We call on all people to stop the massacre of thousands of Iraqi people. The British governments and US are hell-bent on bombing Iraq and securing a victory over the regime of Saddam Hussein. But we know that ordinary Iraqi people, the working class and the urban and rural poor will suffer the most. For more than 10 years now the Iraqi people have suffered from the effects of United Nations imposed economic sanctions. British imperialist and WE interests dominate the United Nations. Nearly a million Iraqi children have died because of the direct and indirect effects of this. The dictator, Saddam Hussein and his regime, have not felt the effects of sanctions and continue to live comfortably. We demand that the UN lift the sanctions against the Iraqi people immediately!
Why the War against Iraq?
The British governments and US are prepared to sacrifice the blood of innocent Iraqi people for access to the huge oil reserves in Iraq. This war is about rivalry for wealth and power between the major companies of France, Germany, Britain, USA and Japan. They are fighting over control of the oil reserves in the Middle East. All these companies and their governments, the imperialists, are to be blamed for the UN sanctions that are killing thousands of Iraqi children and causing massive suffering by the Iraqi people.
Hiding the Economic Crisis and Diverting attention
Secondly, the US monopolies and their regime want to divert the attention of the American working class and middle class from the deepest economic crisis since the Depression of the 1920’s. In the past year the New York Stock exchange lost over 7 trillion dollars [that is, 7 thousand billion dollars!]. The working class and lower middle class, who lost their pensions and life savings, felt most of these losses. The 1998 wage levels of US workers were 12% less in 2002 than wage levels in 1973. Millions of US workers are now dependent on feeding schemes; US workers work a staggering extra 168 days per year than they did in 1973!
Massacre the Iraqi people to save them from Saddam?
First Osama Bin Laden was the monster to blame in order to hide the economic crisis and financial scandals of US companies like Enron, now it is Saddam Hussein. But thousands of Iraqi people are going to die because the US says Saddam Hussein’s regime is “hiding weapons of mass destruction”. But the USA has the most weapons of mass destruction and has used this against the working class and poor people all over the world, especially when they don’t like their governments. It has supported the Israeli regime with money and arms for decades. The Israeli government uses their weapons of mass destruction to kill hundreds of Palestinians. Today Israel has more weapons of mass destruction than all the countries in the Middle East put together. Yet the US and Israel has not been asked to destroy their weapons and allow UN inspectors to come in and tell them what to do. We do not support the dictator Saddam Hussein and his regime. We stand for the defence of the Iraqi people against the attacks of imperialism, led by the USA and Britain.
What can we do?
Already there are huge anti-war demonstrations in the USA and across Europe. Millions of workers and youth have taken to the streets to protest against the war. There are possibilities for workers in the US going on strike against Bush’s policies and against the war. In South Africa we need to mobilise the working class and its allies in our millions to stop the imperialist butchery, to stop the sacrifice of the Iraqi people and the abuse of the US working class youth to be used as cannon fodder soldiers for the imperialist robbers.
We call on all workers, youth, students and the unemployed all over South Africa to join the anti-war movement. Join the Anti-War Coalition to assist in the current and future protest actions. Let us make the 15th February 2003 the biggest protest ever in world history. This march is only the start of our campaign.
The Anti-War Coalition, the AWC, is a broad front of organizations united on democratic basis of our unconditional defence of the Iraqi people and their sole right to self-determination. We say,
To join the Anti-War Coalition and to help set up a structure in your area, please call 021 4471677 or 021
7129091 or 4484741 or 9038045 or 0731 555529. Our mobilizing centre for volunteers is Community House, 41
Salt River rd, Salt River.
Issued by the Anti-War Coalition: COSATU, FEDUSA, NACTU, MJC, SAMWU, ILRIG, New Unity Movt, CWG/LLC, WIVL, Socialist League, APDUSA, IUC, APF, AEC, Jubilee, Coremo,YFW, SANE, Ocgawu, Inthatho Nxaxheba, ECAAR, AIDC, USAC, CMB, LRS, CMB, Mitchell’s Plain Youth Forum.