The New Worker

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Week commencing 7th July 2005

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by our Arab Affairs Correspondent

is soaring in Baghdad but the real heat is on the Anglo-American army of occupation, once again thrown on the defensive by wave after wave of resistance attacks on the streets and in the countryside throughout Iraq. The partisans, as usual, are concentrating on US soldiers and the troops and police of the puppet regime.

The quisling general in charge of the puppet “Iraqi Rapid Deployment Force” was mown down on Saturday. That same day a new campaign was launched by the feared and ruthless Islamic fundamentalist group led by Abu Musab al Zarqawi, whose men turned its guns on Baghdad’s diplomatic community with ferocious effect.

It began with the kidnap of the Egyptian ambassador in Baghdad, seized in broad daylight when shopping last Saturday, and rapidly followed with attacks on Bahraini, Pakistani and Russian envoys. The Americans have urged those countries they have pressurised into opening embassies in the occupied capital to stand firm but Pakistan withdrew its ambassador to Jordan immediately after his motorcade was ambushed.

Sandstorms are disrupting civilian and military air and road transport in Baghdad and the cash-starved hospitals, already stretched to breaking point, are dealing with dozens of respiratory cases every day. The existing meagre power and water supplies are being further cut in the extreme heat of the summer.

firing anger

Only some 37 per cent of Iraqis have access to a functional sewerage system and unemployment is now well over 50 per cent. All of this is firing the anger of the Iraqi people who know that their miserable living standards are due to the indifference, incompetence and corruption of the US military administration.

American propaganda claims that US officials are conducting secret talks with major elements in the Iraqi resistance have been dismissed as a “ploy” by a partisan spokesman representing two major resistance movements. “The facts on the ground show that America doesn’t want to negotiate,” Ibrahim Yousef al Shammari told Al Jazeera this week.

Al Shammari, speaking on behalf of the Islamic Army of Iraq and the Mujahideen Army told the Arab satellite TV station: “Yesterday they launched the ‘Sword and Spear’ military operations and whole neighbourhoods were destroyed.

And today, they say ‘we are negotiating with the armed groups…”. Al Shammari said that while the issue of negotiations was on their political agenda, it wasn’t on the table at the moment. The resistance will only consider an initiative if it comes from the US Congress and no dialogue has begun.

“No such contacts have taken place with the Americans, neither directly or indirectly,” he stressed adding that if they had the resistance would have said so.


According to a partisan communiqué distributed amongst the mosques in Baghdad, the resistance has grown by 40 per cent in the past year. The statement, posted on the doors and outer walls of the mosques by members of the underground, said that the resistance was increasing in strength day by day. It stressed that the resistance welcomed all Iraqis, regardless of their religious background, to join them in the fight to drive the invaders out of Iraq.

On the diplomatic front Russian President Putin called on all countries to join together in efforts to stabilise Iraq “so that the Iraqi people can take responsibility and take their fate in their own hands” following the one-day summit with the French and German leaders in Kaliningrad on Monday.

At the same time Moscow is bidding to repair and modernise Iran’s submarine fleet, offering to supply them with Club-S anti-ship missiles that are believed to be superior to French Exocet or American Harpoon and Tomahawk rockets.
Iran has three Russian-made submarines, bought in 1992 to protect the oil export sea-ways and deter possible blockaders in the Persian Gulf. Iran’s nuclear research programme, also purchased from Russia, together with the Islamic Republic’s close ties with the Shia Muslim hierarchy in Iraq and the Syrian government, have long made it a target for the war-mongers in Washington.

Few talk about the “axis of evil” in Washington these days and more and more are openly calling for an “exit strategy” as the imperialist casualty list climbs up relentlessly. American generals are now urging their officers to study Lawrence of Arabia’s commentaries on British imperialism’s efforts to hold down Iraq after the First World War. Colonel Lawrence’s advice was to put a puppet Arab king on the throne and exile the leading nationalist leader – advice that worked for time.
But the age of kings has gone together with the colonial system that Lawrence served. These days the Americans would be better advised to study Algeria or Vietnam because there’s only one way out – unconditional withdrawal.


Corruption and aid

GEORGE W BUSH, as expected, has promised to increase aid to Africa only on condition that measures that he dictates are implemented to stop corruption and ensure the money goes where it is intended.

This is rich coming from a man who illegally invaded Iraq so that his big business buddies could help themselves to Iraq’s huge oilfields, who has sent thousands of American soldiers to their deaths on the basis of lies and deceit. It is rich coming from a man who came to power in very dubious circumstances, where thousands of black voters in Florida were denied their right to vote on the grounds that they had criminal records. When they asked for details of the crimes they were supposed to have committed, they were told they happened in 2007 or 2008!

Even the most corrupt African leaders would have blenched at this sort of audacity. Compared to Bush, in the corruption stakes, they are minnows compared to a shark. And big gangsters always have resented little gangsters stealing crumbs from their operations.

The conditions that Bush wants to impose are complete free trade – opening up Africa and all its wealth for his big business pals to plunder. All the aid for schools, hospitals, clean water projects and so on is to go to private enterprise – profits for the rich while Africa gets the minimum of all these facilities. Health and education are mere commodities, a source of profit and available only to those who can pay. This is the sort of aid that will leave Africa even deeper in debt while the vast natural riches of the continent are stolen.

And while Bush insists that Africa submits to being completely plundered by free trade, he protects American enterprise with tariffs and with subsidies. Europe and America dump their surplus subsidised food onto African markets and watch while African farmers are made bankrupt.

The last thing Bush wants is truly democratic and uncorrupted leaders in Africa who would defend their people against this plunder. It is the agencies of the giant global powers who undermine, smear and murder truly democratic African leaders like Nkrumah and Lumumba – in the interests of big business. The CIA works for American big business while MI6 is known as the armed wing of the Confederation of British Industry. Capitalism is corruption.


The forgotten peace process

THE BRITISH government is once again putting heavy pressure on the IRA to take the initiative to get the peace process rolling again with some big gesture. The IRA has made many such gestures in the past and every time has been kicked in the teeth. There have been no reciprocal gestures from the British government or the Unionists. The numbers of British troops in the occupied north of Ireland remains higher than the number in Iraq.

Pundits clamour saying that “the peace process must not be driven by the IRA”. The process has been stalled now for years and the people of the north of Ireland have been denied their democratic rights and representation in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

We are given the impression that only the IRA wants the peace process, that the whole thing is some devious plot. But the vast majority of the people of the whole of Ireland, including all communities in the north, voted for the Good Friday Agreement. It is only the British government and its Unionist lackeys who are blocking progress.

Meanwhile they heap unsubstantiated lies and slander on Sinn Féin, the IRA and the whole Republican community. The Democratic Unionist Party leaders will not budge. They are perfectly happy with the status quo where the Republican community remains, as it always has, totally barred from effective democratic representation.

The new demands on the IRA are provocative and designed to divide the exasperated Republican community. Just how much insult can they take before one or two crack and the fighting starts again? No one who cares about the ordinary people of the six counties wants the fighting back again but there are other interests who do not care about ordinary people.

Part of the problem is that outside the six counties, since the Good Friday Agreement, left and progressive forces have tended to think it’s all on the way to being settled and forget about it.

It is time for the progressive and labour movement once again to put pressure on the Government to reciprocate the gestures that have been made by the IRA, to reinstate the Northern Irish Assembly and get the peace process moving again.
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