Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 26 October 2006

Bloody chaos in Iraq shatters US war strategy

IN LESS than a week the Bush and Blair administrations have been forced into humiliating retreats over their Iraq policy. A sense of blind panic grips sections of the US political elite while there have been unprecedented and open clashes between Blair and his representatives and generals in the British army.

Now the talk is of "new tactics" and a stepped-up "timeline for withdrawal of troops". Why the sudden about turn? Because the effects of the developing bloody civil war in Iraq, occupation and civilian casualties, social disintegration and chaos in Iraq mean there are unprecedented levels of opposition to imperialism's occupation of Iraq. This is especially the case in the US where elections are due to take place in the next few weeks to both the Senate and House of Representatives.

Kevin Simpson

IN A national television interview Bush was forced to draw some comparisons between the situation faced by his administration and that of Lyndon Johnson during the Vietnam War when the Tet offensive was launched. This was a simultaneous attack by the national liberation forces of the North Vietnamese army and the 'Viet Cong' against 41 cities under US protection. While it was a military defeat for the North Vietnamese, it was a huge propaganda defeat for US imperialism and acted as the catalyst to turn US public opinion against the war.

This is the first time any senior member of the Bush administration has publicly made any comparison with the Vietnam war which was a historic defeat for US imperialism. It is an indication of the crisis facing US imperialism that it was Bush himself who made the comparison.

An even worse own goal for Bush was the interview given by Alberto Fernandez, director of public diplomacy at the state department's bureau of near eastern affairs on Al Jazeera television in which he described US policy in Iraq as "arrogant" and "stupid". Not surprisingly he has withdrawn his comments.

Iraqi civilians are now being killed at the rate of 100 a day - a dry statistic which gives no real feeling of the absolute horror and grief that thousands of Iraqi families are put through every hour of every day because of the disaster created by imperialism.

While there is an insurgency against the US and British occupation, it is the brutal civil war which predominates, spreading all the time and becoming more vicious. Under conditions of social collapse, criminal gangs operate across the country, terrorising working-class families.

The Iraqi army and police have been infiltrated by both Sunni and Shia militias who carry out sectarian attacks and mount ethnic cleansing operations. The number of different security forces climbs by the day as politicians and members of the corrupt elite take measures to protect themselves and their interests.

Every "policy initiative" US imperialism and its British allies take ends up in disaster. The last month has seen the highest level of US casualties with over 78 military personnel killed. This is despite the fact that 12,000 extra US soldiers were put into Baghdad to help crush the insurgency. The level of violence went up and US Major General Caldwell said that the operation "has not met our overall expectations in sustaining a reduction in violence".

These disasters are being reported on TV news bulletins across the world every day. In the US, opposition to the war, sex scandals and massive corruption have become the driving force behind a collapse in support for the Bush administration. Bush is now viewed negatively by 52% of the population and approval of the Republican-led Congress is at 16%, an all-time historical low.

The list of Republican Senators and Congressmen and women who come out and express the need for a change in tactics for the war in Iraq grows every day. Those that don't are likely to be drawing government pensions after election day since most of the analysts predict it is possible for the Republicans to lose control of both the Senate and House of Representatives.

The Iraqi Study Group set up by Congress and led by James Baker, former Secretary of State under Bush senior, has had further bad news for Bush Junior. It is quite clear that this group of senior members of the US political elite do not believe that present US strategy will work and that a withdrawal is necessary. However, even Baker realises that US imperialism needs some sort of pretext to withdraw so that a "victory", however hollow, can be announced. Baker has already commented that "There is no magic bullet for the situation. It is very, very difficult."

Leaks from the ISG suggest that one proposal is for a US withdrawal to bases in the Middle East or an approach to Iran and Syria to help deal with the insurgency. Even Baker has been seen to hint at the removal of the Maliki government for failing to deal with the insurgency and the developing civil war.

Some international analysts have called for a military junta to take over to impose order. Even Bush and Blair have now given up on the idea of so-called "democracy" but instead want "stability". However, even with the use of brutal military force, a military takeover would not be able to impose order over a country which has such a varied ethnic make-up with armed militias supposedly representing each grouping.

Other proposals include the division of the country into three: A Kurdish north, Sunni central belt and Shia south. This is a recipe for blood-letting on a grand scale - it would be a repetition in part of the human disaster which accompanied the partition of the Asian sub-continent in 1948 into India and Pakistan which created ten million refugees and was accompanied by over one million deaths through communal slaughter.

Socialist and trade unionists, young workers and students the world over need to fight for the withdrawal of imperialist occupation forces from Iraq immediately.

But this is only part of the struggle. A movement has to be built within Iraq amongst workers and young people across the ethnic and religious divide which opposes the armed militias' reactionary and brutal drive towards civil war.

In order to do this a programme of using Iraq's huge resources for the good of the working class who make up the majority of the population, has to be fought for - a mass programme of job creation, house building and emergency food, power and medicine provision.

Such a socialist programme would guarantee the rights of all ethinc and religious minorities and campaign for the setting up of a multi-ethnic defence force to defend all working-class communities whatever their make-up from the religious and ethnic cleansing of the militias.

Only if Iraq is in the hands of the working class and its economy and society democratically controlled can the corruption and violence which has blighted the country's landscape for decades prevented.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 26 October 2006:

Unite and fight to save the NHS

The battle to defend the health service

How can we build an effective campaign to defend the NHS?

A socialist programme for the NHS

Protests force partial retreat from cuts

Marching for the NHS in Torquay

"Action to defend our birthright"

Sack the bosses not the nurses

Socialist Students

Students join the fightback

No to attacks on democratic rights

Chilean students fight Pinochet's legacy

Socialism 2006

Rally for socialism!


Workplace analysis

How can the trade unions regain their strength?

Trade Union Freedom Bill

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

'Single status' battle continues

How to build a trade union in your workplace

Furious parents turn on councillors

War and terrorism

Bloody chaos in Iraq shatters US war strategy

Sri Lanka: Is peace possible?


Home   |   The Socialist 26 October 2006   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleKurdish referendum declared illegal

triangle'From Militant to the Socialist Party' - new book now available

triangleHow Blairism sank its claws into the Labour Party

triangleAttacks ratchet-up Syrian conflict and fuel tensions between powers


triangleTrump's tax plan: Robin Hood in reverse

triangleMobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

triangleThem & us

triangleTrump's tax attacks


triangleCaerphilly Socialist Party: Are we heading for an era of war?

triangleComprehensive account of bloody conflict

triangleOctober 1917 reviews: 'More bright than any heaven'


triangleScotland: BiFab workers' occupation and march secures jobs and pay guarantee





Trump's tax plan: Robin Hood in reverse



Irish capitalist state: rotten to the core



Fighting sexism, violence and capitalism - an international struggle



Trump's tax attacks



Australia: massive yes vote for marriage equality



Zimbabwe: Mugabe gone - but his regime remains in power



USA: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis



US: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis



Sweden: 'Revolution2017' success



Spain: Madrid rally celebrates October revolution



US: Minneapolis Socialist chimes with voters



Ireland: rail workers demand share of 'recovery'



Ireland: dangerous ideas for the ruling class



Catalonia: Rajoy's furious response to proclamation of Republic



Kurdish referendum declared illegal

triangleMore International articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the full 5% claim

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

triangle30 Nov Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

More ...

triangle11 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Campaigning workshop

triangle11 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas Quiz

triangle12 Dec Birmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

triangle12 Dec Liverpool Socialist Party: Fighting council cuts

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice