As we go to press the invasion of Iraq is imminent. Millions of people around the world oppose it, but that has not stopped the "leader of the free world", George W Bush, and his loyal toady Tony Blair, from sending in the troops.
By the time you read this paper a blitz of cruise missiles may be raining down on Baghdad. With just a few sandbags to protect them, the Iraqis are virtually defenceless. Who can save them from the terrifying high-tech US-UK war machine? We can! The opposition of the world. But if, and only if, we can build an effective anti-war movement. Turn the movement that exists towards direct action. Walk out against war! Strike against war!
Right now the opposition needs to send out a clear message: this war is being fought without consent. It is not a war to liberate the peoples of Iraq. To Bush and Blair it is all about power, money, influence, profit. To them, the peoples of Iraq are just so much collateral damage, the casualties that have to be "minimised" so that the opposition to war can be contained.
The invasion of Iraq was always going to happen. The US was never going to be content with disarmament through the UN. They had decided to be rid of Saddam - the dictator they built up and armed, the Kurd-gassing, Iraqi-murdering dictator who got out of their control. They had business to do: to make the Gulf, with its vast oil resources, safe for big capital.
The effort to get a UN mandate for the war, a "second resolution", was a farce, played out to help Blair face down political opposition at home. To help stop a split between Europe and the US.
And so for weeks we watched a revolting display of arm-twisting and bribery as the US and, acting as Bush's mouthpiece and lackey, Blair, tried to get the votes of the smaller capitalist powers. Bush and Blair blame France for the lack of a second resolution. That is transparent hypocrisy. They were always going to start this war, with or without a second resolution.
Our watchword must be "the main enemy is at home". We fight this Government which bombs babies, this Government which will try to use anti-union laws to stop British workers taking action to save Iraqi lives, this Government which sends the police to arrest school students who don't want to see more children die for lack of clean water.
The war on Iraq may, as they predict, be over quickly. But it may not. The US may impose something better than Saddam But they are not the "liberators" they lyingly say they are, so why should we trust them? The point is that thousands, and maybe tens of thousands, will die under British and US bombs. Many more will die in the future from the disease and environmental hazards war will inflict on innocent Iraqis.
We must stop this war as soon as possible. Here we set out seven ways to build an effective anti-war movement. If you agree with what we say, help us argue our case. Take the message into your workplace, your student union or your school. Take some copies of Solidarity to sell. Consider joining the Alliance for Workers' Liberty.
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