The Guardian October 17, 2001


Editorial:

War and globalisation governments must go

Since the air strikes on Afghanistan began a week ago, there have been 
many sizable anti-war demonstrations around the world. What has also become 
quickly apparent is the great divide between the people of many countries 
and their governments. This had already become apparent in the world-wide 
protests against globalisation, the IMF, the WTO, the World Economic Forum, 
the G7 and so on.

It was the governments who built metres high walls of concrete and barbed 
wire to fence in those who were meeting to plot and plan the interests of 
the corporate world.

It was the governments who deployed contingents of police and military 
forces to protect these same captains of capitalism and their tame 
politicians.

It was government politicians who proclaimed the alleged virtues of 
privatisation, competition policies, "free" trade and the other myths to 
cover up corporate domination and greed while the people sink into poverty, 
mass unemployment and in some countries, starvation.

It is these same governments that are now giving support to this monstrous 
war being waged by the richest and most powerful country against perhaps 
the poorest and most destitute country in the world.

The governments of Pakistan and Nigeria have resorted to shooting 
demonstrators. Everywhere masses of police are on hand to ensure that 
corporate property is protected.

Other governments are making airfields available, supplying troops and 
generally falling over themselves in subservience to the US and British 
leaders. Some are saying that they support the war if there are no civilian 
casualties. Has there ever been a clean war?

What it confirms is that these servile governments are selling the 
sovereignty and independence of their countries and betraying the true 
interests of the people of the countries they so mismanage. They have to be 
swept out of power.

The people of all countries are now faced with two life and death issues  
globalisation and war. These issues go hand in hand and cannot be 
separated. The forces pushing corporate globalisation are the same as those 
behind the present attack on Afghanistan and who threaten "infinite war" 
with military attacks on many other countries in the future.

Hope resides in the clarity with which millions see the imperialist reality 
for what it is  enslavement, impoverishment, debasement of every kind, 
endless violence, destruction of their cultures and traditions and an end 
to the independence and sovereignty of their countries.

To the issues which brought people onto the streets in these last several 
years is now added the urgent task of stopping the war against Afghanistan 
 to stop the war and then to put the warmongers out of business once and 
for all.

Speakers at the demonstration in Kerala, India, put the situation 
succinctly: they said that the people of Kerala [are] in the process of 
being convinced that this is a war concocted for the grabbing of the oil 
fields of the Middle East for the sake of the imperialist powers.

People have begun to speak about the audacity with which the US President 
threatens all countries in the world while claiming the authority and right 
to attack any country in order to curb what it calls terrorism. They said 
that globalisation has not achieved for America what it aimed to achieve, 
that is, to cross the borders of all states and create a global village to 
exterminate national cultures and national economies. This is the final 
attempt of the US to intervene in the affairs of the other countries to 
extend its designs. Hence the war on Afghanistan.

It is to be hoped that the optimism of those leading the anti-war 
demonstrations in India is not misplaced.
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