Now is the Time to Win the War on War

The anti-war movement mobilized in unprecedentedly huge numbers before the most recent phase of the Persian Gulf Slaughter. Millions took to the streets and plazas around the world only to be dismissed as a focus group by US President Bush.

The New York Times christened public opinion as the second superpower. Many have seized upon this designation and rightfully so. The power of the people should be axiomatic. It has been shown many times throughout history that people have the power to topple the most despotic, militaristic regimes. The US-client regime of Cuban dictator Batista, Ceaucescu’s Romania, Communist USSR followed by Communist East Germany, the apartheid regimes in Rhodesia and South Africa, the tyrannical Belgian monarchy in the Congo, and colonial British tyranny in India and Pakistan are just a few examples that spring quickly to mind. The people of the world are the ultimate superpower and the power of any single state must never be ceded a greater standing.

True, at the present juncture the US cabal has managed to unleash its aggression upon the citizenry of Iraq, secure its oil, and perilously occupy its territory. But how secure is the oil, one might ask. It seems nothing is secure in Iraq these days and that includes the lives of the occupiers. The imperion is having trouble pumping out the oil. It seems that even the oil infrastructure is subject to looting and sabotage. There seems to be a message here. Iraqis seem to be saying: “If we can’t have our country, our freedom, and our oil, well then we are not going to let you occupiers have it either.”

Until this point it can be conceded that the belligerents in the “coalition of the killing” won a battle. They had their weeks of violence. But there were battles won by the ultimate superpower. The mass mobilization of world opinion prior to the invasion was moving. Other victories need to be recognized. The NY Times joined the pro-peace cause. It is no small feat to have drawn any support from the mainstream media, no matter how tepid it was. It has been reported that Canada’s refusal to openly ally itself with Washington’s chickenhawks was attributed to the vehement anti-war expression in Canada. Turkey even refused their military supplier and comrade-in-cahoots to the extermination of Turkey’s Kurdish minority. It can be surmised that other governments also held back their support to the US in the face of public acrimony.

Nevertheless the chickenhawks diminished UN authority and international law on the pretext of Iraqi possession of weapons of mass destruction. This out-and-out phony casus belli is now hanging in the open wind of the media. This self same media helped drive home the neocon’s case for invading Iraq. Too often they unquestioningly mouthed the government line, especially the supine, gutless mainstream American media. Now, however, the mendacity of the British regime is facing increasingly intense scrutiny at home. Prime Minister Blair is sweating buckets over where to pin the blame for his lies. There was a feeble attempt to insinuate rogue elements in the intelligence service but that fizzled out. The intelligence agencies recorded the minutes of all government meetings aware that their reputations might be smeared by a government intent on sexing up the case for war. The government has egg on its sweat-beaded face. An apology has been issued by Number 10 Downing Street to the intelligence services. A government committee has been struck up to investigate how the government misled the British parliament into war.

Even the Coalition of the Killing member government in Denmark is being grilled by the opposition.

George Bush trumpeted that the evidence for WMD had already been uncovered in the form of two trailers claimed to be biological weapons laboratories. This risible bluster has been exposed, as the trailers produced hydrogen for weather balloons. The US media is catching on. Vanity Fair ran an interview with Paul Wolfowitz in which he cast doubt on the importance of the case for WMD in Iraq. War Minister Donald Rumsfeld pathetically proffered that Iraq’s dictator Saddam Hussein destroyed them just prior to the invasion. NY Times op-ed writer Paul Krugman lamented: “It’s not the fact that people are criticizing the administration; it’s the fact that nobody is being held accountable for misleading the nation into war.” The same question might be posed to his colleague Judith Miller who typed fallacious and unjournalistic pieces on the flimsiest of evidence that buttressed the US government case for war both before and after. Even the US media seems on the scent. Senator Robert Byrd has pressed the government on its deceitful case for war. Congressman Henry Waxman is also demanding answers. The heat is on in Washington. Secretary of State Colin Powell and National security Adviser Condoleeza Rice have been trotted out in front of the press to manage damage control.

The Bush cabal needs another war to throw the media off the scent and get Congress behind the president as it usually does in times of war. Iran and North Korea are increasingly the targets of dangerous rhetoric. Castro’s Cuba is thrown in for good measure. Cuba would be a much easier victim. So where is the anti-war movement now?

Victory of a greater sort is at hand for the ultimate superpower. The Washington and London regimes are under attack and on the defensive. Now is the time to press onto the offensive. This is the time to fill the streets with people in greater numbers than ever before. People know they have been duped and people must demonstrate that they will not accept government lies. A display of people power will set a precedent of intolerance to violent lies. The world must stand up for the injustices currently being perpetrated in the name of lies in Iraq, the injustices of the plight of the Palestinians, the POWs languishing in Guantanamo Bay, where a death row is under consideration.

Now is the time to mobilize again — for many reasons.

Kim Petersen is a former co-editor of the Dissident Voice newsletter. He can be reached at: kimohp@gmail.com. Twitter: @kimpetersen. Read other articles by Kim.