Socialist Worker

March against a year of lies and brutality

Issue No. 1890

BLAIR WANTS to draw a line under the war and move on. He wants us to forget about the 10,000 civilians who have died in Iraq since the war began. He wants us to forget that, far from bringing democracy to the country, the US plans to impose a government on Iraq.

He wants us to accept as routine Iraq's oil wealth being grabbed by US corporations, while hunger and disease ravage the country and hospitals are starved of basic supplies. An international day of protests on 20 March will mark the anniversary of the first bombs raining down on Baghdad. It is more important than ever to take to the streets.

There are daily reports of death and suffering in Iraq, and the routine torture of Iraqi prisoners by British troops. One British soldier is to be charged with manslaughter after Iraqi prisoner Baha Mousa was beaten to death.

A soldier who witnessed the beatings told the press last week, 'Some soldiers were just coming up booting them in the stomach and punching them. It was bang, bang, bang-kick, punch, bang. The moans and groans and yells were going on for ages. The prisoners were pleading, 'Please stop, please stop.' The soldiers were having a laugh and a joke. They were shouting and swearing and screaming at them, calling them 'stupid Iraqi bastards' and 'fucking Pakis'. The Iraqis were crying and screaming with pain so loud it kept soldiers at a nearby barracks awake.'

Other cases now under Ministry of Defence investigation include:

  • Abdul Mousa, a 53 year old school headmaster, being beaten with rifle butts the last time his son saw him alive. The British army said he died of a heart attack.

  • Ather Karim Khalaf, a 24 year old shot by a British soldier while queuing for petrol last April.

  • Radi Nu'ma, arrested by British military police last May. Later the same day his family was told he had died of a heart attack.

  • Jabber Kareem, a 16 year old, arrested and forced by troops to swim across a river. He drowned before he reached the bank.

    This is what Blair wants us to forget-a country ravaged by war, plundered by foreign powers and brutalised by occupying troops. Last year's anti-war demos shook the rulers of the world.

    On 20 March we have a chance to show that we will not forget what is happening in Iraq. We will not accept as routine the horrors of imperialism. Everyone who protests on 20 March will be living proof that the anti-war movement will not let Blair get away with murder.

    What you can do

  • Get your local stop the war group to hold an organising meeting and plan a rally in the run-up to the demo.

  • Leaflet local workplaces, colleges, mosques and shopping centres.

  • Poster everywhere.

  • Get an anti-war speaker to your workplace or college.

    Protests Against Israel's Wall

    Palestinians in the West Bank take to the streets to protest against the 'security wall' being built by Israel. The wall snakes through Palestinian areas, cutting many people off from the land they farm, or from their family and friends

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    Article information

    What We Think
    Sat 28 Feb 2004, 00:00 GMT
    Issue No. 1890
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