The New Worker

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Week commencing 6th October 2006

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by our Arab Affairs Correspondent

foreign minister Condoleezza Rice is making another forlorn visit to the Middle East while Iraq burns and the Israelis turn the screws even more against the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. Rice’s tour, aimed at the Arab “forces of moderation” that US imperialism hopes to wield into a bloc to confront the Arab national movement and Iran, includes routine meetings with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Israeli leadership.

Gone are the days when the neo-cons could talk about a “Greater Middle East” with redrawn frontiers for all except Israel and “democratic” institutions that most Arabs know is Bush-speak for puppet governments. Now all Washington is interested in is keeping some of its Arab clients on side while it prepares for confrontation with Iran over the nuclear issue.
But raising the spectre of “Shia extremism” with feudal Sunni Arab princes and kings only serves to further undermine the position of the American puppet regime in Iraq, which is dominated by senior Shia clergy. And what Rice forgets is that while these placemen are happy to do the bidding of an outside power there’s no guarantee that the power will always the United States.

Iraqi partisans have stepped up their attacks for Ramadan, forcing the puppet regime to impose a total weekend curfew on the capital, Baghdad, for the first time since the 2003 invasion. The ban on cars and pedestrians moving anywhere inside the city from Friday evening until Sunday morning was allegedly imposed to thwart a series of planned bomb attacks. But puppet politicians also claimed it was in response to a coup attempt by former Baathist officers within the puppet army.

no stop

Whatever the reason there’s been no stop to the bombings – the latest targeted a puppet industry ministry convoy on Wednesday with devastating effect – or the sectarian death squads that spread terror throughout Baghdad.

US occupation troops, backed by puppet soldiers, have been reinforcing operations against resistance fighters in the capital and the other major cities in the country and right across the western province of Al Anbar, which is largely under partisan militia control.  Fierce fighting rages in the provincial capital of Ramadi some 110 km west of Baghdad and a puppet colonel has admitted that the resistance fires more than 40 rockets and mortar shells at US and Iraqi puppet army bases in Al Anbar every day.

Colonel Anwar al Jawrani warned that the expertise of the partisan commanders was increasing as time went on in the course of confrontations with the US occupation troops and Iraqi puppet forces, making the task of defeating them increasingly difficult.

He also said that reports of tribes rising to oppose the resistance in Al Anbar province were untrue and illogical, since the members of the armed resistance groups were themselves members of these tribes.


He also noted that it would be impossible to expect the tribes to put down a resistance movement that the American army had failed to put down over the past three years.

In fact four Al Anbar sheikhs have been deposed and declared outlaws by their tribes last week for meeting the US-installed puppet “Prime Minister” Nouri al-Maliki and representatives of the US occupation forces and agreeing to collaborate.

Now the fighting is spreading to the hitherto calm Kurdish autonomous region as partisans mount operations against the feudal Kurdish militias that support the US occupation. But the Kurdish chiefs are playing a game of their own and their moves to sever virtually all links with the central government is being looked on with grave suspicion in Turkey.

The Turks, once America’s chief ally in the Middle East, are not bothered about the petty ambitions of the pro-American Kurdish leaders in northern Iraq but they are concerned and they are determined to stop any move that would lead to an independent Kurdish state. Half the entire Kurdish population lives in Turkey and the Turks fear that a “Kurdistan” hewed out of northern Iraq would become a magnet and a safe haven for the Kurdish guerrillas who operate in eastern Turkey.

Condoleezza Rice will, needless to say, have with nothing new to put on the table on Iraq, Palestine or the Kurdish question during her week-long tour of the region. She might as well have saved herself the trouble of going there in the first place.


Democratic Korea moves to defend itself

THE DEMOCRATIC People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has faced the cold wrath of American imperialism for over 50 years now. The US military juggernaut was brought to its knees by the determination of the Korean People’s Army and the heroic Chinese volunteers during the Korean War that ended with an armistice in 1953. That truce called, amongst other things, for a political conference to settle through negotiations the question of the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Korea and the peaceful settlement of the Korean question. The Chinese volunteers withdrew from north Korea in October 1958. Tens of thousands of American troops occupy south Korea to this day.

American imperialism has used underhand means to pursue the objectives it could not achieve on the battlefield. Korea remains partitioned and the south remains occupied. In the south puppet politicians and generals do the bidding of American imperialism and the big American corporations. Tens of thousands of US troops are stationed in south Korea backed up by a US nuclear armada based in Japan.

 Democratic Korea’s revolutionary leader, Kim Il Sung, made repeated attempts to resolve the Korean question but all his initiatives were rejected by the Americans, who have maintained a diplomatic and economic blockade on the north since the end of the Korean War.

Democratic Korea began to develop its nuclear industry in the 1990s but agreed to suspend its programme following an agreement with the United States that was to have led to the construction of two light water reactors in the DPRK. This agreement was never honoured and it was virtually torn up by the Bush administration.  Since then the DPRK has been branded by the American imperialists as part of the “axis of evil” that includes Cuba, Syria and Iran and was topped by Iraq until that country was invaded by US-led imperialism in 2003.

American and south Korean troops regularly carry out war-games that rehearse an invasion of the north. South Korea has recently developed its own cruise missile targeted against the DPRK. Democratic Korea’s legitimate demands that include diplomatic recognition and normalisation from the United States and an end to economic sanctions have been repeatedly rebuffed at the six-party talks in Beijing.

The hawks in the White House who comprise Bush’s entire inner circle make no secret of their desire to impose a “new world order” based on military might and nuclear blackmail; their “diplomacy” rarely extends beyond a monologue of threats when it comes to any country that stands in their way.

These are the circumstances that forced the DPRK to resume its nuclear programme and the development of its own long-range missiles. These are the reasons why Democratic Korea announced this week that it would test its first nuclear weapon in the near future. It was as inevitable as it was justifiable.

 The DPRK has been forced to take this road to defend its socialist system and independence in the face of growing threats from US imperialism.  At the same time it has pledged that it will never use nuclear weapons first and it has also vowed never to threaten the use of nuclear weapons or allow the transfer of nuclear technology to other countries.

All the other nuclear powers made their declarations after their first successful test. The fact that the DPRK has announced its intention in advance shows that the door is still open for last-minute diplomacy. The ball is now in the Americans’ court.

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