War against our will

Submitted by Janet on 23 March, 2003 - 11:51

Throw Howard out!
Bring Australian troops home!
Solidarity with the peoples of Iraq!
Stop work to stop the war!

WL leaflet, March 2003

George Bush, John Howard and Tony Blair are going to war recklessly, dangerously, against our will, against the well-being of humanity, for their power, for a calculated and dangerous risk.

Who will trust Howard now that he claims to act in the "Australian interests" when he takes his cue from Washington DC? What he means by "Australian interests" is not in the interests of the majority.

Who will trust Howard claiming to act for democracy? He avoids the will of the majority at home, while claiming to be acting for the democratic rights of the people of Iraq. Howard refuses to allow a vote in Parliament on the war. He refuses to hold a referendum on the war.

Howard claims that this war will make us safer from proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. But we know that Iraq has less weaponry than in 1990.We know that the USA is acting as a rogue state and this war will only increase the likelihood of retaliatory terrorist attacks.

We know that Bush was committed to this war regardless of weapons inspections and weapons destruction by Iraq. And we know that Howard was committed to going all the way with George W, and that he has been lying for the last several months in saying that he had not made any decision. Howard deserves our deepest anger and contempt.

Throw Howard out

Global action by a committed and determined opposition has delayed this war. In Australia we frightened John Howard into hiding from protestors. John Howard, running dog of George Bush, has never been so loathed.

The anti-war movement wants not only to get Australian troops home from this war, but also to get rid of John Howard once and for all.

But with whom will we replace Howard? If Howard is Bush's dog, Simon Crean is the ostrich and the UN has provided him the desert sands in which to hide his head. Crean is only lucky that the UN has not endorsed the war so his cover is not fully blown. The UN Security Council itself is not a democratically elected body, and could not be trusted.

The people drawn into opposition to this war contain the potential for making it possible to replace Howard. Action against the war has shaken old political allegiances and beliefs. Hundreds of thousands of people have protested on the streets for the first time.

Labor MPs are dissenting from Simon Crean. The Greens with a clear "No War" message are winning supporters rapidly. Out of this stirring of new politics, new ideas and new alliances can be developed to create new political possibilities against Howard's war-mongering, petty racism and meanness, and against Crean's ineffectual opposition.

For an anti-capitalist movement against the war

Howard's and Bush's foreign policies are undemocratic, racist and waged for capital against our interests. Workers' Liberty believes that the most effective anti-war movement is one that unites us not only against this war, but also against the wealthy minority and the ruling elite. We need a political system that does not allow reckless leaders to make such significant decisions out of reach of accountability to the electorate.

We must offer consistent solidarity with people struggling for political accountability and democratic rights around the world so that no country is ruled by unaccountable elites (like the USA and Australia) or repressive dictators (like Iraq), who can launch mad wars. We are for a thoroughly democratic opposition to the war which is not tied to any ruling parties of any countries or to any repressive religious ideologies, such as political Islam or fundamentalist Christianity.

We believe that this war is against the interests of people who have to work for a living, people who rely on public services, those of us who have no special wealth or privileges. Howard and Costello intend to pay for this war by taking funding from health, education and other public services.

Workers' Liberty believes that by organising ourselves at work, in our unions and in our local communities, we can create a stronger opposition to this war that can develop the strength to stop it. Such an opposition can also go on to rid us of Howard and campaign for a government that will be accountable to the majority, and will support struggles against the ruling class.

For a democratic foreign policy

A step towards making such a government possible is to involve opponents of this war in discussing a democratic foreign policy alternative.

Workers' Liberty proposes a democratic foreign policy, democratic in its determination here in Australia, and democratic in its respect for the rights of the peoples of the world.

We propose a statement for a democratic foreign policy as a step towards unifying diverse opponents of the war: unionists, ALP members, the Socialist Alliance, and other socialists, including those in the Greens around a positive alternative.

A call for a democratic foreign policy has already been signed in many countries, in the USA by Noam Chomsky, Edward Said, Michael Albert and a group of radicals who initiated it; in Britain, by Iraqi and Iranian socialists; and in Australia by supporters of the Socialist Alliance.

The people who endorse this statement are showing a common commitment to international solidarity and the rights of all. From this common commitment, we have a starting point for creating a new foreign policy that would keep Australia out of US- led military operations in the interests of the power and wealth of capital.

Solidarity with the peoples of Iraq - opposing the USA and Saddam.

We oppose Saddam Hussein and offer our solidarity to the peoples of Iraq who are struggling for their own democratic rights against Saddam at the same time as they face attack from the greatest military might the world has ever seen. Saddam is a mini-imperialist facing attack from the hyper-power of the USA. We do not support him.

We support demands for Kurdish independence, even though we do not agree with many of the Kurdish parties. We are in solidarity with the women of Iraq and the Middle East demanding freedom from the veil and the right to a life in public. We support demands for the right to free speech, to organise political parties and independent trade unions.

We campaign to stop this war. Workers' Liberty also campaigns in solidarity with the peoples of Iraq to achieve their democratic rights, whether they are fighting against Saddam Hussein, the US led- invasion or an imposed post-war regime.

Workers' Liberty works to promote solidarity with all struggles against oppression, with the right of all nations to self-determination, and for working-class solidarity based in unions, workplaces and communities.

What you can do

Organise at work to stop the war

Workers' Liberty supporters work in our unions and through the Socialist Alliance to mobilise action to Stop Work to Stop the War! Australian workers' solidarity has been the key to many victories against war and oppression: in Vietnam, in Indonesian independence from the Dutch, for East Timor's independence from Indonesia. Workers' solidarity can win again.

Join or start an anti-war group at your school, TAFE or university

March 26, (1pm at Town Hall, 2pm at hyde Park) is the next day for a student stoppage. Now is the time to get your school/campus committed to join in. Or at least get your school/campus informed and thinking about the war.

Stop Howard - block the war budget.
Demand of politicians that they vote to block the war budget when it goes to parliament in May.

Join or start a local anti-war group

Anti war websites
Socialist Alliance
LaborNet No War on Iraq
LabourStart: unions and the war on Iraq
Walk Against The War Coalition, Sydney/ Palm Sunday Committee
Victoria Peace Network