no to war - let the people speak!

WORKERS, OCTOBER 2000 ISSUE

SOME PEOPLE just won’t take yes for an answer. When Iraq said it would admit the UN weapons inspectors, Blair said he did not believe it, and the British press has been assiduous in inventing "stories" about alleged restrictions.

Bush (faithfully followed by Blair) seems to reject all negotiation. The new US doctrine is that it can act in any way, in any place, at any time. This is the world order we are supposed to accept following the fall of the Soviet Union – and which we must reject. No to war!

The brief 1991 war to expel Iraqi forces from Kuwait killed tens of thousands and cost 50 billion, raising oil prices and pushing the US economy into recession. An invasion of Iraq is likely to be far lengthier, far bloodier, and far more costly.

By threatening international peace and security, Blair declares himself as an enemy of the British people, sacrificing our peace and independence to Bush’s vendetta.

Was 1991 not bad enough for Blair? Does he think that Britain can only survive by being the most faithful (and cheapest) lapdog that the US can find? And why does he avoid debate?

Let the British people decide whether to believe the International Atomic Energy Authority, which says that Iraq has no nuclear weapons capabilities, or Bush, who says Iraq is "six months" away from nuclear weapons.

A White House adviser has warned that a new war would cost up to 128 billion. Oil prices would skyrocket – Brent crude has already risen by 45% since January. The present worldwide slump would deepen.

Thousands would lose their lives. Millions would lose their livelihoods. And for what? Everyone knows that at the root of this imperialist adventure is one three-letter word, oil. Quite simply, Iraq has 11% of the world’s known reserves, and the US wants to control it.

After lengthy protests, we have been promised a debate in parliament. Little hope there, with the huge ministerial payroll vote and the guaranteed support of the Conservatives. But why not a debate in the country? Come to think of it, why not a referendum on a war? Let the British people speak, and reject war being waged in our name.

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