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Back to Front - A worse and wider war


The US government has refused diplomacy by rejecting the Baker-Hamilton Report on Iraq with its limited, compromised and conditional approach to preventing a worse and wider war. The US occupation of Iraq is the cause of all Iraq's present problems, and nothing can be settled until the occupying forces leave.

And yet Washington is again rejecting diplomacy when it refuses to rule out attacking Iran. It has rejected the International Atomic Energy Authority's proposed cooling-off "timeout". Bush says that the US will kill any Iranians that it decides are targeting US forces. He has sent a second aircraft carrier and supporting ships to the Persian Gulf to threaten Iran. He has ordered USAF and Navy planes to patrol the Iran–Iraq border more aggressively.

The US government has accused the (Shia) Iranian government of supplying bombs to the (Sunni) Iraqi resistance, which is fairly implausible. They know that nobody believes their intelligence assessments after their discredited claims about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, so no senior member of the US administration put the case publicly against Iran. The three officials who addressed correspondents from around the world in a Baghdad briefing room spoke on condition of anonymity and all cameras and recording devices were banned.

Even these officials could not make a direct link to Iran: "The officials said such an assertion was an inference based on general intelligence assessments," reported the New York Times. The officials offered no evidence to support their charge that "the highest levels of the Iranian government" had authorised smuggling these weapons into Iraq for use against American forces.

But warmongers don't want evidence; they want war. For instance, James Woolsey, a former director of the CIA, says, "Only fear will re-establish respect for the United States."

Yet respect for the United States (and Britain) has been plummeting around the world since the invasion of Iraq. Particularly in Iraq, if the results of the BBC poll there are anything to go by.

The poll indicates that only 6 per cent strongly support the presence of "Coalition" forces in their country; that 76 per cent think they are doing a bad job. Iraqis' perception of all aspects of daily life – water, schools, local government – is that they are getting worse and worse. Things are so bad that 30 per cent of the population wants to leave, and half of those say they are making preparations to do so.

More than three-quarters don't want an Islamic state, but if the occupation lasts that is what they might end up with.

This is what Bush and Blair have created in Iraq. No wonder that over half the population supports attacks on British and American soldiers (even if, somewhat oddly, only 35 per cent want them to leave now).

Four years on from the invasion, are we going to permit another fiasco in Iran? We still have the same warmonger Blair and the same gutless and witless Labour Party in power, and Brown is just another shade of Blair.

The defence of Britain's interests and the resistance to war cannot be left to our corrupt parliament. It must be taken up outside, in the unions and the workplaces, and where we live. All else leads to war.