The Guardian February 19, 2003


Editorial:

Howard's arrogance knows no limit

I will not be moved declared John Howard and Alexander Downer in 
response to the huge anti-war demonstrations around the world over the 
weekend. "My charge as Prime Minister is to make whatever decisions are in 
the interest of this country", he said. At the same time he rails about 
Saddam Hussein being a dictator!

Howard's arrogance knows no limit.

He will not be moved by the reports of the weapons inspectors, who, after 
three months in Iraq have found not a skerrick of evidence that Iraq 
possesses any weapons of mass destruction. Hans Blix stated last week, in 
connection with the search for biological and chemical weapons, "The 
results to date have been consistent with Iraq's declaration".

Howard will not be moved by the opposition to war coming from the 
governments representing the majority of the people of the world.

He will not be moved by the fact that the world's people simply do not 
believe the succession of lies coming from Tony Blair, Colin Powell, George 
Bush and himself in an attempt to whip up support for war.

Howard and his warmongering mates are lying. It is as simple as that. And 
more and more people see through their lies.

Their war plans have nothing to do with Saddam Hussein's record (Is he the 
only one with a dirty record?). It has nothing to do with weapons of mass 
destruction. It has nothing to do with the allegation that Iraq could 
provide terrorist groups with weapons of mass destruction. Blair has now 
attempted to push the moral button, alluding to the numbers killed in Iraqi 
wars. But, we are supposed to believe it is OK if the US, Britain and 
Australia kill an equal number to achieve their ends.

These arguments are merely diversions to cover up the truth. The warmongers 
never have and never will tell the truth. The US war drive is motivated by 
the dire need of the US corporations to control the oil resources of the 
whole of the Middle East and, thereby, control the economic and political 
life of all other countries.

It is about US world hegemony and Howard is totally in support of that. He 
hopes that Australian corporations will reap some of the benefits from the 
re-imposition of colonial regimes in the Middle East and elsewhere.

There is another unspoken compelling reason. It is that the steady 
strengthening of the euro is now challenging the domination of the US 
dollar in world trade, particularly oil. Not only have the main powers of 
Europe, with the exception of Britain, adopted the euro but more and more 
countries are converting dollars into euro.

One analyst wrote recently that, "Saddam sealed his fate when he decided to 
switch to the euro in late 2000 (and later converted his US $10 billion 
reserve fund at the UN to euros)  at that point, another manufactured 
Gulf War became inevitable under Bush II." (Rechnagel, Charles, Iraq: 
Baghdad Moves to Euro November 1, 2000. 
http://www.rferl.org/nca/features/2000/11/01112000160846.asp)

Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela and other countries are also 
buying up euros. This helps to explain the line-up that is taking place in 
the United Nations Security Council. It also helps to explain the single-
minded and bloody-minded determination of the US and its very few allies to 
launch a war against Iraq.

The fact that some of the biggest demonstrations over the weekend took 
place in those countries (Spain, Italy, the US, Britain and Australia) 
whose governments support the war option, is very significant and 
heartening.

But the determination of Bush, Howard, Blair and a few other governments to 
go ahead with war raises the necessity to go further now. The 
demonstrations against the war are extremely significant but it is going to 
be necessary to rapidly remove those governments or the leaders of those 
governments that support this diabolical US war before it is too late.

As one placard read: "If Johnny comes marching home, he will come with 
blood on his hands". Yes, the blood of tens of thousands of Iraqi men, 
women and children and perhaps the blood of Australian servicemen. Throw 
him out!
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