The New Worker
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 7th January 2005
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IRAQ OCCUPATION SEVERELY SHAKEN
by our Arab Affairs Correspondent
fighters are striking telling blows against the Anglo-American army of
occupation in the run-up to a sham election that increasingly looks
like being postponed. Two leading Iraqi quislings have been gunned down
in Baghdad in as many weeks.
The British and American consulates in the southern port of Basra have
been shelled. Guerrillas are continuing hit-and-run attacks in the
ruins of Fallujah. Street fighting rages in all the major towns and
cities of Iraq and partisan attacks on oil refineries and pipelines
Washington maintains that the bogus elections will go ahead as
planned at the end of the month but the imperialist hold on the country
is slipping as the days go by.
Whistle-stop fly-in tours by Tony Blair and Donald Rumsfeld just before
Christmas were overshadowed by the devastating bomb attack on the
American camp in Mosul that killed 22 US troops and contractors and
wounded over a hundred more and the rocketing of a new US observation
post in Baghdad that totally razed the building killing all inside.
Attacks throughout Iraq are escalating and are, in fact, becoming more
deadly as the resistance groups become more familiar with the tactics
of the occupation troops and use this knowledge to their
Nowhere is safe for the Americans or their puppets, least of all the
capital, Baghdad. There the resistance has gone beyond the daily
ambushes, bombings and street battles to targeting high-profile
quislings in the US puppet government. On 18th December the stooge
deputy minister of communications was gunned down on his way to work.
The puppet governor of Baghdad – a post similar to mayor – died this
Tuesday when his motorcade was sprayed with machine-gun fire and the
office of puppet premier Iyyad Alawi inside the US “Green Zone”
compound was rocketed.
General Shawani, the puppet regime’s intelligence chief admitted this
week that the resistance can count on more than 200,000 active fighters
“I think the resistance is bigger than the US military in Iraq. I think
the resistance is more than 200,000 people,” he declared. Shawani said
this estimate included part-time fighters and volunteers who provide
the resistance with intelligence, shelter and logistics with a
hard-core of 40,000 partisans.
A senior US military officer declined to comment one way or another on
these figures which are far higher than the estimates that appear in US
Washington’s original intention was to follow up the sham election with
a mock trial of Saddam Hussein and other members of his Baathist
government. But even that is beginning to backfire with the news that
high-profile American human-rights lawyer Ramsey Clarke has joined the
Saddam defence team.
Ramsey Clarke, who was Attorney-General in US President Johnson’s
administration in the 1960s, is well-known in the American peace
movement for his campaigning work against the wars in Yugoslavia and
Iraq and is currently involved in the defence of former Yugoslav leader
Slobodan Milosevic. Clarke, in Jordan last week to consult his
colleagues in the defence team, challenged the legality of the Baghdad
court to try his client.
“In international law anyone accused of crime has the right to be tried
by a confident, independent and impartial court, and there can be no
fair trial without those qualities,” he told the press.
“The special court in Iraq was created by the Iraqi governing council,
which is nothing more than a creation of the US military occupation and
has no authority in law as a criminal court,” he said.
During the Vietnam War, which the Americans also lost, Washington’s
response to increasing resistance was military escalation. But that
option is not available these days without restoring the draft – the
hated selective call-up that would be political suicide for Bush on the
home front. And America’s allies and vassals in the “coalition of the
willing” are a dwindling band.
Thousands of GIs have deserted to Canada on home leave and a number
have even tried the risky business of deserting through Iraqi networks.
The going rate for deserters in Iraq via the northern Kurdish province
is now $1,000 plus a weapon and the uniform.
Last April an American woman soldier was captured by the pro-American
Kurdish militia, dressed and veiled like a Muslim, who was trying to
escape to Turkey.
With the US military death toll now at 1,492 and the wounded topping
the 10,000 mark this week it’s not surprising that morale amongst the
US expeditionary force is plummeting.
Stand by the tsunami victims
THE INDIAN OCEAN
disaster has touched the hearts of millions of working people in
Britain. Over 160,000 people are believed to have perished in the
countries hit by the earthquake and tsunami in December. Millions more
have been left homeless and destitute in the wake of the terror that
struck countries from Indonesia to Somalia.
A massive £76 million has already been raised by the public in
days for the disaster appeal to help the devastated countries. It’s
forced the Blair Government to match the public donations pound for
pound. It shamed Tony Blair into cutting short his luxury Christmas
holiday in Egypt to return to London this week.
All over the world people and governments are contributing to the
disaster appeals and calling for emergency action to help the
survivors. People’s China has rushed medical experts to the afflicted
areas and is contributing millions to the aid appeal. Democratic Korea,
still recovering from the terrible floods and storms of the 1990s has
chipped in donating $150,000.
British and American politicians are flying to Asia to publicly
show their concern. But there has been little comment about the fact
that American monitoring stations soon realised that a massive tsunami
was on its way but no real warning was passed on to the countries it
was soon to deluge.
Scientists at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA) realised within minutes that the Indonesian earthquake on Boxing
Day would trigger a massive tsunami in the Indian Ocean. The NOAA is
part of the US military-scientific complex and they immediately alerted
the US military base on the nominally British islands of Diego Garcia.
But apart from some e-mails to Indonesian officials little effort was
made to warn other countries of the danger.
The Bush administration has jumped into the act sending Colin Powell to
the distressed areas and trumpeting its own contribution to the relief
work which is still less than the money pledged by Germany and Japan.
The proposal to freeze the debt repayments from the most badly
hit Asian countries, some £1.58 billion, is portrayed as an act
of overwhelming generosity. But imperialisms’ gifts are only a minute
fraction of the wealth they’ve plundered and continue to plunder from
Asia and the rest of the world. Had such “generosity” been shown
before, thousands of lives could have been spared.
Earthquakes and tidal waves cannot be prevented but the much of
December’s destruction could have been avoided if an international
warning system had been in place.
Tsunami detection buoys have been used in the Pacific for over 50 years
to cover the west coast of America, Hawaii and its Pacific
dependencies. Just two of them at a cost of a mere $500,000 could have
provided an early warning system for the Indian Ocean. The
poverty-stricken countries of south-east Asia could not afford to set
up such a system themselves nor did the Americans offer to help them
when the idea was proposed by the American NOAA last June. US
imperialism spends $1,500 million a day on its global war machine.
The immediate task is emergency action to prevent the spread of deadly
diseases in the devastated areas. That must be soon followed up by
unconditional reconstruction aid to the countries concerned followed by
the establishment of a global earthquake and tsunami warning system
under the auspices of the United Nations.
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