Stop the War is best known for its campaigning over Iraq. It was clear from the beginning of the war on terror that this was the real target of Bush and Blair. Days after the attacks of 9/11 US intelligence tried to link them with the Iraqi government – a claim which proved totally false. The UN had imposed sanctions and a no fly zone on Iraq following the Gulf War of 1990-91, and this had a terrible effect on the Iraqi people, leading to up to 500,000 children dying.
In 2002 Bush and Blair began to step up their propaganda against Saddam Hussein’s regime, claiming he had weapons of mass destruction which posed a direct threat to the west. Mobilisations against the war saw a giant mass movement and the biggest single international demo in world history. Governments pressed ahead despite this opposition, with disastrous consequences. Up to 1 million died and 4 million were made refugees. Saddam was toppled and executed, but WMD were never found. The war was based on a lie, and we campaign for those who brought us to war to be tried as war criminals.
Today Iraq is in terrible crisis, with sectarian killings, high levels of poverty and war related diseases (cancers, birth deformities) and continued instability. The western powers wanted to make it safe for big business and the oil companies, and there have been widespread privatisations. We oppose such developments, and the continuing presence there of private security firms and military ‘advisers’. The occupation has been a disaster, with most Iraqis suffering directly. The danger now is that fighting in Syria spills over into Iraq, leading to a further Middle East war.