The New Worker
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 28th January 2005
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REJECTS SHAM BALLOT
by our Arab Affairs correspondent
IRAQI PARTISANS have
launched new attacks throughout Iraq on the eve of the bogus elections
organised by US imperialism to legitimise their chosen puppets. And US
forces suffered their biggest single loss since the war began in March
2003 when a US helicopter transport packed with Marines went down in
the deserts of western Iraq.
Thirty-five American Marines were killed in western Iraq on Wednesday
including 31 who died when their Chinook helicopter plunged into the
desert near the frontier with Jordan. The Chinook was part of a convoy
taking part in an operation to combat guerrilla raids along the main
route to Jordan. Chinooks fly at relatively low speeds and at low
altitudes making them very vulnerable to rocket attacks from the
ground. The Marines have declined to provide an explanation for the
crash and no resistance group has claimed responsibility for it so far.
Bombings, ambushes and street battles in the towns and cities of Iraq
are shattering the myth of occupation. No more so than on the streets
of Baghdad. Puppet premier Iyyad Alawi narrowly escaped death again
when a resistance fighter rammed an explosives-laden car into the
check-point outside Alawi’s “National Accord” party HQ. A senior
quisling judge was gunned down in broad daylight and resistance units
battled with American troops at the international airport on Monday
forcing two Jordanian airliners to return home.
The Iraqi resistance has issued a general call to arms for a massive
escalation of operations against the US enemy and its quislings in the
run-up to this weekend’s sham elections. Partisans are hitting polling
stations and the offices of the quisling parties that dance to the
Americans’ tune. They’re pounding American bases and sweeping the roads
to cut supplies to the US-led occupation army and its local lackeys.
And the US hold on Iraq’s oil industry has been shaken by daily acts of
sabotage by partisans who have forced the US military administration to
import oil into Iraq, a country that possesses the second-largest oil
reserves in the world. But petrol and propane imports by road from
Saudi Arabia and Syria have also ground to a halt following relentless
guerrilla attacks on the petrol tankers.
The Americans have virtually lost control of central Iraq, admitting
that voting will barely take place in the four provinces they call the
“Sunni triangle” which include Baghdad and Mosul, the two biggest
cities in the country. But there is never any doubt about the outcome
of Sunday’s vote. Regardless of the turn-out, and it will be pitifully
small outside the southern Shia Muslim belt, a new puppet regime will
be proclaimed next week little different to the one that currently
cowers inside the US “Green Zone” military compound in Baghdad.
Anglo-American imperialism clearly hopes that the Shia hierarchy, led
by Grand Ayatollah Ali al Sistani, will prop up the new puppet
government in the mistaken belief that they will be given substantial
powers in return. Other Shia politicians, including long-time CIA
agent, convicted fraudster and onetime puppet premier Ahmad Chalabi,
are calling for an autonomous Shia state in southern Iraq with powers
similar to those of the Kurdish feudal leaders in the north.
Partition is clearly American imperialism’s fall-back position. Iraqis
fighting amongst themselves would be an added bonus. But no Iraqi
except for the feudal Kurdish chiefs and those directly on the American
payroll want the civil war that would inevitably follow any attempt to
break up the country along sectarian lines.
But the flames of resistance are spreading to the Shia south, outraged
at the reports of British army torture of prisoners and even amongst
the patriotic Kurdish community.
It was an illegal invasion. It’s an illegal occupation and the puppets
are an illegal regime. No number of rigged elections can change these
facts. The armed Iraqi resistance is the only legitimate representative
of the Iraqi people.
Howard plays the race card
WHEN THE TORIES are in the
doldrums, and they certainly are today, their last resort is to play
the anti-immigrant card as Michael Howard dutifully did last week in a
desperate attempt to shore-up his party’s flagging fortunes.
Howard says his plan would deliver a “substantial reduction in the
number of people settling in the UK” whose numbers he claims have
reached crisis-point in Britain. Howard’s five-point programme
clearly targets asylum seekers and refugees. It includes an annual
limit on immigration and a quota for refugees based a points system
used in Australia that is regarded by senior Labour politicians as
unsuitable and unworkable in this country. It’s a programme that
Refugee Council chief executive Maeve Sherlock warned was “dangerous,
ill thought-out and hugely irresponsible”.
Michael Howard can say what he likes as he knows full well that his
proposals will never be implemented even in the extremely unlikely
event of his party getting re-elected. The Tory plan, which will
doubtless be a major plank in their election manifesto, contravenes the
existing policy of the European Union. It would also require Britain to
first of all withdraw from the 1951 United Nations Convention on
Refugees and then repeal of the Human Rights Act, not to mention
decades of British case-law.
Labour has rightly rejected Howard’s plans but their low-key response
can only play into the Tories’ hands. It was left to Trevor Phillips,
the chair of the Commission for Racial Equality, to point out that
asylum applications have now fallen by 40 per cent and economic
migration some 10 per cent and robustly to accuse the Tory leader of
basing his policy on the “ill-informed propaganda of the more demented
There is, of course, a global refugee and asylum problem. What
bourgeois politicians rarely mention is the root cause of it because it
is largely generated by capitalist exploitation and imperialist
aggression in the first place. The bulk of the world’s refugees are
found in the countries of the Third World, forced out of their homes by
climate change, economic collapse or conflicts ultimately inspired and
funded by the major imperialist powers.
Millions of Palestinian refugees, driven from their homes by Zionist
aggression in 1948 and subsequent wars in the Middle East, are still
waiting for their right to return recognised by the United Nations but
ignored by Israel and Anglo-American imperialism for over 50 years. And
millions of Africans and Asians have been made destitute by the
policies of “globalisation” that have ruined their national economies
and have reduced their countries to neo-colonies of the United States.
Scapegoating minority groups to divert working people from the real
cause of their poverty and oppression is an old trick used by the Czar
in the nineteenth century against the Jews and refined to new heights
of brutality by Adolf Hitler in the 20th. Scrabbling in the gutter
chasing racist votes in competition with the BNP may look harmless in
comparison but it will inevitably give the green light for more racist
attacks on Jews, Muslims and other minorities in Britain. It must be
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