When questioned by the media about opposition in the US Congress to the George Bush administration's "surge" of troops to Iraq, Vice-President Dick Cheney kept his message simple: "It won't stop us." In the January 24 interview with CNN, Cheney added, "We have to have the stomach to finish the task".
But when Cheney visits Australia this month to congratulate John Howard's government for its efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, anti-war activists will join millions of people around the world in saying: "We will stop you!"
Sydney Stop the War Coalition is planning a protest on February 22, the day of Cheney's arrival. STWC activist and Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Marrickville in the NSW state election, Pip Hinman, told Green Left Weekly: "While Howard and Cheney will be talking about strengthening the Australia-US alliance and 'fighting terrorism', we will be making clear that they are completely isolated.
"When Cheney visits we will confront him with messages that he knows are increasingly popular: We demand an immediate end to the occupation of Iraq, and we want David Hicks to be brought home immediately."
Hinman added: "Cheney is a chief mastermind and profiteer behind a war that has been responsible for the deaths of more than 650,000 civilians. Halliburton, the company that Cheney headed less than a decade ago, has made more billions from the Iraq war. He is the war criminal, not David Hicks."
For more information about the protest rally, visit <http://www.stopwarcoalition.org> or phone (02) 9690 1977.
[Simon Cunich is a Sydney organiser of the socialist youth organisation Resistance.]