Release Political Committee of the Central Committee

The war against Iraq and the international situation

1. The illegal, illegitimate and unjust war against Iraq was confirmed, through the invasion and occupation of this country by the Anglo-American armies as a serious crime against the Iraqi people, against peace, social progress in the Middle East and in the whole world and against mankind’s historical and cultural heritage.

2. Thousands of tons of highly destructive bombs were dropped over Baghdad, Basra and other urban areas. Residential areas, markets, hospitals, schools and other public places were bombed with forbidden weapons, as was the case of the terrible fragmenting bombs. Civilians, families and Iraqis seeking for shelter and protection, and even journalists and diplomats were coldly attacked, brutalised, humiliated and also murdered. The invaders did not spare mosques and places of pilgrimage like Kerbala and Najab and are equally fully responsible for the destruction and looting of mankind’s cultural treasures.

3. In reiterating its strongest condemnation of the imperialist aggression against Iraq, the PCP will act to ensure a thorough knowledge of the extension of these crimes and for the Bush administration and its allies to be made fully accountable for them. The necessary reinstatement of International Law and of the UN’s authority should in no way mean the whitewashing of those illegal actions and crimes and even less the subsequent legitimation of the aggression and occupation.

4. The PCP conveys its active solidarity to the people of Iraq, and in the first place to the Communists and other patriotic and progressive forces who, bravely facing the invading forces, are fighting for their country’s freedom and independence. The PCP demands the immediate withdrawal of the forces of aggression and stands against any puppet government that, albeit “provisional”, uses the pretext of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship, to install a regime that is submissive towards US imperialism, while preventing the Iraqi people from deciding their own future.

5. The PCP once again underlines the real objectives of the USA and its allies with the invasion and occupation of Iraq: to gain control of its energy resources; to consolidate and widen their influence in an area with enormous strategic importance; to redesign Middle East’s political, economic and military map to serve their own interests. In fact, statements made by the UN Chief Inspector, Hans Blix, that the pretext found to invade Iraq was based on falsified documents, as well as the United States’ refusal to allow the inspectors’ return to Iraq, make it even more evident that the decision to occupy Iraq had been taken a long time ago and that any pretext was good enough.

The announced objective of installing US military bases in Iraq, the dangerous threats and provocations made against Syria and other countries in the region, notably Iran; the deepening of Israel’s State terrorist policies against the Palestinian people openly backed by the USA, the arms race, the threats made against other countries’ sovereignty and independence, namely against Cuba, a country which has been the victim of 40 years of US economic blockade, and is now facing its interference and hostile actions; all of these facts confirm the ambitious US imperialist objectives that deserve our firm condemnation and combat.

6. The PCP once again expresses its staunchest condemnation of the PSD/CDS-PP Government’s shameful policy of subservience towards the Bush Administration. By holding the “War Summit” on national territory and granting the Lajes [Air Force] Base [in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores] and other facilities to the USA, [Prime Minister] Durão Barroso and his Government have become co-responsible for the crimes committed against the Iraqi people.

This policy is an affront to the letter and the spirit of the Republic’s Constitution and to the dignity of the Portuguese people. Such a policy has met with firm opposition by a vast majority of the Portuguese people, as was expressed in the large demonstrations, in particular on February 15 and March 22, and in many other demonstrations and events of a broad-based nature which were held throughout the whole country.

It is necessary to continue demanding from the institutional bodies, the Assembly of the Republic [Parliament], the Government and the President of the Republic, a foreign and national defence policy that is in accordance with the national interest and the cause of peace. Portugal cannot be a platform for aggression against other peoples, and the Portuguese armed forces must not be involved in military operations at the service of imperialism’s strategic interests. The PCP opposes the participation of the Portuguese military in the so-called “stabilization force” in Iraq.

7. The PCP expresses its disquiet in the face of the European Union’s stances on the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Under a cloak of “pragmatism”, the EU has not only failed to condemn the US/UK aggression against Iraq as, with the pretext of “reconstruction”, is involving itself in commitments with the US Government that tend to absolve it of its crimes and to trivialize the war of aggression. The scams with reconstruction contracts for big economic groups are immoral and obscene.

The PCP expresses its vivid opposition to ongoing attempts to take a new militarist step in the [EU’s] integration process, invoking the need to counter US military hegemony. The PCP considers that the military arrogance of the US superpower is to be confronted, not by making the EU a military bloc, more or less aligned with the USA as NATO’s “military wing”, but rather with a persistent policy of peace, disarmament, based on the will that was clearly expressed in the powerful mass actions against the war which took place throughout Europe.

8. The PCP draws attention to the fact that the war of aggression against Iraq (which followed the bombing and destruction of Yugoslavia and the war in Afghanistan) is inseparable from the neo-liberal offensive against workers’ rights and achievements and from the processes of democratic regression which are spreading throughout the world under the pretext of waging the so-called “war on terrorism”. It is part and parcel of the attempt to dismantle the institutional and legal framework, of an essentially anti-fascist and democratic nature, which emerged from World War II, and to set up an imperialist “new world order”, under the hegemony of the USA, against the workers and the peoples.

In order to counter these goals, it is indispensable to pursue and strengthen the unprecedented and powerful mass popular movement that arose throughout the whole world against the war on Iraq. It is necessary to intensify the struggle for peace; for disarmament; for the abolition of nuclear weapons and all weapons of mass destruction; to dismantle military bases on foreign territory; to dissolve NATO and against militarism; for the respect for the UN Charter and to democratise the United Nations; to safeguard the sovereignty of peoples and their right to decide their own destiny; against imperialism’s aggressions and threats; and in solidarity with the Iraqi people, the Palestinian people, the Cuban Revolution and all peoples in struggle for their freedom.

Faithful to its patriotic and internationalist traditions, the PCP will do everything within its reach to strengthen the peace and solidarity movement in Portugal, to combine the struggle against the right-wing Government’s violent offensive against the workers’ and people’s interests, with the struggle for peace.

The PCP calls upon the workers, the youth, women, the popular movement’s broad-based organizations, the democratic political forces, religious sectors, intellectuals, so that, regardless of their differences of opinion and disagreements in other aspects, they may unite to pursue and strengthen, in Portugal, a broad movement for peace, disarmament and solidarity with the peoples!

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