Turkish state threatens Iraqi Kurds

BUSH AND Blair hope that the battle for Baghdad will not be too long and too bloody. They also have the problem of the Turkish troops mustering on the border of predominantly Kurdish northern Iraq.

Some four million Kurdish people live in northern Iraq – at present they have won a degree of autonomy under the no-fly zone. The Turkish state rules over – and represses – 12 million Kurds.

The Turkish government is preparing to invade northern Iraq to try to prevent the Kurdish people from carving out an independent Kurdistan in Iraq. They want to stop the ‘virus’ of national independence infecting Turkey.

The US’s military commanders say they oppose such a move but they may not be able to control the situation completely.

This could mean another war either before or after Saddam is removed. Washington’s nightmare of a divided Iraq imploding, with nearby powers like Iran and Turkey grabbing the spoils, could come true.

The Kurdish people have suffered more than any other in Iraq over the Saddam years and before. At the time of the last Gulf War, US forces first encouraged the Kurds to rise against Saddam, then abandoned them when Iraqi forces crushed them (see page 13).

This time Saddam may go but the Kurds could still suffer from the political needs of Washington’s Turkish government allies.

A socialist plan of production and land could start to solve most of the national problems caused by capitalism. But US imperialism’s interests are in maintaining its power, prestige and profits – they consider all else as irrelevant.

Caterpillar workers say follow in our tracks

WORKERS AT the Caterpillar steel factory in Gosselies near Charleroi in Belgium downed tools on 24 March in protest against the war with Iraq.

The strike began at 5.45 in the morning. A general assembly will decide later if the strike continues. The workers have decided to distribute leaflets against the war, stopping cars at the area’s main roads.