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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.