Some resent the term "class warfare," but what a great description for our headlong rush to war with Iraq: Class Warfare. Ask yourself, "Who will benefit and who will pay?"

While there is no evidence of a connection between Iraq and Al-Qaida, there ARE many indications that war with Iraq will energize Al-Qaida and other terrorist groups. Why would anyone want that?

Plans were prepared for a war with Iraq BEFORE the attack of September 11. How could those plans result from an act of terrorism which had not yet occurred and which, by its own statement, the administration could not have anticipated?

If America's goal is to protect Iraq's neighbors, why are all its neighbors except Israel against the war? If our goal is to protect the larger world from a mad man, why has the rest of the world been so loath to support us?

Should young American men and women - most of whom are NOT from the privileged class - suffer or die in a war which will not reduce domestic terrorism, which will alienate the Arab world, which is at best only nominally supported by our allies, which will kill and maim innocent Iraqi civilians, and the cost of which will be paid by the middle and working classes. The administration is pushing "permanent" and additional tax cuts for the rich but seem unconcerned about the tremendous potential cost of the war (over $1 trillion). Who do you think they plan to have pay for it through additional taxes, cuts in programs, and inflation?

And doesn't it seem strange that no matter what happens to indicate the possibility of a peaceful settlement, the administration flatly denigrates it and moves on to a NEW objection - and the TV talking heads say, "Yep, war is inevitable"?

Obviously, the war is central to establishing a "new world order" with the "indispensable nation," the "one remaining superpower" reigning supreme. Rushing into the vacuum caused by the collapse of the Soviet empire, we intend to enlarge our own empire: expand power, expand influence, expand control, increase return for mega-corporations and the mega-rich.

The recently released "Bush Doctrine" says as much; we will let NO ONE approach our level of power and influence and will use force - even "preemptive" force and nuclear weapons - to ensure our global predominance. Iraq is a handy vehicle toward establishing that doctrine; that is why a war was planned even before the September 11 attack.

Along with oil as an incentive for war (greater US control of vast resources and, thus, better competitive leverage against Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the European Union), Iraq is to serve as an example of what will happen to anyone foolish enough to resist the new US hegemony. That is why we must have this war even if it increases terrorism here, no matter the economic costs, no matter the deaths and suffering among our armed forces and among the Iraqi people, no matter how transparent our justification for war may turn out to be, no matter WHAT!

Apparently, the TV talking heads know this, even if they are afraid to honestly explain why they believe it. They repeat the discredited excuses, announce the next accusation - which soon is itself discredited - and AGAIN predict inevitable war, possibly within months. The overwhelming impression is of a random chronology of disconnected and irrelevant presentations consecutively failing to justify the coming major event that WILL be engaged, REGARDLESS of justification.

The American people are not bullies; they are not imperialists; and although they will pay any price to defend themselves, they do NOT yearn for economic sacrifice in the name of US global domination. Neither do they wish to endanger their children fighting for such a cause.

That is why the hard-line hawks are pushing as hard as they can to find ANY excuse to justify their disguised ends. Patriotism, fear of terrorism; promises of cheap oil and democracy and justice for women; tenuous connections here, possible future behavior there, ANYTHING (other than the truth) that will sell the war to the people.

We the people need to ask ourselves, "Why are we being pushed toward war? Why is one justification after another abandoned as without merit ? Why do we hear that we should just take the president's word for it without any evidence?" We should ask ourselves, "Who will benefit from this war and who will pay for it?"

I think the answers are clear and that if we are brave enough to listen to ourselves, there will be no war with Iraq.