Iraq


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After being labelled a “butcher” by the British press following last week's bad election results for the Labour Party and the subsequent Cabinet reshuffle, Tony Blair suffered another blow, this time not at home but abroad. In Basra the British army lost five soldiers, including the first female casualty, as their helicopter crashed and British soldiers came under attack.

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Sectarian violence has plagued Iraq since the February 22 destruction of the sacred Shia al-Askariya shrine in As Samarra, pushing the country dangerously close to civil war. As the US army in Iraq faces the prospect of being dragged into such a war, opinion polls in the United States show that support for the Bush administration is at an all time low. The conditions are being laid for an all out explosion both in Iraq and in the United States.

The constant stream of news, combined with photographic and video evidence, about maltreatment of Iraqis at the hands of occupying troops is having a traumatic impact on the Iraqi people. It is also affecting the outlook of soldiers, both British and American, and on the population in Britain and in the US. This will serve to strengthen resistance to the occupation inside Iraq and to increase pressure in Britain and America for withdrawal of the troops.


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A minority voted for the new Iraqi constitution. Fighting has now erupted on the Iraqi-Syrian border. The resistance is being strengthened, not weakened. And now we have the revelations about the use of chemical weapons by the US army. The Pax Americana is wallowing in blood. This article was originally published in the Italian Marxist journal, FalceMartello.

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Shocking images have confirmed that white phosphorous bombs were used during the US Army attack on Fallujah last year, aimed at people directly, burning many of them alive, including civilians, women and children. If anyone doubted the real nature of the occupation of Iraq, now they have no excuse.

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Tomorrow the Iraqi people are being called to vote on the new Constitution. This piece of paper is full of contradictions that mean that in practice most of it cannot be applied, but the main thing for the US (and British) occupying powers is that it establishes clearly the right to private property and market relations. All the rest is a mere showpiece.

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Iraq is in flames like never before. The iconic scenes which we saw in Basra last week reminded us once more of the dreadful state of affairs in Iraq. Now the south is in a mess too. Imperialist troops cannot bring peace. Pull them out now!

In what was probably the largest demonstration in Iraq since the US invasion in 2003, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis marched in Baghdad this past Saturday to demonstrate against the US occupation. While most bourgeois news agencies were focused on the wedding of Prince Charles and what’s-her-name, The LA Times did report that some 300,000 people filled the streets of Baghdad (most other news agencies, if they reported the demonstration at all, claimed that there were “thousands”).

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As we approach the second anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, the US and British led occupation of the country is falling apart. Some 1500 US soldiers have been killed in the conflict, and tens of thousands of Iraqis. Everything that the Bush administration said about the war has been exposed as a lie. Far from improving the lives of Iraqis, things are even worse than under the hated regime of Saddam Hussein.

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“We can have just our usual flag with the white stripes painted black and the stars replaced by the skull and cross-bones.” (Mark Twain). “With the ramrod as instrument, ‘Freedom’ is to be jammed down the throats of the insurgent patriots whom our expansionist capitalists insult with the name of ‘insurgents’.” (Daniel De Leon).

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On the day of the elections the media led us to believe there had been a massive turnout, with pictures of Iraqis celebrating “democracy”. Now the real figures are out and the turnout was shown to be well below 50%, even 30%. As they lied about the reasons for the war, why not lie about the elections as well?

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The elections have taken place in Iraq. The masse media have presented us with the myth that now “democracy” will reign in Iraq. An occupied country cannot have genuine democracy. Different sections of the population reacted in different ways. Some boycotted, others took part with the illusion that this is the road to peace. The illusion will soon be shattered. Not until the heavy yoke of imperialism and its monstrous twin, capitalism, are removed will the people of Iraq begin to...

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Recent revelations about British troops using torture on Iraqi prisoners have finally put an end to the myth that the British army is somehow better than the American. All occupying armies are using these methods. The Labour movement must demand the unconditional withdrawal of all troops from Iraq.

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The real reason why the insurgents are opposed to the “elections” is because they are a cynical lie and a deception of the people of Iraq and world opinion. They are not intended to introduce a genuine democracy. How can any people be free with a foreign jackboot on its neck? The real purpose of the so-called elections is quite clear: to legitimise the American-led invasion of Iraq and disguise the cruel reality of foreign occupation under the façade of a...

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Some American Republicans are calling for the resignation of Kofi Annan as UN general secretary. The alleged reasons are accusations of corruption. As always the real reason lies elsewhere. It is part of the onging conflict between the major powers over the war in Iraq.

The Black Watch regiment was clearly moved to Baghdad for political reasons. Blair wanted to help Bush in the US elections and also prove that British troops are needed in Iraq. Once again he has lied to the British public and he has shown that he is prepared to risk the lives of ordinary soldiers to achieve his own political objectives. Not by Christmas! The troops should be pulled out now.

On the face of it, the siege of Fallujah seems to be going relatively well for the US troops. Most of the city has been captured and according to the mass media “Operation Phantom Fury” will be finished in a couple of days. However, things are not so simple. The war in Iraq was also supposed to be over, whereas it clearly is not. The same applies to Fallujah, where an official victory may well turn out to be a Pyrrhic one.


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Only a few weeks ago the bourgeois newspapers bombed us with their great expectations in Iraq, presumably on its way to “freedom and democracy”. Yossi Schwartz comments on these predictions.

The war drums are being beaten once again in Fallujah. After the siege in April this year, the city will again be the scene of an onslaught, probably bigger than last time. During the last weeks, the US forces stepped up their daily air raids while at the same time applying heavy psychological warfare tactics. Threatening to crush the resistance, US imperialism is now actually heading steadily for an all-out assault on Fallujah.


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“Wait until Charlie gets back with the final report,” George Bush said confidently in June in reply to reporters fishing after a confession of the president that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Well, now Charlie is back and the report is nothing less than a devastating blow to Bush and Blair.

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After three weeks of fighting the moderate Shia Islamic leader, Ali al-Sistani, has intervened and brokered a compromise in Najaf. However, no long term solution can be provided by such manoeuvres. Today they may "pacify" Najaf, but the fighting will erupt again in the future. Only if the working class gives a lead to the resistance can a final solution be found. By Fred Weston (August 27, 2004)

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The severe fighting taking place in Iraq is presented to us as some inexplicable phenomenon, produced by “dark forces” resisting the march of “progress and democracy”. In reality what we are facing is a mass resistance movement aimed at expelling a foreign army of occupation. This movement is fuelled by the terrible conditions Iraqi workers are facing, conditions created by the domination of imperialism.

As mass resistance to the occupation of Iraq develops, the new Iraqi "government" will find it extremely difficult to control the situation. This growing instability in Iraq comes at a time when just across the border the Saudi regime is on the verge of a major crisis and could be toppled. This has led US strategists to consider the invasion of Saudi Arabia as a possible next step. But it is fraught with danger.


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At 10.45 this morning Baghdad local time, in a hasty ceremony held behind locked doors, the American proconsul Paul Bremer handed over power to an interim government composed of Iraqis. More than the representative of an imperial power handing over power to a grateful ally, Paul Bremer resembled a man who had burned his fingers hastily tossing the hot potato to another. Alan Woods looks at what is the real state of play.

At recent gatherings of the major powers (from the D-Day celebrations to the G8) a lot of noise has been made about more cooperation between the major powers, in particular between the USA and Europe. What lies behind this? Is there really a common position developing? Yossi Schwartz explains why any idea of unity between the major powers is a mere pipedream.


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In the last few days the masses in many parts of the Middle East have been pouring out onto the streets in protest against the murder of civilians in Iraq and Gaza. They have been coming out emboldened by the feeling that the killing machine of the occupying armies in Iraq and Gaza can be defeated. Yossi Schwartz, just returned from one of these protests in Rafah (Gaza) looks at the effects throughout the Middle East and in particular in Israel. 

Despite all their best efforts at covering up the truth, the United States military has been compelled to open a criminal investigation into the acts of abuse, humiliation and torture against Iraqi prisoners, which have now been broadcast on TV screens around the world. Each passing day brings new and more shocking revelations. Now it seems there are a further 1000 digital photographs to be published. As usual, the military only admit what cannot be denied. As we are now learning, these

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The invasion of Iraq stands exposed for what it always was: an act of naked aggression leading to the forcible occupation of a country by foreign troops against the will of the people. Naturally, such a state of affairs can only be sustained by the massive, uncontrolled and unlimited use of force. We can now see the results of this on the front pages of today’s newspapers.The United States military has been compelled to open criminal investigation into acts of abuse, humiliation and

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The monstrously oppressive nature of US imperialism stands exposed in all its bloody nakedness. Fallujah is being reduced to smoking rubble before the eyes of the world. Heavily armed American gunships are slowly pounding it into dust. Many civilians have fled in panic; many lay buried beneath the shattered remnants of their homes.


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The US army is now faced with a general insurrectionary upsurge all over Iraq. This marks a qualitative change in the situation. This week has seen the heaviest fighting since the end of the war, with the US losing 33 soldiers in three days. By last night, the troops which overthrew Saddam Hussein a year ago this week, had been driven from five Iraqi cities after heavy fighting.

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Iraq is in flames. Insurrections and fighting have spread across the country. The US-led coalition is fighting a desperate war on two-fronts: against Sunni rebels concentrated in the western towns of Falluja and Ramadi and a Shia uprising in south and central Iraq. This is just three months before the US is due to transfer power to an Iraqi government and the situation is deteriorating with every passing day.

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Yesterday’s bomb attacks in Iraq have brought the plight of the Iraqi people back into the attention of the whole world. It reminds everyone of the terrible mess that the US-UK war against Saddam Hussein has provoked. Iraq was no threat to anyone. That has been abundantly demonstrated now. So what has been achieved?

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Things are going from bad to worse for the occupying forces in Iraq. As the guerrilla insurgency intensified, US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld arrived in Baghdad to check things out “on the ground”.

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Saddam Hussein has been captured. On Saturday, US troops finally caught the man who had eluded them for months. The Americans could not conceal their euphoria. Paul Bremer, the imperial proconsul in charge of occupied Iraq opened the long anticipated press conference with the words: "Ladies and gentlemen, we've got him." The capture of Saddam Hussein may give Bush and Blair a temporary respite. But nothing fundamental has changed and none of the basic problems have been solved....

Bush is now in Britain on the first state visit of a US president to this country in eighty years. The trip was obviously planned long ago and when it was organised Blair probably was not aware of how strong the antiwar mood in Britain would become. But the consistent lies on the part of both Blair and Bush have convinced even many of those who initially went along with their arguments that the whole war was totally unjustified. It has exposed the real reasons for the occupation of Iraq -

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Opposition to the presence of foreign troops is not merely expressed in the daily attacks on US soldiers. Now there are signs of a growing militant mood among the Iraqi workers. The number of strikes has been increasing. By Roberto Sarti. (October 28, 2003).

The robbery of Iraq's national assets was formally legalised last Sunday. The American-appointed Iraqi National Council has opened up all sectors of the economy to foreign investors. From now on, all the strategic sectors of the economy can be sold off completely to foreign buyers.

Sometime last May a triumphant George W. Bush hired an aircraft carrier (at the tax payer's expense) to announce to the nation that the war in Iraq was over and America had won. Just four months later a more sober George Bush, his feet now firmly on dry land, faced the television cameras to inform the American public that they were in for a long, hard haul in Iraq, that they would have to put up with a lot of pain and expense before the show was over.

Apparently as one enters Baghdad from the west there is graffiti on the walls that says "Welcome to the Republic of Darkness and Unemployment". The devastation of Iraq's economy and infrastructure makes that statement literally true. The war in Iraq has solved nothing from the standpoint of US imperialism, instead it has ushered in a period of even greater instability throughout the Middle East and on a world scale.


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The situation in Iraq and the whole of the Middle East is far from being stabilised. The very fact that there is an army of occupation right in the heart of the region has opened up a completely new scenario. But is not just in the Middle East that the occupation of Iraq is having widespread repercussions. In the USA and the UK, the two countries that are occupying Iraq, the situation is getting worse for their respective governments.

As the US discusses the future of Iraq with its friends and allies from all over the world, the opposition movement to US occupation is growing and within this the old Communist traditions are once again beginning to take root. It is not just Islamic fundamentalism that is growing in post-war Iraq.

When President Bush stated on May 1 that combat operations had ended in Iraq, for most of the American people it seemed the war was over. It is not. The behaviour of the US forces is looking increasingly like that in Vietnam. Villages and towns are raided, where every one is considered an enemy and a potential target for besieged troops in a foreign and hostile country.

Yesterday's UN resolution provided the "legal framework" which allows the US and Britain to run Iraq as they please. Fred Weston looks at the meaning of the resolution while US companies prepare to loot Iraq.

On the eve of the war in Iraq, George W. Bush talked about a "crusade". He was obviously quite pleased with himself for having thought of such a catchy phrase. But he was quickly silenced by his advisers, who pointed out to him that the word "crusade" has very unfortunate associations for the Moslem world.

The war in Iraq solved nothing from the standpoint of US imperialism but has ushered in a period of even greater instability on a world scale. The world is now a far more turbulent, volatile and dangerous place than it was a few months ago.

On Monday at least 13 were killed and an unknown number wounded when US soldiers opened fire on a crowd of unarmed demonstrators who were protesting against the occupation of a local school by the US army. The mask of "democracy" and "liberation" is slipping to reveal the crude reality of foreign occupation and violent oppression.


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The occupation of Iraq is leading to ever-increasing problems for US imperialism. A mass movement against the “liberators” has already started. At this stage a big role as organizers of the movement has been played by the Muslim clerics and mullahs. The main purpose of this article is to understand the history of the Iraqi Left, in order to help the best activists not to repeat the mistakes of the past.

Yesterday’s British ‘The Independent’ published an article confirming that looting, on the part of US troops and even some journalists, of precious works of art has indeed been taking place in Iraq.

In the present epoch, the bourgeoisie is no longer capable of advancing human civilization, but the decay of the capitalist system threatens to poison every aspect of social life. The most heartbreaking example of the way in which capitalism is destroying the cultural heritage of mankind is what has just happened in Iraq.

The media has shown a lot of pictures of looting in Iraq, especially in the days immediately following the fall of the regime. Of course, the real looting was taking place in a much more organised and systematic manner. The first things the US military “secured” were the oilfields, underlining why they were really there.

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