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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 November 2004

The bloody cost of war

Bring the troops back now

US military crosses from Vietnam to IraqAFTER A six-day bloody assault, George Bush declared 'victory' in Fallujah.

It is an empty victory that will come back to haunt both him and Blair.

Cartoon by Alan Hardman

It has left a city in ruins and forced tens of thousands to flee their homes - many sleeping on the streets in makeshift cardboard shelters.

Nobody knows how many Iraqi civilians have died during the invasion of their city. It was only weeks after the last assault in April that we learnt the full horrific truth - that up to 1,000 Iraqis had been slaughtered.

Thousands of civilians remained in Fallujah as it was flattened by 500lb bombs and heavy artillery. With no water, electricity or medical aid, the injured, including children, were left to slowly bleed to death. There has been an increase in typhoid and other diseases from drinking contaminated water.

Cost

US forces have succeeded in seizing Fallujah but at a terrible cost. Spokespeople for US imperialism talked of ending the insurgency by giving it a 'big slap' in Fallujah and preparing Iraq for elections in January. But as the US forces were destroying Fallujah, violence was raging in virtually every major city in central Iraq.

In Mosul, the third-largest city, at least nine police stations were stormed and looted and roadblocks set up. Even Bush and Co. are having to admit that the violence will get worse.

How many more cities will be flattened by occupying forces? How many more Iraqi civilians and troops will be killed in what is an unwinnable guerrilla war? Even if elections take place, which is far from certain, resistance to the occupation will not be quelled. Attacks like that on Fallujah will ignite new fires throughout Iraq. The troops should be brought home now.


Iraq - what we say

THE SOCIALIST Party calls for the immediate withdrawal of all occupying troops. We support the right of Iraqis to fight imperialist occupation and advocate mass resistance through the building of democratically controlled workers' and farmers' militias, uniting all ethnic groups.

Actions which result in the indiscriminate killing of ordinary Iraqis, carried out by a small minority, do not advance the long-term interests of the working class. Mass resistance however, could massively weaken the occupation while laying the basis for independent working class organisation, and the struggle for democratic control and planning of the country's resources to ensure jobs, a living wage, healthcare education and basic services for the Iraqi people.

This is essential to cut across ethnic and religious divisions and prevent the dominance of right-wing political Islam, which is a danger to the Iraqi working class.

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In The Socialist 20 November 2004:

The bloody cost of war

Ireland: Socialist Party MP attacks Irish Government

Colin Powell - a dodgy dove


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