Thursday, April 28, 2005

War, Oil and Lies

Is Tony Blair a liar? Maybe. Maybe not. But one thing is clear: for the last 8 years he has been the head politician charged with looking after the interests of the British capitalist class. When, in late 2002, the Bush administration in America decided on going to war in Iraq to secure Iraq's oil reserves for the US capitalist class, the British government under Blair decided (rightly or wrongly) that it was in the interests of British capitalism to support this. After that, it was just a question of finding a political and legal pretext for going to war. That Iraq had weapons of mass destruction seemed a good enough one. Whether Bush and Blair believed this is open to question. In all probability, Bush at least didn't since his advisers would have told him that the real reason for going tp war was oil. Once the Blair Labour government had decided that it was in the best interest of the British capitalist class to throw in its lot with America (with more to gain by being on the side of the world's only remaining super-power than by being neutral or against it) Blair may well have genuinely believed the lie about WMDs put out by Bush, the CIA and the rest of the US war propaganda machine. Perhaps he was fooled, though on other matters he doesn't seem to be a fool.
In any event, whether or not he was a fool or a liar is irrelevant, as is the argument as to whether or not the war was "legal". Of course, once war had been decided upon this was not going to be changed by any legal niceties. And of course the Attorney General was leaned upon to say it wouldn't be illegal. As the German Chancellor declared in 1914, pieces of paper are not going to stop a state that has decided on war from going ahead. Howard of course is just a hypocrite. If he'd been Prime Minister he wouldn't have behaved any differently. Or would he have had the honesty to come out and said that the war (which he supported) was about oil and about the British capitalist class gaining by being on the side of the big battalions and that was why he was sending British workers to die and kill and destroy in Iraq? Kennedy is not so bad, but it doesn't make any difference to those killed in a war that the formal reason given for it could be deemed to be compatible with the scraps of paper known as "international law".
Even Hans Blix, the former UN weapons inspector, has now realised that the Iraq war was essentially about oil. As a Sweish news agency reported earlier this month:
"STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) - Former UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix said Wednesday that oil was one of the reasons for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, a Swedish news agency reported. "I did not think so at first. But the U.S. is incredibly dependent on oil," news agency TT quoted Blix as saying at a security seminar in Stockholm. "They wanted to secure oil in case competition on the world market becomes too hard." Blix, who helped oversee the dismantling of Iraq's weapons programs before the war, said another reason for the invasion was a need to move U.S. troops from Saudi Arabia, TT reported." (
The Iraq war confirms the socialist analysis that the underlying cause of wars under capitalism is the competition built-in to it between capitalist groups over sources of raw materials, trade routes, markets and investment outlets and strategic points and areas to protect these. Normally such disputes are settled by diplomatic negotiations, but when these fail, and a state feels its vital economic interest is at stake then it resorts to war.
If you are against war the only consistent course of action is to be against capitalism and for a world community without frontiers based on the natural and industrial resources of the Earth being the common property, under democratic control, of all Humanity. That's what we're standing for in this election.

1 comment:

ajohnstone said...

" relation to Operation Desert Fox in December 1998 and Kosovo in 1999, UK forces have participated in military action on the basis of advice from my predecessors that the legality of the action under international law was no more than reasonably arguable...
...However, it must be recognised that on previous occasions when military action was taken on the basis of a reasonably arguable case, the degree of public and Parliamentary scrutiny of the legal issue was nothing as great as it is today." --- From the
Attorney General's leaked legal advice .

So it wasn't just only the 2003 Iraq War that was legally questionable but the large scale air attacks on Iraq in 1998 that caused the first UN arms inspectors UNSCOM to be withdrawn from Iraq by the USA and the UK ( NOT EXPELLED by Hussein as often alleged )and also the Kosovo war of 1999 and the bombing of Serbian civilian targets , where General Wesley Clark stated that the actual war gave rise to most of the ethnic cleansing , contradicting the humanitarian pretext for the war .
Perhaps not a liar, but Blair is most definitely a serial war criminal .
And the Conservatives and the Liberals remained silent on the illegal aspects of both those conflicts .