- Created: Thursday, 07 May 2009 13:49
FRFI 188 December 2005 / January 2006
Finally, it has been confirmed that there are chemical weapons in Iraq. Not those sold to Saddam Hussein by Donald Rumsfeld in 1983 with that ‘good-to-do-business-with-you’ hand-shake. Not the fictional weapons that, back in 2002, Blair warned could strike Britain within 45 minutes. These are the chemical weapons fired on Iraqi people by the US and British armies; white phosphorus, which burns the skin to the bone; napalm and mark 77 firebombs, which cover their victims in burning petrol or kerosene. Iraq’s dungeons remain packed full of starved, beaten, traumatised Iraqis, held for months without charge and tortured. They are prisoners of the Iraqi government – a puppet of US and British imperialism which pounced in a fury of shock and awe, claiming to be liberating Iraq.
Leaked documents scatter like a cluster bomb explosion bringing endless revelations about the lies, fabrications, corruption, and inhumanity of the war on Iraq. Lately we have heard evidence of CIA detention centres hidden throughout the world, where human rights violations secretly take place. The US and Britain are desperate to destroy the resistance in Iraq, before this costly war destroys them (see pages 1 and 6).
The US ruling class is split. The Neocons bribed the ruling class for compliance with their ambitious imperialist policies with the promise of a quick war to secure a certain profit, control over the unruly Middle East and as much oil as their gas-guzzling SUVs could burn. Meanwhile, all local barriers to US exploitation in Latin America would be knocked down like skittles with the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). But there was one small ingredient missing:
The Iraqi resistance has escalated. The British government slammed the Official Secrets Act on the press to prevent publicity about the cracks in the special relationship between Bush and Blair after the genocide in Fallujah in October 2004 and the Bush administration’s plans to bomb Al Jazeera. Meanwhile the FTAA has been booted out of Latin America as its revolutionary alternative, the Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America, moulded by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Cuban President Fidel Castro, becomes a significant force for intra-regional cooperation and independence from US capital (see page 10).
The US and EU are also split in their approach to the surging economic power of capitalist China (see pages 8 and 9). In Beijing Blair smiled and signed on the dotted line, while Bush allowed his Neocon dogmatism to interfere and flew home practically empty-handed, his hollow words about human rights abuses echoing through a world worn out by US hypocrisy.
In Britain too, the cracks within the ruling class are growing. Blair suffered his first parliamentary defeat on the question of 90-day detention without charge for terrorism suspects (see page 16).
In Israel, too, colonial policy has created severe divisions. Sharon has resigned from his fascist Likud Party, to clear the path of opposition to his programme of speaking peace while extending the apartheid wall and the settlement building to annex more Palestinian land and ensure Zionist control of the whole of Jerusalem (see page 7).
This relentless brutality by imperialism is a manifestation of its deep-seated crisis. The more it falls into crisis, the more brutal it must be. The veneer of liberal democracy is scratched off to reveal the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. This violence turns in on itself, poisoning the imperialist societies themselves. Violence, racism, poverty, alienation, depression and repression increase inside the developed capitalist countries. In France, the violence of the oppressed has burst into flames after years of racism, marginalisation and poverty (see page 13). The Spanish state murders another Basque activist, desperately trying to kill off the struggle for Basque national liberation (see page 13).
Britain brutalises ‘terror suspects’ (see page 16), immigrants (see page 4) and prisoners (see page 13). The back door privatisation of health (see page 5) and education (see opposite and page 3) continue apace.
It is precisely at this time when imperialism is over-extended, morally bankrupt, economically vulnerable and riven by in-fighting, that an anti-imperialist movement could turn an imperialist crisis into a political crisis for the capitalist system. Through our Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! student societies in universities across the country, we are beginning the vital work of rebuilding a youth movement, a Student Anti-Imperialist Network. SAIN is already active, combating the occupations of Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine, opposing the racism and attacks on civil liberties in Britain, supporting revolutionary movements in Latin American and defending socialist Cuba (see page 3).
Today we have an historic opportunity to build a serious movement against war, racism, capitalism and imperialism, to capitalise on the splits in the ruling class, to raise our voices till we can no longer be ignored. We must shout our demands so that we are heard in every corner of the globe; where multinationals suck the life out of the planet and its people (see page 12); in Africa where food price rises lead to famine while western farmers live on subsidised wealth; in the frozen mountains of Kashmir where victims of the earthquake are left exposed by the ‘compassion fatigue’ of the west (see page 6), in Bolivia, Nepal (see page 12), Venezuela (see page 10) and Cuba (see pages 14 and 15), and everywhere else in the world where oppressed people are fighting back against the imperialist system that is destroying the world.
Don’t just get angry, get active! Join us, join the fightback!
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