Iraq

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. Thousands of others have abandoned any attempt to stop the unstoppable.

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.

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 in Baghdad.

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.

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.

Another general strike against the war called in Greece for April 3

Antiwar feelings are running very high in Greece. There has already been a general strike against the war. This took place shortly after the war broke out. And if some people thought this would die down once the war had started they will have to think twice. The workers and youth of Greece are not going to give the imperialists any respite.

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 government to their plans. Recently published polls show that 62 per cent of Poles oppose war and as much as 75 per cent do not accept sending Polish troops to fight in Iraq. In spite of all this the

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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 the strike.

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 to the North East of the town.

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.