Yes, this is a moment of truth but not in the way Bush means
Maryam Namazie

The USA and Britain have set the deadline for so-called diplomacy to work at the Azores summit; they have declared that they will go to war if diplomacy fails. According to them, diplomacy that works really means the UN Security Council accepting the USA's position and voting for a war on Iraq. Since the UN has failed to do so, then Bush and Blair will go ahead without the much-publicised resolution they have been pushing for weeks.

Yes, this is a moment of truth as Bush puts it, but not in the way he means. In this moment of truth, unlike many others, a third force - that of civilised humanity - has come to the fore. It has refused to accept the deceptive justifications put forth by the USA and Britain and has begun to see that the United Nations, its resolutions, and for that matter democracy are really only hollow gestures and tools that just don't matter when push comes to shove. It has come to see that UN resolutions, WMD, terrorism, liberating the people of Iraq and so on are not the real issues at hand but merely war propaganda. What is real is the USA's drive for what has been coined as the New World Order. The USA wants to become master of the world, removing governments, destroying entire countries, killing and maiming at will and determining what takes place, by whom, how and when.

And while this third force knows that Saddam Hussein is despotic and that the people of Iraq must be liberated, it also knows that his despotism is not the issue at hand. It knows it was the USA that put Saddam Hussein there in the first place and armed and supported him until he stepped out of line. This force knows that the USA and West stood by while Saddam massacred and killed and used chemical weapons. It knows that the West shut the doors of fortress Europe on those fleeing Saddam's rule, sanctions and bombings. And now when they need a justification for war, they feign concern for the people of Iraq. They are so concerned that they plan to drop 600-800 cruise missiles on the first two days of the war alone and are even considering using chemical and nuclear weapons. They are so concerned that they have already lined up a bunch of criminals, Islamists, nationalists and genocidaires for a post-Saddam Iraq, with Islamic law and federalism as bonuses.

The third force that has come to the fore in the millions may not have been able to stop the war from taking place, but it has removed any 'legitimacy' for this war. And when the war starts, walk outs, strikes, ongoing demonstrations and direct actions, and so on can still limit the ensuing destruction and slaughter. It can also make the USA, UK and other war-mongering governments pay a heavy price for their attack. Much depends on this force that has raised the banner of civilised humanity. After all, 'the USA does not make history. The West does not determine the future. The current US policy and actions will inevitably shatter the present political framework in the Middle East, but other forces will determine the alternative relations that will take shape… But this confrontation does not take place on an empty stage. The Middle East, like the West, is the scene of a confrontation between social movements that have existed prior to the conflict between Western bourgeoisies and political Islam and which have shaped political developments in all societies. The West's conflict with political Islam, despite its importance, is not the engine and the moving force of history. On the contrary, it is itself placed within this history and is defined by it. The conflict over the new world order has more important players. Social classes and their political movements, whether in the West or the Middle East, are facing each other over the political, economic and cultural future of the world. It is these movements that will determine the final course of these events, irrespective of the current designs and demands of Western statesmen and the leaders of political Islam.' [The World After September 11, Mansoor Hekmat, 12 October - 26 November 2001].