Maryam Namazie
Published in Hambastegi English
February 26, 2003

An attack on Iraq – with or without UN support – will cause a human catastrophe of staggering proportions and must be unequivocally opposed. In the event of a war, the Pentagon plans to drop 300-400 cruise missiles on Iraq on the first day and a further 300-400 on the second day alone. The US government is also considering using chemical and nuclear weapons in Iraq. It is expected that millions may die – even if the bombing is short-lived. Already, as a result of economic sanctions most of Iraq’s 24 million people are dependant on food rations; 60 per cent of the population (around 16 million people) rely solely on it. An attack will disrupt the food pipeline causing mass hunger and starvation. 30 per cent of children under five – that is 1.26 million children – will be at risk of death from malnutrition. It is expected that at least 1.45 million refugees and asylum seekers will try to flee and 900,000 people will be newly displaced within Iraq (add that to the millions who have already fled Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Palestine as a result of USA/NATO and Islamic terrorism). The attack on Iraq will be a catastrophe on the scale of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It will also increase instability in the Middle East, already one of the most explosive regions in the world.

Despite what the USA and UK governments say, the attack on Iraq has nothing to do with Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), implementing UN resolutions, fighting terrorism, and liberating the people of Iraq or even oil but has everything to do with a New World Order (NWO) and the USA’s attempt to gain complete hegemony in a uni-polar world. More than any other country, the USA itself has used WMD, including nuclear weapons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and depleted uranium in the 1991 Gulf War. Also, the Iraqi government was supported by the West when it used chemical weapons to slaughter the Kurds. Economic sanctions against Iraq (imposed by the UN Security Council 14 years ago) are themselves WMD causing widespread disease, hunger and death. Mr. Halliday, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, who resigned in 1988 in protest said: ‘We are in the process of destroying an entire society. It is as simple as that … Five thousand children are dying every month…’ He also said the sanctions ‘satisfies the definition of genocide: a deliberate policy that has effectively killed well over a million individuals, children and adults.’ Though food and medicines are supposedly exempt from the sanctions, the Sanctions Committee has often vetoed and or delayed requests for baby food, agricultural equipment, heart and cancer drugs, oxygen tents, X-ray machines, ambulances, vacuum flasks, cleaning materials and so on.

The attack on Iraq is not about implementing UN resolutions either since many have not complied with such resolutions including Israel on an ongoing basis in regards to the Palestinian territories!

The attack is also not about fighting terrorism. The USA and West have themselves supported and encouraged Islamic terrorism. They have supported the Islamic regime in Iran, a pillar of political Islam in the region, and other Islamic groups including in the past the Taliban vis-à-vis the Eastern bloc and the rise of the Left in for example Iran. The USA and NATO’s indiscriminate bombing and economic sanctions are also themselves one pole of terrorism in the world. Support for the Israeli government and its occupation of Palestine is yet another form of terrorism and supports Israeli terrorism as well as encourages Islamic terrorism.

The attack on Iraq is not about the ‘morality’ of liberating the people of Iraq; on this, one can only state that it is surely perverse to liberate people by slaughtering them! We know this is not the case since the USA has lined up well-known war criminals to take over a post-Saddam Iraq (see the long list who attended the London ‘opposition’ conference). So much for their concern for the Iraqi people’s rights! The people in Iraq do not want the despotic and reactionary regime of Saddam Hussein but they also don’t want any US-backed, ethnocentric-Islamic reactionary opposition. It is the people of Iraq who must choose their own political system in a secure and free environment.

The attack is also not about oil; there’s no point in owning more oil if you don’t want to sell it. The USA also effectively controls Iraqi oil through the so-called ‘oil for food programme’ already.

What’s clear is that this attack on Iraq is yet another attempt by the USA to establish what Bush Sr. coined as the New World Order. In an uncertain post-Cold war era, the USA wants to take advantage of the 11 September tragedy to establish its domination and a uni-polar world. It wants to change the norms of international relations. If this attack goes ahead, the USA will bomb the world into barbarity and unbridled terrorism. The war must be stopped by the millions of civilised humanity who have come and continue to come to the fore.

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