Iraqi Masses To March Against Deal To Extend US Mandate


US defence chief Robert Gates has been briefing US politicians on the proposal to extend the US mandate in Iraq. This expires this December 31 and the US is seeking to extend it to December 31, 2011.

The plan would see over 100,000 US troops withdrawn from Iraq by that date, but with a number staying behind in some very big US bases which are now under construction.

The Maliki puppet regime is poised to sign this deal.

This why today hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are marching in Baghdad and in other cities throughout Iraq to demand that the US troops quit Iraq at the end of their mandate on December 31, with no bases and no troops of any kind remaining behind.

US officials say the deal will see combat forces withdrawn from Iraqi towns and cities by the middle of 2009, and that all US combat troops will be withdrawn by the end of 2011.

A Pentagon spokesman confirmed yesterday that a complete withdrawal ‘will only be followed if the conditions on the ground provide for it’, a caveat that implies that there will be an occupation for as long as the US considers that it is strategically necessary for it to threaten the entire Middle East and Iran.

Another Pentagon official confirmed that ‘Any withdrawal dates that are in this – and there are dates in this document, and I won’t get into what those dates are – are entirely conditions-based.’

Senior Iraqi puppet officials involved in the negotiations say that they believe that all the outstanding issues have been settled.

While a number of them have been in London seeking to sell off a number of concessions to exploit Iraqi oil wells for private development, others have been working out an agreement with US negotiators that will allow US troops and the tens of thousands of US contractors to avoid being subjected to Iraqi law.

The chosen formula is that the Iraqi judicial authorities are to be allowed to try US troops and contractors for alleged crimes committed off-duty or off-base, provided that a joint US-Iraqi committee agrees to such a trial.

The vast majority of Iraqis are completely opposed to this kind of unequal treaty between master and servant.

It allows the US occupation of Iraq to continue for at least another three years, during which time the US government is expected to try to purchase much of the Iraqi gas and oil industry.

It also wants to be in a position to be able to take military action to overthrow the Syrian regime, alongside Israeli forces, and also to destroy Iran’s nuclear potential.

It is no secret that the US is building military bases in central, western and northern Iraq from which to attack Iran or mount a joint attack on Syria, alongside Israel.

Many US strategists consider that removing the Assad regime in Syria is the vital and necessary step that must be taken, if the situation in the Lebanon and Palestine is to be resolved in the interests of the US and Israel.

Maintaining bases in Iraq, along with the ability to reinforce them speedily, is seen as a vital strategic necessity for US imperialism.

The Iraqi masses know that this is the case, and are marching in their thousands this weekend against the attempts of the US to impose this rotten deal on the Iraqi people.

The time is fast approaching when all of the anti-imperialist forces in Iraq must unite to end the US-UK occupation by driving out the imperialist forces and their puppet government.

This revolutionary act will transform the situation in the Middle East and create the conditions for ending the threat to Syria, the Lebanon and Iran, and establishing the Palestinian state on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, thus ending the settlements, and with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The US has been fought to a standstill in Iraq by the heroic Iraqi people and youth.

Now is the time to remove the Iraqi puppet government and to bring in a workers and small farmers government that will insist that the oil and gas resources of Iraq remain nationalised and that the oil wealth is used to rapidly rebuild the country and restore the standard of life of the people.