The New Worker
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 18th March 2005
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OUT! BLAIR OUT!
by our Arab Affairs correspondent
THE IRAQI RESISTANCE is
aggressively pursuing American forces throughout Iraq in waves of
ambushes, bombings and street battles right across the country. Fierce
fighting is raging between partisans and American Marines and puppet
forces along the banks of the Tigris river, west of Balad. US forces
are penned downed in their bases outside most of the country’s major
Back in Baghdad guerrillas shot dead two guards at the US prison
holding Saddam Hussein in the west of the city and escaped unscathed.
And the resistance greeted first meeting of the new puppet parliament
with a barrage of mortar fire that shook the building inside the
heavily-fortified US “Green Zone” military compound.
It’s all been too much for the Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi,
who has confirmed that Italy will be withdrawing its troops from Iraq
as soon as possible. Berlusconi had been one of the few European Union
leaders left backing Bush and Blair’s war. But the American “friendly
fire” killing of a senior Italian secret serviceman as he brought an
Italian journalist hostage to safety earlier in the month enraged
Italian public opinion that had never supported the sending of their
troops to Iraq in the first place.
Imperialist hopes that the rigged election would give some legitimacy
to their puppet regime have been shattered by the rising tempo of
resistance attacks in recent weeks. Though the most spectacular suicide
bombings cannot be ignored, the systematic sabotage of the oil industry
is seldom reported in the West.
When the occupation began Anglo-American imperialism openly
talked about doubling the country’s oil production to make the Iraqi
people pay for their own occupation. But partisan units moved rapidly
to stop the imperialists plundering their resources by hitting
pipelines, pumping stations and even the wells themselves.
Iraq has the world’s second-largest oil reserves but production is less
than half of its pre-war level. The resistance chalked up its 219th
attack against the oil infrastructure when a pipeline in Fatha in
northern Iraq was blasted on Tuesday.
Though the bogus elections were held six weeks ago, the quisling
politicians are still nowhere near agreement on the formation of a
puppet government. Their “parliament” met for barely 90 minutes before
closing without even setting a date for its recall. The rigged
elections were designed to elevate sectarian and separatist
collaborators willing to take part in the American charade and by its
very nature it’s doomed from the start.
That’s not to say it has no use for imperialism. Kurdish feudal
chieftain Jalal Talabani, widely tipped to eventually get the
“presidency”, is already mobilising his followers amongst the Kurdish
minority in Syria to stage mass demonstrations against the Damascus
government which is next on Bush’s hit-list.
Meanwhile another leading Baathist, Tariq Aziz, has smuggled out an
appeal asking the international community to ensure he gets a fair
trial. The former Iraqi foreign minister who gave himself up in April
2003 following the American capture of Baghdad has been in US custody
“To the world public opinion: We hope you will help us…we need fair
treatment, a fair investigation and finally, a fair trial. Please help
us,” he wrote adding that he has not been allowed to see his family,
contacts, or receive letters or parcels sent to him. His plea, written
in English, was given to his lawyer when he was recently questioned by
a UN panel investigating corruption in the oil-for-food programme that
operated during the blockade after the first Gulf war.
The Italian withdrawal from the US “coalition of the willing” leaves
Tony Blair even more isolated in Europe and the world. Berlusconi
shifted because he knew his right-wing coalition would suffer at the
next elections if Italian troops were still in Iraq.
Blair, whose personal standing in the opinion polls is rock-bottom,
thinks he can get away with it. The millions demonstrating in London
and across the country this weekend must prove him wrong.
Bring the troops home!
Millions of people are
taking to the streets in Britain and across the world this weekend to
protest against Anglo-American imperialism’s brutal occupation of Iraq.
Two years after the invasion and Iraq is in ruins. Millions of Iraqis
are unemployed. The health service, once the best in the Arab world,
has collapsed. Thousands of Iraqis are now refugees in their own land;
living in hovels after their homes were destroyed in collective
punishment raids by the occupation army and their local lackeys. And
over 100,000 Iraqi civilians – half of whom were women and children –
are believed to have lost their lives since March 2003, according to a
study published by the British medical journal, the Lancet.
The founding charter of the United Nations clearly affirms the
right of an occupied people to resist by force of arms. The Iraqi
people are fighting for freedom. They have an unconditional and
absolute right to resist the Anglo-American occupation by whatever
Iraqi partisans are waging a ferocious struggle to drive the invaders
out of their country. Nearly 1,700 imperialist troops have been killed
and over 11,000 wounded in the war against the Iraqi resistance that
controls large parts of the country. Most of the casualties are
American but 86 British servicemen have died and a further 800 have
been wounded doing Bush’s dirty work in Iraq.
The Italian government is the latest to throw in the towel. Their
3,000-strong contingent will begin withdrawing from Iraq in September.
Now all that’s left of Bush’s “coalition of the willing” are token
forces from a handful of client states and the British expeditionary
force that will probably be expanded to fill the gap the Italians have
The Blair government thinks it can ignore the millions in the peace
movement. Blair and his cronies think they can dismiss the growing
calls within the Labour Party and the trade union movement for an end
to this senseless war.
The anti-war movement must mobilise again and again until these demands
are met. All British troops must be immediately and unconditionally
withdrawn from Iraq.
Blair and his cohorts are not fit to lead the Labour Party. They must
be defeated and replaced with leaders ready to head the demands of the
labour and peace movement.
Tony Blair told the Labour Party and the people that the war was about
Saddam Hussein’s alleged weapons of mass destruction. The Saddam
government sent an immense report to the United Nations detailing how
Iraq had complied with the disarmament regime imposed on them after the
Gulf war ended in 1991. This was dismissed as lies by Bush and Blair.
Now we know Saddam was telling the truth.
We were told that the invasion was in the name of the UN Security
Council even though the Security Council had refused to endorse it. Now
even the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, concedes that the war was
We were told that the Attorney-General had advised that the attack on
Iraq complied with international law but the Government refuses to
publish Lord Goldsmith’s full legal opinion.
How much longer are we going to put up with Tony Blair’s lies and
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