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[casi] Economic crisis behind Bush's war

Hello all,
here's yet another interesting background article, sent to me by Michel
Dirk A.

 Interesting : economic crisis behind Bush's war against Iraq.
 -- Michel Collon - Belgium

 Via Workers World News Service
 Reprinted from the Aug. 29, 2002
 issue of Workers World newspaper

By Deirdre Griswold

A world crisis is rapidly developing. The form it takes right now is
preparation for an all-out war against Iraq by the Bush administration and
the Pentagon.

The Pentagon is reportedly shipping huge amounts of military equipment from
its bases in Europe to the Middle East, and the number of U.S. troops in the
area is ballooning.

The Herald of Scotland reported on Aug. 16 that "The Pentagon has moved
50,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines within striking distance of
Iraq in the past 10 months under cover of deployments targeting global
terrorism, according to senior UK military sources.

"The quiet buildup includes the presence of up to five nuclear-powered
aircraft carriers, each with an attack force of between 70 and 80 jets."

There are also "several U.S. Marine expeditionary forces, infantry
battalions backed by helicopter gunships, tanks and armored personnel
carriers, embarked on special assault ships in and around the Indian Ocean
and the Persian Gulf."

The Scottish newspaper adds that "it is clear that preparations are being
made for an aerial campaign which could be waged even if neighboring states
such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan refuse to allow the use of their airfields
for offensive action."

The storming of the Iraqi Embassy in Berlin on Aug. 20 by a small group
calling themselves dissident Iraqis has been denounced by Baghdad as the
work of U.S. and Israeli agents. While the White House denies this, as is to
be expected, the brief hostage-taking episode is at the very least the
product of the expectations that a coming U.S. war would arouse among
opportunists wanting to be included in a puppet government.

That it took place in Berlin, however, raises suspicions of more direct U.S.
involvement, since the Bush administration has been angered by the refusal
of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder to give support to its war against Iraq
during his campaign speeches.


The capitalist media all over the world are full of speculation as to
whether the attack will begin sooner or later; whether President George W.
Bush will be able to round up support from any U.S. "allies"; whether the
meeting with most of his top aides in Crawford, Texas, on Aug. 21 was
secretly meant to finalize plans for the war; and whether the subdued words
of caution coming from a few old Republican hands will make any difference.

All the discussions within the organs and councils of the ruling class in
the U.S. take for granted that the right- wing cabal running the
government--this grouping so intimately tied to the scandal-ridden, criminal
corporate world--has the right to kill tens of thousands of Iraqi people in
the pursuit of its aims. Not said openly, but underlying all their analysis,
is the old imperial maxim, "Might makes right."

Nor should anyone think that the veterans of Bush senior's 1991 war now
speaking up have any scruples when it comes to putting U.S. troops in
"harm's way," either. Their only concern is that too many body bags coming
home could ignite a firestorm of opposition and spoil their plans for total
domination of the oil-rich lands where Europe, Asia and North Africa meet.

As the GIs found out all too well during the Vietnam War, the officer class
and their buddies in the military- industrial complex consider the young
workers in uniform as nothing more than a category of their war machine.

They are valued for the large sums of money spent on their training--not
because they are Joe or Jane or Rasheed or Juana, with personalities and
dreams and hopes. On the contrary, military training is meant to obliterate
as much as possible the quirky and charming individual traits of each unique
person and turn sensitive human beings into automated killing machines.

Lest anyone think these criminals' tears for their fallen troops are
anything but crocodilian, just look at the shabby treatment of veterans,
whose medical and other benefits are being cut even as young recruits are
being rushed overseas for a new war.


Those in the capitalist establishment who worry about the outcome of the
coming war never admit that U.S. policy toward Iraq for decades has been
nothing but a heinous exercise of gangsterism against a small country that
is virtually defenseless in comparison to the massive high-tech
 firepower of the Pentagon. All the scare talk about "weapons of mass
destruction" and "axis of evil" is just a public- relations scam to obscure
the obvious--the U.S., not Iraq, is the Darth Vader the world fears.

The commentators here never seem to get around to even mentioning that the
open intention of Washington to effect "regime change"--meaning the
overthrow of the Iraqi government--is a violation of numerous international
laws, which forbid such acts of blatant aggression and interference in the
affairs of other countries.

Those laws were enacted, by the way, only after tremendous anti-colonial
upheavals throughout the Third World, when hundreds of millions of people
rebelled and threatened the continuity of exploitation by Western and
Japanese capital.

Nor do the commentators seem to remember that the U.S. Constitution
itself--which the flag-waving imperial adventurers love to invoke as the
source of their authority when they're not claiming divine
inspiration--explicitly forbids what the president and his cabal are doing
in its very first article. The Constitution specifies that only Congress can
declare war.

>From Korea more than half a century ago to the present, every U.S. war--now
euphemistically called "interventions"-- has been illegal and
unconstitutional. But an "undeclared" war can be every bit as bloody and
destructive as a declared one.

The objections of the Republican foreign policy heavies who have weighed in
recently--Gen. Brent Scowcroft, Henry Kissinger, Rep. Dick Armey--are based
on their fears that the administration is not skillful and patient enough to
drag the mass of the people along with it into this war. They are not
opposing the imperialist foreign policy of the U.S. capitalist government,
but the precipitous and clumsy way in which it is being carried out.

Like the German generals who got the jitters before carrying out some of
Hitler's most ferocious offensives, these Republicans also fear the horror
and outrage that are sure to follow a war, not only in the Arab countries
but all over the world. Kissinger, it should be remembered, recently had to
leave France in a hurry because of charges arising from his role in the
Chile coup and the murder of President Salvador Allende.


The determination of Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense
Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy Paul Wolfowitz, and National Security Advisor
Condoleezza Rice to press ahead with the war, even risking criticism from
members of their own party and condemnation from other imperialist powers,
indicates that they see the stakes as very high.

But what is at stake here? Not U.S. "national security," which Bush claims
to be defending. Iraq is no threat to the U.S., and all attempts by the
administration to link it to the Sept. 11 attacks have been exposed as

The real problem is that the administration cannot tolerate the continued
defiance by the Iraqi leadership of U.S. efforts to roll back their
independence, won in 1958 by an anti-colonial revolution, and bring their
country under the total domination of U.S. oil companies.

In the minds of the geopolitical strategists for big business, this should
be a time when U.S. hegemony is unchallenged across the globe. They
demolished the bloc of socialist countries that had tried to exist outside
their sphere of influence and exploitation. They have brought down many of
the anti-colonial regimes in the Third World through covert military action
and overt economic sanctions. They have told their imperialist rivals not to
even question U.S. hegemony.

Then, from a most unlikely place--right-wing fundamentalists who had worked
for the CIA in the war against a pro- socialist Afghan government--came an
attack on two symbols of U.S. power. The administration quickly utilized the
shock and backlash here to ram through a major military buildup and another
war on Afghanistan--this time against former U.S. allies. It also gave the
green light to Israel to renew its assault on the Palestinian people in the
name of fighting "terrorism."

Bush elaborated a new doctrine: No one, big or small, could sit on the
sidelines in his spurious "war on terrorism" or they would be considered to
be aiding the "enemy." Yet even these threats have failed to line up support
for the coming war.

Now, at the moment of what should be their greatest triumph, these political
wheelers and dealers on behalf of the billionaire ruling class find
themselves confronting the greatest and most destructive weakness of
capitalism: economic crisis is once again rearing its ugly head. A worldwide
struggle is growing among the imperialist powers over control of the world's
markets. Making it more ugly by the day is the general crisis of
overproduction that is causing multi-billion-dollar corporations to fold and
has sent the stock markets into a tailspin.

What will the mood of the workers be at this time next year if the crisis
continues and millions of jobs are lost just when personal debt is at an
historic high and the social "safety net" has been dismantled?

Under these circumstances, if the economic crisis deepens, another war in
Iraq can be the prelude to a period of growing world tensions and the threat
of yet another inter- imperialist war.

The capitalist class is pulling the masses of workers into a pit of military
conflict that has no discernible bottom. Events are unfolding that will have
the most profound effect on millions all over the globe. The motive for the
carnage is the most crass possible: the super-profits of the lying, scheming
capitalist corporations.

The only course away from disaster is an independent, anti- war fightback.
It cannot rely on old warhawks of either capitalist party. But the current
situation holds a real promise that the masses of workers--now being
squeezed between a rock and a hard place-- will fight to defend their own
class interests and will resist the dictates of the exploiting crooks and
criminals who have been running their lives.

- END -

(Copyright Workers World Service: Everyone is permitted to copy and
distribute verbatim copies of this document, but changing it is not allowed.
For more information contact Workers World, 55 W. 17 St., NY, NY 10011; via

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