Iraq a ‘disaster’; NATO can’t win in Afghanistan – Blair and Brown must go!

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FOLLOWING last Friday’s published remarks of Labour Minister Margaret Hodge, one of Blair’s closest political friends, describing the Prime Minister as practising ‘moral imperialism’, adding that she had been suspicious of him since 1998, the news for Blair has gone from bad to worse.

Forced by the Iraq and Afghanistan crisis to appear on Al Jazeera TV, (the TV station that George Bush wanted to bomb and whose journalists are a target for imperialist troops) Blair ran out of spin, and agreed with his interviewer, David Frost, that the military intervention into Iraq had brought about a disaster.

To make matters worse, his Prime Minister-in-waiting is waiting no longer, and was, at the same time, conducting his own visit to Basra, where he told the troops that the withdrawal from Iraq would begin in a few months.

The last straw that may well break this camel’s back was the verdict of the UN political chief in Kabul on the NATO military adventure into Afghanistan.

Diplomat Koenigs remarked that NATO ‘at the moment, had a very optimistic assessment. They think that they can win the war,’ adding: ‘But there is no quick fix.’

He urged that the Afghan army should be built up. He said ‘They can win. But against an insurgency like that, international troops cannot win.’

After these four rebuttals Blair had little option but to seek support elsewhere, so he accordingly took the high road to Islamabad where he sought to buy the loyalty of President Musharraf with a £500 million aid gift, to allegedly reform the Madrassa religious schools.

Musharraf is a dictator who came to power in Pakistan by a military coup. Since he is an ally of the western capitalists, this has been forgotten and Pakistan has been allowed to have nuclear weapons and then develop the means of delivering them

However, Blair has chosen to make his visit, and make his claim that Pakistan is a vital ally in the struggle against Islamic extremism, right at the point where Musharraf’s hold on power is becoming more and more tenuous. As Bush and Blair have been discredited, so has Musharraf.

In the last period, Musharraf’s army has lost 600 soldiers dead in a struggle to subdue the tribal areas of the country, on the border with Afghanistan, where support for the Taleban is very strong.

His army, however, could not beat the tribes and Musharraf had to make a peace agreement with them.

A few weeks ago, the Pakistan military took the responsibility for an attack by drone aircraft and missile-firing helicopters on a Madrassa near to the Afghan border, an attack in which teachers and a large number of pupils were killed.

Now within weeks he has entertained Prince Charles and Blair, convincing the majority of the Pakistani people that he does not represent them, and is a representative of US-UK imperialism.

It will not be long before Musharraf is fighting for his life against a people who are determined to overthrow him. The military may respond to such a movement by organising their own coup to save themselves by getting rid of their president.

Blair both at home and abroad is skating on ice that is getting thinner and thinner.

Waiting for Brown to remove him is no solution since Brown will carry on with exactly the same policies as Blair, further adding strength to the return of the Tories.

There is only one answer to the ever-sharpening crisis of capitalism and imperialism.

This is that workers in the trade unions must mobilise them to take strike action to bring down the Blair- Brown government in order to bring in a workers’ government that will carry out socialist policies at home and abroad.

This will include withdrawing troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, helping the people of those countries to reconstruct them, and expropriating the bosses and the bankers in Britain to bring in socialism.