Last week, before the terrible bombings in London on Thursday, we learned that the US and British governments had drawn up secret plans to withdraw troops from Iraq. Defence secretary John Reid was forced to admit the existence of such plans after they were leaked to the Mail on Sunday.
The Washington Post noted that the Iraq war “has little support among the British public, and officials hope to pull forces out of the area as soon as practical”. The US and British occupation of Iraq has beggared that country, leading to a vast loss of life and making the whole world a far more dangerous place.
As the pall of horror and shock over London begins to lift, more and more people are drawing that conclusion. They know the bombings are the terrible consequence of Britain’s involvement in an unjust war and occupation.
Let us honour the dead in London and Iraq in the best way possible — by piling on the pressure to withdraw British troops from Iraq. Across the country Stop the War groups must come together to plan for a mass demonstration this autumn demanding that the British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan should be pulled out.
Stop the War
The anti-war movement speaks with one voice
the movement for peace and justice in this country has grown, developed and matured over the past four years. During that period there have been times when its activists have diverged.
But at particular key moments, the basic building blocks that make up the Stop the War Coalition have come together, reconsolidated themselves and spoken with a common voice. Last week was one of those moments, when the anti-war movement rallied in response to the horror inflicted on innocent Londoners.
Leading the way was George Galloway, who did not hesitate to speak the truth as he rose in the House of Commons on that dreadful Thursday. But he was speaking in unison with Salma Yaqoob, Tariq Ali, Tony Benn, Paul Mackney, Jeremy Corbyn, Kate Hudson, Azzam Tamimi from the Muslim Association of Britain and the editorial statement issued by Socialist Worker.
The forces gathered in the anti-war movement represent all that is best in Britain and the hope for a better society. We have come a long way together — from 15 February 2003 when millions marched, to the Gleneagles G8 protest last Wednesday. But we feel no joy in knowing that what we have always warned of has transpired — that the bitter consequences of British action in Iraq would bring tragedy at home.
After the G8
Another, better Europe can be built by the left
The forces of the new European radical left gathered in Scotland and then at the Marxism 2005 conference in London last week.
One of the issues under the microscope was what sort of Europe should we build in the wake of the French and Dutch people rejecting the neo-liberal European constitutional treaty.
As citizens of Europe, we should all share the best that is on offer in Europe — from the best child care available in Scandanavia to the 35 hour working week of France.