The Guardian January 29, 2003


Editorial:

Stop war before it starts

The Howard Government is about to launch Australia into an aggressive 
and illegal war against another member of the United Nations. It would be 
an act of invasion. It would be a monstrous and immoral war waged by the 
most powerful military force in the world against a small power that has 
already been largely disarmed. It would be a war to impose the occupation 
of an independent nation by others for many years to come. It would be a 
war bringing immense death and destruction to the people of Iraq, whether 
or not it is sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council.

Britain, the US and Australia are planning a pre-emptive strike without the 
approval of the United Nations. Such an action is not only a violation of 
the Charter of the United Nations but would tear up long-established norms 
of international relations and would endanger the very existence of the 
United Nations.

It would be a war in disregard of the strong opposition of the majority of 
the people in Australia and Britain. There is a gathering storm of 
opposition in the US as well. France, Russia, China, Germany and many other 
countries refuse to take part. Most countries in the Middle East oppose a 
war. The common demand is that there be "No war on Iraq". The week ending 
February 15-16 will see a co-ordinated actions around the world.

In criminal disregard of the future of the people of the world both the US 
and Britain refuse to rule out the use of nuclear weapons. The "Voice of 
America" declared recently that US "war plans are laid out for the complete 
annihilation of Iraq via conventional weapons, or if needed, via nuclear 
weapons". Tony Blair also refuses to rule out the use of nuclear weapons. 
These politicians calmly contemplate the "annihilation" of the people of 
Iraq.

Such actions are war crimes and should be immediately taken up by the 
International Criminal Court set up by the United Nations. Bush, Blair, 
Howard and others responsible for such monstrous violation of international 
law should be arraigned before this body and tried for their crimes just as 
the Nazi leaders were tried at Nuremberg following WW 2.

Howard echoed the strategic plan of the United States when attempting to 
justify a war against Iraq. He claimed that if Iraq were not disarmed (as 
though it isn't already disarmed) other "rogue states" would be encouraged 
to accumulate weapons of mass destruction and use then against the US, 
ignoring the fact that the US has more weapons of mass destruction than all 
other countries put together.

Howard clearly supports the concept of a continuing war against other 
states  Iran, Libya, Cuba, North Korea, Syria, etc, etc. And then the 
bigger powers  Russia, China, India, Pakistan and so on. Iraq is not the 
end but only the beginning of war without end.

That is why the movement to stop any war against Iraq is vital for the 
future security of the whole world.

Australia is already deeply enmeshed in the long-range plans of the United 
States for world domination. The sending of Australian troops to Iraq is 
not the "miniscule" or "token" involvement that some in the media are 
suggesting.

The US spy station at Pine Gap that is involved in the preparations for war 
against Iraq and other countries is making a very significant contribution. 
This is probably more important to the US's war plans than even the sending 
of troops. An increasing number of US warships are now making use of 
Cockburn Sound (in WA) and other Australian ports. A crew-swap arrangement 
is being put in place whereby replacement crews are flown to Australia 
while the warships stay in Australian waters. Australian territory is being 
turned into a bombing range by US warplanes.

Australia should have no part in these mad and criminal plans. The 
Australian Government can and should make a contribution to peace rather 
than war by immediately recalling Australian forces. The US spy and war-
planning station at Pine Gap should be closed. US warships should be 
refused entry to Australian ports until the US changes its policies of 
aggression, pre-emptive war, occupation and domination.

For the security of the whole world, war against Iraq must be prevented 
before it starts.
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