As a peace campaigner from the ‘eighties, one of the questions I keep asking myself is: given the imminent threat of nuclear war in the Middle East why is the UK peace movement unable to replicate the effectiveness of the ’80s?
We can find all kinds of reasons for this, including the mistaken priority that both CND and the Stop the War Coalition (STWC) appear to put on solely organizing annual demonstrations. Demos have their place but more important to a peace movement is the need to conduct a permanent lobbying campaign aimed at all sectors of society. The success of a peace movement would, in itself, lead to such changes as to be a kind of revolution. Dr King recognized that but unlike him the current ‘Anti War’ Movement appears to put political posturings ahead of long-term peace activities. Too many sectarian politicos playing games.
The more I study the documentation freely available on the Net from organizations such as Global Research, another important distinction between ‘then’ and ‘now’ occurs to me.
In the ‘eighties it was those such as the radical historian, Edward Thompson, who were able to analyze US/NATO military strategy and publicize the alarming findings: the USA had moved away from the nuclear stalemate of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) to a new, aggressive first-strike posture. Coupled together with the AIR-LAND BATTLE scenario of a ‘European Theatre of War’ this was enough to scare the bejeezus out of enough of us as to produce what has been described as the largest peace movement in recorded history.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union (resulting in part due to its inability to keep up with Ronny Raygun’s unilateral arms race) fears of a nuclear war in Europe disappeared from the horizon. Clinton, it appears, did not entertain the use of ‘tactical’ nuclear weapons in a ‘limited theatre war’. The use of first-strike ‘tactical’ nukes was revived by the Straussian ‘neo-con’ Strangeloves as part of their essential armoury to fight a ‘permanent war’ whose blueprint –far from a “war against terrorism”– is an ongoing imperialist battle for global conquest, the PROJECT FOR A NEW AMERICAN CENTURY.
The PNAC, when linked to current US global war strategy, provides a practical military blizkrieg doctrine which would leave Adolf Hitler green with envy: global military domination and control of all the planet’s natural resources in the interests of an increasingly totalitarian USA.
Since the illegal take-over of the US administration by the Bush/Cheney cabal, the ‘neocons’ through Cheney and Rumsfeld have been beavering away at implementing the PNAC’s objectives by so altering US military war strategy as to more easily accomodate them. Bear in mind that the PNAC’s priorities hinge very much on the ability to fight and rapidly win resource wars, the key resource being Oil.
Hence Irak. Then Iran.
But Iran, being a tougher nut to crack has required the USA to first encircle it, geopolitically, with a spider’s web alliance involving the NATO countries, Israel and a new alliance with recently independent members of the ex-USSR. At the same time, it has been playing a relentless chess-game in order to isolate Iran through the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) and the UN Security Council as a step not only towards economic sanctions but in order to remove Iran’s right to be protected from nuclear attack.
Once Iran has been successfully isolated then the way is open for an attack by the USA and Israel with the full cooperation of the NATO countries, including France, Germany, Turkey and the UK. Permission for such an attack was given by Bush last June. An attack in which NATO would be fully complicit could occur anytime.
NATO complicity is what makes things so different. Because the strategic war-plans are now so altered as to include the optional use of nuclear weapons in attacks against smaller countries like Iran, nuclear war is very much in the offing. March 2006 is the likely ‘window of opportunity’.
Meantime, what is the Anti-War Coalition’s response? Three words on their website’s headline banner, “Dont attack Iran” . THREE words with the proviso inside its new leaflet “The US and Britain are plotting new aggression – against Iran above all. The war could spread and it could become a nuclear war.”
COULD become a nuclear war? Hey someone, quickly explain to them what current US strategy is based upon!
As for CND’s website, it carries nary a word about Iran.
If this is the peace movement today then God help us all.
Poor Edward Thompson must be turning in his grave bawling, “will someone please knock their heads together! Don’t any of them understand or care what’s happening? Was everything we did in the ‘eighties a total waste of time?”