Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/504/3208
The Socialist 4 October 2007 |
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Iraq: end the occupation nightmare
THE LIVING nightmare of occupation and sectarian bloodshed continues without relent for the people in Iraq. Reports show that over 600,000 Iraqi civilians have lost their lives due to the war and occupation, but in many ways this stomach-churning figure is just the tip of the iceberg.
Over two million Iraqis have been displaced and more than 60,000 people a month are now forced to flee the country as refugees. 70% of Iraqi people have no access to clean drinking water while 28% of the country's children are suffering from chronic malnutrition. Beyond the tragic death toll figures lie both the constant struggle of daily life and countless personal stories of tragedy and hardship.
According to a Ministry of Defence survey, less than 1% of the Iraqi population believes US-led Coalition forces have been responsible for any improvement in the country's security. Presumably, that 1% includes members of the Maliki government, holed up in the 'green zone', who wouldn't last five seconds without US military backing!
Iraq's shattered infrastructure, huge unemployment and daily violence is the result of US/UK imperialism's war for power, prestige and profit in the Middle East. For the masses of Iraq, the continuing occupation offers no hope for the future. All it can guarantee them is a further descent into the quagmire of sectarianism, violence and civil war.
But despite all this, Bush seems determined to 'stick it out', insisting that the troop 'surge' has been a success. Underlying this is Bush's desire to pass the problem of a humiliating exit onto his successor. What arrogance! He is happy to see more lives destroyed, more families torn apart, just to save himself the discredit of a forced withdrawal.
Any hope that Gordon Brown would act to pull all the British troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan in order to distance himself from the Blair years has proved in vain too. He is just as craven a supporter of US foreign policy as Blair was. More than that, Brown seems prepared to see the Stop the War Coalition demonstration in London on 8 October declared illegal!
The mood against the occupation is greater than it has ever been now, yet Brown and the New Labour government feel that they can ignore this. It's clear that a change of leader in New Labour has meant no change in policies. And why should it?
New Labour are a party of big business, their reason for existence is to govern in the interests of the fat cats. Around 60 British companies have gained an estimated £1 billion in Iraq contracts since the removal of Saddam. Ordinary Iraqis, meanwhile, have suffered immense hardship.
We need a new mass party that isn't afraid to draw the link between war, oil and big business and clearly fights for no more war and occupation for power and profit!
Stop the War Coalition (STWC) national demonstration
Monday 8 October
Assemble 1pm in Trafalgar Square
Although the demonstration route has not been agreed by the police, the STWC is planning to go ahead with it. See www.stopwar.org.uk for details.