The New Worker
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 23rd March 2007
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Chinese students at Highgate Cemetary last week
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IMPERIALISM ‘ON THE RUN’
by our Arab Affairs Correspondent
THE FOURTH anniversary of the invasion of Iraq was marked by
anti-war protests throughout the world. But in occupied Iraq the puppet
regime chose to “celebrate” the occasion by hanging Saddam Hussein’s
former deputy president, Taha Yassin Ramadan at dawn onTuesday morning.
Ramadan was sentenced to life imprisonment for his part in the alleged
killing of 148 Shia Muslims following a failed assassination attempt
against Saddam in Dujail in 1982. But when he appealed the
kangaroo court condemned him to death.
Russia was quick to condemn the hanging. The execution of former
Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan will not help restore
stability in the country, Russian Foreign Ministry official Mikhail
Kamynin declared in Moscow. “We voice our regret over the execution of
the former vice president of Iraq and once again stress that such
actions will not help normalise the situation in the country,” he said.
“Only the launch of an effective dialogue involving all forces inside
Iraq and the international community, including Iraq’s neighbours, can
make a real contribution to the normalisation of the situation in Iraq,
primarily in the sphere of security,” Kamynin said.
Hundreds of mourners turned up to Ramadan’s funeral in the village of
Ouja later in the day. His body, draped in an Iraqi flag, was buried
near the flower-covered graves of Saddam Hussein and other
members of the former Baathist government hanged in January.
Back in Baghdad US High Command has been making upbeat noises at the
“success” of their “surge offensive”. But though it has reduced the
number of sectarian bombings in the Iraqi capital, it has done nothing
to reduce the losses suffered by their troops in clashes with the
resistance. The heavily fortified US “Green Zone” military compound is
coming under repeated rocket and mortar fire and partisan units are
hitting the Americans and their puppet auxiliaries wherever they can
And for the first time suicide bombers have used chemical weapons in
double attacks in the nationalist city of Fallujah, 60 km west of
Baghdad. Tankers full of chlorine gas were driven into a puppet police
station and the home of a local sheikh who backs the puppet regime.
Puppet “vice-president” Tariq al-Hashimi, a Sunni Muslim, made a new
overture to the resistance this week calling on the partisans, who he
described as “just part of the Iraqi communities”, to sit down and
Hashimi said there was “no way but to talk to everybody”, with the
exception of al-Qaeda, which was “not very much willing in fact to talk
to anybody”. All other groups should sit down to discuss their “fears
and reservations”, he said. This echoed earlier remarks by the US
commander, General David Petraeus, who conceded military force was “not
sufficient” to bring security and it was “critical” to speak to some
Whether they’re prepared to talk to him is another matter. This week
five major resistance movements agreed to form a united military and
political front. The Islamic Army of Iraq, the Mujahideen
Army, the Rashidin Army, the 1920 Revolution Brigades, and the
Islamic Resistance Front held meetings over three consecutive
days to reach agreement on uniting their efforts in resisting the
occupation and its stooges and uniting their political positions.
These partisans will also take one common name and chose a general
Meanwhile the underground Arab Socialist Renaissance Party (Baath) has
issued a new call to drive the imperialists out of Iraq this year. The
resistance, they say, controls most of Baghdad apart from “some tiny
little pockets including the Green Zone” and that the financial,
intelligence and political support and the “inexhaustible flow of
volunteers” for the resistance is the key to victory. The resistance
has fired a global revolution against American imperialism, the Baath
maintains, and the United States is a “paper tiger”.
The Baath points out that former Soviet leader Khrushchov failed
despite his might and nuclear weapons to put his words into practice
and Chinese leader Mao Zedong said “yes, America is a paper tiger but
it has nuclear fangs”.
Nothing to celebrate
THE EUROPEAN UNION is marking
its 50th anniversary this month with pomp and ceremony and a chorus of
praise from the media that serves Franco-German imperialism. But
working people have gained little or nothing from the Treaty of Rome
that established the Common Market on 25th March 1957.
We’re told that the EU has ended war on the European continent,
established democracy throughout Europe and created open borders that
have led to unparalleled prosperity for all over the past 50 years.
The reality is somewhat different. It was the Potsdam Agreement between
the Soviet Union, America and Britain in 1945 which broke up the Nazi
Third Reich that guaranteed peace in Europe until the collapse of the
Soviet Union in 1990. It was the EU and Franco-German imperialism
in alliance with Anglo-American imperialism, that broke up Yugoslavia,
incited civil strife in the Balkans and bombed Serbia to its knees in
Here, only workers over 50 can remember the days when Britain was
outside the confines of the Common Market – an era of cheap imported
food and clothing from the Commonwealth and beyond.
Certainly we have open borders now in Europe that spare the British
tourist some of the hassle of passport control. But we’re going to pay
the price with the introduction of identity cards a 100 times more
intrusive than the old passport regime.
Yes the EU does recognise minority languages like Irish, Welsh and
Catalan but it doesn’t recognise minority rights for the Basques or the
Bretons let alone the millions of migrant workers from Africa and Asia
who provide the cheap labour the EU needs to keep its cities running.
The European Union is not an exercise in democracy. It is nothing more
than a capitalist market designed solely to serve the needs of Europe’s
capitalists, industrialists and landowners. It allows the mobility of
labour and capital to suit the needs of the big business interests it
serves. The EU creates an artificial market for European agriculture to
keep the farmers quiet that is paid for up-front in higher prices on
the counter. It has no democratic structures nor is there any
intention to introduce any in the future.
The sham European Parliament has no powers to change EU policy, raise
taxes or initiate legislation. It doesn’t control the armed forces or
the European Central Bank. Power lies with the appointed European
Commission which then makes recommendations to the Council of
Ministers, who themselves are nominees of the member states. All the EU
institutions, the parliament and the commission, have become bywords
for undemocratic practices, corruption, nepotism and waste and fraud on
a massive scale and it is all propped up by VAT which puts most of the
tax burden on those who can least afford it – the workers.
The ultimate aim of Franco-German imperialism, supported by most of
Europe’s bourgeoisie, is to create a super-state that is neither
genuinely federal or democratic in form or content.
European social-democracy and this includes the revisionist communists
who have flocked to the “European Party of the Left”, have long
accepted European integration. For the past 50 years they’ve been
saying that the Common Market and its successors could be reformed to
serve the interests of working people. But they cannot show a single
benefit which could not have been won through class struggle and they
say nothing about what the working class has lost over the decades.
In 1915 Lenin said that “a United States of Europe, under capitalism,
is either impossible or reactionary”. He was right then and he is right
now. The EU cannot be reformed. The only way it can be changed is by
tearing up the Treaty of Rome that established the Common Market it the
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