The New Worker

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Week commencing 23rd March 2007

In memory of  Karl Marx - Chinese students at Highgate Cemetary last week

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by our Arab Affairs Correspondent

nniversary 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.

upbeat noises

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 find them.

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 talk. 

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 militant groups.

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 commander.

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 the 1990s.

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 first place.

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