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Panic over opposition to wars


In both Iraq and Afghanistan, the occupying force's position is desperate. Both wars are unjust and unwinnable, wars of choice not necessity – and bad choices at that, wars of aggression, unwise, reckless and brutal.

The Bush and Brown governments lack international support. The USAF and RAF conduct ever more air strikes, unmentioned in the major newspapers, unshown on TV. The insurgency continues, fuelled by US and British abuses. The US state sets conditions of peace and security for exit, in order to block an exit. The American and British dead die in vain.

Just as Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon did, Bush and Brown talk of unwavering resolve and commitment, and lie with unwavering conviction that the wars are in US and British interests, that they are just wars and that the public support them. Yet increasingly the American and British peoples oppose the wars. BBC news programmes talk of events possibly undermining support for the wars, as if large majorities of us had not opposed the wars for years.

The occupations are unmitigated disasters. They have cost the USA's taxpayers possibly $2.6 trillion. Their costs to British taxpayers are to almost double this year to £3.297 billion – 94% up on last year. Spending on Iraq will rise by 72% to £1.648 billion, and spending on the Afghan conflict will rise by 122% to £1.649 billion.

In Britain, the government is panicking because it has no public support for its wars. Recruitment to the armed forces is down, their morale is low, suicides are up, and equipment is inadequate. Hence their calls for respect for the armed forces, the promotion of uniform wearing, the proposed oath of allegiance for school leavers, and the proposal for an Armed Forces Day.

We can all see that the wars are boosting terrorism, not defeating it. The root causes of terrorism are social, political and economic, and the Brown government's support for the Israeli-US military suppression of the Palestinian people only fuels the backward thinking of terrorists. As with Vietnam, some elements in the US and British states want to solve the problem by enlarging it – attack Iran now, as Cambodia was attacked then.