The New Worker

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Week commencing 17th December 2004

Welcome To Our Weekly Digest Edition

Please feel free to use this material provided the New Worker is informed and credited.



by our Arab Affairs Correspondent

The Iraqi
resistance offensive is rolling over relentlessly against the US-led occupation army throughout Iraq. Fierce fighting continues in Fallujah, the city the Americans said they’d take within a week, as guerrillas emerge from the ruins to take on the marines in the streets. American and puppet forces are under fire in Baghdad and virtually every major town in the country and there’s a 48-hour queue for petrol in the capital due to the  continuing sabotage of the oil industry.

Jubilant Fallujan partisans are claiming victory after three days of street battles this week. Plumes of smoke cover parts of the city and US warplanes are bombing suspected resistance strongholds in the heart of the town. The Americans are using some sort of knock-out gas in their attacks but they have proved inferior in the hand-to-hand combat that the Fallujan partisans excel in.

 A Mujahideen spokesman claimed that 350 Americans had been killed and 47 captured and that 82 partisans had lost their lives in the counter-attacks that have penned the Americans down in part of the city.

Islamic law

The spokesman said that the prisoners, who include a large number of puppet troops, would be treated according to Islamic law and not the Geneva Convention. And they added that the Americans have sent a special envoy to bargain for the release of the prisoners, said to include three senior American officers.

The Americans are pouring in more reinforcements in readiness for the sham elections in six weeks time. Whether they take place is another matter. Calls for a boycott are growing as Fuad al Rawi, a member of the Sunni Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP) explained. “The security situation is still deteriorating and that is a convincing reason to postpone elections. The IIP and more than 70 political parties, organisations and groups have called for postponing the polls for the sake of the Iraqi national interest.”

“The IIP and the parties have also called for national reconciliation before carrying out an election,” he told the press. “Since it is the first time we are experiencing a democratic process, the IIP hopes elections would be carried out under fair, just and transparent circumstances”.

That clearly is not going to happen. Anglo-American imperialism is only interested in a charade to rubber-stamp their hand-picked stooges who currently call themselves the “interim government”.

The Americans are trying to boost their prestige at home and abroad with much publicised visits by the puppets to Western leaders, including Bush and Blair. And the first act at home has been to start the show-trials of former members of Saddam Hussein’s government currently held in US hands. Ali Hassan al Majid, a prominent Baathist the Americans dubbed “Chemical Ali” may be paraded next week on charges of war-crimes.

Their lawyer is objecting to the authority of the court appointed by the puppet regime and arguing that only an international court would be appropriate for such charges. He said that one of the prisoners, former vice president Taha Yassin Ramadan, had been offered a place on the puppet council if he agreed to testify against Saddam Hussein but he refused. Some of the senior Baathist prisoners have begun a hunger-strike to protest at the conditions they are held in which include solitary confinement.

Most of the imprisoned Baathist leaders have not seen a lawyer for over a year and no one believes any one of them can expect a fair trial under the auspices of the puppet regime and the guns of the occupation army.

Bush may well hope that show trials and sham elections will help him justify the illegal war and criminal occupation of Iraq to the American people but the cold statistics of war tell another story. According to Pentagon figures 1,448 imperialist troops have been killed and nearly 10,000 wounded since the war began last year. Most of them were Americans. A further 5,500 US soldiers have deserted, some seeking refugee status in Canada.  


Justice for the Mousa family

  BAHA MOUSA, a hotel receptionist in Basra, was beaten to death in custody by British troops in September 2003. His family were given the paltry sum of $3,000 in compensation and they have rejected a further $5,000 of blood-money to demand a full inquiry in the death of their son.

Their campaign has taken a step further following the High Court ruling this week in favour of the family accepting that their case was covered  European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and paving the way for a inquiry to ascertain whether there had been an unlawful killing.

The Blair government has tried to block an independent inquiry from the very beginning, arguing first that an investigation would hamstring the Army’s capability to fight if it was open to civil claims and then by hypocritically claiming that the ECHR did not cover the British army of occupation in Iraq. The Court rejected these arguments, that come from a Government that trumpets “human rights” when it suits it, and ruled that as the Army is in control of Basra, British justice also applies to those subject to its authority.

Though the High Court rejected the claims from five other Iraqi families whose relatives were shot by soldiers on combat operations, a number of MPs are now calling for a wide-ranging investigation into allegations of brutality by British troops in Iraq.

No amount of compensation will bring Baha Mousa back from the grave but an official inquiry can establish the facts and bring those guilty of war-crimes to account. Soldiers are accountable for their actions and so are the officers who turn a blind eye to acts of brutality by their men. But the greatest war-criminals are those who ordered them into Iraq in the first place.

The Blair government went to war on the basis of lies. The Saddam Hussein government did not possess weapons of mass destruction and the United Nations Security Council refused to sanction the Anglo-American imperialist invasion of Iraq.

The struggle within the labour movement to defeat the Blair clique must intensify, regardless of the fact that we are approaching a general election. Blair and his cronies must go. British forces must be immediately and unconditionally withdrawn from Iraq.


The mysterious death of Dr Kelly

The death
of Dr David Kelly, the weapons expert at the heart of the “dodgy dossier” scandal, continues to haunt the Government. Though the Hutton inquiry endorsed the official presumption of suicide, two paramedics who saw the body are now publicly expressing doubts about the cause of death.

Dr Kelly, named as the possible source of BBC allegations about the Government’s dossier on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, was found dead in a field near his home shortly after a grilling by a parliamentary sub-committee. His wrist was cut. The paramedics say the small amount of blood around the body was inconsistent with the cut on his wrist being the cause of death. Other experts, scientists who have formed the Kelly Investigation Group, have made similar observations.

Dr Kelly’s death was never properly investigated by the Hutton inquiry that was, in any case, seen as a Government whitewash. The disquiet over his death continues because there has never been a full inquiry into his death. Though the police believe Dr Kelly killed himself, only an inquest can rule out foul play – and that is clearly what is needed now.

 Back to index

To the New Communist Party Page