THE Iraqi puppet authorities have hung 13 people accused of taking part in the insurgency, the first execution of militant nationalists since the US-led invasion.
The 30,000 Iraqis being kept in prisons all over Iraq are now directly threatened with the same fate, beginning with President Saddam Hussein and his co-defendants currently undergoing trial in a US organised court.
This new policy of US sponsored hangings is part of the US plan to withdraw from an Iraq that is in flames and at war with itself, while continuing to finance and prop up a right wing Shi’ite administration, along with its Ministry of Interior death squads, and its torture chambers under every ministry building.
US policy is that if it cannot have Iraq directly in its hands it will leave it in ruins, while it gets on with the next job in hand, attacking the state that Condoleezza Rice has just labelled the main enemy of the US’ – Iran.
US warlord Donald Rumsfeld spoke about this policy on Thursday while addressing a Senate Committee to request an extra $72 billion in war funding.
His message was that Iraq must promptly form a national unity government to avoid a civil war but if one erupts the United States will rely on Iraqi forces to fight it. In his words: ‘Any civil war would be Iraq’s responsibility.’
He added unconvincingly: ‘The plan is to prevent a civil war, and to the extent one were to occur it is, from the security standpoint, to have the security forces to deal with it to the extent they are able to do it.’
Senator Robert Byrd asked: ‘Mr Secretary, how can the Congress be assured that the funds in this bill won’t put our troops in the middle of a full-blown Iraqi civil war?’
Rumsfeld replied, again unconvincingly: ‘It’s certainly not the intention of the military commanders to allow that to happen.’ He was doubly evasive, and not his usual forceful, direct and blunt self.
In her testimony to the committee, Secretary of State Rice called Iran ‘the central banker for terrorism’ in the region, identifying it as the ‘main enemy’.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the US, Israel’s former Chief of Staff, Ya’alon, was describing the solution to the problem, that is Israel attacking Iran.
Ya’alon said that the Iranian project includes several dozen sites and more than one strike would be required. He said that the Israeli Air Force is capable of carrying out this mission.
He added: ‘There is a capability to disrupt the Iranian air defence system. Israel can hit Iran in several ways, not only in an air raid, referring to submarines.
Ya’alon said Iran will respond by firing Shahab missiles from its own territory and missiles fired by Hezbollah from Lebanon and Qassam rockets from the territories. He noted that Israel has a response: The Arrow missile system is now fully operational in Israel and can handle Shahab and Scud missiles. The Israeli defence system is highly effective he said, and Israel is therefore very well protected.
Imperialism is seeking to plunge Iraq into a sectarian bloodbath, all the better for Israel to strike Iran, to begin a new war in the Gulf.
There is not the slightest doubt that whatever Blair, Brown and Straw are saying now, they will give full support to any such attack.
As the third anniversary of the start of the war on Iraq nears, it is crystal clear that the working class must bring down the Blair government and go forward to a workers’ government to end the Iraq war, and prevent a new and even bloodier war in the Gulf.