Socialist Youth leafet for Belfast anti-war demo, April 12th
Text of SOCIALIST YOUTH leaflet distributed on April 12th
No US/British re-colonisation of Iraq
US/British troops out of Iraq
Let the Iraqi people decide their own future
No privatisation of Iraqs oil
Bush & Blair Out - Fight for a socialist future
The joy on the faces of sections of the Iraqi population at the sight of the hated Saddam regime collapse is beginning to disappear as the new colonial rulers of Iraq, the US and Britain, have begun to try and control the chaos which has taken over the country.
Armed militias, backed by the US, have taken over towns and city areas, looting and terrifying ordinary people. One such group is the Iraqi Coalition of National Unity (ICNU), who last week arrived in Najaf on US special forces vehicles, has taken to looting and terrorising their neighbourhood with impunity. "They steal and steal," said one Najaf man,
" They threaten us, saying: ‘We are with the Americans, you can do nothing to us’."
The head of the ICNU announced that he was acting mayor of Najaf and his group had taken over administration of the city. Baghdad and Basra have descended into a ‘Mad Max’ type chaos.
Hospitals already full with casualties of the war have been completely looted of medical equipment. Water systems have been destroyed. Militias from the different tribes and ethnic groupings have been in conflict for resources.
While this is all happening, thousands of US and British soldiers have been sent to the hundreds of oil fields and refineries to protect what this war was all for – oil.
Very quickly Iraq can descend into civil war. Bush & Blair say they are liberating Iraq. The US administration has already mapped out post-Saddam Iraq. Essentially, Iraq will be under US military occupation and run by former US general, arms contractor and apologist for Ariel Sharon’s repression of the Palestinians, Jay Garner.
There will be 23 ministries, each one headed by an American with four Iraqi advisers mainly drawn from from exiles clustered around the Iraqi National Congress, which is funded by the Penatagon.
Instability & Crisis
This war has only brought more instability throughout the Middle East and internationally. Regimes could now be toppled and power taken by extreme right-wing Islamic fundamentalists. War has increased the chances of more attacks on the West.
PEOPLE NOT PROFIT
The war on Iraq has nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction, the dictatorship of Saddam or the liberation of the Iraqi people. The war on Iraq is for oil, prestige and for the strategic interests of US imperialism.
The big imperialist powers have always gone to war to defend the profits of their rich elites, as was summed up by a US Strategic Planner in 1948 when he said of the US:
"We have 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population. In this situation, our real job in the coming period…is to maintain this position of disparity. To do so, we have to dispense with all sentimentality…we should cease thinking about human rights, the raising of living standards and democratisation."
Fighting the causes of war
The fight against the occupation of Iraq and war also has to fight the system which causes war. Socialist Youth has been centrally involved in the anti-war movement in Ireland, North & South. We took the initiative to launch Youth Against the War as a broad campaign which organised the excellent walk-outs and protests of thousands of young throughout the country. War, however, is a by-product of the capitalist system.
Lawrence Lindsey - one of Bush’s main economic advisers - predicted a new war against Iraq could cost $200 billion. He said: "That’s nothing" and compared the expenditure to a drop in the ocean.
Yet, it would only cost $40 billion to provide a ‘drop in the ocean’ for the one billion people worldwide without access to clean drinking water and the 2.5 billion without sanitation. On top of that there would be enough small change to ensure that they all had a decent roof over their head and enough food to avoid starvation.
Internationally, 815 million people worldwide go hungry. We live on a planet where 55% of the 12 million child deaths each year are caused by malnutrition. And it’s getting worse. According to the United Nations, the poorest countries are worse off now than they were 30 years ago.
On the basis of current trends, the numbers living in absolute poverty - that is, on less than a dollar a day - will increase by ten million a year for the next 15 years.
The Aids epidemic has already killed 25 million people and is predicted to kill a further 68 million in the coming decades. In Botswana alone, 39% of the adult population have HIV/Aids.
The Struggle for Socialism
Socialist Youth is building an organisation for young people which fights in the interests of young people and workers. Our aim is to organise young people in Ireland in the struggle against capitalism and to establish a democratic socialist world. We are affiliated to International Socialist Resistance which is organised and unites youth in over 40 countries on all the continents in the struggle for socialism. Genuine socialism would mean that the resources of the world would be democratically owned and controlled by working people and not the handful of the rich elite. The massive resources which exist are wasted under capitalism. Under socialism, these resources would be used for peoples needs – not bosses greed. Join Socialist Youth today