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News ::
Greenpeace cut military supply chain to war in Iraq (english)
30 Jan 2003
Greenpeace flag ship, the Rainbow Warrior, today (29/01/2003) entered Marchwood Military port in Southampton and blocked the departure of UK military supply vessels heading for the Iraqi conflict in the Gulf.
Rainbow Warrior blockades UK military port
Last edited: 2003-01-29

Greenpeace cut military supply chain to war in Iraq

Greenpeace flag ship, the Rainbow Warrior, today (29/01/2003) entered Marchwood Military port in Southampton and blocked the departure of UK military supply vessels heading for the Iraqi conflict in the Gulf. The Rainbow Warrior, along with a flotilla of small inflatable boats, occupied the port by dropping anchor and blocking the exit, while Greenpeace climbers attached themselves to the Rainbow Warrior's anchor chains to stop the ship being moved. Supply ships have been loading day and night with helicopters, tank transporters, trucks and other military hardware.

The non-violent direct action by Greenpeace is part of the global campaign to prevent a military attack on Iraq that would kill hundreds of thousands of civilians and increase the chances of weapons of mass destruction being used.

Speaking from the bridge of the Rainbow Warrior, Stephen Tindale, Director of Greenpeace in the UK said:
"We are determined to stop the headlong rush to a war which places a higher price on oil than on blood. War with Iraq would not make the world a safer place: it would increase support for terrorism and could lead to the use of weapons of mass detruction. The human and environmental impacts would be appalling and no one would benefit other than George Bush and oil companies like Esso."

Greenpeace is opposed to war in Iraq, whether or not an attack is sanctioned by the United Nations, because it would have devastating human and environmental consequences. According to military and health experts a conventional war could kill over 200,000 people, mainly civilians, and a further quarter of a million could die from famine and disease (MEDACT). If war escalates to involve chemical or nuclear weapons the death toll could even run into millions.

Bush and Blair have cited Saddam Hussein's desire to acquire weapons of mass destruction as justification for an invasion. However, pre-emptive military strikes against states possessing or suspected of possessing chemical, biological or nuclear weapons do not provide a stable basis for controlling them. It would require repeated armed interventions against numerous countries. States known to have nuclear weapons include India, Pakistan and Israel. North Korea is openly seeking to acquire them. The Bush administration has stated that at least 13 countries are pursuing biological weapons research.

Greenpeace believes the solution to weapons of mass destruction is collective international arms control and disarmament. The framework already exists, in the form of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Biological Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention. But rather than being strengthened, these global treaties are being undermined by the existing nuclear weapons states.

The war is clearly motivated by oil. The same forces that are backing the war are also opposing the US signing the Kyoto Protocol, which would begin to combat climate change. The same US companies that maintain America's oil addiction and oppose the Kyoto Protocol are also backing the war against Iraq. The British Government has recently announced that one of the top five priorities for foreign policy is securing access to energy supplies. Yet Blair still denies that an attack on Iraq has anything to do with oil.

Any attack on Iraq would increase the threat from terrorism because it would further enrage peoples who consider themselves oppressed and push another generation of young people into the arms of terrorism.

Stephen Tindale added,
" A world based on international negotiation and renewable energy will be a safer place than the overheated and terrorised planet that George Bush has in mind."
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