Socialist Worker

Troops must leave to stop hostage taking

by Chris Bambery, editor of Socialist Worker
Issue No. 1921

THE IRAQI resistance is a response to the bitter reality of US and British occupation.

It was a reality which was underlined by the bombing of Fallujah this week which murdered many civilians.

The Iraqi people know at first hand of friends and family members dragged away by occupation troops to indefinite detention.

They know of women and children held as hostages by the US army until a father or son gave himself up in exchange.

As we write, the life of Ken Bigley hangs in the balance. We applaud the courage of his family in pointing the finger of blame for his terrible situation at Tony Blair and George Bush.

The death toll mounts each day in Iraq. The vast majority dying are Iraqi civilians at the hands of occupation forces.

During the Second World War the British and US governments appealed to the people of occupied Europe to take up arms against the Nazi invaders.

They condoned actions such as assassinations, bombs without warnings and the summary execution of informers and traitors.

There has never been a “clean” war of national liberation.

The simple message every anti-war activist must shout from the rooftops is that there is only one way to stop hostage taking in Iraq—to remove all the US and British troops now.

We should further demand that Iraqis have the right to hold elections immediately, free from any restrictions such as those proposed by Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary.

He suggests that any elections should exclude areas of Iraq under resistance control—in other words, the majority of the country and those who oppose the US.

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