Archive article from The Socialist Issue 376
End the occupation of Iraq
THE LOOMING 'elections' in Iraq are being daily exposed as a sham - designed to get the right result for the US paymasters and the Iraqi interim government. It is clear that large sections of the population won't be able to vote at all in the chaos created inside Iraq's towns and cities by the occupying forces.
Even where people can vote, many will question the vote's validity when a White House official claimed "there is a willingness to play with the end result."
By this he meant guaranteeing seats to candidates from Sunni areas, after the biggest Sunni party withdrew from the elections and a majority of Sunnis are expected to boycott the election.
But, whatever the end result of these elections, one thing is clear - the resistance to the occupying forces and whatever government takes shape after 30 January will grow.
The deployment of more British troops shows that the occupying powers are having growing difficulties in containing the situation.
As the deadline for the elections approaches the situation inside Iraq is becoming increasingly unstable.
The evidence that has emerged about the barbaric destruction of Fallujah in the last week will further fan the flames of resistance against the occupying forces.
It is another reason why opposition inside Iraq will continue to grow and why some US government sources talk of ten to 15 years of occupation to 'sort out' the mess they have created.
Fallujah was razed to the ground with tens of thousands killed and hundreds of thousands made homeless.
And while it seems US forces knew that most Iraqi fighters had left the city, they carried on with its destruction because the US wanted to snuff out the most visible sign of resistance to their illegal occupation.
In their desperation to maintain dominance in Iraq, US imperialism is prepared to lean on Shia and Kurdish forces to brutally crush the Sunni resistance, thus bringing civil war far closer.
But, although the actions of the occupying forces bring the real threat of a descent into civil war, it is not inevitable. Sectarian, religious and ethnic divisions can be cut across. It is not automatic that the resistance to US imperialism will gravitate to right-wing religious groupings.
A genuine and democratic mass struggle against occupation and for democratic working-class ownership and control of Iraq's vast economic resources would fight to ensure jobs, homes and services to meet the needs of all Iraqis and cut across any attempts at sectarian division.
Through unity in struggle, the occupying force can be forced out and a movement can begin for a socialist Iraq and a socialist federation of the Middle East.