MORE than 200 people were killed in Baghdad on Wednesday in five bombings. This is the highest number of deaths in a single day since the United States’ deployment of their 30,000-strong troops ‘surge’ to implement the ‘Baghdad security plan’ that began on February 14.
At a market and transport hub in the Sadriya district 140 people were killed and 150 injured by a car bomb. This is the largest number of people killed in a single attack since the US-led imperialist occupation of Iraq began on May 1, 2003.
Just over a week ago, an attacker penetrated the top-security ‘Green Zone’ and set off a bomb in the canteen of the parliament building, killing eight people, including two MPs.
Alongside this, the little-reported resistance struggle against the occupation forces is strong, with insurgents fighting US forces in the north of Baghdad and at Karma in Anbar province on Wednesday.
The American military did not reveal its casualties in these battles, but claimed troops had killed several insurgents in Baghdad and five in Karma.
In Basra, under British occupation, hundreds of people began a three-day protest calling for the resignation of the governor, Mohammed al-Waeli, because of a lack of electricity supplies, clean water and jobs.
The five bombings in Baghdad made puppet Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s statement, that Iraqi officials should be able to take responsibility for security in all of Iraq’s 18 provinces by the end of this year, pure fantasy.
Only this week six of his puppet Cabinet, members of the political movement led by Moqtada al-Sadr that organises the Mahdi Army, quit the government. They have demanded that Maliki must name the date for the end of the occupation and the withdrawal of all foreign troops.
The response of Maliki’s political masters in Washington to Wednesday’s Baghdad bombings was equally unbelievable.
US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said: ‘We have anticipated from the beginning . . . that as the Baghdad security plan began to take hold in Baghdad, that the terrorists, al-Qaeda, the insurgency and others, would attempt to increase the violence in order to make the plan a failure or to make the people of Iraq believe the plan is a failure.’
The bombings have exposed this complete failure of President George Bush’s 30,000 troops ‘surge’ and the deployment of tens of thousands of more US forces to enforce ‘the Baghdad security plan’.
Bush also faces disruptive opposition much closer to home, just down the road in the US Congress.
He failed to get agreement with Congressional leaders to end opposition to his demands for billions of dollars for the US occupation army.
Democrats, who are in a majority in the Senate and House of Representatives, insist they will go ahead with Bills naming a date for the end of combat operations in Iraq, tied to giving the go-ahead for funding.
The Bill proposed for the Senate sets a ‘goal’ of withdrawing combat troops from Iraq by March 31, 2008 and the House Bill proposes a deadline of September 2008.
The events in Baghdad and Washington on Wednesday show that it is necessary for the Iraqi people to escalate their political struggle and armed resistance to end the foreign imperialist occupation, that is already suffering defeat after defeat.
The time is ripe for the formation an Iraqi provisional government of national unity and a liberation front of armed resistance to drive the imperialist occupiers out, along with the puppet politicians they brought with them.
The US and British governments are being rocked by the crisis of the occupation forces, so the workers’ movement in the main imperialist countries, the US and Britain, have to act now to support the Iraqi people.
The powerful trade unions in the US and Britain must organise strike action and a mass political mobilisation to bring down the governments of Bush and Blair, and withdraw all their troops from Iraq immediately.