The New Worker

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Week commencing 21st May 2004

The wall must go! Demonstrators last Saturday

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by our Arab Affairs correspondent

THE IRAQI resistance hammered the Americans on Monday, striking down the head of the puppet “interim council” in the heart of Baghdad while fierce fighting continues in the besieged cities of Najaf, Karbala and Kut. 

And as more revelations of sadism and atrocity at the US Abu Ghraib concentration camp come out, Anglo-American imperialism is scrabbling around to find more troops to boost the occupation that now has its back to the wall.

Abdel Zahra Osman, also known as Izzedin Salim, was the  head of the quisling “interim governing council” when he was killed together with his deputy and six other Arab traitors on Monday when a car laden with explosives rammed them as they were queuing to enter the American central headquarters in Baghdad.

Salim and his entourage were on their way to a meeting of the puppet council when they were struck down by the resistance. Fifteen others were injured by the blast including two American soldiers. The driver, a member of the Arab Resistance Movement, sacrificed himself in the attack.


Izzedin Salim was the leader of the  “Islamic Dawah Party” a sectarian Shia movement long opposed to the Baath whose militia regularly fight alongside the US occupation army. Salim was a willing tool of imperialism appointed to sit on the quisling council whose members take in turn to pretend to govern Iraq. Salim’s turn came up in more than one sense this month.

On Wednesday a US army guard was court-martialed and sentenced to a year’s imprisonment for abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib. He admitted taking some of the images of prisoner abuse that have shocked the world in recent days. But others facing court-martial are pleading not guilty claiming they were only following orders of senior US intelligence officers.


US intelligence officers instructed military police at Abu Ghraib on pre-interrogation techniques that were in violation of the Geneva Convention, according to the New York Times on Tuesday. The paper says the information came from a classified, 6,000-page report by General Antonio Taguba on the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal. Meanwhile the US Senate Armed Services Committee has summoned three senior commanders to testify about the abuse of Iraqi prisoners.

General John Abizaid, head of US operations in the Middle East, General Ricardo Sanchez, ground commander in Iraq and Major-General Geoffrey Miller, head of detention operations in Iraq all have to answer questions on the scandal that is rocking Washington.

The vultures who hoped to plunder Iraq under the cover of Bush and Blair’s guns are also having second thoughts following the wave of kidnappings and attacks on foreign contractors. Most of the countries that opposed the invasion, like Russia, France and Germany, have advised their nationals to leave.

hanging on

American corporations like Bechtel and Halliburton are hanging on. But Bechtel employs two security guards for every one of its western staff in Baghdad and 34 Halliburton employees have been killed so far in Iraq.

The Americans have now been forced to transfer troops from south Korea to bolster their crumbling hold on Iraq and Blair has dutifully obeyed the call as well.


Four thousand troops will be sent from their garrisons in south Korea to Iraq and Britain is planning to send 3,000 re-enforcement’s to take the place of the countries that have followed Spain’s example by pulling their token forces out.

At the UN Anglo-American imperialism is still trying to wring a face-saving mandate from an increasingly sceptical and hostile Security Council. The US “transfer of power” still set for June has been exposed as a farce and Russia and France are taking the lead in opposing any UN move that could sanctify the invasion and occupation they opposed from the start.

Western media pundits now say that Iraq spells “quagmire” for imperialism but for the Arabs it now clearly reads Victory. 


The Way Out in Iraq

THE BLAIR GOVERNMENT has spent as much on the war in Iraq over the past 18 months, some £10 billion, as on pensioners over the past seven years, the National Pensioners Convention was told in Blackpool this week. That’s another grim statistic to add to the list that includes the numbers of Iraqis slaughtered by Anglo-American imperialism’s forces or the number of torture victims languishing in the American’s Abu Ghraib concentration camp in Baghdad.

Nothing should surprise us now. Or as Michael Moore, the American satirist and film producer put it: “Immoral behaviour begets immoral behaviour. If you create the immorality don’t be surprised then if immoral behaviour takes place.”

Moore was doubtless thinking of the appalling images of sadistic violence and sexual abuse coming out of the Abu Ghraib prison – scenes that stunned US senators who voiced their “shock” and  “disgust” at the gruesome acts committed by American guards against Iraqi prisoners.

A number of US soldiers have indeed been arrested and they will no doubt be made to account for their actions in an American court. Their lawyers will plead that they were obeying orders. While that doesn’t excuse personal responsibility, their claim that they were acting on the authority of US intelligence agencies, if proven, points the finger straight at Bush and his defence minister, Donald Rumsfeld.

The fact that the Daily Mirror has backed down over the photos of alleged British army brutality they published doesn’t let Blair off the hook either. Iraqis in the British zone of occupation have made many claims of brutality and unlawful killing against the Army of which only a small number are likely ever to be heard in a British court, if at all.  

Karl Marx famously said that “no nation which oppresses another can itself be free”. Marx had Ireland and the British workers in mind when he wrote this in the 19th century. It’s still true today in the occupied north of Ireland as much as in occupied Iraq.

Make no mistake about this – British workers are paying a heavy price for the criminal ambitions of the Bush and Blair clique. Pensioners are forced to eke out a miserable existence to enable the Army to do America’s dirty work in southern Iraq. Working people are condemned to long hours on pittance pay while social welfare is being slashed to keep the British war machine and its arsenal of nuclear weapons going.

Of course the greatest victims are the Iraqis themselves, under an Anglo-American occupation they neither asked for nor wanted. But they have taken destiny into their own hands, taking up the gun to fight for their freedom.
Today the media pundits on both sides of the Atlantic are talking about the search for an “exit strategy” as if it was as elusive as the Holy Grail. Well, there’s no mystery here. The Iraqi resistance is pointing the way – it’s out the door, same way they came in.

And at home the quickest way to end the war is to boot Blair out and replace him with a Labour leader who will heed the workers and pensioners and not the megalomaniac dreams of world domination of George W Bush and his cohorts.

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