Thursday 1st February 2007 (Scientists Against the War leaflet)
It is time for the "long war" to be cut short. Now we have a new chance because things have changed:
- US leaders are split: the Baker report of the US establishment mainstream told Bush to leave and to talk to Iran but he's doing the opposite, even though weakened by recent elections
- the UK parliamentary consensus is also splitting apart now that the Liberal Democrats are calling for withdrawal
- Blair is going soon, and if sufficient pressure exists then the government can use this as an excuse to change policy
So: if we put enough pressure in the next weeks and months we have a chance of real success.
This is vital, because:
- the planned assault on Sadr city will be a bloodbath even worse than Fallujah
- recent attacks on "suspected Al-Qaeda terrorists" in Somalia show that, left unchecked, the war "on terror" will devastate more and more of the world's poorest regions
- recently imposed UN sanctions on Iran pave the way for "pre-emptive" strikes, plunging more of the Middle East into ill-conceived and pointless conflict
- in Vietnam the US talked of withdrawal for years while increasing bombing; they must be forced to really leave
- Iraq is in chaos but foreign troops aren't helping: if a burglar breaks into your house and you find yourself arguing with your housemates the day after, it makes no sense to ask the burglar to come back to adjudicate!
- war creates terrorism and steals money from the NHS, education etc.
Blair has helped Bush enormously by enabling him to claim international support. Our responsibility is to make sure that Blair's departure is linked with bringing UK troops back from Iraq and Afghanistan, and opposing further incursions in Iran, Somalia, Lebanon and Palestine.
Blair is going because Labour MPs feared for their seats after the invasion of Lebanon. Let's make sure his successor is similarly afraid!