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Perpetual war for perpetual peace:
the endless wars of empire!

attitudes in Ulster to the US-led war on Iraq were very interesting.  Paradoxically, the political leaders of a movement that launched a war here in Ulster – the Provisional Republican Movement - came out in opposition to Bush and Blair’s war.  Oh joy over sinners repenting? Even more paradoxically; the DUP, elements of the UUP and even the PUP came out in support of the declared war aims of Bush and Blair.  They swallowed uncritically the spurious line about wiping out an imminent threat to all our safety from Saddam’s unconventional weapons and getting him before he got us.  When it comes to Ulster, they quite rightly don’t trust a word that comes out of Tony Blair’s mouth but when it comes to the peace of the world, they sign up uncritically for George W Bush’s crusade for total world domination.  I wonder if it’s the traditional reactionary strain in unionism showing its ugly face again, “If the fenians are against it, then I’m for it.”  I fear that this may well be true.

Another irony for us in Ulster is how the great and the good, Blair, Bush, Clinton, John Reid, etc., lecture us mere yokels that violence is not the way.  We must never resort to force or even take up arms in self-defence.  We must settle our differences around a table.  What hypocrites!  Quite apart from their own dirty tricks over the years here in Ulster, the wars against Serbia and now Iraq have shown that all this professed concern for human rights and morality is eyewash.  For them, might is right!

Tony Blair moralises about peacemaking here, yet he has committed the armed forces – raised for defence purposes – to more conflicts around the world than any other political leader since 1945 in his self-proclaimed rôle as Mini-Me to Bill Clinton and then George W Bush.  Isn’t is odd that he’ll put in troops to take on African rebel insurgents in Sierra Leone; bomb the hell out of Britain’s long-term ally, Serbia; and help the US to invade and occupy Iraq, yet he’ll embrace the Provos like long lost brothers and try to force Gibraltarians  to allow themselves to be absorbed by Spain? 

Blair has put Ulster soldiers in harm’s way in Iraq.  It’s not the first time that our young men have been used as expendable cannon fodder by the British establishment in their insane wars of overseas intervention.  And there are already rumours that the RIR is facing disbandment soon!

Let’s be quite clear here.  Iraq never posed a threat to Britain or Ulster.  Iraq had been backed to the hilt by the Americans and the British when Saddam launched an attack on Iran in 1980, shortly after that country’s Islamic revolution.  Iraq’s unconventional weapons technology was supplied to it by the Americans.  It was only after Saddam invaded and annexed Kuwait in 1990 that he became the number one devil in America’s eyes.  Since then he has been boxed-in, his country has been crippled by sanctions and routinely bombed by patrolling US and British warplanes.  His military was a broken-down joke.  He was defiant, he tried to sound fierce, but he was caged in like a pathetic circus tiger.

Still, that wasn’t enough for the neo-conservative ideologues all around George Bush.  From at least 1996, they wanted to ‘finish the job’ and invade and occupy Iraq.  It used to be that Empire was a dirty word in America.  Not any more!  At the cost of traditional American freedoms at home, the American global empire is arising.  In order to establish this so-called ‘benevolent global hegemony,’ the United States has to prevent any other regional power arising anywhere in the world that might challenge this.  The neo-cons want America to invade and occupy Iraq, Iran, Syria, the oilfields of Saudi Arabia and Egypt, impose secular ‘liberal-democracy’ and bolster Israel.  They call it World War Four.  They want to take out North Korea and confront China before it gets too powerful.  Their motto is ‘strike first and strike hard’. 

Thankfully, traditional ‘paleo-conservatives,’ libertarians and other American patriots are wise to this.  They don’t want their sons, (and in these PC egalitarian days, their daughters too) drafted to fight an endless succession of colonial wars in all corners of the globe.  American patriots are fighting back for peace, to preserve their traditional values, to withdraw from the growing overseas empire, and to stop the massive US$3billion annual subsidies to Israel.

God help us all if the neo-cons get their way.  Bush isn’t one himself, but they’re all around him.  If they do, we can anticipate (all in the name of peace) more and more wars, greater global insecurity and a greater chance of terrorist reaction from pissed off unwilling subjects of the Pax Americana.  No doubt we can expect to see Tony Blair commit more young soldiers to the front line in an endless series of savage wars for the New World Order.

David Kerr (May 2003)

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