The New Worker
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 2nd September 2005
The Kachepa family and supporters
Welcome To Our Weekly Digest Edition
Please feel free to use this material provided the New Worker
DIVIDE AND RULE PLAN FALTERS
by our Arab Affairs Correspondent
plans to divide Iraq into three sectarian statelets are hitting the
buffers with Sunni politicians refusing to endorse the US-backed
“constitution” and opposition to it crossing the sectarian divide
within the Arab majority.
Maverick Shia cleric Muqtada al Sadr’s call to reject the puppet
constitution has now been embraced by another prominent Shia cleric and
warmly welcomed by Sunni religious leaders and mujahideen resistance
Thousands of Iraqis took to the streets last Friday to voice
their anger at American attempts to break-up Iraq like they did
Yugoslavia. Some carried portraits of Saddam Hussein; others chanted
religious slogans or burnt American flags.
In the poor neighbourhood of Baghdad known as Sadr City supporters of
the rebel cleric – who now wants simply to be called a “Muslim” rather
than a “Shia” leader – tore down posters of Grand Ayatollah Sistani,
the top Shia cleric who has put his weight behind American sponsored
Protests soon turned to violence when members of the pro-Sistani Badr
Brigades opened fire on al Sadr’s supporters. Al Sadr’s own Mahdi Army
responded in kind torching Badr Brigade offices in Baghdad, Najaf and
Basra before agreeing to a ceasefire.
Muqtada al Sadr’s move has significantly strengthened the
anti-imperialist forces but there are still major obstacles towards the
building a united resistance front – not least the attitude towards the
Baathist underground whose armed wings are responsible for the majority
of the attacks on the US-led army of occupation.
Al Sadr is, for instance, in favour of continuing the ban on the Baath
party under any constitution – a view shared by some of the Sunni
clerics as well. And until the concept of national reconciliation is
embraced by all sides a united political front will remain elusive.
In practice though, the various resistance movements and militias are
increasingly working together to fight the Americans and their lackeys.
The current resistance offensive has pushed the Americans onto the
defensive throughout occupied Iraq taking an ever increasing toll in US
lives and material.
The cost, as always, is borne by the American public and it is now
higher than it was during the Vietnam War, which the United States also
lost. According to a report published by two US liberal bodies, the
Institute for Policy Studies and Foreign Policy in Focus, the Iraq war
is costing America $5.6 billion a month or almost $186 million a day.
“By comparison, the average cost of US operations in Vietnam over the
eight-year war was $5.1 billion per month, adjusting for inflation,”
the report entitled the Iraq Quagmire said. Though the Vietnam War cost
12 per cent of America’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) compared
to the two per cent for Iraq today, the report points out that the Iraq
campaign is being financed with deficit spending and may nearly double
the projected US budget deficit over the next ten years.
“Broken down per person in the United States, the cost so far is $727,
making the Iraq War the most expensive military effort in the past 60
years,” the report concludes.
That’s not all. The cost of petrol in the United States is expected to
soar by 15 to 20 cents a gallon following the devastation in the wake
of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana and the continuing war in Iraq. Iraqi
commandos repeatedly hit oil exports last week, blowing up an oil well
in the Kirkuk field in the north of the country as well as a pipeline
feeding the Daura oil refinery in Baghdad.
Consequently, US crude oil prices surged to record highs on Monday
topping $70 a barrel after the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port and seven
refineries were closed ahead of the hurricane.
Huge anti-war demonstrations will take place in London and Washington
on 24th September. A massive turn-out in London will make it clear to
Blair that the people want all British troops out of Iraq now and that
the sooner he quits Downing Street the better.
US versus the rest of the world
EVER SINCE President
Bush nominated his mate Robert Bolton to be the United States
ambassador to the United Nations, the world has known there was trouble
in store. Even members of Bush’s own Republican Party opposed it,
leading to Bush having to appoint him in a so-called “recess
So the rest of the world was dismayed but not surprised when
Bolton began his term of office by demanding 750 amendments to a
proposed programme of reshaping and strengthening the UN – virtually
negating the whole plan.
Bolton wants to remove all references to the Millennium
Development Goals, which are aimed at reducing poverty and disease
while improving education, trade and aid. He wants to delete calls for
wealthy nations to give 0.7 per cent of their gross national product to
foreign aid and replace them with political and economic strings on all
He wants to reject a global action plan on world climate change
and to remove an appeal to the major nuclear powers to get cracking on
disarmament. Instead he wants the UN to concentrate on not letting
anyone else have nuclear weapons, through the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
He wants to remove any reference to the International Criminal
Court. Bush withdrew the American government from its commitment to
this court in 2002. Bolton also wants to keep developing countries
outside the World Trade Organisation.
The US, as a permanent member of the Security Council, can veto
any UN changes and Bolton’s demands will practically paralyse the UN.
The UN was founded after the Second World War as a forum for
nations to resolve differences peacefully without need to resort to
arms. Its strength and its political nature have always reflected the
balance of power in the world. In the early 50s the US imperialists
were able to use the UN as a front in the invasion of Korea. But
throughout the Cold War the strength of the Soviet Union and the
nonaligned inhibited the imperialists from using the UN in this way.
When the Soviet Union fell, the US imperialists saw it as their
opportunity to dominate the world, and again to use the UN as their
puppet. But they knew they had to move fast – other powers in the
world, including rival imperialists, were not going to hang about and
just let them take over the planet. The American neo-cons declared that
America no longer had allies – only interests.
They decided they needed full control over the world’s oil
supplies and this is what the Gulf Wars have been about. They were able
to use the UN as a front in the first Gulf War – but not the second.
The rest of the world was starting to feel uneasy about the blatant
greed for power of the American ruling clique.
The invasion of Iraq – thanks to the heroism of the Iraqi
resistance – has proved a nightmare for the US imperialists. Far from
securing a reliable source of cheap oil, the continuing conflict has
sent oil prices rocketing. And in America’s own backyard, precious
Venezuelan oil is now under the control of a progressive government
that wants to use it for the benefit of the people and not for
strengthening the power of the neo-cons.
So the neo-cons are giving up on any pretence of diplomacy. They
declare that the UN must do as the US says or they will effectively
render it useless.
In doing so, they hasten the process of uniting the rest of the
world against them. The US is now becoming world enemy number one. The
European Union, People’s China and Russia are forging closer links,
economically and politically. Brazil, India and Iran are moving closer
to each other in the face of US greed for power. Even Blair’s
government will not support Bolton in his demands on the UN. And in
American itself more and more people from all walks of life want to
distance themselves from the neo-con scramble for world domination.
The growing desperation of the neo-cons shows they themselves are
losing confidence and time is not on their side. The defeat of the most
extreme version of US imperialism is now looking possible. It is likely
to be messy and painful for the whole planet. But it will end is a
massive opportunity for the world’s working class to take huge strides
towards peace and socialism.
To the New Communist Party Page