The New Worker

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Week commencing 23rd September 2005




Workers vote for strike at Morrisons

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Lead

STOP THIS SHAMEFUL WAR NOW!

by our Arab Affairs Correspondent

TENSION is high in Basra following days of anti-imperialist violence. Hundreds of Iraqis, including local police, demonstrated outside the main police HQ demanding an end to the occupation on Wednesday. They also called for the return of two British soldiers to face Iraqi justice after they were freed in a British army raid that demolished a jail and a house last Monday.

Two SAS men, disguised as members of the Mahdi Army militia, were caught red-handed by the Basra police in a car packed with arms and explosives, after they had driven through a road-block guns-blazing, killing one policeman and wounding another. British tanks bulldozed the central prison and the safe house where the two SAS men had been spirited away, provoking a riot that led to the destruction of a British tank and armoured car.

play down

The British government and the puppet regime are trying to play down the incident while refusing to explain what the two commandos from the Special Reconnaissance Regiment were up to. A Mahdi Army official said “What our police found in their car was very disturbing – weapons, explosives and a remote control detonator. These are the weapons of terrorists. We believe these soldiers were planning an attack on a market or other civilian targets, and thanks be to God, they were stopped and countless lives saved.”

The Iraqi resistance has long accused the hidden hand of American and British intelligence of being behind the spate of bombings against the Shia Muslim community designed to provoke sectarian hatred and civil war. Others were instigated by Abu Musab al Zarqawi’s Sunni Muslim followers who run one of the most feared and ruthless guerrilla groups in the country.
 
 Though puffed up by the Western media as the leader of the anti-American struggle, Zarqawi was shunned by the major resistance movements who totally reject sectarianism. And this week Zarqawi’s group, which supports Al Qaeda, issued a statement recognising the role of Muqtada al Sadr’s Mahdi army and other patriotic Shia clerics and reversing earlier demands for “total war” against the entire Shia community.

Though Zarqawi’s movement undoubtedly exists, the same cannot be said for the man who was reportedly killed three years ago in Jordan. He has never been positively identified in Iraq and some believe that Zarqawi is largely a figment of the CIA’s imagination.

As one Al-Jazeera commentator put it: “At present, much of the rationale for maintaining the occupation depends on this elusive and, perhaps, illusory figure. It’s odd how Al-Zarqawi appears at the precise coordinates of America’s bombing-raids, and then, miraculously vanishes unscathed from the scene of the wreckage. This would be a remarkable feat for anyone, but especially for someone who only has one leg.”

united

More significantly, three major Iraqi political forces have come together to call for a united national front to end the occupation. The Baath party together with the Iraqi Patriotic Alliance and the Iraqi Intellectuals’ Association Against the Occupation are calling for an open and “serious fundamental dialogue” between all patriotic Iraqis to achieve unity behind the resistance to drive the occupiers out and build an independent, democratic country.

Fighting continues throughout the country as partisans strike hard against the US occupation army and its local lackeys.

Though the Americans have the power to punch into the cities and towns held by the partisans they can’t hold them. A US commander ironically noted last week that: “We’ve taken Samara four times and lost it again four times”. The resistance now controls large parts of the capital, Baghdad which is rocked by bombings and ambushes on a daily basis.

No road is safe for the imperialists or their collaborators. This week an American “diplomat” and a Kurdish MP were killed in roadside ambushes.

 The American and his three mercenary guards were killed in the northern city of Mosul during an attack on their convoy on Monday morning. The American was described as a “diplomatic security agent”. Another was killed in a mortar attack at Baghdad international airport in October 2004 and a third, a “special adviser” to the quisling “Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research” was shot dead last November near the American “green zone” military compound in Baghdad.

 The Kurdish MP was killed and another wounded when their convoy was hit north of Baghdad. And so it goes on.

Countless Iraqis and nearly 2,000 Anglo-American troops have been killed in the war. Nearly 15,000 imperialist troops have been wounded. This shameful, illegal war must bestopped.


MARCH for PEACE and LIBERTY SEPT 24

assemble 12 noon Parliament Square,
London, march to Hyde Park
New Worker sellers meet 11am, Queen Boudicea’s statue, Westminster Bridge
Organised by: Stop the War Coalition, Muslim Association of Britain, CND

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Editorial

Freedom for Iraq

  THIS WEEKEND millions of people in Britain, the United States and all over the world, are marching to demand an end to the Iraq war and an end to imperialist occupation.

Anglo-American imperialism stands isolated throughout the world on Iraq.

The occupation is opposed by People’s China, Russia, France, Germany and the overwhelming majority of the Third World. The vast majority of British people, including a substantial section of the bourgeoisie, also want out. Only the most venal and aggressive members of the ruling class — the war party that Tony Blair serves – want to prolong the cruel and costly occupation of Iraq.

The war was based on lies from beginning to end. We were told it was about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. That was a lie. They said the invasion in 2003 had United Nations sanction. That was a lie too. Then they said it was part of the “war against terror”. Another lie. Now we’re told the troops are helping to build “democracy” in the Middle East.

 That isn’t true either.

It was in fact a war for oil. A war in which US imperialism hoped to seize Iraq’s vast oil reserves, the second largest in the world, and thereby control the entire global oil market. That hasn’t happened either. The Iraqi resistance has made sure of it.

The overwhelming majority of the world’s know oil reserves are in the Arab world and imperialist control and plunder of this vast source of energy has been the root cause of conflict in the Middle East since 1948.
 
Hundreds of thousands of America’s Hurricane Katrina victims are destitute while billions of dollars are spent on the war in Iraq. British workers see their “welfare state” crumble before their eyes while millions are earmarked for the British expeditionary force in Iraq. 

Iraqis live in squalor while a billion dollars “disappears” from the puppet regime’s defence ministry as the quislings grab what they can in the comparative safety of the US “green zone” in Baghdad.

Throughout the summer Tony Blair’s spin merchants were telling us that things were getting better in Iraq and that the British expeditionary force in southern occupation zone could soon be reduced. Over 8,500 troops were going to be recalled in the autumn with further withdrawals next spring. The upsurge of resistance in Basra has changed all that. Now we’re told that 6,000 reinforcements will be sent to southern Iraq next month.

And so it goes on until the people put an end to all this nonsense. The protests and demonstrations must continue relentlessly to force the Labour Party and the Government to change course.

The labour and peace movement has a crucial role to play in isolating and defeating Blair and his cronies and ensuring that a new Labour leadership reflects the demands of the millions of working people that put them into office in the first place.

 The Iraqi resistance is fighting for peace and liberty. The Iraqi people don’t want partition or the perpetual presence of imperialist forces on their soil. They don’t need imperialist “aid” or “advice”. They possess vast oil resources that could easily restore their shattered economy and devastated social services for all the peoples of that predominantly Arab country. What they want is freedom. Sooner or later they will win.

 The Iraqi people must be given the right to self-determination and independence.  All British troops must be immediately and unconditionally withdrawn for Iraq.

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