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SPGB Socialist Opposition To War - THE WAR AGAINST IRAQ: IT'S ALL ABOUT OIL AND STRATEGIC INTERESTS

What US capitalists and their government are hoping for is stability. Stability to exploit the world's working class to increase profits and consolidate and extend class power and privilege. Capitalism can never give them stability. They hope for a strong central government in Iraq rather than a civil war and instability. Capitalist investors will not want to risk their capital in an unstable region of the world.

Whether US capitalism succeeds or fails in its conflict with Iraq is of no concern for the world's working class. War is never fought in their interests. Workers have no country. They have no raw resources to protect. They have no strategic points to secure. And they have no trade routes to fight over. In fact the working class own nothing but their mental and physical ability to work. As a matter of urgency, workers should use this ability, politically, to work for the replacement of capitalism with socialism, the establishment of common ownership and democratic control of the means of production and distribution by all of society.

The opportunist and unprincipled capitalist Left, under the name "Stop the War Coalition", who have organised this demonstration are wrong to state that they have the abiliry to stop the war through protest and direct action. The war against Iraq never stopped. It has continued since 1991. Only the establishment of Socialism can stop war. Weekly sorties by US and British jet fighters along with imposed sanctions have seen thousands killed from either bombing raids against military installations or die from lack of medicine. Most of the casualties are children. As recently as July 2002, THE INDEPENDENT reported the killing of a family of five through the result of an US air attack.

When the US let it be known that it was going to topple Iraq in the New Year THE TIMES noted that the "West sees glittering prizes ahead in giant oilfields" (11.07.02).

The removal of President Saddam Hussein would open Iraq's rich new oilfields to western bidders and bring the prospect of lessening dependence on Saudi Oil.

No other country offers such untapped oilfields whose exploitation could lessen tensions over Western presence in Saudi Arabia. The rush would be on for the US, Russia, France and China to strike deals with the new regime although with US troops on Iraq soil, like Afghanistan; it will be the US oil companies first off the block. Even now deals are being struck with Iraqi political groups in exile.

Moreover strategic interests are just as important as securing raw resources like oil. Anthony Cordesman, of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said that the issue for the US was as much the security of the Gulf as access to particular oilfields:
"You are looking down the line to a world in 2020 when reliance on Gulf oil will have more than doubled. The security of the Gulf is an absolutely critical issue" (TIMES, 11.07.02).

Under new security measures announced by President Bush (the infamous "doctrine of pre-emptive defence" the US will now "first strike" at any country who threatens its interests. The US will only tolerate political regimes which stand in line to its global interests.

Socialists call on the working class to recognize that mere protest is not enough. To end wars, now and in the future, we need to end the capitalist system of production for profit which is the cause of war.

That is why it is not enough merely to protest against war, just one of many evil effects of capitalism, Socialists call on you to help us - join the socialist campaign to end capitalism, worldwide, and to organise politically and democratically for a world of common ownership and production for use.

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