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. The fighting will continue as before, or even get worse.

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”.

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?

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.

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.

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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