After President Bush has informed the world that 20,000 more US troops are to be sent to Iraq, and his Secretary of State, Rice has threatened Iran and Syria with military action if they continue to ‘meddle’ in Iraq, up has popped Prime Minister Blair to argue that Britain’s place is by the side of the US in a world war against Muslim terrorism for at least a generation ahead.
Blair’s appeal has been made necessary by the fact that his imperialist war policy against Iraq, and his domestic war against the Welfare State has made it impossible for him to continue as Premier.
He, and the bosses, are now fearful that after his political demise the huge anti-imperialist war feeling in Britain is going to force a change in policy, and see a drive of the working class for socialism. He has thus been forced to fight for the ‘hearts and minds’ of the British people.
In his presentation he peddled a basic lie. Blair said: ‘But though September 11 did indeed change the way we look at the world, the profound nature of the change for our armed forces was not immediately apparent.
‘In October 2001, the Taleban in Afghanistan was subject to military action. Within two months by the use of vast airpower, they were driven from office. In military terms the victory seemed relatively easy. The cost to our forces was minimal.
‘Eighteen months later, with Saddam consistently refusing to abide by UN Resolutions and with alarm at the proliferation of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, Iraq was invaded. This time it was more difficult and more costly. Nonetheless, Saddam was removed within three months, again by the exercise of overwhelming military firepower.’
Everybody knows that Saddam had no wmd and was completely opposed to the Taleban and Al Qaeda and was in fact the leader of a secular state.
Blair adds: ‘September 11 wasn’t the incredible action of an isolated group, a one-off strike masterminded by Osama Bin Laden. It was the product rather of a worldwide movement, with an ideology based on a misreading of Islam, whose roots were deep, which had been growing for years and with the ability to mount a radically different type of warfare requiring a radically different type of response. What we face is not a criminal conspiracy or even a fanatical but fringe terrorist organisation. We face something more akin to revolutionary Communism in its early and most militant phase. . .’
With this tirade he tries to present the national liberation fighters of the Arab world as Al Qaeda, not as freedom fighters defending their countries and their oil resources from imperialist assault. Millions are set on the march by a misreading of the Koran – what tripe! What gives these movements their communistic character is that they are revolutionary movements of the oppressed poor and working class against imperialist bandits and oppressors.
On the basis that ‘we’ are fighting millions of Muslim religious fanatics, and that oil and gas does not come into it, Blair continues to say about the armed forces: ‘They will usually fight alongside other nations, in alliance with them; notably, but probably not exclusively with the USA. . .’
‘So my choice is for armed forces that are prepared to engage in this difficult, tough, challenging campaign, to be warfighters as well as peacekeepers; for a British foreign policy that keeps our American alliance strong. . .
‘For our part, in Government, it will mean increased expenditure on equipment, personnel and the conditions of our armed forces; not in the short run but for the long term.’
So it is to be a generation of imperialist war against the masses whose oil and gas and other raw materials the US-UK covets. For this, military expenditure must be boosted and the Welfare State slashed to death.
The British working class will not take this road. It must reject imperialist war in practice and ally itself with the workers of the world, and the oppressed masses of Asia and Africa, in the struggle for worldwide socialism, to replace a capitalist system that is visibly spiralling into financial and military catastrophes.
A start must be made by bringing down the Blair Brown government to go forward to a workers’ government that will carry out socialist policies.