BUSH flew into London yesterday after sending a public order to Gordon Brown, via the Observer newspaper. This was that Brown must not announce a timetable for a pull-out from Iraq.
In fact, the British military are planning to announce a timetable for a final British withdrawal from Iraq by the end of the year.
Bush, in the last months of his presidency, is seeking to establish facts on the ground, from Palestine to Iraq, Syria and the Iranian Gulf, that will be binding on the next president of the United States.
He has been forcing his Iraqi puppets to sign a treaty with the US that will allow it to have permanent military bases in Iraq, will allow its armed forces and contractors immunity from prosecution for any crimes committed in Iraq, while they will have the full freedom to combat insurgents and ‘fight terrorism’ in the region.
This drive to put Iraq into long-term handcuffs has so worried the Iranian leadership that Iraq’s puppet Prime Minister Maliki, during his visit of last week to Iran, was asked to give an assurance that his regime would not allow any attack from Iraq on Iranian territory.
The proposed ‘treaty’ has alienated the entire Iraqi population from the puppets, making the overthrow of the Maliki regime inevitable from the moment that Maliki signs his name to the deal.
Bush’s last stop before his arrival in London was in Paris. There he met with President Sarkozy who has gone from Bonapartist hero (when he was elected to president) to zero in record time.
He has had to admit that his drive to end the 35-hour week of the French workers has failed and that meanwhile he is under attack from the country’s teachers, civil servants, road hauliers, fishermen, students and youth over his privatisation policies.
On Saturday, Bush and Sarkozy urged Syria to break with Iran and said that they would not let Tehran obtain nuclear weapons.
‘Iran getting a nuclear bomb is unacceptable, that’s clear,’ Sarkozy said, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Bush at a press conference after talks in Paris. ‘A nuclear-armed Iran is incredibly destabilising,’ responded Bush.
Sarkozy, who has invited Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to attend France’s national ‘Bastille Day’ celebrations, revealed that he had pledged to restore full diplomatic relations with Syria if it cooperated with French ambitions in the Lebanon.
Bush was blunter. He said, ‘Tell Syria to stop fooling around with the Iranians.’ Both were in a state of full imperialist bluster.
Now Bush is in the UK and he is being distinctly cool and insulting about the British ruling class.
The President revealed to the Observer that he considered the British military and Brown to be second rate defeatists. He said that he had already had ‘discussions’ with Brown on the troops issue and was ‘appreciative’ that Brown was in frequent touch with the Americans about ‘what he and his military are thinking’.
The message however, was that a return home by US and UK troops ‘would be based upon success’.
With this in mind, ‘There should be no definitive timetable’ for a withdrawal from Iraq.
Bush was confident that Brown would put up less of a struggle than even Maliki, and pointed out that Brown had retreated last year on the scale of an earlier planned pullout from Iraq, and that Britain still had 4,200 soldiers in Iraq rather than the projected 3,500.
He summed up the issue: ‘I am confident that he, like me, will listen to our commanders to make sure that the sacrifices that have gone forward won’t be unravelled by draw-downs that may not be warranted at this point in time. I look forward to discussing it with him.’
The essence of the situation is however that Bush is on the way out, Sarkozy is under seige from the French workers, and Brown is sitting on a volcano of working class anger that has begun to erupt.
Workers in the major capitalist countries must respond to the growing capitalist crisis with socialist revolutions that will consign the completely exhausted and bankrupted capitalist system to its grave, and in its place establish a world socialist republic, based on a massive development of the productive forces, in a planned socialist economy, to satisfy people’s needs.