Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/323/9624
End the occupation of Iraq: Protest Against Bush
Demonstrate: Thursday 20 November, 2pm, Malet Street, London WC1.
March to Trafalgar Square
ON THE eve of his visit to Britain, George Bush has complained about the lack of democracy in the Middle East. What hypocrisy. This from a man who cheated the electoral system to become US President!
Bush has financial and family ties with the Saudi Arabian monarchy - the oil-rich, reactionary, semi-feudal dictatorship which has banned elections, political parties, trade unions and a free press. It's a dictatorship which supported the repressive Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
Of course Afghanistan, post-Taliban, is hardly a template for 'democracy'. The US-backed Hamed Karzai regime is an unelected, corrupt, gangster-run clique which suppresses dissent and denies democratic rights to an impoverished population.
US imperialism also supports many undemocratic regimes throughout the Middle East and beyond. But all this lack of democracy is overlooked by the world's superpower, so long as these regimes are pro-US capitalism.
Bush's support for 'democratic' Israel is also hypocritical. Ariel Sharon's government gets $3 billion a year from the US, plus military hardware, while trampling on the Palestinians' democratic right to an independent state.
It was the US under Republican President Ronald Reagan which supported Saddam's monstrous dictatorship during the bloody war between Iraq and Iran in the 1980s. And, at the end of the first Gulf War against Iraq in 1991, US President George Bush senior betrayed the Shia uprising against Saddam.
Today, having overthrown Saddam's regime, the US has refused to give a timetable for self-governing democracy in Iraq.
Few people will be fooled by Bush's nonsense talk of 'democracy' for Iraq and the wider region. Most Iraqis understand that the US-led war and occupation was to secure the oil reserves, to expand US markets and to assert its military and political power to the world. Since the 1823 'Monroe Doctrine' the US has taken to invading any country deemed to be threatening its interests i.e. the capitalist profit system.
Over 25 years ago, the US attempt to control the Vietnamese ended in defeat for imperialism. Bush and his lapdog Blair are hoping that Iraq doesn't become their Vietnam.
Capitalism, based on minority ownership and control of society, can never achieve a democratic future. A genuine democracy means ownership and control of the economy and the wider society by the majority. In other words socialism.
This week, many thousands will join protests against the warmongering US President. We say: don't just demonstrate against Bush's imperialism, fight for a democratic socialist system.
In The Socialist 15 November 2003: