Revolutionary Worker #1189, March 2, 2003, posted at http://rwor.org
Powerful marches have sent tremors through the powerstructures and big power alliances of the world. Cities around the world have been packed with rivers of people--standing up against powerful warmakers and their media-flood of lies.
Those seeking to recast the world in their hideous image and interests--with all their threats, tanks and bombers--are facing a world full of people who want a different future.
The Revolutionary Worker would like to send out a salute to all the brave resistors--the tireless organizers, the militant new fighters from the schools and streets, the millions of people from all walks of life who just can't stand by and watch this unjust and illegitimate war go down.
The contrast is so sharp: Debate rages broadly among the people of the world--over this war and the future of our world--and millions have taken a stand to say "not in our name."
Meanwhile the leading governments of this "coalition of the willing" have made a point of not listening--rejecting the views of the people--and pressing for war. And on the sealed invasion zones of Kuwait, soldiers are told that they are "doing their duty" by "doing their jobs."
U.S. press reports say three-quarters of the U.S. soldiers in frontline units are 18-and 19-year-olds--who know little about combat and even less about the true reasons they have been sent overseas. Their forward bases within Kuwait are named New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania--the states where the dead of 9/11 lived. In other words, these troops are told they are preparing a war of pay-back and defense. Their commanders insist that this war is about "liberating the people of Iraq" and bringing "safety" to the people of the U.S.
A look at the plans for this conquest, a look at how the people of Iraq are targeted by this U.S. invasion force, reveals the truth...and the war that must be stopped.
The Forces for an Unjust War
The Pentagon now says it has enough force in place to launch war.
By early March, the U.S. force is expected to top 200,000, plus 31,000 British and 2,000 Australian troops. Dozens of warships in six different aircraft carrier groups plus many hundreds of aircraft and cruise missiles are waiting in place.
Under UN pressure, the Iraqi antiaircraft batteries and radars have been silenced. The sky is wide open for the invaders. Spy planes buzz overhead--American U2's, and their Global Hawk and Predator drones. They have been joined by French Mirage IV and Russian Antonov-30B spy planes, plus surveillance drones from Germany.
And the air war has already started. U.S. bombers have made repeated raids around the southern Iraqi city of Basra. U.S. commandos have already landed in the Kurdish areas of northern Iraq to seize and prepare landing zones for airborne troops.
Meanwhile the U.S. is bringing in troops from reactionary Gulf state dictatorships to prop up the Kuwaiti monarchy in case future events and the masses of people spin out of control.
Visions of an Unjust War
The war plan in place envisions a massive wave of bombing, then rapid thrusts of armor to seize key locations, then the imposition of military occupation.
Iraq's centers, and especially the capital Baghdad, are targeted for an aerial war called "Shock and Awe." In two days of unprecedented bombardment over 700 cruise missiles will rain down--intended to assassinate the Iraqi government and army, while it stuns the population into submission. Warplanners say "no place in Baghdad will be safe" as they "take down the city." With open barbarism, the U.S. military says they will obliterate the town of Tikrit, where many of the relatives of Iraqi government officials live.
The U.S. military plans to test new bombs. One emits a massive "electromagnetic pulse" to shut down electronics --including military centers, but also hospital equipment and even the pacemakers for human hearts. The new "thermobaric bomb" ignites a huge cloud of fuel inside tunnels and buildings and kills with a massive concussion wave. Another new bomb is called Big Blu--a 30,000-pound bomb intended to kill and incapacitate people for miles. U.S. warplanners openly discuss using nuclear EPW's (earth penetrating weapons) in the heart of Baghdad to kill the Iraqi leadership.
During these bombings, the U.S. command expects to send rapidly moving columns of troops from Kuwait in the south and from high-priced Turkish bases in the north. Massive airpower will be called in to scorch the earth in front of them--killing everything in their path. The warplanners call the destination "Fortress Baghdad," because they are prepared to turn this capital city of four million people into a "killing zone."
A People in the Crosshairs
Estimates of civilian Iraqi casualties--both dead and wounded--vary from tens to hundreds of thousands. A UN task force suggested that war will almost certainly halt Iraq's oil production, shatter the country's electric grid, and the networks for distributing food. It predicted diseases "of pandemic proportions" because of destroyed water systems. The UN's chief for humanitarian affairs estimates that a war could create up to 2.5 million refugees. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan estimates that up to 10 million Iraqis will need emergency food.
Expecting a civilian catastrophe, U.S. war planners have already launched a disinformation campaign. In a particularly chilling event, reporters for the New York Times were called into a special meeting to be told that Donald Rumsfeld is "concerned" that Iraqi forces might attack their own people and then blame the U.S. for the atrocities. The scenarios they are "concerned" about give a sense of what they think might happen during their invasion: the bombing of mosques and population centers, and the destruction of dams flooding the countryside.
In the last Gulf war, Kuwaiti oilfields burned. Massive clouds of poison stretched for thousands of miles--killing an estimated 1,000 people. Many believe this was caused by the U.S. During the U.S. re-taking of Kuwait, more than 800 miles of Persian Gulf coast land were also stained with massive oil spills, devastating marine wildlife. Now the U.S. openly discusses the possibility of Iraq's vast oilfields burning during a coming war--and they are preparing to blame Iraq for such disasters.
During the last Gulf war, U.S. troops deployed 117,634 land mines and thousands of tons of canister bombs containing anti-personnel "bomblets." Unexploded munitions (called UXO) have killed 1,700 Kuwaiti civilians and injured 2,300 over the last decade. Half of Iraq's agricultural land is reported unusable now because of UXOs in 20 years of war. The UXO from a future U.S. invasion would be killing Iraqi people for decades to come.
The Look of the Conqueror
"U.S. Plans Full Control in a Postwar Iraq"
Reuters headline, Feb. 21, 2003
They talk of "liberating" Iraq--but the imperialists plan to dominate and remake the country in their own interests.
The U.S. government openly expects to impose a military dictatorship on Iraq for years. Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the military and civilian administrators after a U.S. invasion would report to the U.S. commander, Gen. Tommy Franks.
This military regime will be wrapped in "civilian" covering--including by flying in a prominent American civilian. Jimmy Carter has been mentioned as a possible candidate for colonial governor.
A powerless U.S.-appointed "consultative council" of about 25 Iraqis will be created, the Washington Post reported--as a pool for training and testing future puppet leaders.
Any Iraqi generals who "come over" would be quickly handed the job of policing for the imperialists. Meanwhile the exiled Iraqi National Congress has offered its own services--promising to gather 3,000 Iraqis in a Hungarian military base to serve as military police, bomb spotters, and guides for U.S. invaders.
Gen. Anthony Zinni, former commander in chief of the U.S. Central Command, later told the committee the occupation could last at least a decade. One senior Bush official said: "The more visible we are and the longer our presence is, the more of a target we present."
Meanwhile careful plans are being laid for Iraq's oilfields--which contain as many as 300 billion barrels in reserves. Massive planning is taking place for the expansion of Iraqi oil production--under "new management." And intense secret negotiations are going on about which corporations and governments will be "in" on the operations. The very fact that the U.S. is negotiating with France and Russia about their "slice" of Iraqi oil, and that the U.S. is haggling with Turkey over whether they will "get" the oil of Kurdistan shows that any future invasion is imperialism , not "liberation."
These warmakers have plans--extending for years into the future--of conquering and subduing and exploiting the Iraqi people and their country.
Young soldiers in the U.S. army are being pumped up with a mythology that they are "liberators" fighting "evul-dewrs." But these lies will fade when these young men and women march through burning cities and stand face-to-face with the Iraqi people as their conquerors. The American public is told that if war starts their "job" becomes "putting aside differences and uniting in supporting our troops."
All of us, and each of us, have a responsibility to do the right thing: Build on this powerful worldwide antiwar movement we have brought into being. Expose and resist these imperialist plans for recasting our world--through every twist of future events--and stop this war.
This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
Write: Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: 773-227-4066 Fax: 773-227-4497