Bush-Blair war agenda revealed
Just in case there is anyone out there who still thinks the Bush-Blair preparations for war against Iraq are anything to do with human rights abuses or ‘weapons of mass destruction’, they need look no further than the latest news from Washington.
Details have emerged of advanced plans to establish a long-term military administration in Iraq following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s regime. This would take control of the country’s vast oil reserves and require a long-term presence of 75,000 US and British troops at an annual cost of $16 billion.
The military would remake the Iraqi state in the image of a ‘Western democracy’, according to the reports. In other words, it would become a new area for global capital to operate in without let or hindrance.
Thus the real ambitions of Washington and London are clearly economic and imperial, developed behind a smokescreen of emotional appeals to save the world from the alleged threat from Iraq.
It is also a fact that the faster the US and British stock markets fall in response to the mounting economic recession, the louder are the voices for war. The clamour comes right from the heart of the capitalist system and is articulated by Bush and Blair.
The occupation plans come hard on the heels of the vote by the US Congress to give Bush unprecedented powers in order to wage war and invade Iraq as and when he chooses.
Taken together with the occupation plans, this vote is another nail in the American constitution and a further step along the road to a military-style dictatorship in the US under way since the September 11 attacks last year.
Civil rights have lost their meaning for the thousands interned throughout America as well as held illegally and without trial at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. ‘Homeland Security’ is the order of the day, accompanied by military expansion abroad.
Political opposition inside Congress was overwhelmed by the support of the Democratic Party’s leaders for Bush’s warmongering. Only a few brave voices made themselves heard, notably the veteran California Democrat Pete Stark.
He told the House of Representatives: “Make no mistake, we are voting on a resolution that grants total authority to the president, who wants to invade a sovereign nation without any specific act of provocation. This would authorise the United States to act as the aggressor for the first time in our history. It sets a precedent for our nation — or any nation — to exercise brute force anywhere in the world without regard to international law or international consensus.”
He added: “Aside from the wisdom of going to war as Bush wants, I am troubled by who pays for his capricious adventure into world domination. The administration admits to a cost of around $200 billion! Now, wealthy individuals won’t pay. They’ve got big tax cuts already. Corporations won’t pay. They’ll cook the books and move overseas and then send their contributions to the Republicans. Rich kids won’t pay.
“Well then, who will pay? School kids will pay. There’ll be no money to keep them from being left behind, way behind. Seniors will pay. They’ll pay big time as the Republicans privatise social security and rob the trust fund to pay for the capricious war. Medicare will be curtailed and drugs will be more unaffordable. And there won’t be any money for a drug benefit because Bush will spend it all on the war.
“Working folks will pay through loss of job security and bargaining rights. Our grandchildren will pay through the degradation of our air and water quality. And the entire nation will pay as Bush continues to destroy civil rights, women’s rights and religious freedom in a rush to phoney patriotism and to courting the messianic Pharisees of the religious right.”
In Britain, few official voices are raised in this way. Labour MPs and trade union leaders restrict their half-hearted criticism to a plea to operate through the United Nations. But the UN is in no position to oppose the US and its resolutions can just as easily give an invasion of Iraq a veneer of “legality”.
In Britain too, human rights are violated daily by Blair and home secretary Blunkett. People are locked up indefinitely without trial and the secret police have a free hand to intercept e-mails and phone calls in the name of the “security of the state”. It takes the House of Lords to defend asylum seekers from New Labour laws to put them in camps and educate their children behind barbed wire.
Bush and Blair are together in wanting to remake the world in the image of the corporations they serve. The more we learn about this axis of evil the more the case grows for a regime change in Britain and America. We need a fundamental change to rid us not only of warmongering politicians but also to take control of economic and natural resources out of the hands of the ruling classes who have brought the planet to this crisis point.
for a Socialist Future