IMI-point of view 2003/025, ISSN 1611-2725

Pre-war situation – a short analysis

Six different developments are dominant during the current pre-war situation.

von: Tobias Pflueger | Veröffentlicht am: 12. März 2003

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1. British and U.S.-American warplanes are flying in the meantime at least 500 patrol sorties per day over what they call the No-fly Zones and as they are doing this they bomb Iraq more and more intensely—there are reportedly at least 40 attacks in 2003 alone. In the bombing raids one the one hand strategic targets like military structures are attacked and on the other hand civilian targets are hit. British and U.S. air raids in the southern port city Basra killed six civilians and wounded 15, according to Iraqi sources. British and U.S. elite troops obviously are already active in Iraq, in the South, the Southwest and also in the North. This led the Financial Times-Germany to the correct conclusion: ”The war has de facto already begun.” Our fear is that this daily and murderous ”little” war will quickly flow over into the hot war against Iraq. According to the motto: ”A pretext will soon appear” and ”Fire will be returned …

2. The vote in the UN Security Council was temporarily postponed, because fewer than nine votes were going to be cast for the war against Iraq. The British, Spanish and U.S. regimes were exercising enormous political and economic pressure on the members of the UN Security Council, above all on the six states whose votes were undecided: Angola, Chile, Pakistan, Guinea, Cameroon and Mexico, but also on Russia and France. Russia and France in the meantime declared that they would not vote for the proposed war resolution as well as (nothing is certain) other resolutions that will legitimize the war. In that the probability of a war without a UN mandate grew. This in turn raises enormous problems for the British government.

3. The U.S. regime became ever more isolated with its position of a war at any price, even without a UNO-mandate won through pressure. With his statement that a war would be possible even without Britain, Donald Rumsfeld further aroused anti-war sentiment in Britain. Good. In the meantime Tony Blair also became more lonesome even in his own Labor Party. It is more and more a question whether Tony Blair will be able to politically survive the war with Iraq that he so fervently wishes to have. Perhaps Tony Blair will wind up as the first domino to fall from the warmongers’ block.

4. In Turkey despite a parliamentary vote refusing it, war preparations of the U.S. troops has continued. Turkey itself in the meantime has marched into North Iraq. U.S. and British (Elite) troops are located in North Iraq. The new Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan simply wants to hold the vote over again. One can only imagine the pressure on the members of parliament now. Near military structures and port cities like Incirlik and Iskenderun in Turkey there are happily stronger and stronger protests.

5. The USA, Britain, France, Germany and Turkey are the key countries in which the war will substantially be decided. In these countries a clear increase in political pressure against the Iraq war is on the order of the day. The anti-war and peace movement is growing worldwide more and more, it is international and globally networked. Saturday, March 15 will be an important broad worldwide decentralized Day of Action against the war. More and more alongside demonstrations and appeals direct action is being carried out, especially in Italy and Britain the war machine is being directly hindered. For example, transports of war equipment have been blockaded. Even in Germany the first considerations of such actions have occurred.

6. In and over Germany the war preparation transports of soldiers and war materiel over harbors (like Bremen, Bremerhaven, Emden, Hamburg, Nordenham, and others), military airports (like Frankfurt Airbase, Ramstein, Spangdahlem, Baumholder, Geilenkirchen) and over railroad tracks are at the end of the ”hot period.” More and more actions are being carried out at the central areas of war preparations. War transports out of, through and over Germany were and are of the greatest importance not only for the war buildup but also for an ongoing war on Iraq. Within all the existing anti-war groups in all areas one of the themes of all the actions and discussions is the German support for the war effort. The forked-tongue character of official German policy must gain an ever more important role in the protests! The Federal Government’s position can be characterized by the slogan: ”Diplomaticially – considering the outcome – against the war, and for the war through many sided military and political support.” (More can be found on this in IMI-viewpoint 21: ”What remains of the German ‘No’?”)

As before, there still exist real opportunities to interfere with the planned hot war. We have already been able to postpone the war many times. In spite of this we have to approach the situation assuming that the war is coming and that we must then increase our activity even more during an active war period. In that way we have the chance to end the war more rapidly, that fewer civilians will be murdered and that the concept behind which the war is being fought, that of a ”preventive war,” does not become the excuse for more wars. It must be our goal to stop the permanent war that is already underway, in which Iraq is only the second station. This concept of ”preventive war” – according to Generalinspector Wolfgang Schneiderhan of the German armed forces – is supposed to be adopted also in Germany as a foundation of the new military policy and a part of the new ”defense policy concepts” (that are to be made public in April). This fits seamlessly in the now public considerations of Peter Struck about the new German military policies, which also lead to enormous shakeups within the German Armed Forces.

Translation: John Catalinotto, New York

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