Britain Scuttling Out Of Iraq

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DEFENCE Secretary Browne has just visited Baghdad where he declared that the pace of the British rout in Iraq is to be accelerated, with the handover of all formal control of security to Iraqi forces in the south of the country, including Iraq’s second city Basra.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Stirrup has said ‘control of the city of Basra’, which Britain does not exercise, could be handed to local security forces early in 2007, when UK imperialism will be pushed out of Iraq.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Stirrup has said ‘control of the city of Basra’, which Britain does not exercise, could be handed to local security forces early in 2007, when UK imperialism will be pushed out of Iraq.

In fact, the situation in western, central and southern Iraq is already completely out of control. There have even been mass riots in Iraqi Kurdistan over the lack of all amenities including a supply of electrical power and petrol.

The two major bases that Britain recently retreated from, Mayhsan and Al Amarah, were stripped then looted from top to bottom before the Iraqi puppet army could gain control of them.

The first base was looted of all of its valuable equipment, left behind by the British army for the use of the Iraqi army, by Iraqi soldiers. They were the first on the scene and disposed of the British army’s equipment on the black market.

The British command learned from this experience and before it withdrew from the second base it organised to transport as much of its valuables as it could to Basra.

The Al Amarah base was then occupied by the Iraqi puppet army which was immediately besieged by thousands of armed Iraqis who fired on and disarmed the puppet forces and then stripped the base of its remaining building materials.

This is not an organised hand-over of power to a puppet regime. This is a disgraceful rout that will be repeated in Iraq’s second city Basra shortly.

At the same time as the British forces are being shown the door in Afghanistan, the Mahdi army, founded by Moqtadr al Sadr, which supports a faction of the puppet government but opposes the occupation of Iraq, has been clashing with the US army supported by Iraqi puppet army forces.

At least 19 puppet soldiers were killed and more than 40 people were wounded in Diwaniya City in the fighting, with US and government forces losing control of the city.

In fact, the local leaders of the Mahdi Army rejected a call from Al Sadr to take part in the ‘political process’ and lay down their arms. The militia have now set up their own checkpoints in the city, and the government has rushed large numbers of reinforcements there.

The US is now reinforcing its army in Iraq, while British troops are scuttling out of Iraq, bound for Afghanistan.

This mission was described only a few months ago by the then Defence Secretary Reid as being one that would be completed in three years without a shot being fired. Instead, British forces are involved in what officers are describing as the heaviest fighting since the Korean war, and are taking heavy casualties.

The most up to date British equipment is proving inadequate for the task and huge sums are being spent buying more advanced US weapons.

US and UK imperialism have been defeated in Iraq and are heading for a historic defeat in Afghanistan.

British workers must bring to an end the bloody chapter of the Blair imperialist government by taking action to bring it down, to bring in a workers’ government that will carry out socialist policies, including withdrawing all British troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.