The New Worker
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 7th July 2005
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ONE WAY OUT
by our Arab Affairs Correspondent
THE TEMPERATURE 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.
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 –
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
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
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
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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