A monstrous war
The ultimatum presented to the United Nations by Bush, Blair and Aznar (Spain) and their planned invasion of Iraq is a monstrous crime, not only against the Iraqi people but against the whole of humanity. The actions of the US and British Governments which are slavishly supported and followed by the Australian Government must be rejected and condemned. It is an unjustified, illegal and evil war. Ultimatums, unilateralism, pre-emptive strikes, aggressive war and the invasion of countries have now replaced the obligations placed on nations by the UN Charter. The US, British and Australian Governments have ignored the worldwide opposition to war expressed by the massive people's demonstrations in many countries including their own. The worldwide actions and public opinion polls consistently show that the majority of people oppose war against Iraq. Not a word was said by Howard about the humanitarian consequences of the invasion of Iraq. Millions of Iraqis will be killed or suffer from the war for generations. Howard's claim that it is in our national interests is a lie. Hatred against the invading countries is certain. "Win the war and lose the world", as one newspaper headline warned. The whole world, including Australia, will feel the impact of the war and its aftermath, including the wars that may follow it. It is impossible to predict the extent of economic, political, environmental, social and other consequences. Howard's talk about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction are lies. The US, Britain and Spain refused to allow UN weapons inspectors to continue and complete their work as stipulated by the UN. The fact is that in over four months they no evidence that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction. Howard's claim that the war is legal is another lie. The invasion of Iraq is a violation of the UN Charter and international law. It does not carry the endorsement of the UN Security Council. Neither resolution 1441 nor any other UN resolution on Iraq authorises "pre-emptive war". When gaining endorsement for the resolution, the US gave solemn assurances that there was no "hidden agenda" or "trigger for war". When the United Nations was established in 1945 its first obligation was to "save succeeding generations from the scourge of war". Not only have the US, Britain and Australia (all founding members of the UN) violated this responsibility but the majority of nations opposed to war have failed to prevent the US and Britain once again plunging the world into war. The actions of the US and its very few supporters show that they only have use for the United Nations if it gives them whatever they want. The ultimatums are a threat: bow down to US demands or suffer military attack and occupation — a threat against the whole world. The massive forces used to invade and occupy Iraq are also intended to terrorise other countries. It shows that the leaders of these countries are prepared to do anything to achieve their objectives. Committing their military to war, Bush, Blair and Howard are being driven by the imperialist objectives of the big corporations to control and plunder the resources of all countries. The extreme religious Right are behind Bush as he imposes the most right- wing social policies on the people of the United States. They are also alarmed by the global movements against the IMF, the World Bank, corporate globalisation and the rape of the environment by the big corporations. They are facing serious capitalist economic crises and have suffered serious setbacks with the election of a number of progressive governments in Latin America, Africa and Asia. These are all compelling reasons for the Bush administration to wage war on Iraq and other countries. It is obvious that the decision to go to war was taken long ago and that the allegations of weapons of mass destruction are a mere pretext. Howard is dragging Australia into wars of aggression and occupation — wars without end — as the deputy sheriff of the United States. The threat of war has brought into existence a huge peace movement that has rapidly grown and swept all countries. It has the economic and political power of awakened people determined to stop a monstrous crime being committed against the people of every country. The warmongers are feeling the heat, even within their own political ranks. It is vital that the movement continues to grow and build in strength, so that it can bring to a stop US and British military aggression and occupation. Those political parties that support war must be opposed and thrown out and boycotts imposed on the corporations that are behind war, and those newspapers (particularly those of Rupert Murdoch) that support them. Trade unions have a responsibility as the actions of workers can strike heavy blows at the corporations that support and profit from war. The governments of those countries that have opposed war have a particular responsibility. They have the power to direct the economies and political policies of their countries to undermine the American Empire and bring it to its knees. They must take steps to isolate the American administration in whatever remains of international institutions. Keep up the actions! Stop the military rampage! Throw out the Howard Government! Down with the American Empire!