[OPE-L:8628] After the War Starts and Ends

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@msn.com)
Date: Tue Mar 18 2003 - 08:51:22 EST

To date, the discussion on the list has focused on the 
causes for the war against Iraq.  Now that the slaughter
is only days away, other questions should be addressed 

--  When _all_ of the costs associated with waging the 
war against Iraq are factored in, will the US economy 
really benefit?   If so, to what extent?   To what extent,
if any, will the US allies, the UK and Spain, get an 
economic 'bump' from the outcome?

--  After the war, to what extent will the EU economies
of France and Germany be affected?  If the US economy
gains, won't some other capitalist economies lose?  

-- What will happen to Iraq?  That is, after the military
defeat of Iraq and "regime change", what will happen 
next?  Will a puppet government selected by the US
be able to maintain power?  Will separatist/national
liberation movements be strengthened?  How long
will the US occupation of Iraq last?  How much will 
it cost?

--  When looked at globally, this may be the most 
unpopular war ever.  Throughout Europe 80-90% of the
people are opposed to a war with Iraq at this time.  Even
in the US, there is substantial opposition to war.  The
potential for political change is immense.  E.g. the Blair
government in the UK  could easily fall.  Others governments
in Europe could fall as well (Spain?  ... Portugal?).  
Perhaps the greatest potential for change, though, is in 
the Middle East and Eastern Africa where there is mass 
dissatisfaction and rage over the complicity of bourgeois
governments in the region with US imperialism.  This
is obviously a very fluid situation and it is unclear how this 
will all pan out.   We could, however, be able to discuss
some of the more likely scenarios given the contradictory
forces at play.  Thoughts?

-- in many sections of the world, the US war against Iraq is
perceived as a war against Muslims.   Indeed, in recent days
we have seen a number of moderate religious leaders in the
Arab world call for "jihad" against the US-led attack on Iraq.
This would likely strengthen reactionary Islamic fundamentalist
movements in the region and could lead to "regime change"
in a number of countries in the region as well as an increase
in the membership and activity of terrorist organizations.  What
prospects are there, though, for more progressive change in the

-- how will a war in Iraq affect Palestinians and Israeli policy?

-- will  more "unilateralism" by the US be a consequence of an Iraqi
war?  For instance, will the US simply forego attempting to gain
UN approval in the future and proceed unilaterally and more
immediately to military action?  How will other imperialist nations
respond to such a development?   Can we not predict that an
increase in inter-imperialist rivalry -- and all that entails -- will
likely occur?

-- the piece by Heard [8623] attempts to link the upcoming
war against Iraq with another ("covert") war against the
Venezuelan government.   Will Chavez be the next US "target"
after Hussein?  What about the Brazilian government and 
other popular governments which have been or are on the 
verge of being elected in Latin America?  Wouldn't
an increased effort by the US to destabilize these countries
tend to push them in the direction of forming a firmer alliance,
e.g. a regional trade association (like the EU) and, possibly,
military alliances?  Might it not also lead to a continent- wide
political radicalization?

-- the US has focused like a laser beam on Iraq in recent
months.  After the war with Iraq, what will happen with 
N. Korea?   Is there a real possibility that US policy will
lead to a full-scale war on the Korean peninsular and the
nearby region?   

-- how will the outcome of the Iraq war affect the domestic
situation in the US?    Will it usher in new "Patriot Acts"
and repression?  Do we know yet where the Bush administration
wants that process to end?  Would a new wave of repression in 
the US strengthen the right-wing and their agenda internationally
or would it more likely lead to mass resistance, increasing
class polarization, and radicalization? 

-- what will happen to the anti-war movement after the war?
What can be done to strengthen the anti-war movement and
move it in a more radical anti-imperialist direction?  How can 
activists help to  keep this mass movement alive and
deepen it?  Is the mass international anti-war movement
an indication that we have  globally entered a new period of 

In solidarity, Jerry

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