By Gerry Bates
The facts stare us in the face. And the Blair government tries to make us look away by conducting safe "inquiries" into incidentals.
Bush and Blair used lies to go to war. Probably they thought they would be able to find a few chemical or biological weapons in Iraq, enough to cover their stories. That had nothing to do with their real reasons.
They had supported Saddam when he certainly had chemical weapons, and was using them on Kurds and Iranians. They were sure that he did not have many such weapons by 2003, or it would have been too risky to wage the war they did.
They went to war, in fact, to ensure American hegemony over the strategic centre of the world's most important commodity market, oil, and to create a pivot for levering the Middle East fully into global-market neo-liberalism and the imperialism of free trade.
And the Government puts up safe Establishment figures to point fingers at the people on the margins: the journalist who made a slip in one short report on the Government's manipulation of spy information, and now the spies and their managers themselves.
Iraq is mired in chaos under the US/UK occupation. Islamic sharia law has been introduced. The economy is being carved up, privatised and contracted-out. Saddam's anti-union laws remain on the statute books. Over 70 per cent of the workforce is unemployed, and the occupation authorities refuse to negotiate with the Union of the Unemployed over the demands for jobs or unemployment pay.
16,000 civilians are dead. Many have been killed without explanation or provocation by British troops, and there is no public inquiry into that: the relatives of the dead are offered money to keep them quiet, or at best an internal investigation by the Ministry of Defence.
Maybe more would be dead, and workers would have no room at all to organise, if Saddam were still in power; but socialists had campaigned against Saddam for decades. It was never in the name of supporting Saddam, or wanting him left in power, that we opposed war.
In Britain, the Government is trying to get Katharine Gun, a translator at its GCHQ spy centre, jailed for two years because she leaked information to the press about moves by the USA to manipulate governments represented on the UN Security Council into voting for the Iraq war. She has already been sacked - and banned from talking to her defence lawyers about her work at GCHQ.
The New Labour clique plans to expel from the Labour Party the one union that fought to get a real debate on the Iraq war at last year's Labour Party conference, the rail union RMT.
Instead of having the Government and its friends indict or inquire into the railworkers, Katharine Gun, journalists, or even MI6, the trade unions should be indicting Blair and the New Labour clique.
Charged with lying to take Britain to war - and guilty!
Charged with attacking civil liberties and independent journalism - and guilty!
Charged with hijacking the Labour Party and suppressing working-class political representation - and guilty!
Mobilise the unions to break with Blair and fight for authentic working-class representation in politics!