The New Worker
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 8th June 2007
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SITUATION BLEAK FOR BUSH
by our Arab Affairs Correspondent
ATTACKS by the Iraqi resistance over the past few days have
killed at least 21 American soldiers, marking a bloody start to the
month as the US military continues with its repressive crackdown in the
occupied Arab country. A total of 127 US troops were killed in May, the
third worst total for US forces since the invasion of Iraq in March
A high-ranking American general who commanded the US-led occupation
forces following the invasion says the United States can forget about
“winning the war”.
And as American casualties grow, US President George W Bush is coming
under increasing pressure, including from within his own Republican
Party, to demonstrate progress in the unpopular war or set a timetable
for the return of US troops.
Former Lieutenant-General Ricardo Sánchez, in his first
interview since retiring last year, is the highest-ranking former
military leader yet to suggest that the Bush administration has failed
in Iraq. He said that he was “absolutely convinced that America has a
crisis in leadership at this time”.
Sánchez called the situation in Iraq “bleak,” which he blamed on
“the abysmal performance in the early stages and the transition of
sovereignty”. He included himself among those who made mistakes in the
first year of occupation.
Nearly 20,000 American reinforcements have poured into Baghdad in
recent months but the imperialists and their puppets still only control
about a third of the Iraqi capital. According to a New York Times
report this week, based on an internal US military assessment, American
and puppet regime troops control just 136 of Baghdad’s 457
The Americans are calling in their air power in a renewed drive to
crush the partisans who are continuing to strike hard at the
imperialists and their local lackeys across occupied Iraq. While US
war-planes can bomb with impunity their helicopter gunships are much
more vulnerable. One was shot down some 40 km north-east of Baghdad
only last Saturday. In another significant operation the resistance
blew up a main bridge linking Baghdad with the cities of Kirkuk and
Irbil in the north of the country in an attack last Saturday morning.
Partisans equipped with explosives destroyed the bridge some 150km
north of Baghdad.
And things are beginning to come unstuck in the northern Iraqi Kurdish
autonomous area along the frontier with Turkey that is controlled by
feudal chieftains allied to US imperialism. Turkish artillery shelled
the border area last weekend in retaliation for a daring raid on a
military outpost in Turkish Kurdistan last Sunday.
Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) guerillas fired rockets and grenades at
the Turkish military outpost, killing eight soldiers and wounding
six more in a bold attack carried out by two guerrillas, one of
whom was killed in the action.
Turkey has long claimed that the PKK has camps in Iraqi Kurdistan with
the tacit consent of the Iraqi Kurdish forces and it has repeatedly
said it would send its army in, as it did in the 1990s, on punitive
raids if the PKK continued its attacks.
Though the Turks are members of Nato and an old ally of US
imperialism they cannot count on American support this time
round. The puppet “president” of Iraq is Jalal Talabani, the
leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, one of the two parties that
run Iraqi Kurdistan. The leader of the other is Masoud Barzani, who
heads the autonomous region that has recently signed a security pact
with the Americans.
Washington has warned Ankara that any incursion would destabilise the
region, though what this really means is that it could unravel their
alliance with the Iraqi Kurds, who are not under direct US occupation
and who, until now, have always backed the puppet regime in Baghdad.
Apologists for imperialism in Britain often talk about the rights of
the Iraqi Kurds but say little or nothing about their cousins in Turkey
who have been brutally suppressed for decades. Nor have they much to
say about the Iraqi Arabs, who according to a new UN report, account
for a refugee tragedy that exceeds even Darfur.
Some 4.2 million Iraqis have fled their homes the UN High Commission on
Refugees reported this week. Around 2.2 million have fled Iraq and
another two million are living as refugees inside the country driven
out of their homes by the sectarian strife stirred up by the US
occupation in an effort to lay the groundwork for partitioning Iraq
into three states. This was your doing Bush.
FORTY YEARS AGO this Monday
Israeli forces swept across Egypt, Syria and Jordan in a pre-emptive
strike that the Zionists call the “Six Day War”. The Egyptian air-force
was destroyed in a matter of hours. The Arab armies were smashed and by
the end of the week the Israelis were in control of the West Bank, the
Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and the Sinai peninsula.
Israel’s generals boasted about the prowess of their war machine. Their
politicians talked about a “Greater Israel” that would incorporate most
of their conquests. US-led imperialism, which had armed Israel to the
teeth, believed it had dealt a crushing blow to the Arab liberation
movement that would ensure imperialist domination of the region for
generations to come. All of them thought that the Arabs were on their
knees and that the Palestinian Arabs would now be finally forgotten.
Five wars later and forty years on, we know that the June ’67 war was
just another round in a conflict that started in 1948 and continues to
Israel was a product of the world Zionist movement that has always been
the servant of imperialism. Zionism is a movement based on religious
mysticism developed by 19th century Jewish capitalists that mirrors
other racist and chauvinist theories used by the imperialists to
justify their seizure of larges areas of the world. No wonder that
Lenin, a ceaseless enemy of anti-semitism, called it “absolutely false
and essentially reactionary”.
During the First World War the Zionist leadership extracted a promise
from the British Foreign Secretary, Lord Balfour, that it would
establish a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine that was
then a province in the Turkish Ottoman Empire. At that time the Jewish
population in Palestine was around 80,000 living amongst 600,000
Palestinian Arabs and Palestine was not Balfour’s to give.
By 1947 the Jewish population had grown to over 600,000 but the
Palestinians were still the overwhelming majority with some 1,415,000
Arab Muslims and Christians owning around 90 per cent of the land.
The Zionist movement in Palestine had backed the British colonial
administration when it crushed the first Palestinian revolt in 1936.
Some 20,000 Zionist auxiliaries helped the colonial authorities crush
the Arabs. But after the end of the Second World War they turned their
guns on their former protectors. British imperialism, beset by troubles
throughout its empire, turned the whole question of Palestine to the
fledgling United Nations. That body, then dominated by the United
States, concluded that partition was the only solution.
The partition plan was grossly unfair to the Arabs. It gave over half
of Palestine to the Zionists even though the Jews were still in the
minority. The independent Arab states opposed the plan but their
leaders were worthless lackeys of imperialism to a man. Zionist terror
drove nearly a million Palestinians from their homes during the first
Arab-Israeli war that followed the establishment of the State of Israel
in 1948. The Palestinian Arabs were cheated, deceived and humiliated by
the Zionists and the feudal Arab leaders who posed as their protectors.
Israel still occupies Syria’s Golan Heights, Lebanon’s Shebaa Farms and
much of the West Bank. The Palestinian refugees, now a five million
strong community, are still denied their inalienable right to return to
their homes by Israel and the imperialists that have propped up the
Zionist entity since its creation.
But it is clear, even to some in the corridors of power in Tel Aviv,
that peace will only come to the Middle East with the implementation of
a just and comprehensive settlement outlined by the very United Nations
that established Israel in the first place. Israel must withdraw from
all the territories it seized in 1967 including Arab east Jerusalem. An
independent, viable Palestinian state must be established and the
refugees must be allowed to return to their homes or paid appropriate
compensation if they so desire.
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