WHILE Blair continues to try and claim that there has been some partial victory for ‘democracy’ in Iraq, worth the ‘price’ of the many thousands of Iraqis who have died during the occupation of the country at the hands of US-UK forces, the situation on the ground screams out that the opposite is the case.
Months after the ‘general election’, an election held under the guns of the occupation, there is still no government. There is a cabinet, but its two most powerful posts remain unfilled, that of the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Defence.
They remain unfilled because none of the contending factions, that make up the puppet regime, will trust any other faction with such powerful posts, which would enable them to arrest, harass or kill their enemies, and make millions from sponsoring rackets of all kinds, including kidnapping rackets.
Three days ago, at mid-day, in broad daylight, 13 car loads of men in the uniforms of the Ministry of the Interior swooped on a main road in central Baghdad, and arrested 50 proprietors of taxi firms that proliferate in that street.
One section of the Ministry of the Interior denies any responsibility for the action. Another section has taken responsibility, but will not say why the operation took place.
The fifty will turn up, either dead, with their bodies bearing the marks of torture, or will be ransomed for enormous sums of money.
This is now normal life in Baghdad, where the ‘government’ and its militias prey on the ordinary people, a city where over 1,000 people a month turn up murdered at the city’s morgue.
This is what a clergyman had to say last Friday to worshippers at his mosque about the dangers people face.
At the Sunni Um al-Qura Mosque in Baghdad, Sheikh Al-Samarra’i warned Iraqis against entering ‘hot areas’ which have become ‘traps for innocent and unarmed people’, noting that morgues are such places.
Al-Samarra’i said that people who go to hospital morgues to collect the corpses of assassinated relatives are themselves being ambushed and assassinated by the same killers.
Al-Samarra’i called on the prime minister and parliament to rid the Interior Ministry of all suspicious members. He urged the Defence Ministry to order the army to arrest corrupt police officers. Of course, his call will be ignored.
Democracy under the guns of the occupation army. A general election conducted by the US ambassador. These have brought to power gangs of sectarian bandits, who are using their position to settle accounts with their enemies and enrich themselves.
This is while their masters, the US imperialists are roaming Arbil province, unable to defeat the insurgency, but massacring hundreds of innocent Iraqis as they go about their business.
Basra is no better. There, British troops spend their time dug in in their barracks, while the Iraqi troops and police that they have trained are imposing a reign of terror on the city, where over 170 Sunni mosques have been shut down, and hundreds of people killed in sectarian attacks.
The deputy governor of Basra recently condemned the British trained security forces for their actions and for their membership of various Shia militias.
The occupation and their puppets have reached the end of the road, where their only option is to sow sectarian violence with a view to dismembering Iraq.
The future of Iraq depends on the victory of the insurgents and the imperialist forces being run out of the country, along with their agents.
British workers must contribute to this victory.
They must organise inside the trade unions for action to bring down the Blair government to go forward to a workers government that will carry out socialist policies at home and abroad. This means withdrawing all British troops from both Iraq and Afghanistan.