The New Worker

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Week commencing 19th January 2007

The resistance continues!

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by our Arab Affairs Correspondent

American troops, together with a Kurdish militia battalion from northern Iraq, have arrived in Baghdad for the beginning of yet another attempt to drive the partisans out of the Iraqi capital and curb the Shia Muslim militias who have, until now, been the major prop of the puppet regime. The Mahdi Army, blamed by many Sunnis for much of the sectarian violence in Baghdad, has ordered its men to take down their checkpoints in their Sadr City stronghold and refrain from fighting once the American offensive begins.

The Mahdi Army’s leader, Muqtada al Sadr, is the major ally of the Shia-led puppet regime which is increasingly looking to its Shia cousins in Iran for protection rather than the United States. And US imperialism is stepping up the pressure on Tehran to halt its nuclear research programme with less than veiled threats of military action if Iran doesn’t cave in.
The Americans encouraged sectarianism in Iraq to divide the opposition to the occupation and now they want to spread the enmity across the Middle East.

US foreign minister Condoleezza Rice has been touring the region trying to drum up support amongst America’s Arab client states for an anti-Iranian Arab front involving Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait and some other Gulf states, laced with the usual platitudes about resolving the Palestinian problem as sop to these Arab rulers who are well aware of the backlash on the street if and when Iran is bombed.

Five Iranian diplomats were arrested by US troops in Iraqi Kurdistan when their consulate was closed down by the occupation authorities last week, alleging that it was a centre for militia training. American aerial surveillance of Iran has been stepped up and a huge US naval armada is being assembled in the Persian Gulf. Many fear that this strategy is simply a prelude to an American attack on Iran.


Inside Iraq the resistance is continuing to strike hard at the US-led forces and the tools of the puppet regime that ordered the hanging of two more members of Saddam Hussein’s government last week.

Barzan Ibrahim and Awad Hamed al-Bandar were condemned to death by the kangaroo court that convicted Saddam Hussein for “crimes against humanity” – but many saw it as an act of political vengeance by the Americans and their puppets, whose sectarian parties were driven underground during the Saddam era.

The underground Arab Socialist Renaissance Party [Baath] has called on the masses to strike against the American and “Iranian occupiers” – a term used to describe the puppet regime — and not allow themselves to be dragged into sectarianism.

 The American plan, the Baath said, is to “broaden the sphere of destruction, ruin and crime as an act of revenge against the people of Iraq and its leaders. It is also a new attempt to spark sectarian conflict in the insane, feverish and desperate hope of reversing the course of the armed revolution in order to divert it into Iraqi-Iraqi fighting – a course that the American administration mistakenly believes will enable it to achieve its colonialist aim in Iraq.”

basic task

The Baath said, in a statement released this week, “The basic task for the Party and the Resistance now is the liberation of Iraq and not to deviate from this goal at all, no matter what the American occupiers or the Iranians do to drag Iraqis
towards a civil war.”

   “Therefore,” the statement said, “we call on the masses of our great Iraqi people to beware of the intrigues of the occupation and of Iran and to avoid being drawn into veiled sectarian calls to take revenge for the martyrs in response to the pro-Iranian sectarian crimes and provocations which stem from Persian ambitions, not from the Shi`ism of `Ali.

“Those who assassinated our heroes were America and Iran, not any true Iraqi. Those who carried out the execution were the Iranian intelligence services and their agents, whose Iranian origins are well known. Therefore our masses must be aware of this reality and focus all their attacks and responses on the American and Iranian occupiers and avoid all sectarian provocations,

responding to them not by sectarian language, but by reaffirming the Arab national and patriotic links that bind all the people of Iraq – from the south to the north – together.”


Blair's database: Who benefits?

TONY BLAIR last Monday announced new measures to allow existing Government databases to share information with one another. In effect this means abolishing data-protection legislation designed to guard the privacy of citizens when they have dealings with any Government department.

 The key existing and future databases include: the Customer Information System of 73 million records operated by the Department of Work and Pensions, based on National Insurance records; the National Pupil Database, held by the Department for Education; the Children’s Index, yet to be created, it will hold information on 11 million children and their families – excluding details of the families of politicians and celebrities; the NHS “Spine” database, which will store all the medical information on 50 million patients in England; the National Identity Register, to be held by the Home Office containing 50 pieces of personal information about each of us, including fingerprints; the Home Office database, which already holds DNA samples from four million criminals and people who have been suspected of being criminals and the DVLA database, which holds 36 million vehicle records and 47 million driver records.

  There have been howls of protest. Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell said we now have “the most intrusive Government in our history”. Shami Chakrabati of Liberty said: “This is an accumulation of our Government’s contempt for our privacy.”

 Who on earth wants this much information about so many people and why? It will do little to prevent terrorism or serious crime. The system will be open to corruption and abuse at every level. The sheer scale of the project means there will be a high percentage of error, not to mention false information deliberately fed into the system. It will be of limited value to the police and security services.

 Undoubtedly it could be used for purposes of political suppression and control and would be if the bourgeois state were under serious threat from a mobilised working class. That is not the case at the moment – though it could be in the future.

 Who will benefit now? We are living under capitalism in a market economy. Defenders of the scheme point out that the people who issue our credit cards and supermarket loyalty cards already know nearly everything there is to know about us – so why are we making a fuss?

 But this is the point. It is precisely these people who would benefit from knowing every personal detail about us.

 All these giant Government databases are actually run by private sector information technology firms. The information they accumulate, cross referenced from one department to another, has enormous commercial value to marketing managers and to employers. They don’t just want to know all about us, they want to use the information to manipulate our lives: what we buy, where we work, where we go to college, what we borrow and the hours we work. To the ruling capitalist class each one of us is a potential wealth-generating unit, from our work producing surplus value (the longer the hours the bigger the profit). We also hand back to them the wages we earn as interest on every kind of debt and in rent.

 They can now make money out of us when we are ill, when we go to school or use any public facilities. These facilities are paid for by taxes but, increasingly, they are operated by the private sector for a profit.

 They want to squeeze every last halfpenny out of us that they can and the more they know about us the more they can do this. And if we start dying of overwork and exhaustion in our 50s, that will resolve the pensions problem and cut their taxes.

  The bourgeois state is, at rock bottom, the armed wing of finance, trade and industry. It is simply trying to upgrade itself. But it is being too ambitious. It has underestimated the ingenuity and potential strength of the working class. The virus that will cause this whole system to come crashing down is called working class consciousness and socialism.

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