The New Worker

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Week commencing 28th January 2005

Leon Greenman - An Auschwitz survivor speaks

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by our Arab Affairs correspondent

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 anti-immigration groups”.

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 totally rejected.

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