The New Worker
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 10th February 2006
Welcome To Our Weekly Digest Edition
Please feel free to use this material provided the New Worker
by our Middle East Affairs
ANGLO-AMERICAN imperialism is
turning the screws on Iran with threats of war if Tehran refuses to
abandon its nuclear research programme.
US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld said the United States does not
rule out using military force against Iran to prevent it from obtaining
“All options, including the military one, are on the table,” Rumsfeld
told German financial newspaper Handelsblatt this week.
“Today, biological, chemical and radiological weapons are available
which could kill tens of thousands of people,” Rumsfeld declared.
“There is a genuine possibility that these weapons could fall into the
hands of people who behead innocent people and blow up children. The
people of the free world must realise that they have been warned.”
Rumsfeld said Iran must be prevented from developing atomic bombs. “We
know that terrorists are desperately seeking ever more deadly weapons.
Iran is the main sponsor of terrorist organisations such as Hezbollah
and Hamas,” he claimed.
This was dutifully echoed by Tony Blair, who has weekly video
conferences with the American president. Blair told senior MPs on the
House of Commons Liaison Committee that he could not rule out the use
of British troops in any future US conflict with Iran.
“You can never say never in any of these situations,” he said while
stressing that Britain still preferred to resolve disputes with Tehran
through “peaceful and diplomatic means”.
Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter, the man who said Iraq
disarmed long before the US invasion in 2003, is also warning Americans
to prepare for a new war with Iran.
“We just don’t know when, but it’s going to happen,” Scott Ritter said
last week at a meeting to promote his latest book.
Ritter, who argues that Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons, predicts
that the nuclear issue will end up going to the UN Security Council,
which will determine there is no evidence of an atomic weapons
programme. Then, he says, John Bolton, America’s UN envoy, “will
deliver a speech that has already been written. It says America cannot
allow Iran to threaten the United States and we must unilaterally
“How do I know this? I’ve talked to Bolton’s speechwriter,” Ritter
Ritter also predicts that the war would start with American air-strikes
on Iran which the Bush administration hopes would lead to the overthrow
of the current Islamic leadership. If that doesn’t happen they expect
Iran would retaliate against Israel and the US would respond with a
nuclear attack on Iran.
The only way to prevent this is to elect a Democrat controlled Congress
this November, said Ritter, a lifelong Republican.
Last year the controversial former weapons inspector was predicting
that the US was going to attack Iran in June. Whether Ritter has access
to insider information or is simply being fed stories by the Pentagon’s
psychological warfare department remains to be seen.
It certainly isn’t fazing the Iranians who are adamant that their
nuclear research programme will continue, come what may, calculating
that the imperialists would risk the wrath of millions upon millions of
Muslims throughout the world, far greater than the furore over the
Danish cartoons, if the Islamic republic was subject to an unprovoked
attack. But foolish comments about the Holocaust and offering prizes
for Holocaust cartoons are only playing into the hands of the
imperialists, whose first objective is to completely isolate Iran
politically and economically.
Meanwhile in Washington a former US official has admitted stealing
millions of dollars meant for the reconstruction of Iraq.
Robert Stein has confessed to stealing more than two million
dollars and taking bribes in return for contracts when he was a senior
official in the American “Coalition Provisional Authority” which
administered Iraq immediately after US-led invasion in March 2003. Two
senior US officers are also charged with taking $200,000 a month in
kick-backs in collusion with Stein.
Stein was appointed to manage an $82 million-plus fund for the
rebuilding of shattered infrastructure in south-central Iraq in 2003
and 2004, despite a previous conviction for fraud that was apparently
missed by the Pentagon.
He has admitted to conspiring to give out contracts worth eight
million dollars in return for back-handers and milking two million
dollars from reconstruction funds. He also received gifts and sexual
favours lavished on him at a special villa in Baghdad.
Stein has pleaded guilty to counts of conspiracy, bribery, money
laundering, conspiracy, a felon in possession of a firearm and
possession of a machine gun. He faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in
Free speech, equality and the class struggle
WITHIN the last few days we
have seen the Government defeated on the Religious Hatred Bill, BNP
leader Nick Griffin acquitted of race hate crimes – and boasting that
this was a victory for free speech – and Muslims around the world
protesting at anti-Islamic cartoons published initially in a Danish
newspaper. These different events lead to questions as to where
communists stand on the issue of free speech and equality. Bourgeois
critics ask why, if ridicule of one religion is bad, should not all
religions have equal protection from ridicule and criticism?
But communists see the world from a class perspective. We know
that if you apply equal criteria in a world that is fundamentally class
divided and unequal, it will have a very different impact on vulnerable
working class communities than it does on rich and powerful communities.
Films and shows like The Life of Brian, Jerry Springer the Opera,
Father Ted, or the Dave Allen Show lampoon Christianity but there is no
danger of them inciting anyone to attack Christians or the Pope.
The rantings of hate-mongers like Ian Paisley are another matter.
They do lead to attacks on vulnerable members of the Catholic community
in the occupied north of Ireland.
Criticism and rational debates among atheists and the leaders of
various religions do not threaten vulnerable people.
The Muslim community is, by and large, part of the working class and
for workers an injury to one is an injury to all. The foul outpourings
of the BNP – who now scapegoat Muslims because they know it is against
the law to incite hatred against them as Asians or Blacks – and the
Danish cartoons are an attack on a vulnerable community. They are
reminiscent of the Nazi cartoons of the 20s and 30s in Germany that
incited hatred against Jews. And we know where that led – to the gas
chambers. Muslim communities have a well-founded fear of history
repeating itself in that respect, and as workers they deserve the
support and protection of the organised working class.
Communists are atheists and we believe all religions to be mistaken and
that all of them have regressive aspects that hold workers back. But we
do our best to resolve this through rational argument. And we respect
our fellow workers – whatever their religion – who stand beside us in
working class struggle for peace and social justice.
We call for all education to be secular – for children from all
religious backgrounds to be educated together, to learn to respect each
other as human beings. They should be informed about different
religious beliefs and they should be taught science and rationalism so
that as young adults they can come to their own conclusions.
We also call for Muslim communities to enjoy the same legal
protection against the hate-mongers as they could expect under the race
But we recognise that bourgeois laws are never going to give the
working class the protection and freedom that it needs. That job can
only be done by the class itself, by the trade unions and other organs
of the class standing up in unity against all who would divide and
weaken us on the basis of colour, creed or gender. If we allow fascists
to attack Muslim youngsters today and do nothing, our own children
could be attacked tomorrow.
When confronted by questions about free speech, equality and so
on the acid test, as always, is what impact would this have on the
working class? What impact would it have on real social justice?
If you find these articles from the New Worker
Online interesting and useful them why not subscribe to our print
edition with lots more news, features, and photos?
To the New Communist Party Page