be just wrong,
period, because its goals are unjust, and because the stabilization
of a new pro-U.S. Iraqi regime will help tighten an oppressive grip on
billions of people all over the world. The vast majority of people in
the U.S. have no interest in supporting this war.
We are at a moment of ends
The White House clearly intends
to end the buildup and start the war.
Millions of people around the
world -- and in the U.S. -- have launched a huge project of resistance
The U.S. ruling class is hard-core
and determined -- it thinks it is invincible and it thinks this is "the
moment" to remake the world. But wars begun by oppressive governments
can be ended by the people.
Two weeks ago, a young revolutionary
communist wrote in the RW:
"As they line up their
forces for invasion, we have to develop a dynamic resistance. Not just
keeping on in the face of adversity, but seeing the potential in a changing
line-up, in millions of allies emerging from unexpected corners of society.
Not simply persevering, but stepping it up, finding daring new ways to
inspire those still on the sidelines and send a message of love to the
people of the world. Definitely not buying their arrogant bully's stance,
meant to intimidate, but resisting and ridiculing these bloodstained 'evil-doers'
for daring to lay claim to our beautiful planet. Exposing them for the
global power fiends they are. Now is a time for heroes. For self-sacrifice
and determination to bring to bear all the fighting strength, accumulated
understanding, love and passion of millions.
"Now is also a time
for clarity. A time not to be thrown or lose sight of the glimmer of a
different future, even as they bring down heavy destruction and try to
break our fighting spirit. We will keep our heads up, because we can see
a better world emerging within our struggles -- because we know who really
represents the future, and who is just clawing madly to extend and tighten
their brutal grip."
This article is posted in English
and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
http://resistance -RW resource page on resisting the juggernaut of war and repression
http://2changetheworld.info - Discuss revolutionary strategy and the RCP's Draft Programme