Why another war on Iraq?
The truth or propaganda
The imminent war on Iraq will result in thousands of deaths, the maiming of a large population, and the destruction of an entire country, which will be bombed back into the Middle Ages. But the human cost is not the only brutal and dehumanizing result of this war. Humanity is going to pay a high price for this war, which intends to take the whole world back into the dark ages, if not technologically, then morally, politically, and culturally.
Why this war? Why are we witnessing another war on Iraq? We hear several false arguments for why this war is necessary. This war is not, as it is claimed, about freeing the world of weapons of mass destruction and the threat of human tragedies which will be created by the use of such weapons. If amassing weapons of mass destruction is the issue, why go so far? Honestly, where can we find the most stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction? Why are we going to the Middle East, and there to a country, which was destroyed 12 years ago, which has continuously being destroyed by economic sanctions? A country, which has been under supervision and control, a country, which by the reports of the arms inspectors is almost free of any such weapons? Why go that far? Look here at home. Britain and USA have the most stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. Why not destroy them? Why not destroy the weapons of mass destruction in the US, the only country which has used nuclear bombs against thousands of people, destroyed two cities and the whole of their population by nuclear bombs, a country which has used such weapons for years against the people of Vietnam, a country which has left behind thousands of children and adults maimed as a result of such bombings? Why not? Why are we not taking issue with the real holders and providers of weapons of mass destruction?
The answer is clear. There is talk about a superior power in the world, about double morality, about double standards. The answer is, in my opinion very clear. And as a matter of fact that is why a war is being waged against Iraq: to tell the world who the master is and to establish the superiority of the US. The same reason the war took place in the first place 12 years ago by Bush Sr., and Margaret Thatcher: The New World Order.
This war is not a battle between democracy and dictatorship either. The people of Iraq are not going to be bombarded, killed, maimed, and their lives and homes destroyed to be freed of a dictator and blessed with a democratic regime. Let's leave aside the idiotic argument of destroying a population to free them from the cruelty and brutality of a dictator. Will anyone buy this as a legitimate reason to attack Iraq and the Iraqi people? We have seen what this line of argument has done to the people of Iraq in the past 12 years. This is definitely not a liberating war. As Mansoor Hekmat put it: 'killing and maiming Iraqi people in their thousands and destroying their homes, schools and factories is indeed a sick way of liberating them from political oppression.' [The Gory Dawn of the New World Order, US War in the Middle East, Mansoor Hekmat, February 1991] Moreover, the US and British plan for the future of Iraq and the puppet alternative regime, comprising of old generals, mullahs, and the like are clear proof that democracy, or exercising the will of the people are completely irrelevant to this war. This is only war propaganda.
If we were to use this method to free the world of dictators, including all those who have come to power, and stayed in power with the direct help of the US and Britain, how many tons of bombs would have to be dropped on people? How many cities would have to be bombed? How many millions would have to be killed and maimed? How much weapons of mass destruction would be needed to do the job? The purpose of this argument is to give a moral and humane facade to a brutal and dehumanizing act and intention. The lackey media is feeding this deception to the people to legitimize this crime against humanity.
This war is not about oil either. Good intentioned people who oppose this war are trying to expose the US and British governments and their allies and expose their lies and their real intentions. But in reality the war is not about oil. No one is crazy to have such a commodity and refuse to sell it. The problem is not that the Saddam regime is refusing to sell the oil, but that they are not allowing them to sell it. Oil is there to be sold at market price. This war is not waged to safeguard or to appropriate Iraq's oil, even if this may be a result of it.
The real reason behind this aggression is to establish the new world order Bush Sr. aimed at 12 years ago by attacking Iraq. The aim is to show who the master of the world is, to show that the US can and has the power to do anything, to change any regime, to impose any rule. The new world order has been on the agenda of the US and its Western allies ever since the fall of the Soviet Union.
Now after September 11, there is another chance to reinforce this world order. The US felt it was in a position to legitimize any aggression and to impose any reactionary order, as a result of the high moral ground it had gained after the tragedy of September 11. For the USA, it was a golden opportunity to strike. The USA seized the opportunity to reassert itself as a superpower.
The war is not going to stop only at the massive destruction of Iraq, the murder and maiming of thousands of Iraqi people, It is also going to bring destruction to the entire region, to reinforce and intensify the waves of terrorism, to reinforce and strengthen political Islam and Arab nationalism, to reinforce racism, double morality, and the forces of reaction. In this case the future is bleak.
However, this time the aggressors have not escaped opposition. We have rather witnessed a ferocious opposition in the world. The best example is 15 February when millions of people came to street in hundreds of cities across the world. The opposition is gaining momentum. People are awakening; they are saying that they are sick and tired of these masquerades. They are sick and tired of cowboys telling the world what to do and how to behave. A third force is taking shape, is coming into the scene and is asserting itself.
What the world witnessed on 15 February was unprecedented in the world. Not even at the time of the Vietnam war did we witness such orchestrated and massive marches on the streets of the world. This force has been giving the dark forces of reaction and Bush-Blair war plans a hard time. It has sent them flying around chasing after legitimacy. Summit after summit, resolution after resolution, lies after lies, diplomatic tricks, arm twisting and bribery have been used to convince the public of the necessity and legitimacy of this war; so far in vain.
In the hopes of rallying Arab states behind the war, they have recently announced a new plan to 'solve' the Palestinian question. Bush called it 'a road map to peace'. But, if not the world, the Arab people know that they have always used the Palestinian question to get their ways. They did the same 12 years ago, at the time of the Gulf War; last year when attacking Afghanistan was on the agenda, they raised the question again. This too has been exposed. After not only giving Sharon the green light for attacking and reoccupying Palestinian land, but also giving him full support for all his actions, they are now toying with the Palestinian question again.
We need to stop this war. They are set to attack. But our opposition and protests must go on. The only way we can curb their destruction and murders is by showing our united force and our united protest. Even if the war takes place, our protest is needed to restrict the destructive effects of the war, both in terms of human cost as well as moral and political cost. We cannot afford to let the US and Britain to turn the world into their playground, to impose any order they see fit. We must keep a strong united front to oppose the war, to oppose the new world order.
The above was a speech presented at a public meeting on 15 March 2003 organised by the Middle East Centre for Women's Rights.