Paremos la guerra contra Iraq

Madrid, Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th of November, 2002. International meeting Against the War: Stop the next War against Iraq before it starts

Spanish Campaign for Lifting the Sanctions on Iraq.

Stop the war against Iraq

Message presented by John Catalinotto
International Action Center

CSCAweb (, 11-20-02

"We, the people of the United States, oppose this war. We refuse to be the cannon fodder for an Empire"


Until September 11, 2001, I worked on the 31st floor of Tower Number 1 of the World Trade Center (the twin towers).

That morning of September 11 I arrived late to work.

From the street, I saw the towers in flames; I saw them collapse. The Health Insurance Company where I work was situated on floors 18 to 31. Almost all of my 1,915 fellow workers survived. Eleven died.

What is the World Trade Center workforce like? It's like New York. Consider the unit I work with as an example. There were twelve people in it. Six are immigrants: three women from the Philippines, three men, one from Taiwan, one from Ukraine, one from Bangladesh.

I bring up this personal note because I believe that the September 11 attack, its impact on the U.S. population, and the reaction of Washington to it, have allowed the Bush administration to set a course for war on Iraq.

Everyone in the United States saw the towers collapse, saw the people die.over and over on television for days.

This kind of horror happens around the world. It is often caused by the Pentagon bombing. But it was a completely new experience for people inside the United States. It had a profound effect on them. They were afraid. They felt helpless. They did not understand why they had suddenly become "collateral damage," as the Pentagon euphemistically calls it.

Endless war

While the people of the United States tried to recuperate from the horrible destruction of thousands of lives, the Bush administration was working overtime. It used the victim's suffering as a pretext to initiate a war and prepare the way to more thousands of deaths in the Middle East and to threaten the civil rights of U.S. citizens while increasing the repressive power of the police apparatus.

High officials in Washington and former government officials regarded the attack on Afghanistan ­ a horrible bombardment of a poor country -- as only the first step in a much broader military campaign.

Kissinger summed up his thinking about the present situation. This "could be a turning point," he said, comparable to the "defeat of communism in the Soviet Union," in that it held out the prospect of the "defeat of terrorism on a global basis."

To Kissinger, as to his colleagues in the capitalist government hierarchy, "terror" and "anarchy" apply to any force that resists the domination of the U.S. multinational corporations and banks and the Pentagon.

In the past year this definition could easily be extended to the Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation. It was extended to the liberation fighters in Colombia trying to rid the people of a reactionary government that permits death squads to operate. And to the New People's Army of the Philippines. Cuba, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Syria, Iran, Ir aq and Libya are also included on the U.S. government's official "terrorist" list, and Bush named Somalia, Sudan and Yemen as additional targets.

Currently the Bush administration is rushing ahead with plans for its unprovoked war of aggression against Iraq based on unsubstantiated charges repeated over and over again by its spokespeople. Their goal for the last year has been to transform the shock and outrage over the Sept. 11 disaster into a permanent state of pro-war psychology in the United States and worldwide that can be harnessed to support a campaign of "permanent war."

National Security Statement

The Bush administration's National Security Strategy (NSS) document puts considerable stress on the absolute military power of the Pentagon. The New York Times of Sept. 20 wrote that "one of the most striking elements of the new strategy document is its insistence 'that the president has no intention of allowing any foreign power to catch up with the huge lead the United States has opened up since the fall of the Soviet Union more than a decade ago. ...

"Our forces will be strong enough,' Mr. Bush's document states, 'to dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military buildup in hopes of surpassing, or equaling, the power of the United States.' "

The document is filled with military threats, including the right to first strike. From the point of view of the right-wing military geostrategists in the U.S. establishment, this document reads like their dream come true.

With its intended war of "preemption" against Iraq, the Bush administration is engaged in a much broader purpose: a unilateral campaign to revamp the entire legal and political structure of international relations in the post-Soviet period, to reflect the absolute superpower domination of U.S. imperialism over the world. This campaign is directed first and foremost against the oppressed peoples of the world, but also against Washington and Wall Street's imperialist allies/rivals in Europe and Japan.

The Bush administration has admitted in its "National Security Strategy" statement that the Pentagon plans wars so that the U.S. dominates every region of the world - politically, militarily and economically.
Not weapons of mass destruction, etc., but oil, domination of world

President Bush has given many reasons why the Pentagon should attack Iraq and kill hundreds of thousands of Iraqi people. But these reasons are all lies. The truth is Bush plans to attack because the U.S. rulers want to seize Iraq's oil. The truth is Bush plans to attack to turn Iraq back into a colony. The truth is Bush plans to attack so that U.S. business interests control the flow of energy to the world. The truth is Bush plans to attack Iraq and keep U.S. military forces in Iraq just as the U.S. has kept troops and planes in Europe, Japan and Korea for over 50 years.

Rebirth of anti-war movement

But while the White House, Pentagon and the big-business media have managed to create this war psychology in the Congress and win a complete capitulation of the Democratic Party, their strategy is backfiring down below, among the people.

The anti-war movement is losing its lethargy and is mobilizing. Every poll shows declining support for the war. A growing number of labor unions are passing resolutions against the war.
The demonstrations of October 6 said: "Not in our name." And hundreds of thousands took part in the demonstrations of October 26 to say: "Stop the war on Iraq before it begins."

While George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Paul Wolfowitz and Condoleezza Rice concoct imaginary threats to justify a war of conquest, the masses of people are experiencing the very real threats arising out of the growing economic crisis: layoffs, cutbacks in social services, retirement funds vanishing in the collapsing stock market, loss of medical coverage and growing poverty.

For example, two women, one Puerto Rican, one African American, were the secretaries of our work unit before September 11. Five weeks after September 11, both secretaries were laid off, that is, they lost their jobs. The terrorist attack did not cause the layoffs. The layoffs had been planned long in advance to cut labor costs, to increase profits. At the same time the bosses told us remaining workers we must work an extra half hour each day-with no increase in pay. The layoffs were part of the capitalist economic crisis. They were two of the 500,000 layoffs that took place in October 2001 in the United States.


Washington plans to make war to build an Empire with United States imperialism as the ruler of the world. We in the anti-war movement of the United States want to send you a clear message: We, the people of the United States, oppose this war. We refuse to be the cannon fodder for an Empire.

We have learned that we cannot depend on the politicians. We cannot depend on the rulers of other world powers. We cannot depend on the UN. We can depend only on ourselves-the youth, students and workers of all colors and nationalities. We are the only force that can stop the war, we in the center of the Empire together with the people all around the world.