The New Worker

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Week commencing 22nd July 2005

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by our Arab Affairs Correspondent

troops came under a hail of resistance rockets, bombs and bullets throughout occupied Iraq this week. American troops were repeatedly beaten back as they tried to advance into the western town of Rawah. Partisans bombed American camps and ambushed US patrols in Fallujah, the city stormed and “pacified” by US Marines last year.

A collaborator judge was killed in Nasiriyah and three Sunni Arabs on the puppet team charged with writing the stooge constitution were shot dead as they left a Baghdad restaurant on Tuesday. Former puppet premier Iyyad Alawi survived an assassination attempt during a visit to Lebanon and an American Republican congressman called for the bombing of Muslim holy sites, including Mecca, if the United States suffered more terror attacks from Muslim extremists. Meanwhile Iraqi patriots have accused the Americans of being behind recent bombings that killed large numbers of children.

Maverick Shia leader Muqtada al Sadr has accused the “hands of the American occupation and its collaborators” of carrying out the 13th July Baghdad bombing that killed 32 children and injured many others and the bombing of a fuel station in al Musayyib on 16th July that killed dozens more. All the major resistance movements have signed a joint communiqué denying any hand in these bombings.

 raced out

According to the Arab al Jazeera television, a traffic policeman said that US troops raced out of the street less than a minute before the Baghdad explosion and a fire brigade captain said the explosion left a very big crater in the ground unlike those caused by the resistance, who use old Iraqi army stock of Soviet-made TNT which explodes outwards. The traffic policeman was sacked within an hour of making his statement, which was dismissed as “irresponsible”.

More that two dozen doctors walked out of one of Baghdad’s busiest hospitals on Tuesday in protest against abuse from the puppet army. On Monday puppet troops barged into a women’s wing of the Yarmouk Hospital to conduct searches at gunpoint. “We know citizens may be a little upset but we have our rights too and we can’t operate and provide a service to people if we feel under threat,” Dr Assad Hind declared.

Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul has condemned remarks by a Colorado congressman calling for the bombing of Mecca as “nothing but a fanatic speaking completely personally, irresponsibly and without thought of how far his statements would reach or what kind of problems they would create”.

US Republican congressman Tom Tancredo told a radio chat-show presenter that if America sustained nuclear terror attacks from “extremist, fundamentalist Muslims” their holy sites including Mecca should be bombed. He later claimed he was “just throwing out some ideas” but insisted that an “ultimate threat” be met with an “ultimate response”.

Back in London Foreign Minister Jack Straw has censored a book on the run-up to the invasion of Iraq by Sir Jeremy Greenstock, Britain’s former ambassador to the United Nations. Greenstock, who was Blair’s special envoy in Iraq for a year, has criticised the Blair government’s handling of the war.

According to the Observer, some of the censored passages were highly critical of the United States. In one, Greenstock call’s Bush’s decision to invade “politically illegitimate”.

On Monday Defence Secretary John Reid confirmed that Britain was likely to begin reducing its forces in Iraq within the next 12 months. Reid insisted that Britain had no “long-term imperialist ambitions” in Iraq but added that British and American forces would stay as long as they were needed.

Blair and the rest of the British war party establishment may bleat that the London bombings have nothing to do with Iraq but the British people, who clearly think otherwise, had another bitter reminder of the price of imperialist war with the news that 11 British soldiers including a colonel are facing court-martial for war-crimes; three accused of killing an Iraqi civilian prisoner in September 2003.

As the guns blaze in Iraq, Bush and Blair’s dream of a new Anglo-American empire, the “Project for the New American Century”, is fading like a mirage in the desert sands.


The right not to be bombed

HOME SECRETARY Charles Clarke last week told European Union politicians that they must put the fight against terrorism above all concerns for civil liberties because “the right not to be blown up is the greatest human right of all”. It is a pity that our New Labour government in March 2003 did not consider for one moment that the people of Baghdad might share these sentiments before helping Bush to unleash the horrors of the “shock and awe” bombing raids on that city.

 Whatever the horror the four suicide bombers unleashed on London on 7th July, the horror unleashed by Bush and Blair in Iraq was several hundred times worse. Since then around 150,000 Iraqi civilians are estimated to have died as a result of that illegal invasion and the killing goes on.

 Some are now trying to blame the continuing bloodshed in Iraq on the Iraqi resistance. But statistics show that for every death attributable to the resistance, many more are caused directly by the occupation forces. Furthermore the courage and determination of the resistance fighters has forced Bush to think again about attacking other countries on his “axis of evil” list, or making a direct military intervention in various progressive political processes that are happening in Latin America.

 We cannot know exactly what was in the misguided minds of the suicide bombers who attacked London but we do know what motivated Bush’s attack on Iraq – greed for oil. So to hear Bush and Blair accusing others of mindless violence is the most nauseating hypocrisy.

 And the “outrage” that Blair pretends whenever somebody links the London bombings to his support for the invasion of Iraq is laughable. In February 2003 Whitehall’s joint intelligence committee told Blair that “al Qaeda and associated groups continued to represent by far the greatest terrorist threat to western interests, and that the threat would be heightened by military action against Iraq”.

 Then last week the Royal Institute of International Affairs published a paper saying that Britain is at particular risk “because it is the closest ally of the United States”.

 Blair tries to deny this and claims that he will not let terrorism influence his policies. But his policies do influence terrorists and recklessly put the British public at risk.

 But after having declared that he will not be influenced by terrorism, Blair instantly introduces a whole new raft of “anti-terror” measures and we are told we must sacrifice our civil liberties in order not to be bombed.

 Most of the general public are well aware that the proposed measures – identity cards, control orders (house arrest) and new laws about “indirect incitement to terrorism” will not prevent similar suicide attacks. They will simply accelerate the speed at which this country is moving to a police state. Making the “indirect support or celebration of terrorism” could in theory outlaw celebrations for Bastille Day or the Great October Revolution – or even the 4th of July.

 The terror bombers, far from weakening Bush and Blair, are actually strengthening them. Bush wanted to invade Iraq and Afghanistan – over oil and pipelines – as soon as he was elected. But he could not rally the support until after 11th September 2001. Earlier this month Blair seemed likely to be defeated over the issue of identity cards as popular opinion swung against them. Now he will have no problem. It is not that public opinion has changed again but that our MPs, with a few honourable exceptions, are easily bullied and panicked by Blair’s accusations that they are being soft on terrorists.

 Blair says we must confront head-on the “evil ideology” of Muslim fundamentalism that leads to terrorism. We say it is time to confront head on the evil ideology of capitalism and greed that leads to poverty, injustice and wars.

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