Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/428/5024
The Socialist 22 February 2006 |
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Bush and Blair's total failure
3 years of war and occupation
IRAQI AUTHORITIES in three regions have withdrawn all co-operation
from British forces in response to the sickening videos showing
prisoners abused in 2004. It's a further indication of the increasing
anger in Iraq to the occupation.
The occupation of Iraq has been a disaster from the beginning. Over
100,000 Iraqis have been killed in the three years of occupation but
Bush and Blair have no workable political solution as the floundering
attempt to create a new coalition government shows.
Representatives from Kurdish groups and Sunni Arabs are complaining
of the undue influence of militia leader Moqtada al-Sadr within the Shia
alliance, UIA, whilst Moqtada al-Sadr himself is calling for the
rejection of the new Iraq constitution.
Iraq's leading non-Shia parties are also mounting a last-minute bid
to block the reappointment of Ibrahim al-Jaafari as prime minister,
citing his previous ineffectiveness in office and his new
"political debt" to al-Sadr.
And while Western multinationals profit from reconstruction contracts
and carve up Iraqi's huge oil wealth between them, the US ambassador,
Zalmay Khalilzad, threatens to cut aid to Iraq if the various government
parties do not sort out a new constitution and agree on the Prime
With reconstruction aid set to end, the Bush regime continues to
spend huge amounts on the military and on the occupation of Afghanistan
and Iraq. The US defence budget is set to top $517 billion in 2007 of
which Iraq and Afghanistan will take a major part.
But not only is pressure building on Bush and Blair over the war and
occupation of Iraq but pressure is also building within the occupying
forces. With over 2,200 US forces and 100 British troops killed this
unease has reached a level that British soldiers are now demanding a
"trade association" along the lines of the Police Federation
to protect their rights.
Colonel Tim Collins (famous for his speech to troops on the eve of
the invasion of Iraq), said: "I think such an organisation is
needed at the moment because confidence in the chain of command and
general morale has collapsed across the Army." And as Jeff Duncan
from Save the Scottish Regiments says: "Many within the military
have reached breaking point, either leaving en masse or attempting to
protect themselves via this organisation."
It is vital that the campaign to end this brutal occupation is
increased by building for the national demonstration on 18 March.
The campaign must be linked to the struggle for a democratic
socialist society in Iraq, allowing the country's huge oil wealth to be
used for the benefit of ordinary Iraqis and not the multinational
Stop the War Coalition demo
18 March 2006
Assemble 12 noon Parliament Square, London SW1.
Withdraw the troops now. No to
For workers' and peasants' government in
For an international socialist solution to
end wars and poverty.