Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/378/4251

From The Socialist newspaper, 29 January 2005

Iraq: Elections won't end crisis

End the war and occupation

WITH THE sham Iraqi elections just days away American commanders are preparing "public opinion in Iraq and abroad for one of the bloodiest chapters in the war so far", according to John F Burns of the New York Times.

The right-wing Islamic leader of some of the Sunni insurgent groups, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has declared "fierce war" on the elections and its result.

Pentagon officials have admitted they will have to keep 120,000 US troops in place for two years or more. This is after their bleak acceptance that only 5,000 of the 120,000-strong Iraqi 'army' were well enough trained to be dependable.

A member of the Commons Defence Committee said after a recent visit to Iraq: "It will take 10 to 15 years at least before the troops can be withdrawn. The Iraqis just cannot cope with the security situation and won't be able to for years."

'Stable democracy'

This is hardly the backdrop to establishing a 'stable democracy' and Bush's new world of 'freedom'.

The Iraqi elections are descending further into chaos and even farce. Allawi's stooge government is trying to talk up the elections and claims that the voter turnout will not be the most important issue.

Given that more than half the population in some parts of Iraq will not participate, and turnout could even be as low as 5% in some areas, Allawi is preparing his spin in advance.

With most candidates not revealing their names for fear of reprisals and officials admitting they cannot guarantee security or anonymity for voters, then it is hardly surprising that turnout will be low - especially in Sunni areas. Even measures to stop alleged voter fraud will heighten voters' concerns about safety.

As opposed to elections in other 'trouble spots' where people have had their hands stamped with invisible ink, voters in Iraq will have their hands stamped with indelible ink - clearly visible to anyone who wants to attack them for voting.

Turnout

And whilst there may be a higher turnout in Shia and Kurdish areas, this will not be because they are endorsing the occupation of US imperialism but more in the hope that they will be able to lift the veil of oppression they suffered under Saddam.

However, all serious commentators now consider a descent into civil war after the election the most likely development. Whatever the final outcome of the Iraqi election - and the results are unlikely to come out for ten days or more - the Iraq occupation will lead to a deepening crisis both inside Iraq and at home for Bush and Blair.

The actions of imperialist leaders have brought only chaos and carnage to Iraq and the Middle East. Because of this, the anti-war movement is once more gaining momentum and there could be huge turnouts worldwide for the anti-war demonstrations taking place on 19 March.

The anger against the war and occupation in the US and Britain is growing, especially given the growing allegations of brutality by the occupying forces.

Support for the war in Britain has dropped by 5% since October to 38% according to the latest ICM poll.

We say:

THE SOCIALIST Party fully supports the right of the Iraqi people to resist this brutal occupation. But the road towards ethnic conflict being adopted by both Shia figures and the majority of the leadership of the Sunni resistance will be a disaster for the workers and poor of Iraq - whether Shia, Sunni, Kurd or from other ethnic or religious groups.

Ethnic and religious clashes inside Iraq after the elections will have to be combated through the formation of multi-ethnic defence forces to protect the security of all, under the democratic control of working people.

Combining this with a mass movement of the working class and the oppressed masses can build a force capable of ending the occupation of Iraq.

This movement should call for the convening of an Iraq-wide national assembly of democratically elected delegates to vote on the formation of a workers' and poor farmers' government that would provide the basis to deal with the crushing problems facing Iraq. The deepening of the crisis inside Iraq shows the urgent need for a socialist alternative to be posed.


Protest against war profiteers

In June, the Pentagon's Program Management Office in Iraq awarded a $293 million contract to co-ordinate security operations among thousands of private contractors to Aegis. 3

This is a UK firm whose founder was once investigated for illegal arms smuggling with another company. Aegis is to supply "security services, anti-terrorism support and analyses, movement escort services, and close personal protection services".

An inquiry into Sandline, Aegis head Tim Spicer's former firm, determined that the company had shipped guns to Sierra Leone in 1998 in violation of a UN arms embargo. Spicer resigned from Sandline in 2000 and incorporated Aegis in 2002.

Spicer is also a former associate of Simon Mann, who was involved in Sandline and is now in prison accused of organising mercenaries to stage a coup in Equatorial Guinea.

Over 100,000 Iraqis have been killed in this illegal war, while firms like Aegis make millions in profits from the chaos and instability in Iraq. Ordinary Iraqis and coalition soldiers are dying in an occupation designed only to increase the power of US imperialism and secure their oil supplies.

We must continue to build the anti-war movement and call for the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq.


International Socialist Resistance weekend of action against the occupation.

29 / 30 January

Protest at war profiteer Aegis, 2.30pm 29 January, 118 Piccadilly, London W1.

www.anticapitalism.org.uk

INTERNATIONAL SOCIALIST Resistance (ISR) is an international anti-capitalist youth organisation with groups in many different countries.

Initiated by the Socialist Party, ISR is a democratic, broad organisation fighting for a socialist alternative to capitalism.

For more details write to: ISR, PO Box 858, London, E11 1YG. Tel: 020 8558 7947. againstcapitalism@hotmail.com www.anticapitalism.org.uk


Stop the War Coalition national demonstration

19 March, 1pm, central London

Details to follow


Water - but not on tap

BILLIONS OF dollars in US aid are targeted for Iraq's reconstruction. But while US companies given exclusive contracts such as Bechtel are laughing all the way to the bank, the plight of ordinary Iraqis worsens.

Take water supply in the city of Basra. Bechtel refurbished the central water pumping station and 14 substations in a showcase development. Unfortunately, according to Ahmad al-Khadimi, chairman of engineering at Basra University: "We turn on the tap and no water comes out"!

What the American authorities failed to take into account is that decades of neglect and two wars left a legacy of broken pipes going into homes.

And according to the International Herald Tribune: "Basra residents now receive electric power only four hours a day, less than they got before the US-led invasion." Despite this failure, Thomas Rhodes, regional co-ordinator for USAID in southern Iraq, boasted: "I think we should get credit for accomplishing the things we set out to do."

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


In The Socialist 29 January 2005:

Iraq: Elections won't end crisis

Iraq: 'Elections' can't hide the deepening crisis

Bush's 'coronation': Stoking the fires of opposition

Immigration: Howard's desperate, hypocritical policy

Kilroy's brief encounter (part four)

Pensions - turn anger into action!

Vote Roger Bannister

Civil service pay victory

Tube workers win 35-hour week through strike action

French public-sector workers show their strength

Poverty adds to chaos in Aceh and Sri Lanka

After Zhao's death, where is China heading?

Slovakian trade union confronts Austrian multinational


 

Home   |   The Socialist 29 January 2005   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Iraq:

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

Elections:

triangleGerman elections: rise of the far right and right-wing government will provoke resistance

triangleUsdaw elections announced - fight for a left leadership, vote for Amy Murphy

triangleHong Kong: mass demonstration against repression

triangleVenezuela: Capitalist offensive sharpens after assembly elections

War:

triangleOctober 1917 reviews: 'More bright than any heaven'

triangleRussia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangleShocking insight into Isis

Occupation:

triangleHousing crisis: Corbyn's positive measures blanked by Labour's right

triangleStudent occupation at Chelsea College of Arts

US:

triangleObesity epidemic: end food market anarchy

International

International

18/10/17

Hong Kong

Campaign against political repression in Hong Kong

11/10/17

Catalonia

Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

4/10/17

Catalonia

Solidarity with Catalonia - the people have the right to decide

4/10/17

Catalonia

Eyewitness: Irish socialist MP participates in events

2/10/17

Catalonia

Exemplary resistance by the people of Catalonia

27/9/17

Germany

Germany: Election results in political earthquake

27/9/17

Catalonia

Strike against Madrid's 'state of emergency'!

27/9/17

Germany

German elections: rise of the far right and right-wing government will provoke resistance

27/9/17

France

French Labour reform protests

25/9/17

Catalonia

Catalonia: Student strike called

20/9/17

Myanmar

Brutal repression of Rohingya people sparks massive humanitarian crisis

20/9/17

Catalonia

Solidarity with Catalonia in the Spanish state

15/9/17

Germany

Berlin hospital strike

13/9/17

Korea

Korean peninsula: is nuclear war likely?

13/9/17

Students

Interview with leader of students' union in the Spanish state: "When we fight, we win!"

triangleMore International articles...


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

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

More ...

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

triangle25 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

More ...

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

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2