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.

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.

“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).

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.

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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