No War for Oil! No War for Profit
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Sat Feb 15 17:38:38 MST 2003
Distributed by Socialist Alternative at today's demo in Toronto:
No War for Oil!
No War for Profit!
Ten million people are demonstrating in over 600 cities worldwide on
February 15th to protest the US and British government's drive to war
against Iraq. The forces of US imperialism are trying to assemble the
world's capitalist powers in a grand war coalition to finish off an Iraq
whose people, particularly children, have suffered and died in the hundreds
of thousands because of ten years of United Nations sanctions.
The justification given for this crusade is the alleged possession by Iraq
of "weapons of mass destruction" despite a lack of credible evidence that
any such weapons exist and ample evidence that Iraq's military capacity has
been severely degraded over the past ten years. The US has identified caster
oil factories and a foot and mouth centre as "facilities for concern".
What has been ignored in all this is the fact that it was the US which
supplied Iraq with "weapons of mass destruction" in the 1980s when Saddam
was an ally. Chickenhawk Donald Rumsfeld even met and shook hands with
Saddam when visiting Baghdad in 1983 on behalf of Ronald Reagan.
The fact is this war is not our war! It's a war for control of Iraq's oil
supply and to reinforce American influence over the oil rich Gulf states.
It's a war to enhance the profits of US and British oil companies as well as
the military industrial complex and it's a war for American imperial
Socialist Alternative is a small but growing movement in Canada. We are the
Canadian section of the Committee for a Workers International, a worldwide
movement for socialism organised in over 35 countries around the world. As
Marxists we have no illusions in Saddam Hussein or his despotic regime, a
regime supported by the US for decades prior to the first Gulf War.
However, it is the task of the Iraqi people, particularly the Iraqi working
class to determine their government just as it is the task of the working
class in Canada and the US to stop this war by any means and overturn our
governments replacing them with a system that serves the interests of the
mass majority of the population made up of workers (including the
unemployed) and youth, not the interests of the small elite of capitalists.
Chretien and his Foreign Minister, Bill Graham, have cautiously paved the
way for Canadian participation in this war. Where other countries have
dismissed US evidence as lacking, Graham has called it "disturbing,
persuasive." Graham has also made it clear that "there is no distinction"
between Canada and the US when it comes to the need for UN approval of a
war, despite the insistence by Bush that the US can act unilaterally without
UN approval. And just this week Canada has committed troops to Afghanistan
allowing the US to move its troops from there to Iraq.
Despite claims of an "independent foreign policy" Canadian capitalism is
integrated with US capitalism to such a degree that our capitalist rulers
will fall into line behind the US when the drum beats for war.
As Marxists we have no illusions in the UN, which is little more than a
capitalist talk shop which can give a liberal face to capitalist ambitions
when needed. All likelihood is that the UN will fall in behind the US for
fear of losing its "influence" by saying no. If the UN stands aside it will
not be because of the beneficience of the other capitalist states but
because the mass movements against the war spreading throughout the world
have forced other capitalist imperialist states such as France, Germany and
Russia to feign opposition to US capitalist aggression.
The UN cannot and will not stop this war even if it withholds its seal
of approval. The only thing that can stop the war is the power of workers,
youths and other activists. Mass rallies alone are not enough to stop this
war, what is necessary is direct mass action.
Working people the world over cannot trust any government; we can only trust
our own organisations, our own power to demonstrate, to rally, and to stop
work to stop the war. When the bombs start falling from the Baghdad skies,
workers will not just want to march; they will also strike, if leadership is
This is the real power in society. The bosses get frightened of huge
demonstrations, they even allow them to let people blow of steam, but
threaten their profits and they wake up.
The role of the workers is key. Already in Britain rail workers have refused
to allow shipments of war materiel to proceed.
In Western Australian nine powerful unions have declared they will carry out
industrial action against the war.
International Socialist Resistance, an international youth movement in
solidarity with the Committee for a Workers' International is organizing
school strikes and walkouts on Day X, the day war begins.
We can stop this war if the power of workers and youth is mobilized with
that goal and if that power is used to bring the capitalist system to a halt
or at least cause it to sputter.
No war for oil! Lift the sanctions on Iraq!
No to new Colonialism and Imperialism!
Money for housing, schools, health care and welfare, not for war!
For mass protests and strikes against the war!
Fight Capitalism and Imperialism!
Fight for a Socialist world!
socialist at canada.com
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