Special relationship goes up in the smoke of burning Basra


WITH more US troops dying and the numbers of Iraqi civilians being killed and injured rising throughout Iraq, the US military surge has failed tactically and strategically.

The US military is now left with a crumbling Maliki government, that is looking towards Iran and Washington at the same time, and has seen most of its cabinet members resign.

The US now has to make a decision over whether to overthrow it, and bring back Paul Bremer’s original choice of puppet Prime Minister, Allawi.

Staying in Iraq under these conditions will require reinforcing its occupation army, and to do that bringing back a form of conscription to the already war-weary US, a course of action that the crisis-ridden Bush regime would not be able to see through.

The alternative is getting out, and leaving behind a revolutionary cauldron that can bring nothing but continuing disaster and humiliation for the US and Israel.

The latter course is now looming over the US and its military and it has been hastened by the collapse of the British forces in Basra. These no longer leave their barracks at the Saddam Palace or at Basra Airport, where they are continually being shelled, and have left the city in the hands of the various anti-imperialist militias that are seeking to rid Basra of the pro-Maliki forces.

The British are expected to retreat to their last redoubt at Basra airport before they scuttle out of Iraq entirely.

For the Americans this means that their way out of Iraq through Basra to Kuwait and the Gulf will be blocked, creating the conditions for a military disaster, since they have many thousands of troops and massive quantities of equipment to evacuate from Iraq.

Already, the US generals are talking about moving several divisions of troops into southern Iraq and retaking and securing Basra, a mammoth enterprise that will cost them many, many soldiers and much equipment, as it will be seen as a threat to Iran as well as to Iraqis in the south of the country.

Already the US military is cursing the British government and armed forces for their ‘cowardice’ and saying that it is not the insurgents that have beaten the US surge but the British army, and further, that when US forces are forced out of Iraq, it will be because they were stabbed in the back by Britain

The US has found the ideal scapegoat for its defeat in Iraq, and the so-called special relationship, which was always a special grovelling of British governments before the power of US imperialism, will be terminated by the White House.

In fact, rapidly weakening British imperialism never had the forces to occupy southern Iraq. It was always playing the jackal running behind its US master to get at some of the spoils. Britain ruled southern Iraq through pro-Iranian movements which deserted them as soon as the US turned on Iran. When that happened they were sunk.

Now, they are about to send all of their troops to Afghanistan where they face an even bigger defeat at the hands of the Taleban and its supporters. The British scavenger cannot change the habits of a lifetime.

This is truly an aspect of the death agony of British imperialism.

It can now be expected to turn all of its spleen onto the working class at home, to make it pay the full price for its disasters.

British workers must not only defend their jobs, wages and basic rights from these predators, they must declare that they are for the victory of the Iraqi and Afghan people, and demand that British troops are recalled at once.

They must expropriate the bosses and the bankers who have been seeking to get their hands on Iraq’s oil and move forward to a socialist planned economy and a workers’ republic that will play its part in developing and building a socialist world through smashing world capitalism.