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Leftist Warmongers League

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  • Dan Clore
    News for Anarchists & Activists: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo With friends like these ... by Paul Foot Wednesday February 5, 2003 The Guardian [UK]
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 6, 2003
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      News for Anarchists & Activists:

      With friends like these ...
      by Paul Foot
      Wednesday February 5, 2003
      The Guardian [UK]

      Every day the yawning gaps in the arguments for war in Iraq
      grow wider still and wider. Into the intellectual breach
      rushes a new organisation, the LWL, the Leftist Warmongers
      League. The principles of the LWL are quite simple.

      The regime of Saddam Hussein is a monstrous tyranny, and
      should be toppled. The only way to topple it is by armed
      invasion by the US, Britain and anyone else who will join
      in. Anyone who opposes such an invasion is a friend of
      Saddam Hussein and an enemy of the Iraqi people.

      No one in the anti-war movement opposes the first
      proposition. Indeed, many of us who were active in the 1980s
      were constantly shouting and demonstrating against the
      Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, and denouncing the
      governments, chiefly in the US and Britain, who were
      propping him up and arming him.

      But what of proposition two? What about the cost and the
      unspeakable loss of life and limb in Iraq that will result
      from even the shortest war? Intelligence agencies in Britain
      and America estimate a minimum of 100,000 Iraqi deaths, and
      a minimum cost to Britain alone of £3.5bn. This shocking
      price appears to be acceptable to the LWL.

      But what will the Iraqi people get for it? What evidence is
      there anywhere in the world that a regime imposed by the
      armed forces of the US will be democratic or even
      progressive? In 1953, for instance, in Iran, in the same
      region, the US engineered a coup that dispensed with the
      elected prime minister and eventually imposed a monarchical
      dictatorship every bit as monstrous and cruel as that of
      Saddam Hussein. In every corner of the globe, US coups,
      assassinations or invasions or a combination of these have
      led to, or succoured, dictators - Duvalier, Trujillo,
      Pinochet, Suharto, Mobutu. All these and many others have
      unleashed the most frightful oppression especially on the
      workers and the poor.

      What flight of the most grotesque fantasy can dream up the
      notion that a government led by the fanatical religious
      right in the US - Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Perle, Wolfowitz -
      is eager to establish a democratic government in Iraq, or
      anywhere else for that matter? Have they shown the slightest
      interest in imposing democracy in Burma, for example, or any
      of the feudal tyrannies of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman,
      Bahrain or Kuwait, or any of the so-called "republics" in
      Africa or central Asia? Have they even mentioned the recent
      abrupt ending of democracy in Pakistan, and its replacement
      by a dictator there who has at his disposal weapons of mass
      destruction? Is he regarded in the White House as a dictator
      or as an ally in the war against terrorism? And what of
      successive governments of Israel, which have been in breach
      of even more UN resolutions than Saddam Hussein has been,
      and have constantly invaded, threatened, and pulverised
      other people's territory, homes and livelihoods?

      Is not the truth that these US warmongers, most of them oil
      millionaires, are hell-bent on extending their capitalist
      empire - and their control of oil supplies -everywhere on
      earth, and that the invasion of Iraq is a further step down
      that road? And is not the British prime minister now
      fanatically committed to the same process? When the SNP MP
      Alex Salmond shouted at him last week "when do we stop?"
      Blair rounded on him, eyes gleaming like those of Arturo Ui
      in Brecht's play: "We stop when the threat to our security
      is properly and fully dealt with." In other words, we go on
      like Ui, until we conquer the world.

      So, as for proposition three, we reply to the LWL that it is
      risking unimaginable horrors, death and destruction for an
      idea that, deep down, they know to be a fantasy. The
      toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime and its replacement by a
      democracy can only be achieved by the people who suffer from
      the tyranny and will benefit from the democracy. There isn't
      the slightest sign that anyone in Iraq is clamouring for
      liberation by armies from America or from Britain, Iraq's
      former colonial conqueror.

      This is the socialist approach to these matters, and the
      appeals of the LWL to the left have no credibility
      whatsoever. Indeed, their slender ranks are no more than a
      fifth column for the deeply reactionary Republican
      administration in Washington.

      Brecht's play was called The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui.
      The war on Iraq is resistible too. If all the people shocked
      and disgusted by the American preparations for war and the
      abject compliance of Blair, Straw and Hoon turn up for the
      demonstration on Saturday week, then February 15 2003 could
      turn out to be not only an historic day but a victorious


      Dan Clore

      Now available: _The Unspeakable and Others_
      All my fiction through 2001 and more. Intro by S.T. Joshi.

      Lord Weÿrdgliffe and Necronomicon Page:
      News for Anarchists & Activists:

      Said Smygo, the iconoclast of Zothique: "Bear a hammer with
      thee always, and break down any terminus on which is
      written: 'So far shalt thou pass, but no further go.'"
      --Clark Ashton Smith
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