A better world is possible
A vast movement of the people for peace and against war has swept the world. It is a movement seen before in human history. Very broad sections of the community have taken to the streets and taken many other actions against the war on Iraq. Behind the war are the forces of international capital and imperialism. They have become more and more ferocious and desperate as the movement against war and opposition to the economic and social policies of the IMF and the transnational corporations increases The leaders and giant corporations of the United States head the drive to war and oppression. Their aim is the reimposition of colonial regimes everywhere. In desperation, they have now thrown all caution to the wind and torn up long established norms of behaviour and international law. The war camp is no longer able to achieve its objectives by economic and political means and is more and more resorting to brute military force — invasion, occupation, the direct appointment of governments and the suppression of the popular people's movements. At present it is not possible to determine the immediate or longer term outcome of the war against Iraq, but the long range plans of the US are known. The US has plans for a series of wars in the Middle East, Africa and in Asia. The war drive is meeting strong opposition which will continue to grow. The US, Britain and Australia launched took unilateral action in launching the attack usurping the processes under way in the Security Council, including the requirements of Resolution 1441. The chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix was denied the opportunity of presenting his final report, and the US backed off with its attempt to gain endorsement for its war, recognising that it could not gain the necessary votes. Most recently, the UN Security Council majority refused to be stampeded by a British Government-led connivance to have the Security Council into supporting a UN role in a post-war occupation of Iraq. The US and Britain hope that a cowed and subservient United Nations would be involved in administering Iraq under the dictates of the United States while the world community via the UN provides money and resources in an "aid" program. Acceptance of the British resolution would also have been a post-dated endorsement of war. Having devastated Iraq, the US and Britain hope that other countries will pick up the pieces and be responsible for reconstruction so that the US military machine can move on to other military targets. The cynicism of those prosecuting war has no limit. The role played by UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan in the Iraqi conflict again confirms him as a stooge of the United States. He unilaterally ordered the withdrawal of the weapons inspectors from Iraq before they had completed their work and withdrew the UN peacekeepers that have patrolled the Iraqi/Kuwaiti border for many years. Their purpose was to prevent war. Kofi Annan failed to reflect the majority opinion of the Security Council and his actions facilitated the US invasion of Iraq. The blood of the Iraqi people is also on his head. Kofi Annan was personally selected for the UN post by Madeleine Albright the former US Secretary of State. He was the UN officer responsible for the withdrawal of UN peacekeepers from Rwanda just as the massacre of Rwandans was unleashed in that country. Call for UN General Assembly to meet Many organisations are now calling for the UN General Assembly to convene to give all nations a chance to voice opposition to the illegal war against Iraq. An international petition has been organised and may be signed at http://www.ufp.ht.st The petition says in part, "We, the citizens of the countries whose governments have ratified the institutions and mission of the UN, urge all member states to use the authority given them by the UN Charter, in order to restore the authority of the UN and its mission, and especially to request the immediate convening of the General Assembly, according to the regulations of the Charter and of Resolution 377 of November 3, 1950, which are known under the rubric 'Uniting for Peace'". The President of Brazil and the Russian Duma have supported this call. But the US is again threatening other countries in an effort to prevent the General Assembly meeting. The US fears a vote by the majority of countries condemning the invasion of Iraq. Cuba's Foreign Minister Felipe Roque said, "There is a common danger facing us all: the attempt to impose a world dictatorship at the service of the mighty superpower, which has clearly stated that you are either with it or against it." He went on, "Do not the countries in the West, which up until yesterday were allies of the United States in a bipolar world but today are victims as are we of this dangerous and unsustainable order it is trying to impose, think that the time has come to defend our rights together? "Why not try to form a new alliance for a future of peace, security and justice for all? Why not try to form a coalition that will once again proclaim on its flag the aspiration of freedom, equality and brotherhood for all people? Why not think that a better world is possible?" Media machine The media has been effectively muzzled by the needs of the war machine, including public broadcasters ABC and SBS. The panel of so-called "experts" giving their views on the ABC's 7.30 Report all come from the military establishment. The media is overwhelmed by the reports churned out by the military handouts and the US media — a powerful lie-spreading machine. Reports of the demonstrations taking place around the world are minimal. In some instances, even the actions in Australian cities are virtually ignored. The work and views of the UN Security Council and the efforts to convene a meeting of the UN General Assembly are not widely reported. President Bush, echoed faithfully by Australia's Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, has condemned the showing of US prisoners of war on Al Jazeera TV. However, Australian newspapers have given front-page coverage to pictures of alleged Iraqi POWs. While demanding adherence to the Geneva conventions in relation to POWs (in Iraq), the politicians and correspondents ignore the inhuman and illegal treatment of Afghani prisoners held in Guantanamo. Lies and double standards have become the norm for the capitalist media and government politicians. Almost all media outlets reported the departure of the Iraqi Ambassador in Canberra, but ignored that this was demanded by the US of many countries and that Australia was one of a small number of other countries complying. It again showed the extraordinary subservience of the Australian Liberal Party Government to every requirement put forward by the Bush administration. The performance of ALP leader Simon Crean is pitiful. He blindly accepts the "war on terrorism" and that Iraq threatens the world with weapons of mass destruction. He dropped the demand, adopted by the Labor Party caucus, that Australian troops be withdrawn and dropped the criticism of the war as being unjustified and illegal. He criticised the Government for not upgrading its "security" warning, going even further down the propaganda track than the Howard Government. The reality is that Crean is a captive of the "American alliance" and supports the US war and Australia's participation in it. He limits his criticism to minor and relatively unimportant differences. While many ALP members and even branches have taken a strong and principled stand against the war, Crean has not adopted any position of principle. The struggle between the opponents and supporters of war will continue to dominate the international situation. This struggle will go on for a long time and its eventual outcome will determine world politics for generations. It will be conducted on many fronts — political, economic, social, cultural and military. The anti-war people's movement, combined with the environmental and anti- globalisation movements will continue to grow throughout the world and all progressive-minded people have a place and a responsibility to take part to save humanity from the disaster of endless wars planned by the US leaders.