The New Worker

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Week commencing 20th August 2004




Iraq - the fight goes on!

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Lead

Bring troops home now, bereaved mother tells Blair

CHRISTINE Morgan, whose son died in Iraq last week serving with the 1st Battalion of the Black Watch Regiment, called on Tony Blair to bring British troops home from Iraq as soon as possible.

 Her son, Private Marc Ferns, was killed by a roadside bomb while on a routine exercise in Basra. Sergeant Kevin Stacey was critically injured in the blast and is now in hospital in Kuwait.

 “Get them home,” she said. “They are a peace-keeping force, they are supposed to have handed over to Iraq’s own forces.

 “How many more? It is 64 just now – I do not want that number to go any higher.”

 Sixty-four is the official total of British dead in the conflict so far but official figures are misreading. They do not include many who die later from injuries nor suicides.

 One such was Territorial Army soldier Peter Mahoney, who found it impossible to settle back into ordinary family life after his return from service in Iraq.

 He had been attached to the Royal Logistics Corps, ferrying medical supplies and injured soldiers between the front line and British Army hospitals near the Kuwaiti border.

 This had left him severely depressed and deeply scarred.

 He had always opposed the war within his local community and described Tony Blair as George Bush’s “puppet”.

 He held that the issue of weapons of mass destruction was “a smokescreen” and that the real purpose of the war was to seize Iraq’s oil fields.

 His wife, Donna Mahoney, found him in the fume-filled family car; a hosepipe attached to the exhaust.

 Before his suicide, a local newspaper had interviewed Peter Mahoney. He told them that far from being well equipped, the Iraqi military were firing “sticks and stones” and could not match the weaponry of the coalition.

smokescreen

 “The consensus among the troops was we were in Iraq so George Bush could seize control of the oil fields. All this talk of weapons of mass destruction was simply a smokescreen as far as we were concerned. There was certainly no evidence they existed.

 “I think Tony Blair was just following whatever Bush said. He was simply his puppet. He got in too deep and couldn’t back out.

 “From what we saw the Saddam regime didn’t have advanced weapons. Iraqi troops were using ancient Russian machines. They were firing sticks and stones. They might as well have had catapults.

 Members of Labour CND are planning to demonstrate outside the Labour conference in Brighton next month in protest at Blair’s invitation to the Iraqi puppet leader Iyyad Alawi to address the conference.

  Some see this as an attempt by Blair to defy critics of his policies on Iraq.

“This could backfire,” warned Alice Mahon MP, who chairs Labour CND. “The party leadership seriously underestimates the strength of feeling amongst its own members. This is the sort of stunt that could blow up in our face.

 “It is inevitable that Iraqi civilians are getting killed in the sort of military action that Alawi has sanctioned.

 “It will rightly be seen as outrageous for the Labour Party to play host to someone who has ordered an occupying army to fire on his own people.”
 
isolated

Meanwhile Blair’s adherence to Bush’s whims have left his isolated yet again in Europe as the European Union is considering lifting its 15-year-old arms embargo on China.

 George Bush is calling on Blair to lobby against lifting the embargo and US Secretary of State Colin Powell has expressed alarm at the idea of European weapons being used against US troops in the Taiwan Straits.

 That could only ever happen if the US was engaged in yet another imperialist aggressive adventure and currently the US is failing to cope with its existing venture in Iraq.

 And it is a sign that the world conquering ambitions of this extreme right-wing US government are driving every other major power on the planet to move closer together for mutual defence.

 It leaves Blair isolated and irrelevant. 

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Editorials

Not wanted at Conference


TONY BLAIR has once again shown his utter contempt for the party he claims to lead by planning to invite the puppet leader of Iraq to Labour Party conference in Brighton next month.

Blair has left much of the organisational work to his underlings while he and his family lord it at the Sardinian mansion of Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi, though he did find time to hold a business meeting with his host to condemn the massacre of refugees in Burundi and express their “concern” over the crisis in Darfur – the latest targets of US-led imperialism.
 
But nothing is ever said about the killing of innocent Iraqis by the Americans in Iraq, except to condemn the Iraqi partisans who are trying to stop  the slaughter  or denigrate the European peace movement that is campaigning to end the conflict.

Stooge Iraqi “premier” Iyyad Alawi, is an agent of imperialism, a quisling and a traitor. Blair hopes to project him on the Brighton stage like last year’s jamboree that George Galloway, the Respect MP, compared to a “Nuremberg rally…stuffed full of apparatchiks”.  Labour’s anti-war campaigners must ensure that this doesn’t happen.

The heroic Iraqi resistance is battling to keep the US-led occupation army out of the liberated towns of Iraq. The resistance groups are fighting for freedom and independence and they are backed by the overwhelming majority of the Iraqi masses. Alawi and the puppet “interim government” represent no one but themselves and their masters. Handpicked by the Americans their authority barely extends beyond the US compound in Baghdad.
 
Labour CND plans to hold a mass protest picket outside the conference hall if Alawi shows his face and others are threatening to walk out if the Iraqi puppet is invited to speak.  They must make it plain to Alawi that he is not welcome at any labour movement gathering and make it clear to Blair that his time is up as leader of the Labour Party he has so long betrayed.
 
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Not wanted in Europe

George W Bush has shuffled his pack, ordering a major redeployment of US forces across the globe to beef up his beleaguered troops in Iraq. Two US army divisions are pulling out of Germany and half the US bases in Europe are going to be cut or closed.

At the moment US imperialism has almost 100,000 troops in Western Europe including over 10,000 stationed in Britain. That some American soldiers are packing their bags will be good news to the people who have had to put up with them for decades. But this isn’t a gift to the peace movement. The redeployment will actually strengthen the American presence in Eastern Europe, a region US imperialism seeks to develop as a buffer against Russia on one side, and Germany and France on the other.

 The demand remains for an end to the entire US military presence in Europe, east and west.   

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