War is Not a Solution!
The War Plans against Iraq should be condemned!
By Antonia Kuhn
[This article originally published in: DGB Jugend NRW is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, http://www.linksnet.de/artikel.php?1d=820.]
Despite dubious support in its own population, the only remaining superpower prepares for war against the Iraqi dictator. Many questions press.. Why is this happening now and not 12 years ago? Why Iraq and not North Korea or Saudi Arabia? What is the reason, oil, power, combating terrorism, revenge for 9/11/01?
September 11, 2001
We should begin with September 11, 2001. This dreadful event understandably caused a trauma in the American population and politics. The exchange of fire against Afghanistan and Al Qaida was only partly successful. The alleged head of the terrorist band was not apprehended and the persistent terrorism was not prevented. Despite this dubious success, American foreign policy since September 11, 2001 is marked by the struggle against international terrorism. However a causal connection between September 11, 2001 and the war against Iraq has not been shown to the American people. The majority is against the Iraq war.
Blood for Oil
US oil interests already played a dominant role in the 1991 Gulf war. A quarter to a half (!) of world oil reserves are buried under Iraqi sand. While US trade with oil from Saudi Arabia functions, 11 of 60 known oil fields in Iraq could be developed for the first time. Leaving these nationalized energy reserves in the hands of an incalculable dictator in the long term would be grossly negligent from an American perspective.
For a long time, the hope in Washington (and not only in Washington) was that enough incentive would be given with the first Gulf war 12 years ago so the Iraqi population would liberate itself with its own strength. However the legitimate doubt in the Iraqi presidential election last year does not mean that the opposition achieved a genuine democratization process. This question plays a subordinate role, if any role at all, in the current conflict. This war for oil is the engagement of several oil companies in whose success the US president and his family share. Perhaps there are also other reasons for an attack on Iraq. For example, Bush's domestic political problems are considerable and may welcome a foreign policy diversion.
War as a Motor of the US Economy
The domestic or political economic situation of the US cannot be fully analyzed here. Only a few points will be underlined. The American economy is supported mainly by credits. The trade- or balance of payments deficit grew between 1992 and 2000 from $50 to $435 billion. The $500 billion threshold may be crossed. The state indebtedness amounts to a glorious $3.5 trillion (gross debt is $7.8 trillion). 35% of the total gross domestic product. In comparison, the DDR (East Germany) was declared bankrupt in 1989 with 16%. Economic experts fear that the real estate bubble in the US could now burst after the stock market bubble. The high credits are not really covered so it is only a question of time until the dollar fraud is exposed. As a result, the American financial and economic market and the world economy could grind to a halt. Therefore the war could help divert from the domestic political problems. In the next US election, G.W. Bush may not have the majority of absolute votes. Wars always prove to be economic motors. The fact that trouble is brewing in the US economy suggests that other states may not follow the US course.
A host of reasons should be explained and analyzed. The interests of multinational corporations massively engaged in developing new sources of raw materials and sales markets are ignored. Several geo-strategic-military arguments could be mentioned. For example, North Korea is a hardly vulnerable adversary since it is already a nuclear power. The supremacy of the US as formulated in the Bush doctrine also raises fundamental questions. Europe's strengthened alliance of states has economic significance with the new currency and new self-confidence and threatens to limit the hegemony of the US in foreign policy. Are all these "good reasons" for a war against Iraq?
The situation seems to run inevitably to an intentional war. The madness of this war must be emphasized. A war on suspicion is prepared here. None of the US reproaches regarding Iraqi nuclear weapons were proven. What if one was proven? If the possession of nuclear weapons were enough to legitimate an offensive war, then a precedent for other wars contrary to international law would be created with the Iraq war. Not only for the US! Why shouldn't Israel make a final preventive strike against the autonomous Palestinian authorities?! China against Taiwan, India against Pakistan...
Is There an Alternative?
The German government has influence
Even if Germany has greater significance in foreign policy since the reunification, the German government does not have the influence to stop the world power US from its war intentions. Nevertheless there are options that could make difficult or prevent an attack. A unanimous support of the war could be blocked by German participation in the Security Council and the UN could be strengthened again. At the same time, the military solution to the Iraq problem could be put in question within NATO. However an unequivocal postion of the EU (European Union) would be more important. The initiative for a peaceful conflict resolution could be accepted by the Federal German government. As the only serious rival for the United States, the EU must assume a creative international function beyond its inner-European possibilities. The Federal German government has the chance of jointly forming foreign policy guidelines for Europe.
The categorical "No" against war bends on the part of red-green. In Spiegel, foreign minister Fischer no longer rules out a German approval in the UN Security Council. According to Fischer, war against Iraq could only be a last means but Germany stands on the side of the US "in alliance against terrorism". Still he excludes a direct military intervention.
American pressure on the Federal German government increases. As a minimum solution, a right of use of German infrastructure, granting of fly-over rights, financial support and deployment of reconnaissance planes are discussed. A greater relief of US units in other crisis regions through increased German presence is another option.
Domestic political pressure is necessary!
Around two-thirds of the German people are against a war. This political majority opinion should be developed into an action majority. Unions could play an important if not decisive role...