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News ::
19 Sep 2003
Via Workers World News Service
Reprinted from the Sept. 25, 2003
issue of Workers World newspaper


are clamoring to come home. And for good reason. It's not just the
stifling body armor or the military meals or the long separation from
their families--all good reasons to complain. It's not even the level of casualties, which mount day after day. In many wars, losing two or even 10 soldiers a day would be considered "acceptable"--certainly by the commanders, and even resignedly by the troops.

But this is not a war. The war was won after a stunning, high-tech
blitzkrieg. This is an occupation, and as it grinds on the troops are
realizing that the whole rationale for the war, with its horrendous
destruction, was a lie. They patrol streets and know that the people
hate them. The reason is obvious. They are occupiers. They are doing the work of billionaires who want to exploit the hell out of Iraq but need these soldiers to make it safe for their plunder.

The troops didn't know this before. They were told they were going to
liberate an oppressed people. Now the people are telling them in no
uncertain terms that we don't need this kind of "liberation," thank you, and you should leave. Ambushes, angry protests and the tears of
desperate families get the point across, even to GIs who don't speak the language.

Politicians back in the United States are scrambling to come up with
formulas that would rescue what they consider the basic aims of the war and occupation, which boil down to robbing Iraq of its independence and keeping its oil riches under the control of U.S. and British imperialist interests. On the longer-term, broader world view of the White House neocons formulated by Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and Rice--the prospect of an endless war to establish the U.S. as the world power par excellence, brooking no challenges from its imperialist allies, let alone from oppressed countries--the political establishment, both Republicans and Democrats, may sympathize, but are beginning to think that maybe Iraq isn't the right place to make that point.

So Colin Powell now has the unenviable job of courting the very
countries the administration was so happy to disrespect when the
Pentagon generals and their civilian overseers were still so puffed up with the power of their technology. The administration now wants to get the United Nations to bless the occupation of Iraq and get other countries to pay for a good deal of it. But France, Germany and other imperialists know when their allies/rivals are in a weak position and are driving a hard bargain.

The politicians woke up to the growing popular resentment at home over the cost of this huge military venture when Bush asked Congress for another $87 billion on top of the vast fortune already spent. With budgets being slashed and times getting tougher for millions in this country, it's not easy even for the flag-waving crowd in Washington to rationalize away a price tag that big.

All this makes for plenty of demagogy from the lengthening line of
potential candidates for the presidency. So many Johnny-come-latelys are talking like doves. It should be remembered that a little less than a year ago, Congress gave Bush the go-ahead for the war. Leading
Democratic liberals like senators Hillary Clinton, Thomas Dodd, Tom
Daschle, John Kerry and Dianne Feinstein joined Republicans in the pro-war vote.

The politicians had spoken. Next it was the people's turn. Two weeks
later, on Oct. 26, the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER)
coalition organized the largest anti-war rallies in over a decade in
Washington and San Francisco.

It's the people's time again. No one else will stop this occupation. On Oct. 25--almost exactly one year after the first big protest--ANSWER and other groups will be in Washington again to demand that the troops be brought home--immediately, no ifs, ands or buts.

And earlier, on Sept. 25-28, many groups will be protesting the
occupation of both Iraq and Palestine.


Last winter, the anti-war movement grew around the globe as people on
every continent--even Antarctica!--rejected the lies of the U.S. and
British governments.

Demonstrations inside the U.S. began to be coordinated with those of
anti-war groups in scores of other countries. New local groups and
national coalitions sprang up here. The protests in January and
February, just before the assault on Iraq began, brought out millions of people around the world.

Now the unity of action required to build the strongest resistance
possible to the criminal occupation of Iraq has taken another step
forward. United for Peace & Justice has agreed to co-sponsor the Oct. 25 demonstration with ANSWER. Both coalitions have issued a joint unity statement around the slogans "End the Occupation of Iraq, Bring the Troops Home Now" that also addresses the economic attacks on the
workers at home and the repressive atmosphere caused by the war policies of the administration, including the Patriot Act.

This is a welcome development. It is one that the ranks of the
burgeoning anti-war movement heartily endorse, and shows once again that they have rejected the fierce red-baiting of ANSWER that began last year and was intended to isolate the anti-imperialists from other anti-war forces. It will stimulate constructive political debate among diverse points of view in the progressive population while at the same time uniting in action all who agree on the basic demands.

On Oct. 25, a mighty cry will go up all over the world to bring the
troops home. In Baghdad and Tikrit and Basra, the Iraqi people and the reluctant U.S. and British troops will hear it and be glad.

- END -

(Copyright Workers World Service: Everyone is permitted to copy and
distribute verbatim copies of this document, but changing it is not
allowed. For more information contact Workers World, 55 W. 17 St., NY, NY 10011; via e-mail: ww (at) Subscribe wwnews-
on (at) Unsubscribe wwnews-off (at) Support the
voice of resistance

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