The New Worker
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 31st May 2007
Iraqi resistance show their power
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RESISTANCE UNITY IS THE KEY
by our Arab Affairs Correspondent
AMERICAN FORCES are being pounded across Iraq as the partisans
surge forward in waves of attacks and bombings that reflect the
increasingly sophisticated tactics and weapons of the guerrilla
movement today. Ten US soldiers were killed in action this week
bringing the number of imperialist troops killed this month to
122, of which 117 were American – making May the deadliest month for
American forces so far this year.
Resistance commandos blew up a major oil well north-west of the
northern city of Kirkuk in a dawn attack on 24th May and the fires are
still blazing. No casualties were reported but the puppet regime says
it could take “several weeks” to put the fire out.
Fighting continues in Mosul, which was bombed by US warplanes on
Monday and an American helicopter gunship was shot down in the eastern
Diyala province that borders Iran. The partisans then ambushed the
rapid-response team that was rushing to rescue the crew, killing six
with a barrage of roadside bombs.
Back in Baghdad the heavily fortified “Green Zone” that houses US
military HQ and the puppet government is coming under partisan Grad
missile attacks, while other units rocketed US intelligence HQ at
Saddam International Airport and blew up an important bridge in the
west of the capital.
Meanwhile American and puppet regime forces are scouring the city in
search of five Britons – four mercenaries and a “finance expert” –
kidnapped by men wearing puppet police uniforms in a raid on the
Finance Ministry building on Tuesday. Though one puppet minister
believes supporters of maverick Shia cleric Muqtada al Sadr are holding
the captives, this has been categorically denied by al Sadr’s Mahdi
All of this has overshadowed the American-Iranian talks that took place
in Baghdad on Monday under a veil of secrecy. The four- hour meeting
between the Iranian and American ambassadors to the puppet regime was
ostentatiously low-key for first bilateral public talks between the two
countries in almost 30 years. But it has been roundly condemned by the
underground Arab Socialist Renaissance Party (Baath) that was locked in
a bloody conflict with Iran during the 1980s during Saddam Hussein’s
The talks, sponsored by the puppet regime which has close relations
with Iran, revolved exclusively around the future of Iraq. The Iranians
called for an end to the occupation and the “immoral acts of the
But they also condemned the “rampant insecurity caused by terrorists”
and said they were duty bound to fully support the puppet regime, which
they called “the democratic government of Iraq”.
The Baath said that this meeting was “an official and frank US
admission for the first time that Iran is the US main partner into
occupying Iraq from the beginning and until this very moment; and that
both the United States and Iran, regardless of their differences on how
to share the booty in Iraq and in the region, will always agree on
Iraq’s future and especially in wiping out Iraq’s Arab identity”.
The Baath called on the resistance movements to end their squabbling,
warning that “provocative and narrow minded” elements played into the
hands of the Americans and Iranians who were seeking to drive a wedge
into the resistance ranks to detroy it with its own tools.
Finally the Baath stressed that the only way forward was to keep up the
resistance struggle as this is the only way to force the US to
negotiate on the resistance’s conditions. “The historical and the
decisive riposte against the latest US-Iranian move” they said “should
be the intensification of the resistance armed operations based on its
combat unity, to reject joining the so-called political process, and to
stand firm against every divider who wants to create problems in
amongst the resistance ranks under whatever pretexts or reasons. The
Resistance unity is the only secret password to defeat the US-Iranian
invasion and there is no other…”
The condition of
the working class
THE POLITICAL PAGES of the
press this week have been full of plans and proposals by the skip-load
from those who are jostling for top positions in government – and two
on the verge of retirement who seek to leave an indelible mark. They
include incoming Labour leader Gordon Brown, the six candidates for the
deputy leadership of the Labour Party and Tory leader David Cameron –
and, in the second category, Tony Blair and Home Secretary John Reid.
The proposals cover five main areas of public concern: the NHS,
education, housing, the environment and anti-terrorism.
Blair and Reid – the retiring two who have nothing to lose – have
proposed increasing police powers in yet another ratcheting up of the
“war on terror”. Effectively they want to bring back the heinous “sus”
It is alarming how similar the proposals from different sources
are. There seems to be a consensus from most – including Gordon Brown –
that the NHS has been seriously mismanaged over the last two years.
Both Labour and Tory leaders have separately developed plans to
bring the private sector more into education by making the better
equipped and staffed private schools lend teachers and laboratory space
to their neighbouring state schools.
On the environment there is a near consensus that a new
generation of nuclear power stations is inevitable.
There are calls for more carbon trading. This means rich
countries bribing the governments of poor countries to stay
underdeveloped and uncompetitive so the rich can carry on polluting the
Among the hopefuls for the deputy Labour leadership there is a
sudden rediscovery of the benefits of council housing. Clearly this is
what their marketing advisers have told them the public want to hear.
Some of them may actually mean it but it is evidence that the
opportunists among them can be pushed by working class pressure.
Unfortunately the working class is not putting the pressure it
could and should. For a start, it is still fighting with both hands
tied behind its back because of the anti-union laws introduced in the
Thatcher years. None of the new proposals include scrapping these laws.
Secondly there has been a set-back with the failure of John McDonnell
to get the support of enough MPs to mount a challenge to Brown’s
accession to the Labour leadership.
The rank and file of the party and the unions were denied a say
in the succession and denied a proper debate about policies and many
are disappointed – feeling powerless and marginalised. But we must
remember that the front line of the class struggle cuts right through
the Labour Party. There’s no way the ruling class would hold back from
trying to corrupt and sabotage that party from within, knowing how
dangerous it could be for them if they did not. MPs are the end product
of the Labour Party machine selection process in which most of them are
forced to sell their souls before they get so much as a sniff at a
candidacy. No wonder so many of them are so weak.
And it is no wonder that so many working class people, especially
the young, feel totally powerless and alienated from political
struggles. There’s a whole generation who have no memory of the trade
union strength and successes of the 1970s, let alone 1945.
The weak, right-wing trade union and Labour leaders got where
they are because working class people either voted for them or failed
to fight against them. The fringe left parties like Respect, the
Socialist Labour Party and so on are deluded if they think the working
class are just waiting for them to proclaim left policies to capture a
mass vote. The miserable votes they get in elections bear witness to
But we cannot pass a vote of no confidence in the working class
and elect a new one; we must engage with the one that exists. No other
force except a united mobilised working class can ever overthrow
capitalism and bring socialism. Achieving this is a dialectical process
– much of the time things are slow and discouraging, as in Britain at
the moment. But under crisis conditions things can change rapidly – as
in the General Strike of 1926 or the miners’ strike of 1984 – and
working class solidarity, flair for organisation and originality in
tactics arise overnight. It will happen; it’s just a matter of time –
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