Broaden and Deepen the Anti-War Struggle!
April 11, 2003
The following is reprinted from "The Worker," newspaper of the Workers Party, USA.
The U.S. government is setting up its military rule in Baghdad and other areas of Iraq.
This occupation comes after weeks of bombing Iraqi cities. Thousands of Iraqi men, women and children have been killed and wounded. Disastrous refugee and humanitarian crises have been created. Much of the country's infrastructure has been destroyed.
A U.S. occupation government is establishing its headquarters in the port city of Umm Qasr. This colonial administration, named the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA), will be headed by former U.S. General Jay Garner and report directly to General Franks, commander of U.S. armed forces in the region. The ORHA will administer and "reconstruct" the country until the U.S. feels that it can install a client regime of Iraqi nationals. Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz has indicated that the U.S. will directly rule the country for "at least six months." More than 100,000 U.S. troops are expected to "police" Iraq and Wolfowitz has admitted that the U.S. may keep a permanent military presence in the country.
On April 10, Vice-President Cheney also reiterated that the U.S. will not share either political or economic power in Iraq with the U.N. or any other international force. In addition to maintaining undivided political power, the Bush administration has already announced that all reconstruction contracts will go to U.S. companies, with foreign concerns permitted only to function as subcontractors.
In further disregard of international law, the Bush administration is preparing to expropriate Iraq's oil. Rumaila, with about 430 oil wells, is now under U.S. military control and a unit of the Halliburton company (formerly headed by Cheney) is taking charge of these wells.
Still the war goes on. Street battles and other forms of resistance are continuing in Baghdad and areas "under U.S. control." U.S. military forces are also moving towards the northern cities of Mosul and Kirkuk, another major oil center.
At the same time, the U.S. government, boasting about its military superiority, is preparing new wars against other countries and peoples in the Middle East and the world. On April 10, Cheney warned that the Iraqi campaign was a message sent to "all violent groups." These remarks followed comments by Rumsfeld, Powell and others threatening to spread the war to Syria and Iran. Spokespersons for the Bush administration are saying that the occupation of Iraq will be a new base from which to extend U.S. hegemony throughout the Middle East and that the war itself is only the first test of the new strategic doctrine of "preemptive war" under which the U.S. government will strike against any country at any time in order to prevent any challenge to U.S. imperialism's status as the world superpower.
Tasks Facing the Anti-War Movement
This situation confronts the American people with new challenges.
Bush and the U.S. capitalist class are setting up a colonial administration in Iraq (as they already are in Afghanistan). They are preparing yet more wars against the peoples -- more wars for profits and empire. The capitalists are showing yet again that international law, the sovereignty of countries, the will of the peoples and every standard of civilization and humanity mean nothing to them.
We must remain both urgent and tenacious; we must continue to stand up boldly against U.S. aggression even as we take up the work of further organizing and deepening our movement.
We must not only oppose the ongoing war against Iraq but also demand an end to the U.S. occupation and colonization of the country.
We must struggle against Bush's plans to extend the war to Syria, Iran and elsewhere.
In opposition to U.S. imperialism's strategic doctrine of "preemptive war" -- of war against the world -- we must demand a genuinely democratic foreign policy which withdraws all U.S. troops stationed abroad and forbids U.S. aggression against other countries.
Already, over the last several months the American people have taken colossal steps forward. Starting with practically no organization and in the teeth of the ferocious chauvinism and pressure of all the forces of the status quo, the people -- in their millions and tens of millions -- have boldly come into the public arena to oppose the government's war program.
Already, the anti-war movement -- in the U.S. and the world -- is isolating the warmakers. Already, in this common struggle against imperialism and in support of the rights and sovereignty of every nation, we can see the rise of the new world of the peoples -- a world without colonialism and war, a world of peace and liberation.
This world can be won.
But it can only be won through struggle. Just as the people are already showing their courage and conviction in actions against the war, we must strengthen our courage and conviction through organization, organization and more organization. We must organize ourselves as an independent political force -- in opposition to the parties of war and imperialism. In the course of fighting against every aggressive step taken by U.S. imperialism, we must build up the force of the people so that we become capable of taking the power out of the hands of the warmakers and returning it to the people and the cause of peace.