The New Worker
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 2nd June 2006
Anti-war protesters in Los Angeles
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CALLS FOR PULL OUT MOUNT
by our Arab Affairs Correspondent
CALLS FOR the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all
imperialist troops in Iraq are mounting following the revelations about
the massacre of Iraqi civilians in Haditha and the increasing cost in
military lives as the resistance grows across the country.
British and American casualties are climbing and with the deaths of two
CBS TV crew members in a bomb attack in Baghdad, the number of
journalists who have died in hostile incidents in Iraq has risen to 71
— the same number killed or presumed dead during the Vietnam War.
Partisans downed another US helicopter gunship in western Iraq last
Saturday and launched attacks on imperialist and quisling forces across
Baghdad and throughout occupied Iraq. And the puppet regime has called
for “dialogue” with the resistance – a call that was contemptuously
dismissed by the partisans.
Five major Iraqi resistance movements rejected an offer of talks from
the new American puppet regime in Baghdad in a communiqué
released this week. They repeated their stand which is not “not to
recognise the legitimacy of any government under the shade of the
occupation, whatever form it might take” and warned the Iraqi people
“not to be taken in by the plans of the occupation to sell out or to
depart from their true aim, which is liberation.”
The Americans are pouring reinforcements into Iraq’s western province
of Al Anbar, calling in repeated air-strikes on the resistance
stronghold of Ramadi, where the Marines are holed-up in the town hall
in the centre of the city while British forces are now facing partisan
attacks on a scale never seen before in the south.
A state of emergency has been proclaimed in Basra, the provincial
capital in the heart of the British zone of occupied Iraq, now seething
with anti-imperialist anger.
Two British soldiers were killed and two others wounded in a roadside
bomb attack in Basra on Sunday, bringing to nine the number of British
troops killed in action this month and pushing total British deaths
since the war began three years ago to 113.
Resistance attacks on British occupation forces in southern Iraq rose
from 36 in January to 103 in April, firing the desertion rate that now
totals nearly a 1,000 since the Iraq war began in 2003.
Nearly 3,000 British soldiers have gone Awol every year since the start
of the Iraq war, and nearly a 1,000 of them are still missing,
according to Ministry of Defence figures.
Puppet premier Nouri Maliki toured Basra this week vowing to use an
“iron fist” to end the violence but given that his authority barely
stretches beyond the fortified US “Green Zone” compound in Baghdad
there is little he can do, apart to appeal to the mainly Shia
resistance movements in the south to end their harassment of the
British garrison.British troops are penned in their camps most of the
time while the Americans prefer to come out and fight at night with
night-vision equipment that’s in short supply to the resistance.
It also helps their troops avoid the searing heat, more so now in the
summer when temperatures soar to over 40C in daylight.
But the heat is the friend of the partisans born to the climate of the
Two Rivers and knowing this is the best time to step up their own war
for oil – the struggle to stop the imperialists plundering the vast oil
reserves that they coveted when they invaded Iraq in 2003.
Four major attacks on pipelines in May and continuous raids on fuel
tankers on the roads have also crippled electricity and water supplies,
which rely on oil-fuelled generators, in Baghdad. Running water is only
available for an hour a day, between 1 and 2 am and electricity is down
to one hour in five in many parts of the capital.
There Iraq’s jailed leader, Saddam Hussein, continued to defy his
accusers in the kangaroo court set up by the Americans to try him for
the deaths of Dujail villagers during his rule.
One defence witness has already been murdered while another claimed
that many of the 148 civilians allegedly executed after an attempt to
kill the Iraqi president failed in 1982 are, in fact, still alive.
The anonymous witness from the same village said the case against
Saddam was built on bribes. “The prosecutor said they were executed but
I am telling you I ate with them some time ago” he swore. “Many of them
have become rich and occupy powerful positions,” he said, as he
testified from behind a curtain, going on to write down names for the
“If it is true and these people are still alive, this whole case should
be reconsidered from the beginning,” one of the Saddam defence team
First it was the “coalition of the willing” that soon became
“unwilling” as many of the minnows dragooned into sending troops in
support of the Anglo-American occupation bottled out. Now it’s dubbed
the “coalition of the dwindling”. Italy and south Korea are pulling
their troops out by the end of the year. Token forces from other
countries like Japan are expected to follow. The sooner Britain follows
The beast is on the back foot
WHEN BUSH AND BLAIR met last
week at Georgetown University to make mutually supportive speeches, the
world’s press did not portray them as great world statesmen so much as
two pathetic lame ducks, trying to shore each other up. The New York
Times described Blair as looking “dismayed and tongue-tied”.
For the very first time, they admitted some mistakes over the
illegal invasion of Iraq and Bush conceded his “tough talk” and “bring
it on” challenge to the resistance had been a mistake. He said: “I’m
afraid, in the end we were always going to have to be prepared for the
fall of Saddam not to be the rise of democratic Iraq.”
Bush also had a desperate message for Blair: “I want him to be
here so long as I’m the president.”
Blair used his speech to call for a reorganisation of the United
Nations – no doubt voicing Bush’s hopes. He called for “values based on
interventionism” in the name of democracy and human rights. “What we
want is to make sure the UN is an effective instrument for multilateral
action,” he said. In other words Bush and Blair want to use the UN in
pre-emptive actions against any country in the world that dares to defy
It is a pipe-dream and both of them know it. Most world leaders
recognise that the UN is long overdue for reform but such pro-American
changes would never be endorsed either by the General Assembly nor by
the Security Council. People’s China, Russia and France would veto such
changes and the nations of Africa, Asia and Latin America would never
let it pass.
Some wondered if Blair was making a bid to become the next UN
secretary general after he quits as Prime Minister. It is more likely
that Bush and Blair would like to use the issue to withdraw US and
British support for the UN – but even in that ambition they know their
time in office is now limited and their successors are not likely to do
US imperialism is now weaker than it has been for a long time.
Bush’s adventurism in Afghanistan and Iraq has US and British military
strength tied down more firmly than Brer Rabbit was stuck to the Tar
Baby. Bush is making threats to bomb Iran but he cannot threaten to
invade without reintroducing conscription in America. In both Britain
and the US army recruitment is tumbling while desertions are soaring.
The cannon fodder is no longer willing. Bombing Iran will be terrible
and cause death a suffering. But it would not defeat the Iranian
people. It would make them more angry and more anti-American.
US imperialism is also losing its power to blackmail other
nations economically. It has blockaded Cuba for around 40 years, yet
the socialist island survives. Now the Chavez government in Venezuela
is willing to sell oil to countries that defy the US. China is growing
as a giant world economic power – beyond the control of Washington.
Russia and the EU are no longer dancing to America’s tune. The US can
no longer threaten to isolate countries that defy it from “the world
economic community”. It can only further isolate itself.
Two weeks ago Hugo Chavez told a mass rally in London that US
imperialism was doomed as a pig on its way to the slaughterhouse. The
most reactionary and avaricious section of the global ruling class is
staring defeat in the face.
But there is no cause for complacency. Soon Bush and Blair will
both be out of office and their successors are likely to be cleverer. A
Democrat government in the US could take up the EU plan to withdraw
from Iraq, which has been on offer since 2003. That would mean all US
and British forces leaving the country while neutral UN troops and
negotiators broker a genuine sovereign Iraqi state. Such a government
could mend bridges with Europe and Russia and try to reassert US
economic influence more subtly. This more sophisticated form of
imperialism could be more dangerous in the long run.
But it would have a hard task after the damage that Bush has done
at home as well as abroad. US political writer Noam Chomsky is already
describing the US as a “failed state”, unable to protect its citizens,
believing it is above the law and lacking democracy. These three
criteria would theoretically justify a UN intervention.
Political thinkers in the US are pondering America Beyond
Capitalism – a new book by Gar Alperowitz. It’s still a long way to go
to realising that socialism is the way forward but a step in the right
direction. A US controlled by its working class would be a very
different place to what it is now. We live in hopes of that happening
but we know there are no guarantees.
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