The New Worker

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Week commencing 29th October 2004

Coffin up blood on the Whitehouse lawn!

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by Daphne Liddle

and serving United States soldiers have formed an organisation opposing the continued illegal occupation of Iraq and are calling for the withdrawal of all troops and opposition to the war is growing throughout the US.

 This follows news that members of a US army reserve platoon were arrested in Iraq for refusing a “suicide mission” to transport fuel through an area north of Baghdad where ambushes occur frequently.

Amber McClenny, who serves in that platoon, wrote to her mother: “We had broken-down trucks, non-armoured vehicles and we were carrying contaminated fuel. They are holding us against our will. We are now prisoners.”

 This sparked a flood of similar stories from veterans, telling of other troops being sent on missions without proper equipment and raised the spectre of collapsing US morale.

 As late as six months after the March 2003 illegal invasion, as many as 51,000 US soldiers and civilian administrators in Iraq still had not been properly equipped with body amour and other protective gear.

The Washington Post reported that family members bought expensive flak jackets and other security gear and used international couriers to send it to their sons and daughters.

 Speaking of low rates of combat readiness of his ground forces, because of inadequate combat and protective equipment, Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, the senior US commander on the ground in Iraq from mid 2003 to mid-2004, declared: “I cannot continue to support sustained combat operations with rates this low.”

 A number of soldiers have joined a group called Veterans Against the Iraq War (VAIW). It was founded two years ago and has now grown to include personnel serving in Iraq. It has a website: .

 Meanwhile President George W Bush is on the defensive after confirmation that a huge cache of powerful explosives has gone missing in Iraq since the illegal US invasion and occupation of the country.

One Whitehouse spokesperson expressed a forlorn hope that they had not “fallen into the wrong hands”.

 But Democrat presidential candidate John Kerry has accused Bush of “incredible incompetence” over the disappearance of the explosives.

It was the International Atomic energy Authority that first reported that 380 metric tons of high explosive had vanished from an unguarded military site shortly after the US-led invasion in March 2003.

 The United Nations nuclear watchdog issued a report, saying the material could be used in conventional bombs or to trigger an explosion in a nuclear device.

 Last month the UN nuclear inspectorate drew attention to nuclear materials that had also gone missing.

 In London on Monday former US President Jimmy Carter accused Bush of exploiting the suffering of 11 September and turning back decades of efforts to make the world a safer place, showing the deepening divisions among the imperialists.

 Carter called the invasion of Iraq “a completely unjust adventure based on misleading statements”.

 Bush’s stooges in Iraq are also dissatisfied. The puppet Iraqi Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi, last week accused the US forces of “great negligence” when 49 recruits to the collaborationist army were killed by the resistance.

The recruits were on their way home from an American-run training camp during the holy month of Ramadan, when the minibuses they were travelling in were ambushed.

 The Bush administration described this as a heinous crime, while his forces continue to bomb and blast the resistance town of Fallujah, killing hundreds of Iraqi civilians.
Meanwhile hundreds of civilians took to the streets of Baghdad last week to show their support for kidnapped aid worker Margaret Hassan, the first public protest against hostage taking. Rebel militias have denied taking her hostage, leading to speculation that she was taken to make the resistance look bad.
not her

The commander of one group of Iraqi insurgents in Fallujah told reporters: “This woman works for a humanitarian organisation. She should not have been kidnapped.

 “She has been living in Iraq for 30 years and she was a humanitarian. The resistance did not kidnap her because this would have left a bad impression of the resistance in the world.”

 Commanders of five separate guerrilla groups in Fallujah have said they were not holding Hassan.


Minding the children

 THE YOUTH Justice Board and the Ministry of Defence have been collaborating on designing military training camps for disruptive children, where they will be subjected to a gruelling regime to teach punctuality, respect and physical fitness. And they are already working on a version tailored to primary school children who are showing early signs of aggressive or disruptive behaviour. Those who complete the course will win a certificate and automatic referral to a cadet force.

 These will work on the same principle as military training, which uses bull and harsh discipline to break the will of rebels and non-conformists and then reconstruct their personality to obey orders instantly and automatically, to build fierce group loyalties that go beyond reason but never to challenge authority or those who govern them.

 To inflict this on adults is bad enough but to do it to children is shocking. We do have a lot of disruptive children in Britain today. This is because our capitalist culture does not value children and neglects them. Parents are forced to work long, long hours to meet rising bills, mortgages, debt repayments and so on, just to keep a roof over the family head and food on the table. The pressure on single parents is even greater. Patterns of working hours are now chaotic – to suit the boss, not the worker or their family. Exhaustion leaves parents unable to give their children the time and attention they need.

 The great social spending cuts of the Thatcher years took away unnumbered child support facilities from welfare clinics to youth clubs. School budgets have been slashed leading to fewer teachers, bigger classes and no extra support either for those with learning or social problems or for those with talents to be developed in out of school hours clubs.

 Wonderful facilities like Marchants Hill, a nature study camp for children in the Surrey woods run by the Inner London Education Authority, that provided a real holiday in the countryside, a first experience of staying a few days away from Mum as well as direct practical study of nature, are now gone – sold off to millionaires. Playing fields are sold. Out-of-hours school clubs are no more. Our children are just left to get on with it by themselves in huddles on street corners. No one praises them; no one stretches their talents; no one notices when they are in distress. No wonder a few end up with anti-social traits, it’s a wonder they all don’t.

 What our children need most is more adult time, care and attention, not just from parents but from their teachers, their wider family, their neighbours – the whole of society. They need to be introduced gradually to adult culture and society, appropriate behaviour and responsibility by all those around them. They need to be talked to and they need to be listened to. They need to be valued, to have their achievements praised and their problems shared. But under capitalism time is money and it can’t be spared.

 The way that children are treated and catered for is perhaps the strongest contrast between capitalism and socialism. Travelling to any socialist country and seeing the enormous provision for children, for their physical health, their mental health and their cultural acceptance is remarkable. And it produces highly talented, well-adjusted, and treasured young people. What really strikes you is their confidence – their society values them and they know it.

 We don’t want our children brutalised and brainwashed in army camps into willing cannon fodder for capitalism, their minds closed to questioning authority or the system they live under. These camps are an outrage against all human decency.

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