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No to the occupation of Iraq!
On February 15, 2003, the Socialist Party marched against the imminent war on Iraq, alongside almost 2 million others in Britain, and over 30 million worldwide.
But despite the biggest simultaneous worldwide movement in history – Bush and Blair went ahead and invaded Iraq.
On the Socialist Party’s leaflet of that day, we warned:
We went on to warn that Blair’s support for this war would inevitably increase the likelihood of a major terrorist attack in Britain, and that Iraq would face a future of occupation and conflict.
Unfortunately, everything predicted by the Socialist Party and others in the anti-war movement has come to pass.
Iraq is sinking deeper into chaos, its people are mired in even worse conditions than existed under Saddam.
Over 500 ‘coalition’ soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed since the war ‘ended’.
The government is spending billions on its part in the occupation of Iraq.
Yet only 50% of the Iraqi population has clean water compared to 60% under Saddam.
Despite the promise of billions of dollars of investment, there is 50% unemployment and little or no electricity in the major towns.
All of those who lined up behind Bush and Blair, including a majority of New Labour MPs, are in the dock.
The claims of Bush and Co.
The claims of Bush and Co. that occupation is ending and democracy being introduced are a charade.
Colin Powell gave the game away when he declared:
Socialists have to stand for
We understand that many workers and young people oppose the war and the occupation and its consequences but are afraid that if troops are withdrawn, Iraq would fall into even greater chaos and disintegration.
Blair is playing on this fear to justify US and British occupation.
On a capitalist basis, there is undoubtedly a risk of disintegration, but it is wrong to conclude that the occupation has to continue.
The blame for the current situation lies at the feet of the warmongers.
The ‘coalition of the willing’ is not in Iraq to bring peace, but to further the interests of US imperialism.
To do so they are balancing between the different religious and ethnic groups.
This, as has always been the case with imperialist occupations, tends to massively exacerbate the tensions.
The solution lies with the working people
The solution lies with the working people and poor masses of Iraq.
The only way to guard against ethnic and religious clashes would be through the formation of multi-ethnic defence forces to protect the security of all, under the democratic control of working people.
The Socialist Party stands for such measures to be combined with a mass movement of the working class and the oppressed masses for an end to the occupation of Iraq.
Such a movement should call for the convening of an Iraq-wide national assembly of democratically elected delegates to vote on the formation of a workers and poor farmers’ government that would provide the basis to deal with the crushing problems facing Iraq.