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STATEMENTS & PRESS RELEASES

 

Statement of the Partido ng Manggagawang Pilipino (PMP) 
September 20, 2002 


We Pledge to Build the Peoples’ Opposition Against the War on Iraq

United States President George Bush is preparing for a new war on Iraq. Pentagon papers leaked on July 4 reveal plans for an assault on Iraq involving 250,000 US troops. The US government and its imperialist allies, such as the UK government of Tony Blair, are using the excuse that the Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein is threatening the world with “weapons of mass destruction”. 

However, UN weapons inspectors and the CIA have failed to find any evidence of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons. Scott Ritter, a former United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq (who spent seven years in Iraq in the 1990s hunting down the weapons program) has declared that “there is no justification for war based on the facts that had been presented by both the United States and Great Britain.” According to Ritter, the UN has already demolished 90% of Iraq’s stockpile.

The Bush administration has launched a major propaganda offensive against the regime of Saddam Hussein. They have ‘discovered’ human rights atrocities committed by the regime. George Bush wants us to believe that he will be ‘liberating’ the Iraqi people by attacking Iraq and getting rid of Saddam Hussein. 

But this is sheer hypocrisy. Saddam Hussein was one of US imperialism’s closest allies in the Middle East in the 1980s. It was under the instigation of the US that the Iraqi regime launched a horrendous war against the people of Iran, who had overthrown the brutal US backed dictatorship of the Shah of Iran. The regime of Saddam Hussein was funded and given massive military aid by the US in a grim war that lasted eight years and killed over one million people. 

The ‘reasons’ given by the US and its imperialist allies for attacking Iraq are based on lies. 

The real reason for the war is to strengthen imperialism’s control and domination over the region. Iraq, along with Iran and Saudi Arabia, is situated on the Persian Gulf, the control of which is strategic to imperialism’s domination over the oil rich resources of the Middle East. Iraq and Iran are governments that the US does not control. Hence they have been targeted as part of the US “axis of evil” in its phony “war against terrorism”. The real aim of the war against Iraq and the “war against terrorism” is to defend the interests of imperialist corporations and imperialist nations. 

Politically the US government wants to set a further precedent: to intervene with the use of troops whenever and wherever its national interests are threatened, especially against the peoples and governments of the Third World. It intends to send a clear message and win acceptance for the position that the sovereignty of Third World nations no longer matter. That it will and must be violated (as a matter of course) in order to defend imperialist “national interests”. 

The Iraqi people have the right to defend their national sovereignty against imperialist intervention of any form, including the right to reject the admission of UN weapons inspectors -- a demand being made by the imperialist powers. 

Opposition to the war against Iraq does not mean support for the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. By opposing the war we stand as one with the people of Iraq. It’s up to the Iraqi people to decide the course of their liberation. We will consistently support and campaign for their sovereign right to do so. 

The US aims to overthrow the Saddam Hussein regime and replace it with another dictatorship: one that will serve the interests of the US and further enslave the Iraqi people. 

The Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) regime is bending over backwards to show its support for the US offensive by offering Philippine airspace for the US war machine (even without it being requested by the US). After exposing its craven pro-US stance, now the regime is attempting to give itself some cover by stating that it will support the war only if sanctioned by the UN. 

 

But the last attack on Iraq in 1991, also sanctioned by the UN, killed over 200,000 people. The economic sanctions applied by the UN have been responsible for killing over one million Iraqis (out of a population of around 22 million). According to a UNICEF report, over 500,000 of these have been children, dying at the rate of around 200 per day. Iraq used to have one of the highest standards of living in the region. Now some 80% of Iraqi women suffer from malnutrition. The horrible facts are numerous. And all of these are the results of attacks sanctioned by the UN. 

GMA cannot camouflage her real position: support for the US war, with or without UN endorsement. 

The GMA regime is slavishly kowtowing to the US line. Its domestic and foreign policy, in economic and other matters, can simply be described as: “All the Way With the USA”. This is the one thing that the regime is consistent in. This, despite the fact that such a policy will (and has) alarmingly compromised the country’s national interests and the welfare of every single citizen. The regime’s support for the US war on Iraq will now imperil the welfare of the nation and its citizens. 

The regime’s policy can only be described as treacherous! 

The GMA regime should be charged with: 

  • Endangering the lives of our people, around 1.5 million who live and work in the Middle East. It’s a well-known fact that the Iraqi regime will respond to any attack by bombing Israel, as it did in the previous Gulf war in 1990. It’s a well-known fact that the Bush administration will not restrain Israel from retaliating. Therefore, it’s also a well-known fact that an Israeli response will result in the war spreading throughout the region. 
  • Endangering the welfare of those at home. Support for the war will draw the Philippines into a war situation with Iraq and the Muslim peoples and movements around the world, thus making the Philippines a target. 
  • Endangering the economy. Already the peso is on a downward spiral. The price of oil and basic commodities are likely to increase, thus bringing further hardship and impoverishment to the people.
  • Further inflaming the situation in Mindanao. Support for a war against Iraq is a clear slap in the face to our Muslim brothers and sisters, especially those in Mindanao. This will further inflame the conflict situation in Mindanao. 
  • Violating the constitution. 
  • Assisting in the continuing genocide of the Iraqi people. The blood of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi people who could die in the war will stain this regime’s record forever. 

The PMP unequivocally condemns the war. This war is morally unjust. The Iraqi people have never exploited us. They have never oppressed us. It is not in the interest of our people to support the US war against Iraq.

It’s US imperialism, and not the Iraqi people, which has been the Mother of All Exploiters and Oppressors. 

Against the war, we raise the banner of working class solidarity. 

Against the GMA regime and imperialism, we stand as one with the people of Iraq. 

We pledge to build peoples’ opposition to the war. 

We promise that the GMA regime will pay a political price for its treacherous policy of supporting the US war. 

We pledge to strengthen the international movement against the war and to play our part in this movement. 

No to US War Against Iraq!

End the Blockade Against the Iraqi People!

Condemn GMA Regimes Support for War Against the People of Iraq! 

Long Live the People of Iraq!

Defend the sovereignty of Third World nations against imperialist attacks!

Workers of the World Unite Against Imperialist War and Globalization!