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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NEW US TACTICS WILL FAIL
by our Arab Affairs Correspondent
FRESH 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
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.”
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.”
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
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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