The New Worker

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Week commencing 18th March 2005

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by our Arab Affairs correspondent

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 towns.

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 ever since.

“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 means possible.

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 left.

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 illegal.

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 broken promises?

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