Iraq


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A comment by David Mitchell on the threat of the US to attack Syria

The media are busy informing us that the war in Iraq is practically over, bar a few "mopping up operations". It is clear that now the central command of the Iraqi army has collapsed. As is always the case, as it becomes abundantly clear that the war is lost, the top officers flee to save their skins and abandon the lower ranks. These have fought bravely in many instances against overwhelming odds. Thousands of Iraqi soldiers have lost their lives in a desperate attempt to stop the invaders.

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Baghdad lies shattered and bleeding. The bloody battle appears to be entering a decisive phase. The final result was never in doubt, but the time scale over which the military action would unfold and the cost in lives could only be revealed by the march of events.


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It now appears that in many parts of Baghdad the Iraqi military forces seem to have collapsed as a viable force of resistance. There is still fighting in some areas and the "coalition" forces are wary of declaring that the war is over. There may still be some surprises in the next few days, but it is clear that we are on the verge of an important turning point. Here Roberto Sarti compares the experience of the siege of Beirut in 1982 by the Israeli army with what is happening today...

Israel is not a member of the powerful coalition, (which includes such giants as Micronesia, Estonia and the Solomon islands) that has gone "to liberate" Iraq under American leadership. Bush and Sharon in fact have no interest in reminding people of the role of Israeli in this war. There are two good reasons for this.

The war now determines everything. It is the most decisive element in the equation of world politics. It is reshaping the map of international diplomacy and profoundly modifying the web of world relations established since 1945. Its reverberations will be felt for decades ahead.

US imperialism is preparing a military governor to run Iraq. One of his tasks will be to plunder the resources of the country to the benefit of US multinationals. The people of Iraq refuse to submit and that explains their fierce resistance to the advancing US-British forces.


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Yesterday, workers throughout Bahrain were being urged to stop work for 10 minutes at 10am, in protest against the war on Iraq. The action was called by the "Central Committee for Arab Workers" (an organisation that coordinates several trade unions in the Arab world) at its emergency meeting over the war held in Damascus last Thursday.

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The imperialist attack on Iraq is provoking a wave of anger across the whole of the Middle East and risks destablising a whole series of reactionary Arab regimes. After only one week since the war started, the entire Arab world is in complete turmoil.

In spite of the huge propaganda machine that has been set up it is quite clear that the war on Iraq is not going according to plan. They are meeting stiffer resistance and are losing greater casualties than expected. A heavy backlash is being prepared.

As the war broke out also in Poland we've witnessed a quite spontaneous demonstration in front of the American Embassy. The preparation for the demo was organized quite badly: you couldn't see any posters on the streets, no gatherings at schools or in the factories were organized to explain the nature of the present war with Iraq. Nevertheless what has to be stressed is that the people in Poland are deeply shocked by the conduct of Bush & Co., and also the servile attitude of the Polish

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Despite the propaganda of the mass media, millions of workers and youth have flooded onto the streets of cities all around the world to protest against the attack on Iraq. On Friday Greece was brought to a standstill by a massive 4 hour general strike. More than 150,000 people demonstrated in Athens, in addition to tens of thousands around Greece, while airports, banks, public services, public transport, ferry boats and passenger ships, supermarkets and stores were shut down as a result of

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Thursday morning (March 20) once the general public heard that the imperialist war against Iraq had broken out, tens of thousands of school students left the schools spontaneously and marched from every district of Athens to Sindagma (Constitution) Square. At the same time thousands of university students left their faculties and together with thousands of other people they flooded to the square and then a huge demonstration marched to the American Embassy, which is about three kilometres

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This article was written in the early stages of the present war. Unfortunately for technical reasons its publication was delayed. It gives an interesting perspective as it was written by Marxists in Turkey, a country closely involved in what is unfolding in Iraq.

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The war in Iraq is the burning issue in Turkey today. There are in fact a lot of minor and major antiwar meetings and mass rallies taking place all over Turkey.

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In the first hours of the present war it became immediately evident that the systematic manipulation of public opinion was a weapon in the hands of London and Washington which is being deployed in the same way as the Cruise and Tomahawk missiles. This is a very necessary activity. US imperialism shows its teeth, but for the sake of public consumption, it must appear in a most civilized and acceptable light.

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The hounds of war have been unleashed. US and British forces started to roll towards the Iraqi frontier. Simultaneously, Baghdad was rocked by explosions. This is a reactionary imperialist war of aggression. In the war between a poor Middle Eastern county, fighting for its existence and a mighty imperialist superpower that aims to crush it and reduce it to a status of foreign conquest, occupation and colonial-type subjugation, all our sympathies lie with the underdog and the victim. This is...

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Until yesterday British and American diplomats at the UN were scrambling to round up the required Security Council votes. But the mighty US military machine is rolling and American military commanders say they are now ready to invade. Diplomacy has been exhausted. The time for fun and games is over.

Elections in 18th century England were very jolly affairs. Instead of long and tedious speeches about wars and taxes and the like, politicians invited voters to the tavern to get them drunk on election day and buy their votes for what were known as "rotten boroughs" - small rural places that nobody had ever heard of and where few people lived, yet were entitled to vote and send representatives to His Majesty's Parliament.


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On March 1, Ankara witnessed two important events. While as a result of the dirty haggles between the government and the US, parliament was negotiating the government petition for a permit to allow US troops on to Turkish soil, there were tens of thousands of workers and youth in the streets of Ankara shouting no to war in Iraq. From Turkish Marxist website Marksist Tutum.

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We received this article a few days ago from a Turkish Marxist, who looks at the reasons behind the failure of Turkey's parliament to pass a motion giving the US the right to move its troops across Turkish territory into Iraq. Now it seems the Turkish government is attempting to get a second motion authorising the US to use Turkish air space to bomb Iraq, and this is to be voted on tomorrow.

Belgium: an explosion of anger pushes youth into the streets

The indignation of tens of thousands of young people exploded in the streets of many Belgian cities Thursday morning. At breakfast many families had heard the reason for their revolt: the US and UK armies had started to bombard Baghdad. In many schools the students had become restless. Some schools did not even need a walk out because many students had refused even to enter school. Not today, no way! Not only immigrant

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Just as we predicted, Hans Blix has stabbed the Iraqis in the back. As the UN Security Council met in a private session to discuss the Anglo-American draft resolution that would pave the way for military action, a copy of the latest report by the chief weapons inspector was published by the BBC. In it, Hans Blix said it was "hard to understand" why measures now being taken by Iraq "could not have been initiated sooner", and that repeated demands for Iraq to disarm had shown only "very

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In every war in history, God is always on our side. That is what Tony Blair and George W. Bush fervently believe. And as the armies of the United States and the United Kingdom of Great Britain mass in the Gulf, preparing the serious business of mass slaughter in Iraq, the Almighty is being mobilized for war service, along with everyone else in sight and out of it.

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On March 5, in the USA and Canada a student strike against the war has been called by several left wing and progressive organisations. The In Defence of Marxism web site totally supports this mobilisation and calls on students around the world to organise strikes, rallies, assemblies for that day and link up with the American students who are taking such a brave stance. There are going to be student strikes in many countries. The Spanish School Students' Union (...

The long awaited Blix report to the UN has solved nothing. It is worded in such a way that anyone can use it to argue for immediate attack on Iraq or… for more inspections! Thus the United Nations is demonstrating once again that it can solve nothing. The real decisions will be taken by the major powers, in this case the United States, the only real superpower on the planet.

Parts of the antiwar movement are basing their opposition on the fact that there is not yet any UN backing for action against Iraq. Fred Weston looks at who is on the UN Security Council and how the USA can bribe and bully most of them into supporting their war effort. And concludes that we must oppose the war, with or without UN support.


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This is the text of the Youth for International Socialism (YFIS) leaflet against the war, which can be used on the coming demonstrations.

The war that is being prepared by the USA is a blatant act of aggression against the Iraqi people. It has not a single atom of progressive content. All the arguments used to justify this monstrous war are false to the core. This war is not in the interests of anyone except the imperialists and the big oil companies that stand behind the White House clique. Let us unite to organise a massive campaign of agitation against the war, with demonstrations, pickets, leafleting and mass meetings

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The words of George Bush’s annual state-of-the-union address were full of lofty sentiments. But the President aims were more prosaic. There is growing opposition at home to his war plans. And half way through his first term of office, his popularity ratings are falling. He is worried that he may not get re-elected in two years’ time.

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The western alliance is now deeply fractured on the question of war with Iraq. Divisions within the Security Council are growing. France and Germany have pledged to try to prevent a war, even if that means not supporting America in a UN vote. Does this negate what we wrote concerning the position of France and Russia? Not at all. It was always clear that the French, Russians and Germans were opposed to the policy of the USA in relation to Iraq. They have different interests and therefore...

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The so-called "struggle against terrorism" is nothing but a cynical pretext for feeding the voracious appetite of the greatest economic and military power in the world. The arrogant war-mongering of George W. Bush reflects the brutality of the American ruling class, which in its struggle for the control of resources, raw materials, markets, trade routes and spheres of influence, is ready to destroy any obstacle it finds in its path.

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Faced with the imminent war which US imperialism is preparing against Iraq, the Spanish Students' Union, as part of the international week of action against the war, has called for a Students' Day of Struggle on Thursday, February 13, which will consist of a national students' strike and demonstrations in all cities in Spain.

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As the deadly game of hide-and-seek with the arms inspectors drags on, there is speculation by some that perhaps war can be avoided. Such diplomatic minuets should fool nobody. The military build-up in the Gulf has practically reached the point of no return. The USA is intent on occupying Iraq. There is not the slightest doubt about this. They have even made detailed plans of how the US-run colonial administration will operate. The aim of American imperialism is to make sure they have full...

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This is the translation of an appeal (1 Aralikta Alanlara!) published by the Turkish Marxist website Marksist Tutum for the forthcoming antiwar demo in Istanbul on December 1. The original Turkish version is also available in pdf format to be downloaded and printed out.

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On December 1, 20,000 people took part in an anti-war demo in Istanbul. Although there was a lively and angry mood on some sections of the demo the turnout was rather low compared to previous demonstrations. The trade unions did not help as, although they were officially part of the promoting group, they did very little to mobilise their forces. This, in spite of the fact that an overwhelming majority of 80-90 percent of the population is against the war.

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Resolution 1441 has given the green light to the warmongers in Washington and London. It was voted unanimously by the 15 members of the council, including Syria, the only Arab member. This scandalous result at least serves to expose a lot of things, starting with the UN itself. What all this shows yet again is the completely reactionary nature of the dis-United Nations, and the hopelessly utopian attitude of those "Lefts" and pacifists who always appeal to the UN to...

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The preparations for war are acquiring a more feverish and urgent character by the day. On September 16, Iraq offered to allow UN weapons inspectors back without conditions. But this does not mean that war is off the agenda. On the contrary, war is now much closer. The decision by Iraq to allow the inspectors back was a last desperate attempt to avoid military action. The press has described it as Saddam Hussein's ace card. But this is not a game of cards but a life and death struggle in which...

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The events of last September were painful ones. But as the dust finally settles on the shattered ruins of the twin towers, a growing number of men and women are beginning to think and act for themselves. The terrible blows that shake the lives of the millions also help to knock out of their heads a hundred years of dust and cobwebs. Slowly, painfully, the fog is clearing from many minds and people are compelled to come face to face with reality. One year after September 11, Ted Grant and Alan...

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The report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) is a most striking proof of this old saying that the first casualty of war is always the truth. It is being presented by the war party in Washington and Tony Blair as conclusive "proof" that Saddam Hussein is just "months away" from launching a nuclear bomb.

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Last night up to a hundred British and American planes have attacked Iraqi air defences 240 miles west of Baghdad, alleging that their planes came under attack by Iraq. It is self-evident that the latest military operation was an act of unprovoked aggression and a calculated provocation.

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The sound of war drums from Washington becomes louder and more insistent by the day. The recent declarations of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld leave no doubt as to the intentions of the ruling clique in the USA. They are impatient to launch a military operation against Iraq. When this perspective becomes reality there will be enormous potential for a massive anti-war movement around the world. The best activists in the workers' and students' movements will want to show their anger and to oppose the...

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With splits surfacing even within the Blair cabinet over war with Iraq, opposition to this military adventure is swiftly growing within the British Labour movement. Many unions are determined to raise the matter at the TUC and Labour Party conferences, which is now threatening to dominate the political agenda. From the Editorial Board of the British Marxist Journal Socialist Appeal.

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"Inaction is not an option," declares George W. Bush, seeking to extend the "war on terror" to Iraq. But the recent heavy fighting between US and Afghan forces and the Taliban in Afghanistan gives the lie to those who say the war is over. It is dawning on the military strategists that victory cannot be won by air power alone, and combat troops will be required on the ground for some time to come. However, using Afghan forces has proved complicated, as the warlords - newly...

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Speaking at a White House ceremony on March 11, exactly six months after the devastating attacks on New York and Washington, George Bush addressed an audience of 1,300 dignitaries, including 100 ambassadors in Washington. He did not mention Iraq by name, but left no doubt he was determined to overthrow Saddam Hussein. Bush is said to have mapped out a "global strategy" against the enemies of America. It even goes by the name of "the Bush Doctrine." But in reality there is...

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The present war, in which US imperialism seeks to maintain its hegemony, is further aggravating the current contradictions in Turkey. Although the country is engulfed in a serious economic crisis, Turkey is setting out to undertake new roles in the region, playing "little brother" of the USA. The Internationalist Communists of Turkey report on anti-war movements, and send solidarity greetings from the Turkish workers.

The recent bombing of Iraq is an act of imperialist insolence of the worst type. American imperialism has emerged as the most arrogant and ignorant imperialism that there has ever been. Never has there been a situation where one super power has dominated the whole world situation, as US imperialism does today. It is quite clear that they want to establish the “American century”. They are determined to put their stamp on all the developments that are taking place in the underdeveloped

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US and British imperialism are preparing their war and propaganda machines for a bombing of Iraq. This article exposes the real reasons behind the threat of force and all the lies and double standards of imperialism in relation to chemical weapons, UN resolutions and "defence of democracy". It also analyses the possible consequences of an intervention in the fate of the Middle Eastern reactionary regimes.

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