The Militant (logo) 
   Vol.65/No.9            March 5, 2001 
'End the bombing and sanctions against Iraq!'
Socialist candidate demands U.S. end 10-year assault
(lead article)
Photo - see caption below
U.S. missile attack January 20 destroyed houses in Samawa, in southern Iraq, killing six workers at a veterinary clinic. Since end of 1998, the Iraqi government says 323 civilians have been killed and 960 wounded by U.S. and British bombing campaign
The following statement was issued by Wendy Lyons, Socialist Workers candidate for mayor of Los Angeles. Lyons spoke at a protest of 60 people February 17 at the federal building in Los Angeles.

The Socialist Workers campaign condemns the latest bombing of Iraq by U.S. and British military aircraft that resulted in two people being killed and 20 injured. We urge working people and others to join us in protesting this brutal imperialist assault by holding demonstrations and teach-ins as a way of making clear that these attacks are neither supported by nor in the interests of working people. Instead, they serve the interests of the tiny class of multibillionaire families who run this country.

Washington's decade-long aggression against the people of Iraq--including its embargo, invasion, and repeated bombings--has several goals. One is to remove the regime of Saddam Hussein and replace it with a protectorate that will defend imperialist interests in that part of the world. Another aim is to deal blows to its imperialist competitors through the use of military might, asserting U.S. imperialism's domination of the region and its resources against France, Germany, and Japan. It seeks to remind those powers of its military superiority and its irreplaceable role in policing the world for imperialism.

As the Bush administration pushes forward on the U.S. rulers' goal of building an antimissile system to secure a nuclear first-strike capability, especially targeting the workers states of China and Russia, the assault on Iraq serves to further the military pressure against Russia by U.S. imperialism. Washington's military assault also targets working people in the region who have waged mighty struggles over the decades to free themselves from the imperial yoke, assert national sovereignty, and advance their own interests against the capitalist rulers.

This brutal imperialist foreign policy is an extension of the attack being waged at home against unions, the social wage, and democratic rights. Washington's "anti-terrorism" campaign, for example, including the trial currently under way in New York around the bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa, aims to whittle away at hard-won democratic rights and justify roundups, frame-ups, mandatory prison sentences, and erosion of Bill of Rights protections. Washington is now collaborating with London and Berlin, who have recently arrested more than a dozen people accused of being "Islamic radicals."

The continued violations of Iraqi sovereignty by Washington and London have had devastating consequences for working people in Iraq. According to a 1998 UN report, some 250 people die every day there due to the effects of the bombing, war, and sanctions. The total killed of more than 1.2 million people includes 750,000 children. The Iraqi people are also suffering from increased cases of leukemia and cancer linked to depleted uranium shells and warheads fired by U.S. and British tanks and warplanes during the 1991 bombing and invasion, which involved the slaughter of tens of thousands of workers and farmers.

President George Bush and other administration officials cynically called the bombing of another country a "routine" operation, hoping to inure working people to U.S. military aggression abroad. Turning reality on its head, they labeled the Iraqis the "aggressors" for trying to defend their country. Bush won bipartisan backing for the attack, which simply continues eight years of bombings and sanctions by the Clinton administration. But working people, farmers, and youth opposed to the assault can together demand:

U.S. and British imperialism: Hands off Iraq! End the sanctions and the bombings now!
Related article:
Bush orders bombing of Iraq, vows to keep enforcing 'no-fly' zone  
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