Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 27 November 2004

The ever mounting cost of war

Cartoon by Alan Hardman: Bush wins - but Iraq threatensA DATE for elections in Iraq has now been set for 30 January 2005. This is a desperate attempt to show that progress is being made. But a whole range of problems could make these elections worthless or impossible to organise.

Jane James

With many areas wracked by fighting, no basic amenities and growing numbers of refugees, even the registration process is encountering difficulties.

Eighteen months after the war was officially declared over, fighting continues in numerous cities, towns and villages in Iraq - and there is no end in sight. As long as the occupation continues there will be more bloodshed and destruction.

Once Fallujah was taken we were told that the resistance would subside and elections could take place. Yet, the socialist explained that this would not end the resistance but encourage it to spread. Street battles are being fought now in Ramadi, bomb blasts are reported daily in Baghdad, there is unrest in Mosul and pockets of resistance continue in Fallujah itself.

If Britain faced an occupation by a foreign army, then resistance would naturally be justified by the media. Yet those fighting in Iraq are referred to as foreign fighters and terrorists. While we do not support the brutal killing of hostages and indiscriminate killing of civilians by Iraqi fighters, there is no doubt that the majority of them are ordinary Iraqis fighting to expel the occupation forces.

In reality, the US military can achieve a tactical victory in one city yet still be further than ever from an overall strategic victory in Iraq. "Mission creep" is the phrase of the moment, as more US and British troops are being sent to Iraq and the occupation is lasting longer than planned.

British troops will now be sent anywhere in Iraq to help the US in conflict zones and could expect to be in Iraq for years. Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon admits that the conflict is costing 125 million a month and could reach 5 billion if British troops stay until January 2006. 5 billion would pay for 500 new schools or 277,000 nurses.


Our money is being spent to destroy a country and its people. More British troops, most of them young working class soldiers, will be expected to give their lives for this unjust war.

However, these elections, if they take place, could even compound ethnic conflict. The Shia Arabs under Sistani want to put forward a common list of "Shia Islamist Parties". Because the Shia constitute the majority of the population in Iraq this could result in a conservative religious Shia-dominated parliament.

Sunni-Arab leaders want to postpone the elections as many Sunni areas are under attack from US troops and some Sunni groups have threatened to disrupt elections or boycott them. There has also been talk of 'partial elections' if they cannot be organised in some provinces. But this would exclude most Iraqis in the Sunni triangle.

In essence, these elections are being organised by a US-appointed government under conditions of mass insurgency and will not therefore be democratic.

A force is needed which can unite ordinary Iraqis to resist the occupation and rebuild Iraq in the interests of ordinary Iraqis. This would need to involve the working class and farmers building their own organisations including democratically controlled militias uniting all ethnic groups.

A struggle for a socialist society will be needed if the resources of Iraq are to be owned and democratically run by ordinary Iraqis and to ensure that Iraq is rebuilt for the benefit of the Iraqi masses.

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

In The Socialist 27 November 2004:

The ever mounting cost of war

Bush's nuclear weapons hypocrisy

Western hypocrisy on Afghanistan

Ukraine presidential elections provoke protests

Socialist Party workplace news

Support the Jaguar workers' fight

DWP: We need more staff not less

Liverpool council workers ballot for action

Socialist Party campaigns

ISR / Socialist Students conference: Fighting to change the world

Queen's speech: New Labour's terror card

Tommy Sheridan resigns as SSP convenor

Domestic Violence: Law changes but gaps remain

Olympics: Who foots the bill?

Reggae and gay rights


Home   |   The Socialist 27 November 2004   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleOctober 1917 reviews: 'More bright than any heaven'

triangleRussia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangleShocking insight into Isis

triangleChe Guevara 50 years on - revolutionary socialist and fighter

triangleBin strike: council humiliated in court battle - but war isn't over yet


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


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


triangleObesity epidemic: end food market anarchy

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer


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

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay


Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?



Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni


Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers



Balloting members on the pay cap



'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future



Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison


South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP



Uprising to save the NHS!



Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?


East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!


North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses



Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems



Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now



Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns 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 out the Tories

More ...

triangle21 Oct Birmingham: NSSN Solidarity Forum

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

More ...

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



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