Stop the War!
Send Bush and Blair Packing from Iraq!

As this issue of Liberation goes to press America’s war on Iraq has moved into its fourth day. Never before in recent history has the world witnessed a war more unjust and barbaric than this Gulf War II. Through this war America is not only trying to get rid of Saddam Hussein or gain an iron grip over Iraq’s fabled oil reserves, it is trying to create a world where the words of the American President will be international law. Like the absolutist French monarch who had once ordained himself to be the state, Bush is fighting this war to ‘Americanise’ the twenty-first century and chain the world to Washington’s vision of Pax Americana.

Never before have we seen the President of one country ask another President to flee his country or face a war. When repeated rounds of weapons inspection revealed nothing and when even the UN Security Council refused to authorise the application of force, a desperate Bush was left with no pretext or excuse. The Emperor had truly been disrobed. He could only fall back on his military might and the support of a handful of Blairs. Senior Bush had a grand alliance to back him in Gulf War I. Little Bush has gone to war with a cracking ‘coalition of the willing’ which is a poor shadow of the former alliance. The UN has certainly not been effective in terms of stopping the war, but it has been relevant at least to the extent that it has mirrored the growing political isolation of the world’s lonely superpower and has refused to lend its stamp of approval to Bush’s ugly war of aggression.

Into the fourth day of the war, the initial euphoria of the Bush brigade already appears a little restrained. The millions of leaflets showered with the bombs instigating the Iraqi Army and people to rebel against the dying regime of Saddam Hussein have had no impact. The propaganda of ‘mass Iraqi surrenders’ and ‘rapid coalition advance’ has already been exposed to be nothing but a bunch of Goebbelsian lies. The ‘shock-and-awe’ strategy of stunning Iraq into submission through a massive application of force seems to be producing little result. The so-called ‘targets of opportunity’ are proving to be more stubborn and resilient than the CIA’s intelligence could ever imagine. On the other hand, reports of coalition casualties are becoming impossible to suppress even though the propagandists almost always attribute such casualties to ‘accidents’.

Worldwide, the opposition to the war is growing. More and more people are coming out on the streets to condemn the brutalities of the war and demand an immediate halt. As the bombs light up the dark Baghdad sky and television commentators celebrate ‘the extraordinary high quality pictures brought live from Baghdad’, we realise it is a war not just on Saddam Hussein or Iraq, it is a total war on human senses and sensibilities. When Bush tells the world that his only ambition is to free the people of Iraq, the world shouts back in contempt and anger against the oil oligarchy. Even in America, more and more people see in Bush the rise of a twenty-first century Hitler or Mussolini. They are aware that the complete merger of state power and an oil cartel, the extraordinary concentration of all power in a corporate cabal, can only sound the death-knell of the kind of freedom and democracy that generations of American liberals have been taking for granted. After many many years, the US imperialism is faced with a growing domestic resistance. People are refusing to buy the bogey of Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction. They see it as a weapon of mass distraction from the real issues facing the American working people. Regime change, they insist, must begin at home.

This is a realisation that is also being shared by a growing number of Indians. Here in India we now have a regime which refuses to condemn the war because it would jeopardise India’s strategic relationship with the US! Have we ever had a more alien regime since the British left? While we must do everything possible to stand by the brave people of Iraq and send Bush and Blair packing, we must also get rid of the American agents who are currently ruling India. As soon as possible. q