JULY 2nd sees the JFK aircraft carrier sail into Dublin Bay. The scale of the vessel is staggering, it is as big as New York's Empire State Building and it carries 756 aircraft [sic]on its 4.5 acre flightdeck. 175,000 people applied to the National Lottery for tickets to visit it.
All of this amazing scientific achievement is dedicated to just one purpose: delivering death on behalf of the US ruling class. The US embassy has admitted that planes launched from the JFK dropped 3.5 million pounds of explosive during the Gulf War. [This was the war where the US lined up with Kuwaiti & Saudi tyrants against an Iraqi tyrant. Hurrah for liberty!]
Among the recipients of this gift from Uncle Sam were over 300 men, women and children burnt to death in a civilian bomb shelter in Baghdad. The US authorities didn't care, in their own words this was just collateral damage.
Planes from the JFK also took part in the turkey shoot on the Basra Road where tens of thousands of retreating Iraqi conscript soldiers were massacred after they had been defeated. We are supposed to see this ship as something wonderful, a floating city harnessing all the latest technology. We are not supposed to see it for what it is - a massive killing machine.
And don't forget - there is a fortune to be made from selling weapons of war. The USA is one of three countries (the others are Britain & France) to have registered a massive increase in arms sales in the past few years. This, it must be emphasised, is since the end of the Cold War. Between 1985 and 1989, the USA supplied 30% of the world's arms; now it supplies just over 48%.
This situation is rarely reported on and, if one looks closer, it is easy to see why. Some of the top companies in the world are arms manufacturers: British Aerospace, Boeing, Lockheed, General Electric and Westinghouse, to name but a few.
For years we were kept in line through the use of the cold war. Now instead of Russia, North Korea and Iraq are supposed to be big threats. States which fulfil the wishes of the Western bosses get armed regardless of their record on democracy or human rights. Yet the bosses tell us that they are against arming undemocratic states. So what about bloody dictatorships like Indonesia, which has used western weapons to murder one third of the East Timorese population since invading in 1974?
In 1994 alone, the developing world spent close to £90 billion on weapons. Yet the United Nations has estimated that just £11 billion of this money would pay for all the primary health care needs in all countries that are considered to be developing countries today. This includes catering for all the immunisation requirements in these countries and for the removal of all serious malnutrition, as well as providing safe, clean drinking water for everyone.
Apart from high profit margins, defence manufacturing is also highly subsidised and protected by individual governments. For instance, at present France is working on almost 40 joint projects with Germany in relation to common defence programmes. These have the approval of both governments and may, in time, be run as part of the Western European Alliance - which Ireland is being invited to join. In July 1994, France launched the ìHelios 1aî photo-reconnaissance satellite. Plans are currently under way for a joint consortium to build Europe's first independent spy satellite capability. This project alone will cost £3.5 billion!
When did Europe ever vote for this? Do you remember voting for an independent spy capability for Europe? Who are we going to be spying on? Why? Towards what end? While huge money is being wasted, these issues are being decided on by the very people who will gain financially from these projects - business. More than ever the real terrorists need to be identified: Major, Clinton and Chirac.
Think of all the suffering that could be ended, the diseases eradicated, the homeless housed and hungry fed if all this wealth and expertise was put to a worthwhile use. That will not happen by appealing to the politicians and bosses - decades of petitions and pleas have achieved nothing. It will only happen when we end the rule of the millionaires and build a society based on people's needs.
Join us in campaigning for liberty, workers' control, human dignity, co-operation; for anarchism.
Many people believe that when the Gulf War ended so did the dying due to the war. This is not the case. During the war the US led coalition targeted sewage treatment, electricity and water purification plants. Since the war ended they have levelled sanctions against Iraq, enforced by the JFK amongst others, that have prevented Iraq obtaining the foreign currency needed to effect repairs to many of these plants.
The US boasted during the war they were going to bomb Iraq back into the stone age and indeed in the post war period thanks to the combined effects of the bombing and sanctions 800,000 people in Southern Iraq are at risk from water borne diseases due to the destruction of sewage treatment and water purification. For instance the death rate due to diarrhoea for children has risen 2,300%. The very young and very old are the main victims of the sanctions ships like the JFK enforce. According to UNICEF representative in Baghdad, Thomas Ekfal 500,000 children under five have died due to sanctions up to 1994.
Sanctions have also caused massive inflation and widespread poverty in Iraq leading to starvation. Food prices have risen 550-fold since the end of the war, while incomes have increased only two-to-three fold. A tin of milk powder, or a tray of eggs, now costs 1000 Iraqi dinar--about half the monthly salary of a university professor. On the other hand, since the end of the war US companies have sold $30b worth of weapons and $6b worth of commercial aircraft to the Saudi dictatorship.
The visit of the JFK shows what lying scum bags politicians and the media are. They are selling this murder machine as a treat we can bring the kids to see, something to be proud of. They are ignoring the nuclear weapons everyone knows it is carrying. Surely there must be something better than this world they offer, one of deceit and murder, unemployment and famine, war and low wages. They'd like us to believe that there is not.
At the end of the 1980's we were told we had reached the end of history. The collapse of authoritarian communism and Labour Party reformism we were told was the end of any idea of changing society. From now on the rich led and the poor obeyed, in case anyone doubted this New World Order the Gulf War showed what could be done to those who refused to toe the line.
But another voice has also began to express itself, one that was not silenced in 1989 because unlike Leninism or nationalism it had never sought to take power. This voice is heard in Mexico, where on New Years Day 1994 it made the New World Order tremble when it cried Enough is enough!. But it is also here in Dublin in every struggle where ordinary people come together and cry Enough Here it is loudest in the Anti-Water Charges Campaign in which over 12,000 households have joined in a show of community resistance. The alternative to their New World Order is in our hearts right now and in the struggles of ordinary people for freedom.
The freedom we seek, the freedom we demand, is freedom from poverty, from unemployment, the freedom to live our lives without always having to worry about money. These freedoms are at the heart of revolutionary change and socialism. And real socialism - anarchism - is even more than that.
It is when the shackles of the old oppressive order are thrown off and the worker's movement explodes into a creativity as it copes with organising every facet of society so that the needs of all are met. Everyone can get involved, through their assemblies and delegate councils, in decision making and planning that used to be the sole concern of central government. Freedom of ideas, criticism and input will not only be a practical reality but a necessity.
Capitalist society is organised in a top-down way. Orders come from the top and those at the bottom obey them. The institutions by which the bosses rule, the Government and the State, are built so that the rule of a minority over the majority is possible. Control of political freedom, ideas and information is fundamental to their working. Participation is strictly limited so that most people never have any say.
We stand uncompromisingly for a new world. It will be organised from the bottom up and production will be to meet people's needs, not for the private profit of a few. It will make real the old call from each according to ability, to each according to need. Every individual will enjoy complete control of her/his life with no limit on their freedom as long as they do not encroach on the freedom of anyone else. If this sounds like something worth struggling for then get in contact with us at WSM, PO Box 1528, Dublin 8
According to the politicians Dublin is a declared a nuclear free zone. Yet the JFK and its planes carry nuclear warheads as part of their supply of weapons.
How is this problem being dealt with? Well the US Navy has claimed the ship will not be carrying nuclear weapons but has refused to allow an inspection. Democracy how are ya!
The United States likes to pose as the champion of freedom and democracy or Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness as the American constitution would have it. The real position is put better by Noam Chomsky in his pamphlet on U.S. Gulf policy. He says that the world's despots and dictators can do anything they like; kill, torture, rob providing they don't go against US foreign policy.
This is demonstrated by the fact that the US can sell 30 billion dollars of arms to the Saudi dictatorship while vetoing the selling of water purification equipment to the Iraqi dictatorship! And that's not to mention US supplies of military aid to the dictatorships of Indonesia or Kuwait amongst others.
Demonstration on Tuesday 2nd at 7pm, the Peoples Park, Dun Laoghire
Anarchist News is produced by the Workers Solidarity Movement. We want you to find out about anarchism and get working with us. If you'd like information about anarchism and the WSM send a 32p stamp to WSM, PO Box 1528, Dublin 8.
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