Iraq

This article was written in the early stages of the present war. Unfortunately for technical reasons its publication was delayed. It gives an interesting perspective as it was written by Marxists in Turkey, a country closely involved in what is unfolding in Iraq.

In the first hours of the present war it became immediately evident that the systematic manipulation of public opinion was a weapon in the hands of London and Washington which is being deployed in the same way as the Cruise and Tomahawk missiles. This is a very necessary activity. US imperialism shows its teeth, but for the sake of public consumption, it must appear in a most civilized and acceptable light.

As war broke out in Iraq mass antiwar protests erupted all over the world. In Italy a general strike was organised. Tomorrow there will be a general strike in Greece. While in Spain huge student demonstrations have taken place in many instances involving large numbers of workers. Similar protests are developing in Australia, Germany, Austria and many other countries. As the reports come in we will keep you updated. (March 20, 2003, 18.00 London UK time)

The hounds of war have been unleashed. US and British forces started to roll towards the Iraqi frontier. Simultaneously, Baghdad was rocked by explosions. This is a reactionary imperialist war of aggression. In the war between a poor Middle Eastern county, fighting for its existence and a mighty imperialist superpower that aims to crush it and reduce it to a status of foreign conquest, occupation and colonial-type subjugation, all our sympathies lie with the underdog and the victim. This is what determines our attitude.

Until yesterday British and American diplomats at the UN were scrambling to round up the required Security Council votes. But the mighty US military machine is rolling and American military commanders say they are now ready to invade. Diplomacy has been exhausted. The time for fun and games is over.

Elections in 18th century England were very jolly affairs. Instead of long and tedious speeches about wars and taxes and the like, politicians invited voters to the tavern to get them drunk on election day and buy their votes for what were known as "rotten boroughs" - small rural places that nobody had ever heard of and where few people lived, yet were entitled to vote and send representatives to His Majesty's Parliament.

On March 1, Ankara witnessed two important events. While as a result of the dirty haggles between the government and the US, parliament was negotiating the government petition for a permit to allow US troops on to Turkish soil, there were tens of thousands of workers and youth in the streets of Ankara shouting no to war in Iraq. From Turkish Marxist website Marksist Tutum.

We received this article a few days ago from a Turkish Marxist, who looks at the reasons behind the failure of Turkey's parliament to pass a motion giving the US the right to move its troops across Turkish territory into Iraq. Now it seems the Turkish government is attempting to get a second motion authorising the US to use Turkish air space to bomb Iraq, and this is to be voted on tomorrow.

Belgium: an explosion of anger pushes youth into the streets

The indignation of tens of thousands of young people exploded in the streets of many Belgian cities Thursday morning. At breakfast many families had heard the reason for their revolt: the US and UK armies had started to bombard Baghdad. In many schools the students had become restless. Some schools did not even need a walk out because many students had refused even to enter school. Not today, no way! Not only immigrant youth of Arab origin felt angry - many young people did.

Just as we predicted, Hans Blix has stabbed the Iraqis in the back. As the UN Security Council met in a private session to discuss the Anglo-American draft resolution that would pave the way for military action, a copy of the latest report by the chief weapons inspector was published by the BBC. In it, Hans Blix said it was "hard to understand" why measures now being taken by Iraq "could not have been initiated sooner", and that repeated demands for Iraq to disarm had shown only "very limited" results. The latest double talk in the deadly game of diplomacy means only one thing - war.

In every war in history, God is always on our side. That is what Tony Blair and George W. Bush fervently believe. And as the armies of the United States and the United Kingdom of Great Britain mass in the Gulf, preparing the serious business of mass slaughter in Iraq, the Almighty is being mobilized for war service, along with everyone else in sight and out of it.

On March 5, in the USA and Canada a student strike against the war has been called by several left wing and progressive organisations. The In Defence of Marxism web site totally supports this mobilisation and calls on students around the world to organise strikes, rallies, assemblies for that day and link up with the American students who are taking such a brave stance. There are going to be student strikes in many countries. The Spanish School Students' Union (Sindicato de Estudiantes) is mobilising to turn this into an international day of action and we are publishing their latest statement in support of the March 5...

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.

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.

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

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.

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