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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 May 2006

Iraq - the nightmare continues

THE SHOOTING down for the first time of a British military helicopter over the southern Iraq city of Basra last week, in which five servicemen were killed, underlines the growing hostility to the occupying forces in the south of the country.

British troops no longer routinely patrol this Shia heartland but increasingly move by helicopter to avoid roadside bombs. Three years ago the "liberating forces" were initially greeted by cheering crowds. Now, crowds gather to cheer attacks on the British forces.

US and British forces are struggling to contain the largely Sunni Arab-based insurgency. Yet the Sunni population makes up around 20% of Iraq, what will happen when the Shia forces are unleashed against the occupation?

The rebuilt police force is heavily infiltrated by Islamist groups such as the Mehdi Army and the Badr Brigade who are terrorising the local Sunni population. These Shia militias, who according to the occupying forces are armed by neighbouring Iran, are controlled by Shia religious parties who form the government of Iraq.

The main growth industry in Iraq is kidnapping. Between five and 30 people are abducted for ransom every day. Often criminal groups co-operate with insurgents as their victims are sometimes sold and resold.

In the last three months an estimated 100,000 people have fled their homes to escape sectarian violence between Shia and Sunni militias.

This bleak portrait of a country disintegrating into ethnic civil war is the responsibility of George Bush and Tony Blair. Instead of a pliant regime which would provide a platform for policing the Middle East and providing the world economy with cheap oil, the occupation has turned into a bloody nightmare for Iraqis and a political quagmire for imperialism.

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In The Socialist 11 May 2006:


Socialist Party election analysis

Victory for NHS campaign

Huddersfield: voters choose a socialist and a fighter!

Third socialist councillor elected in Coventry

Increased votes for socialism in Lewisham

Stoke - BNP wins close-run election

Excellent results for the Socialist Party

Local elections: A death blow for Blair?

Dangers in Respect's development


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Stop the threats to the NHS


International socialist news and analysis

Female factory workers in Russia start hunger strike

Venezuela: Fight for socialism

Iraq - the nightmare continues

Germany: 'Unity' at the expense of the working class

Morales takes on 'Big Oil'


Socialist Party workplace news

Postal union rejects pay offer

Student union leaders hide truth about lecturers' action


 

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Related links:

Iraq:

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

triangleHow Blairism sank its claws into the Labour Party

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Imperialism:

triangleTrump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian conflict

triangleComprehensive account of bloody conflict

triangleEditorial of the Socialist, issue 968

Economy:

triangleAmber warning lights flash on British economy

trianglePowerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

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