Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/453/5430
No to war and the warmongers:
End the occupations
DISASTER, CATASTROPHE, devastation - words that can't come close to describing life in occupied Iraq or Afghanistan. But also the situation facing the British military and the Bush and Blair regimes which face mounting opposition and, in Blair's case, clamouring for his departure.
The leaked memo planning Blair's departure admitted that Iraq is the "elephant in the room" for New Labour. While it certainly poses problems for the governments here and in the US, it means hell for ordinary Iraqis. On the BBC website teachers from Samarra and Fallujah describe life without decent water, often without electricity and with an increasingly high cost of living. In Fallujah the local hospitals are short of anaesthetics and in Samarra, regular US-imposed curfews prevent people from attending their work or studies and have even made getting food impossible.
Bush and Blair continue to talk up the situation while all around them wring their hands at the disaster that Iraq and Afghanistan have become. Bush makes claims about how soon the Iraqi army will be "standing up, so the US can stand down". But back in reality, instead of withdrawals in the run-up to the US mid-term elections, the military presence has been stepped up.
Former Labour Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, points to the "five fault lines for Labour" and admits that the government's approach to Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East "has alienated many".
As foreign minister, Margaret Beckett, goes to visit Iraq more British soldiers are killed and the head of the army admits that "our armed forces can only just cope". The 14 servicemen killed when the Nimrod MR2 aircraft came down in Afghanistan on Saturday bring the death toll for UK forces personnel to 37 since the start of operations in November - 23 since the start of August.
Bush and Blair had beautiful plans for "democracy" and "freedom" based on regime change in Iraq and Afghanistan. They then planned to roll out their regime change machine across the Middle East, taking in Iran and Syria on their smiling, waving tour. Instead, their plans turn to dust and they find themselves overstretched and overwhelmingly unpopular.
These warmongers have no solutions. Under their leadership, the "elephant in the room" can only grow and reproduce ad infinitum. Under their leadership, there will be more deaths on all sides. Under their leadership, true freedom and real democracy only remain a mirage.
Join the Socialist Party on the national anti-war demonstration on 23 September to build the struggle for an alternative to the poodle and his elephant, for a socialist world without war and poverty.
Saturday 23 September
Assemble 1pm Albert Square, Manchester
Called by the Stop the War Coalition. For details of transport to the demo ring 020 8988 8777
In The Socialist 7 September 2006:
Socialist Party campaigns
War and terrorism
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news