The New Worker
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 19th November 2004
Welcome To Our Weekly Digest Edition
Please feel free to use this material provided the New Worker
IRAQ: FLAMES OF RESISTANCE
by our Arab Affairs Correspondent
US MARINES are fighting in Mosul, Ramadi and Baghdad as the
resistance launches wave after wave of attacks to counter and divert
the onslaught in Fallujah. But as the battle for Fallujah enters its
second week it’s clear that the Americans and their lackeys are still
facing fierce resistance despite overwhelming fire-power and numbers.
Hundreds of civilians have been killed and many more wounded as the
Americans blast their way across the town leaving a swathe of
destruction wherever they go. The streets of Fallujah are littered with
bodies but the Americans are still denying the Red Crescent access to
the town to deliver relief supplies.
The resistance has downed a number of US helicopter gun-ships and
knocked out a number of tanks. But they accuse the Americans of using
Iraqi women and children as human shields to cover their tanks as they
advanced. Reports of US war-crimes were backed up by an NBC camera team
that witnessed and recorded the shooting of a wounded and unarmed
supposed Iraqi guerrilla in a mosque this week.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has said that the assault has
infringed international humanitarian law. Speaking in Geneva,
Commissioner Louise Arbour said that investigations must be carried out
into abuse cases. She noted that emergency supplies are far beyond the
reach of Fallujah residents and that the fighting in the city had
caused heavy collateral damage.
The underground Baath party issued a statement on Tuesday describing
the current Anglo-American offensive against Fallujah as a
“premeditated criminal act of revenge” adding that the heroic battle
would be an “example to be followed in Iraq first, and then in
Baath party guerrillas, together with members of the former Iraqi army
and the Republican Guard, are struggling side-by-side with the rest of
the resistance in Fallujah and the former ruling party vowed to fight
on until the occupation army had been routed and the puppet authority
Meanwhile mystery stills surrounds the murder of Margaret Hassan, the
59-year-old director of CARE International in Iraq who was kidnapped by
an unknown group in Baghdad on 19 October. Tawid wa Jihad, the Islamic
movement allegedly led by Abu Musab al Zarqawi, had called for her
release on 5 November. Al Zarqawi’s group is the most ruthless and
feared resistance group in Iraq, responsible for many suicide bombings
and kidnappings that have always ended in beheadings when their demands
But they called for the release of Mrs Hassan, who selflessly dedicated
years of her life to helping impoverished Iraqis, demanding to know
what evidence there was against her and pointing out that Muslims do
not kill women and young children.
Of the 150 foreigners kidnapped by partisans, few have been women and
most have been released, including two relatives of puppet premier
Iyyad Alawi. None have been killed. Some resistance groups are already
saying that they believe that Mrs Hassan, who was married to an Iraqi
and had joint Irish, British and Iraqi nationality, was murdered by
agents of British imperialism to divert attention away from the
American atrocities in Fallujah.
Five thousand US troops have been dispatched to the northern city of
Mosul which was seized by the resistance last week. Heavy fighting
continues in Baquba, some 65 km north of Baghdad. In the capital
partisans attacked the Polish embassy on Sunday and gun-battles
continue in the heart of town.
The oil industry has again been repeatedly sabotaged by the resistance.
An oil storage tank at a pumping station on the main export pipeline to
Turkey – the main artery of Iraq’s oil network now being plundered by
American imperialism – was blown up this week. Four oil wells west of
the oil-town of Kirkuk, as well as a pipeline carrying oil from Kirkuk
to the major refinery in Beiji were bombed and set ablaze. And in Beiji
the townspeople have taken to the streets to drive the Americans out
and were fighting gun-battles with American and puppet forces.
Forty-seven Iraqi political and religious parties have now said they
will boycott the sham elections due next January in protest at the
extended use of force by the occupation army throughout the country.
Though the majority are Sunni factions led by the Muslim Clerics
Association at least eight Shia parties and one Christian party have
signed the joint statement.
Up to a 100,000 Iraqis have died since the war began. And 1,356 members
of the US-led army of occupation have been killed and a further
8,900 wounded, according to Pentagon statistics.
Playing the fool
THE PRIME MINISTER has
been blowing his own trumpet again this week, lecturing the great and
good at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet in London’s Guildhall on the benefits
of the “transatlantic alliance” with American imperialism and the
wonders of democracy that the Palestinians and Iraqis have yet to
Last week Tony Blair rushed to Washington to be the first foreign
leader to congratulate George W Bush on his re-election. His spin
merchants told us he would be bringing back a renewed US pledge to
resolve the general Middle East crisis but all Blair got for his
crawling was the usual platitudes that have been used to fob off the
Palestinians for decades.
The people of Fallujah, whose city is being systematically destroyed by
rampaging American Marines, are told that “when order is taken back,
there is money and help ready to give the ordinary people there a
better life”. The Palestinian Arabs, who have endured the longest
occupation in modern history, are told that “the only viable
Palestinian State will not just be based on territory but on democratic
values”. Needless to say, these “democratic values” do not seem to
apply to Zionist Israel as far as Blair is concerned.
In fact the “special relationship” that Blair elevates exists largely
in the minds of its advocates in Britain – the most reactionary and
venal sections of the British ruling class who still believe that their
role in Europe and their global investments are best preserved by
“Call it a bridge, a two lane motorway, a pivot or call it a damn high
wire”, the Prime Minister says. But Blair burnt his bridges with Europe
over the Iraq war.
British imperialism has played the role of the “bridge” between the
Atlantic and Europe since 1945. Playing off the United States against
the European powers is an old game that may have paid off in the past.
Now it’s simply playing the fool.
French President, Jacques Chirac, points out that Britain got nothing
in return for backing America. “Britain gave its support but I did not
see much in return. I am not sure that it is in the nature of our
American friends at the moment to return favours systematically” he
Blair may choose to brush off Chirac’s comments but the lesson has
clearly been drawn by the British public who, according to the latest
opinion poll, believe it is more important to have good relations with
Europe than the United States. Despite continuing opposition to the
Euro and the structures of the European Union, an NOP poll commissioned
the Independent newspaper found that 64 per cent of people think that
having good relations with Britain’s European Union partners is more
important than with the United States, while only 25 per cent believe
the relationship with the United States should take priority.
Tony Blair waffles on about “democratic values” but forgets that they
should start at home. Even Tory leader Michael Howard is complaining
that Blair has stolen the Tories clothes, claiming that Blair’s ability
to “look and sound like a Tory” had made his job harder. The Blair
leadership has turned its back on the values of the Labour Party and
the millions who put them into office in the hopes of social justice
and a better life.
The fight-back that began with the mass movement against the invasion
of Iraq is spreading throughout the labour movement. The Government is
under fire over its cynical pensions policy. It’s had to back down over
the plan to flood the country with casinos. Major unions are calling
for the restoration of the “welfare state”.
And above all, Blair needs to be reminded, again and again, until
he is eventually kicked out, that millions upon millions of people in
this country want all British troops out of Iraq immediately.
If you find these articles from the New Worker
Online interesting and useful them why not subscribe to our print
edition with lots more news, features, and photos?
To the New Communist Party Page