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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
Polluting People's Lives


Barbara Muldoon • Other View, Winter 2002

Few people could be in any doubt but that the US is absolutely desperate to wage war on the Iraqi people. After months of wrangling with the UN the US has come up with yet another draft resolution which it hopes will enable them to use the UN as a fig leaf for its mission of regime change in this most “rogue” of “rogue states”. It calls for "immediate, unimpeded, unconditional and unrestricted access to presidential sites equal to that at other sites", with the explicit threat of force if Iraq fails to submit to these conditions. In short this is the equivalent of opening up the White House or 10 Downing Street to the eyes of clearly stated enemies. Iraq's Culture Minister, Hamed Yousef Hamadi, called the U.S. draft a "declaration of war." Of course it is. As National Security adviser, Condoleezza Rice says “it has to be tough enough and has to be clear enough that you might have a chance to get the job done”.

The “job” at hand has already been laid out in a document written in Sept 2000, entitled Rebuilding America’s Defences: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century. The document was produced by people who are now at the heart of the Bush Administration. It states ‘The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein…….we need to fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theatre wars as a core mission’ (remember this is pre Sept 11th).

Of course the UN cannot be depended on to act as an obstacle to the US plans. At the centre of the UN stand the most powerful, most violent, most heavily armed states. It would stretch credulity to the limit to believe that there is a schizophrenic tendency amongst the world’s superpowers that means that they act benevolently when they all come together. They do not become any less imperialist when they act together through the UN rather than separately. Everywhere from their role in Palestine to Somalia they have proven themselves to be a tool for beating the enemies of the “West” into submission.

If they were really concerned with the biggest threat to world peace and “civilisation” then they would start with the US. The US has just signed into law a $355.1 billion defence bill, it is the world’s biggest producer and exporter of weapons of mass destruction, it is the world’s biggest exporter of torture equipment, its death penalty sanctions the killing of its own citizens, it ignores the Geneva convention on the rights of prisoners (Guantanamo Bay), it has hundreds of thousands of troops in nearly every area of the globe (34,000 in S Korea alone), it enables UN resolutions to be smashed by arming Israel to the teeth (the UN don’t seem to mind), it is the ONLY state in the world to have actually used nuclear weapons (killing 250,000 in Nagasaki and Hiroshima), it has a proven track record of using biological and chemical weapons (Agent Orange and Napalm in Vietnam) and it has bombed 21 countries (including a medical factory in the Sudan) since the 2nd world war.

The UN is certainly not against barbarity or weapons of mass destruction per se. In the Gulf war of 1991 some 88,000 tons of bombs - the equivalent of seven Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs - were dropped on Iraq, that is on average one atomic bomb a week; “a scale of destruction that has no parallels in the history of warfare."

Between 100,000 and 200,000 Iraqis were killed during the more than six weeks of carpet-bombing compared to 134 allied troops (a large amount killed by “friendly fire”). There were 300,000 to 700,000 injured. On the Road to Bazra - afterwards known as the "Highway of Death" - U.S. warplanes bombed thousands of Iraqi soldiers, mostly Kurdish and Shia conscripts, burning them alive as they tried to flee.

Today in Iraq, the Radiation levels from depleted uranium are 84 times higher than the World Health Organisation’s safe levels thanks to the depleted uranium shells dumped on the country. Rates of cancer have rose by 500%, and infant deformity and mortality has rocketed since the end of the Gulf war.

The US led, and UN imposed sanctions have killed one million Iraqis, half of them children. Of course their British sidekicks in the latest plans have a similar bloody past. From India to Ireland, brutality, torture and murder were the favoured tools of the “civilisers”. They armed every crackpot dictator around the globe (including Saddam) to wage terror on their enemies both within and without.

Yet, the road to war is not without difficulties for the US and Britain. Momentum is already building against their plans, with 400,000 on the streets of London last month and 100,000 expected in Washington and San Francisco this month.

Therefore, it is the responsibility of everyone who is opposed to the war to make their voices heard and try to stop the slaughter. We need to build a movement that can pull the rug from under the feet of the warmongers. Silence at this important junction will damn all of us to a life where war and profit are the priorities rather than tackling the poverty, misery and desperation that increasingly pollutes all our lives.





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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



I have spent
many years of my life
in opposition, and
I rather like the role.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Index: Current Articles

9 June 2003


Other Articles From This Issue:


Money's Worth
Terry O'Neill


Connolly: National Liberation, Socialism and Partition
Liam O Ruairc


Pauperizing the Periphery
M. Shahid Alam


Democracy, eh?

Davy Carlin


Polluting People's Lives

Barbara Muldoon


The Gags of Prejudice
Anthony McIntyre


5 June 2003


Irish State Collusion with MI5
Eamonn McCann


Use of Loyalty
Mick Hall


Victimisation of Victims
Christina Sherlock



Newton Emerson


Heat, Not Necessarily Light

Anthony McIntyre


The Party's Fool

Karen Lyden Cox

Targetting Iran
Michael Youlton




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