first thoughts - iraq


IT'S A LOSE-LOSE SITUATION. For the Iraqi people, occupation by, among other, British forces is a denial of national independence, accompanied by oppression, killing and the normal savagery of an imperialist army of occupation. For us in Britain, we have the shame of seeing our army used in this way, our prime minister following orders from Washington, our soldiers killed and injured (see feature article).

That now, on top of everything that has passed, the Black Watch should be sent to relieve the Americans around Baghdad shows that our rulers have no shame, and no sense of our national interest either. In this they are ably abetted by placid ranks of time-serving MPs, bloated on expenses that have risen by over a third in two years (with, oddly, no increase in the number of MPs!). And helped, too, by the scheming trade union general secretaries who in return for permission to grovel allowed the Labour Party conference to go through with no censure on the government.

Blair tells us that whatever people think about the invasion, surely everyone sees that the occupation is a good thing. It sounds like the logic of the madhouse, but in reality it is the logic of the Pentagon.

The troops must be brought back to Britain. Now. No delay. Not in a few months when things "will have settled down". Because the presence of the troops is the surest guarantee of all that things will not "settle down" - it may seem blindingly obvious, but the attacks on the occupying troops would stop once the troops left. Anything less than complete withdrawal would be a betrayal not just of the Iraqi people, but of the British people, too.