The New Worker
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 18th December 2003
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IRAQ: THE FIGHT WILL CONTINUE
by our Arab Affairs correspondent
IRAQI RESISTANCE attacks on the American
occupation army and its auxiliary forces continue, while anti-American demonstrators
defy the troops and puppet police on the streets in the days following the
arrest of ousted president Saddam Hussein.
The American governor, Paul Bremer, gloated over the images of their number
one captive while his master Bush verbally condemned Saddam to death before
the show trial has even been prepared.
Baghdad has been rocked by car-bombs; a US patrol was ambushed in Samarra;
a US army supply train halted and robbed; the northern oil pipeline was again
sabotaged; and the office of the puppet mayor of Fallujah was stormed forcing
the “mayor” and his police to flee until the Americans arrived.
Tanks were sent into Saddam’s hometown of Tikrit on Tuesday to end days of
rioting against the occupation, in what the imperialists call the “Sunni
Triangle” – the central Iraqi region that had been a stronghold for Saddam
Hussein’s Baath (Renaissance) Party for decades. Some demonstrators showed
their Baathist loyalty by waving posters of their former leader.
Others clearly came from other Iraqi movements that have closed ranks with
them in the new independence struggle to overcome years of past hostility.
Saddam was taken in an underground bolt-hole in a village near Tikrit last
Saturday. Though he was armed and had some $750,000, there was no radio nor
did he possess a mobile or satellite phone, dispelling the American myth
that Saddam was leading the resistance.
The video of the medical inspection of a bearded old man, who once shaved
had the appearance of the former president of Iraq, fired rumours in Baghdad
that the Americans had got the wrong man or that the whole thing had been
staged for propaganda purposes. But on Tuesday a statement released in the
name of the now underground Iraqi Baath confirmed that Saddam Hussein had
been arrested - probably betrayed by an informer looking for the immense
dollar bounty on his head.
Though the Americans initially claimed that Saddam was “co-operating” under
questioning, this was rapidly withdrawn and he reportedly has denied possessing
any banned weapons of mass destruction. That didn’t stop Tony Blair from
issuing a statement to British troops claiming that the Anglo-American “survey
group” had recently found “massive evidence” of a “huge” system of secret
laboratories in Iraq. But when challenged about this “new” evidence Downing
Street admitted that the Pime Minister’s remarks related to a report published
by the Iraq Survey Group earlier in the year and not to any new discoveries.
The American governor, Paul Bremer, made a vague appeal for reconciliation
at the Saddam arrest media conference in Baghdad that was echoed by Blair
in an appeal broadcast on the BBC’s Arabic service. Blair claimed that he
wanted a new Iraq to be “truly representative of all the people” adding that
“it is even true that there are people…who were in the Baath Party under
Saddam, who were there, not because they wanted to be, but because they had
to be, and we should be reaching out to some them also”.
Few if any took their words seriously. President Bush has made it clear that
he wants Saddam dead even though no one has agreed on who’s to try him. Bush
favours a kangaroo court organised by his quislings and the northern Kurdish
warlords who hate Saddam. “Let’s just see what penalty he gets, but I think
he ought to receive the ultimate penalty,” Bush declared on Tuesday.
Well we shall see. What is certain is that the capture of the ousted Iraqi
leader has done nothing to halt the attacks on the imperialist forces, and
they will fight on until the last invaders leave and Iraq regains its freedom.
Bush’s ship of fools
THE CAESARS left their triumphs for last.
After a tribe had been utterly crushed and enslaved, their leader would be
paraded in chains to demonstrate the futility of defying the legions of the
Emperor and to amuse the Roman mob. Now it seems today’s modern imperialists
do things differently and their gloating display of prisoners is served up
as a substitute for the victory that eludes them.
All the Americans have got to show for their invasion of Afghanistan is their
concentration camp in Guantanamo Bay. Now Saddam Hussein is paraded on television
as a broken old man to display the might of imperialism and boost the flagging
morale of Iraq’s army of occupation.
But where is the “victory”? Not in Afghanistan where the Taliban are turning
their guns on the one-time American allies who ultimately betrayed them.
Nor in Iraq where the resistance continues with or without Saddam Hussein.
Saddam didn’t lead the Iraqi resistance. The circumstances in which he was
captured showed that he was a man on the run bereft of any means of communicating
with, let alone directing, the scores of attacks on the American occupiers
that take place each day. But he was a symbol for his own Baath [Renaissance]
Party and his supporters braved the wrath of the American troops to take
to the streets to shout out Saddam’s name when the news of his arrest broke.
Far from being demoralised, as some bourgeois pundits predicted, the resistance
has stepped up its actions in a rolling offensive that began last month.
That’s because they’re not fighting for one man or one party. They’re fighting
to free Iraq from Anglo-American occupation.
Freedom-fighters have always been branded as “terrorists” by imperialism.
That’s what British imperialism called the IRA and the Nazis called the partisans
in the Second World War.
In the topsy-turvy world of bourgeois logic it’s “terrorist” to fight back
with car-bombs and ambushes but “modern warfare” to carpet-bomb or use depleted-uranium
shells and chemical weapons like Agent Orange. Guerrillas are painted as
savage fanatics while the soldiers of imperialism are portrayed as new centurions
defending what Blair and Bush call the “civilised world” with mass arrests,
curfews, collective punishments and torture.
National liberation through people’s war is based on two simple principles.
The first, as the poet Shelley said, is “we are many, they are few”. The
second is that wherever there is oppression there is always resistance.
The partisans in the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, France and throughout Nazi-occupied
Europe proved these points in the Second World War. The Chinese, Korean and
Vietnamese people taught the Japanese imperialists the same lesson. Over
a million Algerians died in the struggle to free themselves from French colonialism.
But they won. And in Ireland, Cyprus, Kenya and Aden British imperialism
was driven out despite all its guns, tanks and planes.
Sooner or later the Iraqi people will drive out the imperialists and reclaim
their independence and control over their natural resources. That, there
can be no doubt.
The Roman slave-owners empire lasted for over four hundred years. Adolf Hitler’s
“Thousand Year” Reich barely made 13. Bush’s “new world order” will be lucky
to outlast his presidency.
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