Bush loses US Congress votes


THE Senate of the United States Congress, which has a Republican majority, fired a shot across the bows of President George Bush’s administration over its policy in Iraq on Tuesday.

A motion was passed by 79 to 19 demanding quarterly reports from the White House on the progress of training Iraqi armed forces and the involvement of the armed forces of other countries in the occupation.

The resolution said that 2006 ‘should be a period of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty, with Iraqi security forces taking the lead for the security of a free and sovereign Iraq, thereby creating the conditions for the phased redeployment of United States forces from Iraq’.

The Senate also voted by 84 to 14 to give detainees held illegally by the US in Guantanamo Bay, the right to appeal for prisoner-of-war status to US Federal appeal courts.

The US administration’s dirty war against the Iraqi people is clear. American troops used chemical weapons against the people of Fallujah in 2004 and they are torturing political prisoners in secret prisons.

US Lieutenant Colonel Barry Venables said: ‘Yes, it (white phosphorus) was used as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants. . . The combined effects of the fire and smoke – and in some case the terror brought about by the explosion on the ground – will drive them out of the holes so you can kill them with high explosives.’

Iraqi civilians, including women and children, died of burns caused by white phosphorus in Fallujah.

It has also been revealed that the US puppet government in Baghdad has imprisoned more than 170 political prisoners in a bunker of the Interior Ministry, starving them, subjecting them to torture and murdering them.

In this they are following the example of their American masters, who tortured prisoners at Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib prison and are continuing this at secret CIA prisons around the world.

However, despite the brutality and barbarism of US and British forces and the stooge Iraqi regime, the heroic resistance of the Iraqi people to foreign occupation and imperialist rule is taking its toll on the occupation forces and their political masters in Washington.

On Tuesday, the Americans admitted that another three US Marines were killed, which puts the official US death toll since March 2003 at 2,100.

The vote in the Senate is not because these careerist politicians, bankrolled by the major banks and corporations, are suddenly concerned about the well-being of the people of Iraq. They are worried about the increasing hostility of millions of workers and middle class people in the US to the war in Iraq.

The majority of Americans are angry about the rising death toll of US armed services personnel and the spending of billions on the war, when Bush is giving tax breaks to the rich, and slashing welfare and healthcare programmes.

At the present time, the working class in the ‘Land of the Free’ is being pitched into bitter struggles against big business, which backs the Republican and Democratic parties.

This can be seen at Delphi Corp. vehicle component manufacturers, a former General Motors subsidiary, which has gone into legal bankruptcy protection and is planning to slash wages for almost 34,000 workers by more than 60 per cent and cut benefits.

Delphi is a test case, as AFL-CIO trade union confederation President John Sweeney explained when he said: ‘It is a threat not only to the wages, benefits and job security of every industrial worker in America, but to the company’s shareholders, suppliers and customers.’

His concern for ‘company shareholders’ reveals the ‘Achilles Heel’ of the American workers’ movement. The outlook of most of the trade union bureaucracy is one committed to the capitalist order.

Today the Bush regime has never been weaker and the US working class has never had greater cause to organise to bring down his regime, not only to defend living standards, but to end the murderous war on the people of Iraq.

It is time for the working class to force the union leaders to break with the parties of US imperialism, the Republicans and Democrats, and back the building of their class party, the Labor Party.

An American section of the Trotskyist International Committee of the Fourth International must be built urgently to provide a new revolutionary leadership to replace those leaders who are wedded to capitalism and to organise the struggle for a workers’ government that will nationalise bankrupt corporations, withdraw imperialist troops from overseas and go forward to socialism.