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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 November 2003

Protest against George Bush visit

End The Occupation Of Iraq

George Bush: the angel of death is here - can't you hear the beating of it's wings, photo by Alan Hardman

George Bush: the angel of death is here - can't you hear the beating of it's wings, photo by Alan Hardman

THE NIGHTMARE scenario for George Bush - a Vietnam-like guerrilla war - looms larger with each day the US-led occupation of Iraq continues.

After 15 US soldiers died when their Chinook helicopter was downed even White House hawk Donald Rumsfeld admitted: "It is a tragic day for Americans".

But it is a tragedy entirely of the making of George Bush and his coalition buddy Tony Blair.

They both conspired to effect "regime change" in Iraq by fabricating evidence of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

Then, having blitzed Iraq with deadly munitions killing many Iraqis, hundreds of thousands of US troops backed by British forces invaded. In the chaos of occupation a further 10,000 Iraqis have died.

Poverty

And where is the bright new future that Bush and Blair promised the long-suffering Iraqis? It doesn't exist. Instead, there is mass unemployment and widespread poverty.

Health and education services barely function, even petrol in this oil-rich country is scarce. Shootings, kidnappings, rapes and looting continues unabated.

And what about "democracy", long denied to Iraqis under the regime of Saddam Hussein? There isn't any. Iraq is run by the US pro-consul Paul Bremer.

A hand-picked group of rich exiles sits on the Iraqi Governing Council which meekly rubber stamps decisions of the occupying forces. There is no timetable for a self-governing Iraqi democracy.

Aid?

But, isn't there reconstruction? Half of the $20 billion 'aid' voted by the US Congress is in the form of a loan. In other words, Iraqis must pay for their homes, schools, power stations and water treatment facilities that were wrecked by US munitions.

And the companies which are involved in rebuilding are US multinationals like Halliburton, formerly run by US Vice-President Dick Cheney, which will make handsome profits. Iraqis won't even own their country's industry. All state enterprises (apart from oil whose revenues will be used to pay for occupation) will be privatised.

Bush - the angel of death, photo Alan Hardman

Bush - the angel of death, photo Alan Hardman

It's of little wonder then that anger and resentment is growing daily inside Iraq. Attacks on US troops and foreign workers are increasing every day. The spectre of Vietnam is raising its head over increasingly demoralised US forces.

The social liberation of Iraqis and the US-led imperialist occupation is incompatible. Freedom and democracy can only come about through a socialist movement of Iraqi workers and poor, with the support of mass movements of the working class internationally.

Between 19-21 November George Bush will visit his lapdog, Tony Blair.

This will be an opportunity for the anti-war opposition to take to the streets to demand an end to the occupation of Iraq and an end to the rotten capitalist system that the two warmongers represent.

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In The Socialist 8 November 2003:

End The Occupation Of Iraq

Civil servants launch pay battle: End Low Pay

Firefighters Take Action

Tory Party Victory For 'Something Of The Right'

Postal Workers Win Important Victory

Lewisham: Socialist Party Standing In Council By-Election

Galloway Takes Road Of 'Popular Unity'

Police Racism - Caught Red-Handed

'Oligarchs' And 'Bonapartes' - Capitalism In Post-Soviet Russia


 

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