IRAQ: The End of the Beginning
As the statues of Saddam Hussein tumbled in Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, it might have been simple to conclude that the war had been won, the warmongers proved right, the killing worthwhile, the destruction constructive, the outcome a triumph for liberty and the American way. And the looting and disorder? Well, that’s just what happens in the immediate aftermath of war.
We have no intention of reading from this script. The remarkable thing about the war on Iraq is not that a rogue superpower, by spending more on its military than the rest of the world put together, can blow a country like Iraq to pieces. Rather, it is the growth of a truly global movement of resistance. On 15 February 2003 the largest demonstration in history took place across Europe, Asia, Australasia and the American continents. Many millions of people became engaged for the first time in their lives, supported by many millions more who had already formed the movement for global justice.
Even where war was prosecuted most vigorously, by the ‘Anglo Saxon’ governments of the US, Britain and Australia, majorities or large minorities opposed it. In Spain 90 per cent of the population had no wish to be included with their government in the ‘coalition of the willing’. In Germany and France, unpopular governments discovered to their surprise that they increased their popular support by opposing the war.
It is arguable that the resistance has already had some effect, restraining the US military and reducing the bloodshed in Iraq. It will certainly be harder for the warlords of ‘the American Century’ to launch the next phase of their military campaign, wherever that may turn out to be.
The US military may, for the time being, win its wars. But the resistance can still win the argument. There never was a consistent or coherent case to be made for the invasion of Iraq. So now will Saddam’s fabled ‘weapons of mass destruction’ turn out to have existed at all? Will the conquest of Iraq bring liberation or occupation or the chaos of civil war? Will an ‘independent’ and ‘democratic’ Iraq be free – say – to oppose the Israeli occupation of Palestine? Will Iraqi oil – unlike anywhere else – bring shared prosperity to the Iraqi people, or the further enrichment of the oil business that runs the White House and chokes the planet? Or will the issue of oil pale as the country descends into internal conflict, tearing itself apart along ethnic and religious lines, serving as a magnet for extremists and fundamentalists?
As the US administration looks beyond the borders of Iraq to other ’rogues’ that need sorting out, the choice we continue to face is between reasoned argument and brute force – between working to create a democratic peace and war without end. If it is to be brute force, then terrorism will claim its vindication and flourish into the indefinite future. If it is to be democratic peace, then there can be no avoiding the legitimacy that only the UN can confer – and the task of making it effective becomes more urgent still.
The invasion of Iraq cost the US and its allies cost $78 billion – just $1.8 billion would have fed Africa for a year. This is more than scandalous, it is criminal. There can be no peace, and certainly no justice, until the world resolves never again to privilege pointless death and destruction at the expense of human welfare.
Since the Second World War THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENThas bombed 21 countriesChina 1945-46, 1950-53
Guatemala 1954, 1960, 1967-69
El Salvador 1980s
Former Yugoslavia 1999
Afghanistan 1998, 2001-??
How many more are they planning to bomb? Bush's advisers say Iraq is just a 'battle in the wider war'. They have named North Korea, Iran, and even Syria, Cuba and Libya as possible future targets. They call it a war without end. But millions of people around the world are raising their voices in protest against this illegal, unjust war.
Weblog on corporate interests in the war on Iraq.
Stand for Peace & Justice
International petition for peace and justice.
An excellent collection of articles, ideas, and action resources on ZNet.
for Peace & Justice
A new USA national coalition against the war.
'Indymedia is a democratic media outlet for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate tellings of truth.' Includes links to regional IMC's.
Indymedia Urbana-Champaign (Illinois, USA) interactively updated site of alternative news sources on the war.
the War Coalition
A UK national coalition against the war.
and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)
Analysis of mainstream media's coverage of the war.
' The first casualty of war is truth.'
AlterNet.org is a project of the Independent Media Institute, dedicated to strengthening and supporting independent and alternative journalism.
A service of the Colorado Campaign for Middle East Peace.
The Iraq Action Coalition is an online media and activists' resource center.
' Breaking news and views from the progressive community.'
Extensive reports and analysis on the war in Iraq and related issues.
Internet project by veteran anti-war activists.
in the Wilderness
Voices in the Wilderness is a joint US/UK campaign to end the economic sanctions and military warfare against the people of Iraq.
Includes audio and video reports.
Workers Against War
Journalists take a stand.
Speech Radio News
Regular news reports and special programmes. Be sure to check out the 'Collateral Voices' documentary.
Non-violent activists on the ground in Iraq.
' The global network for democratic media.'
Includes links to Iraqi and Arabic radio stations and news sources.
The US alternative radio and TV network.
One of the US's oldest progressive magazines.
Chicago-based bi-weekly magazine.
For info on upcoming demonstrations near you.
Opposing War and Racism
Anti-war activities down under.
Association of the Women of Afghanistan
Established in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1977, RAWA is an independent political and social organization of Afghan women fighting for human rights and for social justice in Afghanistan.
For the latest news from New Zealand/Aotearoa.
in Our Name
A statement of conscience against war and repression.
Artists' Network of Refuse & Resist
' Artists dedicated to creating a culture of resistance.' Includes music, art, poetry, theater and more.
'The anti-war site you can edit!' A collaboratively maintained database of anti-war articles with a direct democratic editing discipline. See also the PR Watch project disinfopedia.org's special section on war propaganda.
Your War On!
David Rees' cartoons illustrating three office workers' take on the 'war on terrorism'.
Abu-Jamal Writings on the War
Writing from death row, award-winning journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal has continued to comment on world events.
Attached to the New School University in New York. Offers insightful analysis of US foreign policy and international affairs.
Regularly under cyber-attack, this site is intermittanly available and useful to see what all the fuss is about.
Trident Ploughshares activists have pledged to disarm the UK Trident nuclear weapons system in a non-violent, open, peaceful, safe and fully accountable manner.
Against the Arms Trade (CAAT)
CAAT is working for the reduction and ultimate abolition of the international arms trade, together with progressive demilitarization within arms-producing countries.