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Australian sailors en route to the Gulf refuse anthrax vaccine

By Terry Cook, 1 March 2003

Last month, news emerged that dozens of Australian sailors in transit to join the US military buildup in the Persian Gulf refused to be vaccinated against anthrax. While the immediate reason appeared to be fear that the vaccine may have terrible side effects, the sailors’ stand reflects disquiet within the armed forces over the impending war against Iraq and deep suspicion regarding information issued through official channels.

Britain’s parliament votes for war, after one third of MPs register protest

By Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland, 1 March 2003

On February 26, 199 British members of parliament (MPs) voted for an amendment insisting that the case for war against Iraq had not yet been made. The measure was put forward in opposition to a resolution backing the war policy of Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair.

German writer Ralph Giordano attacks the antiwar movement

By Peter Schwarz, 1 March 2003

The vicious reactions to the antiwar demonstrations of February 15 by the right-wing press and conservative politicians in Germany come as no real surprise.

Quebec’s indépendantiste government seeking to hijack antiwar movement

By Richard Dufour, 1 March 2003

With Quebec provincial elections imminent, the big business Parti Québécois (PQ) government is seeking to divert attention from the frontal assault it has waged for the last nine years on the social gains of the working class by posing as a supporter of the antiwar movement.

Spain: Mass demonstrations against government’s right-wing policies and warmongering

By Vicky Short, 1 March 2003

Spain’s Prime Minister José María Aznar, head of the Popular Party, is one of the most vociferous advocates of a US-led war against Iraq. But while he is travelling around the world as one of US President George W. Bush’s ambassadors to drum up support for war, mass demonstrations against both his international and domestic policies are taking place at home.

US escalates Colombian military intervention

By Bill Vann, 1 March 2003

Over the past month, the Pentagon has nearly doubled the number of US military forces it acknowledges are deployed in Colombia, while special operations units are joining directly in a massive search-and-rescue operation that has been mounted to locate three US military contract personnel captured after their plane was downed over guerrilla-held territory February 13.

US health care workers spurn Bush smallpox vaccination plan

By Patrick Martin, 1 March 2003

The vast majority of the health care workers who were to be inoculated against smallpox over the past month, under plans linked to the Bush administration’s preparations for war with Iraq, have declined the vaccine. By February 24, one month into the program, just over 7,300 volunteers have been inoculated, compared to projections by federal officials of 450,000 to 500,000.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

1 March 2003

Philippine miners reject agreement to end strike

A conversation with historian James M. McPherson

By David Walsh, 28 February 2003

A recent conversation with historian James McPherson of Princeton University was prompted by two events: the appearance of Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York, which purports to deal with an episode of the Civil War, and the publication of Professor McPherson’s most recent work, Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam, which studies one of the turning points in that same conflict.

Behind the “antiwar” stance of the Australian Greens

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 28 February 2003

The hundreds of thousands of people across Australia who joined demonstrations on February 14-16 to oppose the Bush administration’s criminal invasion of Iraq were motivated by a genuine horror of war. Like millions across the globe, they added their voices to the demand “No war against Iraq”.