The world to besiege Bush
On the second anniversary of the outbreak of the war on Iraq, March 19/20 United Action to End the Occupation is going to mount into a scale comparable to that of February 15, 2003 Action immediately before the invasion. Peoples' objections against the occupation have grown worldwide to start besieging Bush.
For these two years, the coalition for the war and occupation led by the US and the UK and supported by Japan has been steadily weakened. In February, the Portuguese Republic and the Republic of Moldova completed the withdrawal. The Dutch troops started full-scale withdrawal on February 20 while the newly elected president of Ukraine officially announced the withdrawal starting on March 15. The number of countries involved in the occupation has been reduced to 21 from the initial 37, a downright indication of the international trend of breakaway from occupation forces.
Furthermore, as the Spanish people made their dramatic decision in the general elections March last year, symbolically showing the fate of war-supporting parties, the ruling parties of the war participant Spanish administration lost public support. This phenomenon has had repercussions on Portugal. In February 20 elections in Portugal, the ruling Social Democratic Party and People's Party were severely defeated. People are saying "No" to their own government that has joined the occupation.
End-the-war movement to be united
World anti-war movements are now gearing up for "hot" March.
Attended by 150,000 participants from 120 nations worldwide, the Fifth World Social Forum issued an anti-war resolution of its general assembly on January 30, the very day of the "elections" in Iraq, calling for actions on March 19/20 as the Forum sees the days as "a critical moment in which there is a real chance that the war could be stopped." UFPJ (United for Peace and Justice) of the US and the Stop the War Coalition of the UK held a national assembly in February respectively to consolidate their decision to join Global Day of Action in March. As of the end of January, mass actions on the Global Day of Action are planned in more than 29 countries worldwide, and in more than 400 US cities, exceeding the number last year.
At the end of February, on his visit to Europe for mending the ties ruptured over the war on and in Iraq, President Bush was greeted with a wave of protests of Europeans spreading over more than 25 cities in Germany alone. To escalate the move, the public protests and demand for the withdrawal of Italian troops are heated up in Italy in the wake of March 4 fatal shooting by a US troop of an Italian intelligence agent escorting a journalist freed from Iraqi insurgents.
These worldwide actions besieging Bush will be united in March 19/20 Action.
The key - the struggle of the Japanese
The struggle of the Japanese in response to the above international movement has the following significant roles.
First, we should not tolerate the exceptionally outstanding support for the occupation offered by the Japanese government, that is, the Koizumi administration. The fifth dispatch unit mobilized in February after the hard-line extension of the dispatch of troops is not even providing water, their symbol of "humanitarian reconstruction assistance." Without support of the public for the continued dispatch of troops, the government has requested to the UK and Australian forces for increased dispatches of troops so that Japanese troops can hide behind them to conceal their entity as nothing but occupation troops. We must reveal their real identity, troops with weapons directed at the Iraqi people, and enhance our voices for the withdrawal of troops in unison with voices of the UK and Australian peoples against increased dispatches of troops to Iraq.
Second, Japan should be the starting point from which we can spread support for and solidarity with the Iraqi Civil Resistance. One month after the "election result announcement," convocation of an assembly has been postponed in a deadlock of interest adjustment among the US occupation forces and political parties that are stooges of the US occupation authority. It is even clearer now that the "National Assembly" has no business for the people. It is time for the Iraqi Civil Resistance struggling for the withdrawal of occupation forces and the reconstruction of Iraq based on democracy and secularism to take the lead.
Showing the flag for solidarity with the Civil Resistance that will build a future of Iraq is how we can point to the perspective of the international anti-occupation actions. Let us stand up in the Global Mass Action under the flag for the withdrawal of the Self-Defense Forces (Japanese troops) and for solidarity with the Iraqi Civil Resistance. (March 5)