GULF WAR 2: So What Can YOU Do? the Polite Term Is Civil Disobedience.And the Street Term Is Rebellion; JOHN PILGER on What We Can All Do to Fight This Illegal and Immoral Attack on Iraq

The Mirror (London, England), March 20, 2003 | Go to article overview

GULF WAR 2: So What Can YOU Do? the Polite Term Is Civil Disobedience.And the Street Term Is Rebellion; JOHN PILGER on What We Can All Do to Fight This Illegal and Immoral Attack on Iraq


Byline: JOHN PILGER

WHEN Bush and Blair begin their illegal and immoral attack on a country that offers us no threat, we all have a choice.

We can wring our hands and say there is nothing we can do in the face of such powerful piracy - or we can reclaim the democracy that has been so corrupted by an elected dictatorship (in Bush's case, unelected).

There is only one responsible way to achieve the second goal. The polite term is civil disobedience. The street term is rebellion.

In 1946, Justice Robert Jackson, the chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials of the Nazi leadership, said that the "very essence" of international justice "is that individuals have international duties which transcend national obligations of obedience imposed by the state".

The British government is about to commit a great criminal act. That is not rhetoric - it is true. Every tenet of international law makes that clear, not least the United Nations Charter itself. Indeed, the judges at Nuremberg were quite clear about what they considered the gravest of all war crimes: that of an unprovoked invasion of a sovereign territory.

In the face of this impending crime, the "international duty which transcend national obligations of obedience" now belongs to you, the millions of people who have understood the nature of the crime. Now, you have both the right and the duty to act.

Rebellion against a government committing a crime in your name is now of vital importance. Silence and inaction will only embolden Blair, this man who has taken this country to war unnecessarily five times in his six years in office. Remember his remark that North Korea, a nuclear power, is "next".

On the day of the attack on Iraq, leave what you are doing if you can. Leave your home, work, college, school. Join a demonstration. If you are unsure where to go, contact the Stop the War Coalition on 07951 235915. Their website is www.stopwar.org.uk

Or get in touch with Globalise Resistance, which is organising mass walkouts and street blockades in the cities. Phone them on 020 7053 2071. Their website is www.resist.org.uk. Amnesty International is another source: 020 7814 6200.

Their website is www. amnesty.org.uk

There will be non-violent protests by Reclaim the Bases, which is organising gate blockades and peace vigils at military bases. Contact 07887 585721. Their website is www.reclaimthebases.org.uk

Be encouraged that the revolt is already under way. In January, Scottish train drivers refused to move munitions. In Italy, people have been blocking dozens of trains carrying American military personnel and weapons, and dockers have refused to load arms shipments. US military bases have been blockaded in Germany, and thousands at Shannon in Ireland have made it difficult for the US military to refuel its planes on their way to Iraq.

Propaganda is a weapon almost as lethal as any bomb. For months, "weapons of mass destruction" has been a phoney news issue. As former chief UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter has said constantly, Iraq is "90-95 per cent" disarmed. The current head of the weapons inspection team, Hans Blix, has all but called Blair and Bush knaves and liars. When asked what secret arsenals there were in Iraq, one of his inspectors said: "Zilch".

And yet we have been forced to participate in this charade: to debate and analyse its specious agenda. BBC current affairs programmes, on radio and television, have consistently promoted the government's warmongering as legitimate by channelling and echoing its ever-changing deceptions.

A memorandum leaked last week, written by Richard Sambrook, a senior BBC executive, warns programme makers against broadcasting too much dissent and "attracting some of the more extreme anti-war views (even though) there is no question there is a majority public view which is against unilateral US action. …

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