Socialist Worker

Solving Iraq's chaos means troops out

Issue No. 2031

Having spent years justifying the invasion and occupation that have caused the deaths of an estimated 650,000 Iraqis, the world’s rulers seem to have suddenly discovered that Iraq is a disaster.

The recent Iraq Study Group report revealed the depths to which the US is prepared to sink to try to extricate itself from this disaster.

As US and British troops poured into Iraq in March 2003, the long oppressed Kurds of northern Iraq were promised self rule in exchange for their cooperation.

Now that the US is facing defeat in Iraq, it needs Turkey’s cooperation. The price for this support will be paid for by the Kurds.

The report’s chief author James Baker wants to reassure Turkey by having the Iraqi constitution rewritten to remove guarantees of autonomy for Kurdish areas.

The US is also proposing to give Turkey the green light to hunt down “Kurdish rebels” in northern Iraq – guaranteeing future war.

The US used Kurdish aspirations to further its aims in the region. Now it no longer needs the Kurds, it wants to throw them to the lions.

The liberation of the Kurds can only be acheived as part of the liberation of the whole region. The neocons and the Blairites have no workable solutions for Iraq. The only answer is to get the troops out now.


Labour party

Politics for sale

In the run up to Christmas it is easy to get into debt. The latest lesson in dangers of extravagant spending is provided by the Labour Party.

Tony Blair’s party is not just in political turmoil over war and privatisation, it is in hock to the tune of £23.4 million. And it is behind in its payments. For instance, it is late paying back the £545,000 that businessman Gordon Crawford, who is worth a mere £91 million, lent the party.

So having ran out of ermine to sell – which still could lead to Blair helping the cops with their enquiries this week – the party made a crisis call to its friends in the union bureaucracy who have stumped up £500,000.

Rather than saying thank you, Blair warned of the need to loosen union influence over the Labour Party. The lesson is clear – you can buy the Labour Party, but it is for sale only to the rich.


Asylum rights

Hypocritical greetings

Most of us look forward to a card dropping through our letter box at this time of year. Farhat Khan can be excused a sense of dread when she hears the postie at the door.

Two years ago an invite to Buckingham Palace arrived from the queen in recognition of her voluntary work at Cheetham Hill Advice Centre in Manchester. Last week she was invited by Tony Blair to a Downing Street reception.

Yet at the time of the first invite, Blair’s government was in the process of trying to deport Farhat. This Christmas the invite arrives as her daughter Sara is facing being kicked out of the country.

Farhat and her five children fled domestic violence in Pakistan six years ago and claimed asylum. Having been refused asylum once, they are still waiting a final verdict.

Tony Blair’s government told Farhat and her children to get out of Britain, but now he and his wife “request the honour” of her company at Number Ten. Such Christmas cheer!


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Article information

What We Think
Sat 16 Dec 2006, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2031
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