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[casi] FW: stop the war

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- statement from the International A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition

The Washington Post frontpage headline of March 14
couldn't be clearer: "U.S. will take action against Iraq,
Bush says."  Bush made it a central point in his March 13
press conference that the U.S. will do whatever it takes
to overthrow the government in Iraq. The U.S. seeks to
replace it with a regime that will function as a proxy for
U.S. interests in the region.

When Vice-President Dick Cheney traveled to England this
week he requested a commitment of 25,000 British troops to
be part of a larger 250,000-invasion force for war in Iraq
(The Independent, March 8, 2002). Some in Blair's Cabinet
may split on the issue. The British and European press are
ridiculing Bush's war plan and more and more public
sentiment is crystallizing into anti-war protests.

A new war in Iraq seems like madness to most of the world.
It is madness! Will we sit by and let hundreds of
thousands of Iraqis and thousands of young GI°¶s perish so
that super hawks in the Administration can fulfill their
right-wing Rambo-like fantasies?

The people of the United States must act now! The clock is
ticking. In the coming months the Bush administration
plans to launch the largest U.S. ground and air war since
Vietnam unless they are stopped by the mobilization of
popular power.

We can expect worldwide protest against the coming war but
the whole world will be looking to see if the people of
the United States are capable of mounting mass
mobilization and resistance to a government that speaks in
their name and is preparing to send their young people to
kill and be killed in large numbers.


Iraq had nothing to do with the September 11 attack.
Endless searching by the CIA turned up nothing. When U.S.
workers were killed by Anthrax attacks last fall the Bush
Administration spent months in an "intense effort" to link
the attacks to Iraq so that the Administration would have
an excuse to launch a new war against Iraq, even after
they knew the source of the Anthrax was from the U.S.,
diverting the investigation from this domestic sponsored
terrorism. (New York Times, December 22, 2001)
Unsuccessful in every effort to find a plausible pretext
to attack Iraq, Bush has now conveniently redefined
terrorism, and thus his next target, by alleging that
selected nations produce "weapons of mass destruction."

By taking the war to Iraq, Bush inadvertently reveals that
the war on terrorism is not about "protecting Americans"
but is an extension of pre-existing imperialist strategies
and objectives in the oil-rich Middle East.


Iraq is a weakened country. The image painted by Bush of
Iraq as threatening "evil power" is ludicrous, a total
fabrication. Economic sanctions have taken the lives of
1.5 million civilians mainly children under the age of
five in the past decade. Sanctions have proved to be a
weapon of truly mass destruction for Iraqi babies, 5,000
of whom die each month from malnutrition and
hunger-related illness (source: UN Food and Agricultural

Iraq has been severely weakened militarily. The U.S.-led
UN weapons inspectors conducted 9,000 weapons inspections
between 1991 and 1998. Iraq was largely disarmed by 1995.
The weapons inspectors left Iraq not because they were
expelled by Iraq but because they were ordered out by the
U.S.-dominated UN in December 1998 so that the U.S. and
Britain could begin the massive bombing campaign December
16-19, 1998. Since then U.S. and British warplanes have
bombed Iraq several times a week - for more than three
years. Iraq is not bombing the United States; it is the
victim of routine state-sponsored terrorism.


During the last war in 1991, more than 100,000 Iraqis
perished from relentless bombing. The combined number of
soldiers and civilians may be double that. The Wall Street
Journal of March 20, 1991 reported that General Norman
Schwarzkopf and his aides provided information to Congress
that more than 100,000 Iraqi soldiers were killed (not
counting civilians) from the 88,500 tons of explosives
that were dropped on Iraq during the 42-day air campaign.
Only 148 U.S. military personnel died during the war - 37
from friendly fire accidents --making the conflict one of
the most one-sided massacres in human history.

George Bush's father made the decision not to press the
war further into a massive ground invasion of Iraq to
topple the government because he knew that scenario would
likely lead to thousands and perhaps tens of thousands of
U.S. casualties.

George Bush, Sr. was concerned that the people in the U.S.
would turn against the war in the event of huge U.S.
casualties. Most of the high government officials feared a
repeat of what they called the Vietnam Syndrome meaning a
massive and militant anti-war movement at home. That's the
real reason they didn't "finish the job" (in the words of
the war-mongers) with a full invasion of Baghdad and the
overthrow of the Iraqi government.

The Administration's ultra hawks most notably Rumsfeld,
Cheney, Rice, and Wolfowitz believe that in the post
September 11 political environment of frenzied
hyper-patriotism, that they can send thousands of young
GI's in a new war of aggression and the people will not
rise up as they did during Vietnam. The demonstration on
April 20th must send a clear, loud, unmistakable message
that a new anti-war movement is taking shape and that it
too, like the worldwide movement in the 1960's and 70's,
will prove to be a potent and decisive factor in the
politics of war and peace.


While vowing to wage new war to destroy Iraq because it
may have a nuclear capability some day, the Los Angeles
Times has revealed that the Pentagon, under Bush, has
secretly re-oriented U.S. nuclear doctrine to prepare for
the actual use of first strike nuclear weapons against a
host of countries including Iraq, North Korea, Libya,
China, Russia and others.

Even the New York Times in its lead editorial of March 12,
2002 entitled "America as Nuclear Rogue," pilloried the
reckless new orientation. "If another country were
planning to develop a new nuclear weapon and contemplating
preemptive strikes against a list of non-nuclear powers,
Washington would rightly label the nation a dangerous
rogue state. Yet such is the course recommended to
President Bush by a new Pentagon planning paper ..."


The Bush administration has now locked into its war
course. Since day one of this crisis, this "unelected"
President has chosen a path of extreme cynical
manipulation of the raw emotion and horror experienced by
people in the U.S. on September 11. With barely a whimper
of protest from the other party of Big Business, Bush and
the Pentagon, have sought to use the attack as a pretext
to use U.S. military domination as the prime vehicle in an
unabashed quest for world domination.

The whopping $48 billion increase in the war budget this
year is a first step to even more gargantuan budget
requests. By 2007, the annual "defense" budget will be
nearly $500 billion. The U.S. will soon spend more on the
military than all the other countries in the world
combined.World public opinion currently opposes a new,
massive war against Iraq. U.S. allies in Europe (and
puppets) in the Gulf region consider it lunacy.

But Bush made it crystal clear is his speech on the 6th
month anniversary of September 11 that the administration
is now to embark on the "second stage of the war."

Cheney has been dispatched to Europe and the Middle East
to tell allies and puppets alike that they must decide
"are you with us or them?" The European imperialist powers
chafe (of course, with the exception of Tony Blair, lap
dog to the Pentagon and its demand) at the unbridled
arrogance of U.S. politicians acting like the masters of
the universe. The puppets, like the regimes in Saudi
Arabia, fear popular revolutions. But all governments are
being confronted by Cheney as Bush's envoy with one of two
options that will simplify their choice: support the U.S.
war effort or support Iraq and face the consequences.


On April 20, thousands of people will be taking part in a
united front of organizations that oppose war, racism and
poverty - the real axis of evil. The time to join this
historic organizing effort is now! Become an organizer or
a volunteer with the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition (Act Now to
Stop War and End Racism), distribute leaflets and flyers,
help organize transportation from your area to Washington
DC, make a financial contribution at , get involved in
some way and be a person who decides to make a difference.
A simultaneous protest will take place on the West Coast
in San Francisco.

20 National March Against War & Racism, email: , or call New York 212-633-6646,
Washington 202-543-2777, Chicago 773-583-7728, San
Francisco 415-821-6545.

International A.N.S.W.E.R.
Act Now to Stop War & End Racism

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