Stop the War

New Friends, Old Enemies

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We should welcome new supporters of the Stop the War Coalition who have learnt that they were wrong through bitter experience.

There are times when what was bearable suddenly becomes unbearable. The war on Lebanon was one of those.

Suddenly Labour MPs, councillors and party members, who accepted and even applauded Tony Blair's dogged devotion to George Bush's foreign policy and the war on terror, could stand no more. The blockade and bombing of Lebanon, the destruction of homes, schools, roads and petrol stations, and most of all the deaths of more than 1,000 Lebanese civilians, led to calls for an immediate ceasefire.

Uniting for Peace

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In the run-up to the International Peace Conference, Socialist Review spoke to Iraqi and US activists about the occupation, the resistance and the international movement. John Rees introduces the interviews by explaining the importance of December's event.

The largest and most representative Iraqi delegation to visit Britain since the invasion will attend the International Peace Conference organised for 10 December in London. Muqtada al-Sadr's foreign representative will join Sheikh al-Khalassi, the general secretary of the largest umbrella organisation of anti-occupation forces, the Iraqi National Foundation Congress, Hassan Juma, leader of the Southern Oil Workers Union, and a representative from the Women's Will Organisation.

Bush's Crisis: A Steady Course to the Rocks

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Alexander Cockburn explains how domestic opposition to Bush's war on Iraq is beginning to bite.

The stench of panic in Washington hangs like a winter fog over Capitol Hill and drifts down Pennsylvania Avenue. The panic stems from the core concern of every politician in the nation's capital-survival. The people sweating are Republicans, and the source of their terror is the deadly message spelled out in every current poll - Bush's war on Iraq spells disaster for the Republican Party in next year's mid-term elections.

Critical Levels

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Tony Blair's contempt for free speech and democracy has reached critical levels.

The defining image of this year's Labour Party conference was 72 year old Walter Wolfgang being manhandled out of the hall for heckling. That says a lot about both the conference and the popular perception of New Labour. The incident was shocking and demoralising for even the most hardened delegates. That Walter and 600 others in Brighton were detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act has become another mini scandal among Labour members.

The Challenge for the Anti-War Movement

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Recent events make it even more important for anti-war protesters to take to the streets, argues Lindsey German.

July 7 2005 will be remembered for the terrible bombings which killed more than 50 people on the London transport system. The date was not random. For while innocent people going to work were blown to pieces by four separate bombs, 400 miles away in Gleneagles the G8 leaders, led by Bush and Blair, were surrounded and protected by the highest levels of security, including 1,300 Metropolitan police.

Keeping Up the Pressure

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Is George Bush facing 'tipping point' over the war in Iraq - the point when the majority of US opinion turns finally and permanently against the war?

This is being openly discussed in the US as recent polls now show support for the war slipping dramatically. A Gallop poll last month showed that 54 percent of Americans now believe it was a mistake to send troops to Iraq, and Bush's approval rating has slumped to the low 30s. The comparisons with the Vietnam War are now being made as once support for the government for that war dropped below 50 percent it never recovered.

'I Despise the Army Now'

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Soldiers and their families speak to Ian Taylor.

Ray is an army reservist. He fought in the first Gulf War, but has told the army he will not serve in Iraq this time:

'As long as it is an illegal war and occupation I don't want anything to do with it. The army said to me, "Deal with it. You're a reservist." I wrote to Geoff Hoon and he said, "Deal with it." But I don't want anything to do with it.

I'm in touch with a few serving soldiers. A friend is on his second tour in Iraq. He didn't want to go, but if he did what I've done he would lose his career and his pension.

Rebellion in the Ranks?

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Military families are forging a unique campaign against the Iraq war.

'Shame on you.' These three words addressed to Tony Blair and George Bush at the funeral of Rose Gentle's 19 year old son Gordon announced the beginning of the Military Families campaign. Reverend Mann pointed the finger at those ultimately responsible for Gordon Gentle's death in Basra. Rose Gentle had encouraged Mann to tell the truth about her son's death.

New Book: History in the Making

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Leading figures in the Stop the War Coalition Andrew Murray and Lindsey German have just written a compelling account of this unique movement. Here we print extracts from their book.

Introduction

This is not just another book about the Iraq war and its military, diplomatic and political history. Of those, there are plenty already. Instead, it is the story of a remarkable mass movement.

Mass movements appear to come from nowhere and they take a direction which is often unpredictable. They gather a momentum which sometimes appears unstoppable and they can change the face of politics for a generation.

Interview: Going from Bad to Worse

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The coming few months are crucial ones for all those opposed to war and imperialism, as Lindsey German explains to Andrew Stone.

What do you think we can expect from the elections in Iraq at the end of the month?

Nothing will fundamentally change as a result of the elections. If they go ahead - and it looks like they will - very large parts of the country will be effectively excluded. Sunnis in particular feel very disaffected and want to boycott. There are many other parties who've also called to delay the elections. And most of the people who want to go ahead are doing so because they feel that this will then put them in a position to tell the Americans to leave.

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