The New Worker
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 7th September 2007
Busy NCPB stall at Burston rally
Welcome To Our Weekly Digest Edition
Please feel free to use this material provided the New Worker
by our Arab Affairs correspondent
US PRESIDENT George W Bush and his top aides flew into Iraq on
Monday for a secret “war council” while an increasingly sceptical US
Congress returns to consider the “success”, or lack of it, in quelling
the anti-American uprising. General David Petraeus, the US commander in
Iraq, reports on the “surge” offensive to Congress next week and he
will doubtless claim sufficient progress to promise some token troop
withdrawals to head off the growing demand for a complete pull-out.
But the “surge” has failed and so far, every month of 2007 has seen
more US soldiers killed in action than the same month in 2006.
Bush’s stopover, en route to Australia for an economic summit with
Asia-Pacific leaders, was essentially a propaganda exercise. White
House spin merchants claim that Bush chose to meet his generals and his
local Arab lackeys at an American airbase in the al Anbar province to
show that such a meeting could take place in the heart of resistance
controlled territory. But though Bush’s Air Force One, escorted by US
fighters, landed in broad daylight, the airbase has a 16km perimeter
guarded by 10,000 troops and even they couldn’t stop the partisans from
opening fire on Bush’s transport.
Back in Baghdad the resistance greeted Bush’s arrival of with a mortar
attack on the top-security US “Green Zone” – sending plumes of smoke
over the compound where the US and British embassies and the offices of
the American-installed Iraqi puppet regime are barricaded behind heavy
The Americans are moving closer to dumping puppet Iraqi “premier” Nouri
al Malaki, a sectarian Shia leader whose close ties with Iran could
pose a problem if Bush decides to take out Tehran’s nuclear
installations later in the year. But all they’ve got waiting in the
wings is Iyyad Alawi, a Baathist turncoat who headed the first puppet
regime under occupation.
Alawi broke with the Arab Socialist Renaissance Party (Baath) in the
1970s and has spent most of his time living in exile in Britain where,
it is widely believed, he was recruited as an agent of British
intelligence. Though he is also Shia the Americans think his business
contacts and the links he forged with elements in the old Iraqi army
when he was running an anti-Baathist movement abroad could help him
recruit a wider pool of quislings to serve imperialism.
But claims that his return would be welcomed by his old comrades have
been dismissed as nonsense by the underground Baath. The Baath
told the resistance media that: “Our party rejects the return of Iyyad
Alawi in any form because he is a spy and a criminal who prepared the
occupation and the destruction of Iraq. The party also underlines its
firm position calling for the withdrawal of the occupation forces and
to punish the collaborators who came with them, first and foremost
Iyyad Alawi, for their crimes against Iraq and its people.”
Though the imperialist media is again full of US-intelligence inspired
stories about a massive US air-strike against Iran that would destroy
the Islamic republic’s military capability “within three days” this
has, after-all, been part of a destabilisation campaign that started as
soon as Iran began developing its nuclear industry. The first objective
was to boost the chances of pro-imperialist forces in the Iranian
elections but that backfired. The second was to cow the Ahmadinejad
government into submission and that has also failed. Pentagon hawks
still dream of a cheap victory based on air power. General Yahya Rahim
Safavi, the senior military advisor to the Supreme Leader of the
Iranian Revolution, Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei, thinks not. The
United States has deployed 200,000 vulnerable troops in the region and
we have identified all their bases very precisely, the Iranian general
said on Tuesday.
“The United States is facing three problems in invading Iran. Firstly,
it is not aware of the volume and manner of Iran’s response. The US
cannot foresee the level of the vulnerability of its 200,000 troops in
the region while we have identified all the bases very precisely.
Secondly, it doesn’t know what will happen to Israel. And thirdly, the
United States cannot predict what may happen to the flow of oil,” he
Whether even Bush would risk an attack, with such an uncertain outcome,
in the run-up to the 2008 US presidential elections remains to be seen.
FORMER Tory deputy leader
Michael Ancram last week launched an unexpected attack on the party
leader, David Cameron and accused him of trying to prove the Tories had
changed “by trashing our past and appearing ashamed of our history”.
In a 30-page document, Still a Conservative, Ancram voiced the
views of the Tory backwoodsmen, many of whom are very rich and very
powerful. Their main concerns, as ever, are yet more tax cuts,
supporting traditional marriage, the European Union – and of course
keeping the trade unions and the working classes in their place.
We can see that if they were ever allowed back into power we
would get an anti-working class government even worse than the one we
have had for the last decade.
House prices in Britain have risen way above inflation since Thatcher
began selling off council houses in the 1980s.
Cameron plans to set this process in motion again by pressuring council
tenants on low incomes, with the aid of grants, to try to buy. Such
tenants will be taking a huge risk. If they fail to keep up the
payments, the mortgage companies will get their hands on the council
houses and there will be even fewer affordable homes in Britain –
homelessness for many but more profit for the speculators.
The Greater London Pensioners’ Association, a broad-based
campaigning organisation, boasts that it has no allegiance to any
political party. Yet in the latest issue of the monthly Greater London
Pensioner, it calls on members to support Ken Livingstone to be
re-elected a London Mayor on one main issue – the precious Freedom
Pass. It is given to pensioners and the disabled and allows them free
access to all public transport in London.
It is an essential daily lifeline for those who carry it but it
was hard won in struggles by pensioners’ organisation in the capital.
It is now under threat. If Tory hopeful Boris Johnson should win the
mayor’s job – or even if a Liberal Democrat should win – the Freedom
Pass is likely to be sacrificed to cut local taxes in London. Boris has
not even mentioned it. When he’s not showing off on his bike in front
of press cameras, he and his friends Ancram and Cameron go about in
luxury cars – to them buses are just traffic obstacles.
But for all their wealth and power people like Johnson and
Cameron can never win an election without the support of masses of
working class Tories – most of whom like to think of themselves as
middle class. These people, when they get older, do appreciate the
Getting Labour elected is no guarantee of working class policies
– we have seen this for the last 10 years. Prime Minister Brown is now
adding insult to injury by appointing a few Tory and Liberal Democrat
MPs as his policy advisers – which is likely to leave many Labour
voters wondering what the point is in bothering to vote if the
opposition get into power anyway.
Brown keeps talking about a “new kind of politics” and inclusive
government “of all the talents” with hand-picked “citizens juries” to
give an automatic nod to whatever is proposed. This will make elections
seem even more of a futile gesture and is part of a ruling class
strategy to alienate the working masses from even the most minimal
participation in political life.
We must fight this trend. We must defend the limited amount of
democracy we have within this bourgeois state – and demand a lot more.
Taking part in elections is the absolute minimum we can do. It will
take far more than this – a socialist revolution – to achieve real
change for the benefit of the working class. But we’ll never achieve
that revolution if the working masses are so alienated they do not even
vote. The working class has the potential power to overthrow this
corrupt and increasingly oppressive bourgeois regime – but only if the
class is aware, mobilised, organised and united. That road includes
strikes, protests, demonstrations and all other forms of struggle –
including putting crosses on pieces of paper.
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