by Pete Radcliff
A great tragedy for the Middle East is being prepared by US President George Bush and the gang of politically inadequate bourgeois thieves and gangsters with which he has surrounded himself. Bush is hell-bent on war with Iraq to bring down the Saddam Hussein regime. The governments of Europe and the Middle East oppose the war which the USA is proposing - with one exception: Tony Blair.
It will be a good day for all the peoples of Iraq when Saddam Hussein is sent to join Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin in hell. But the full-scale war which Bush is preparing to launch will kill many thousands of Iraqis, civilians as well as soldiers.
That is too high a price to pay for toppling Saddam Hussein. In any case, the US government will most likely install "their own" Saddam.
More than that, a US-British assault on Iraq will have incalculable consequences in the Middle East, where the Israeli-Palestinian war has stirred up a great wave of Arab-Islamic nationalism. It will have an incalculable effect on Israel-Palestine too.
Cornered, Saddam Hussein is capable of a desperate suicidal attack on Israel with the most terrible - biological, chemical, nuclear - weapons he can deploy.
The unspeakable chauvinists who rule Israel are in their turn capable of seizing the chance of chaos that war will bring to do some otherwise unimaginable deed such as the expulsion of the Palestinians from the West Bank, or from part of it.
And after a war on Iraq? The US seems set to target Iran. And then? There is talk of Saudi Arabia as a centre of "terrorist infection".
Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia are all regimes for which socialists and consistent democrats can have nothing but ill-will.
Regimes installed in these countries by the USA may be less odious, but don't count on it. Saddam Hussein had US backing in the 1980s; the Saudi Arabian regime has had US support for over 50 years.
If Bush and Blair were concerned to improve the lot of the people of these states they would help democrats overthrow them. Instead, they intend bloody war on Iraq and possibly on others to install more pliable Saddams.
There is a logic to all this that is worth nothing: one possible implication of US-British attempts to regulate what happens in these countries is long-term US-British occupation. There are US forces in Saudi Arabia, but not against the will of the government.
The British labour movement should have no part in this war. Blair should be told to stop supporting Bush.
Support the peoples of Iraq against Saddam!