Blair Says Troops To Stay In Iraq


THE new puppet Prime Minister of Iraq, Jaffari, has just visited both Washington and London to make sure that a beleaguered President Bush and his chief supporter Blair have no intention of quitting Iraq.

The matter is literally a life or death question for Jaffari, since his regime will not last for 24 hours without the backing of US and UK troops.

President Bush is facing increasing opposition in the United States to the war, with the majority of Americans calling for a withdrawal, and with Democratic and even Republican politicians echoing that position to the extent of declaring that the US is losing the war.

The US has now lost 1,750 troops in the fighting since the March 19, 2003 invasion, as well as over 15,000 soldiers seriously wounded.

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has had to concede that US negotiators have had two meetings with insurgent leaders to try and get them to agree to lay down their arms if there is a general release of Iraqi prisoners.

The insurgent leaders were reported to be angry since they were got to the meetings on the basis that they were to discuss the date for the beginning of an American withdrawal from Iraq.

Rumsfeld went as far as saying that the war in Iraq could last for up to 12 years, while Bush has assured Jaffari that there is no timetable for a withdrawal and that US troops will be in Iraq until the job is done.

As expected, Jaffari was given the same message by Prime Minister Blair on Monday evening.

In fact, it is going to prove to be much more difficult for the imperialists to get out of Iraq than it was to get into it. The reason is oil, now priced at $60 a barrel and expected to go well over $100 a barrel in the days ahead.

Iraq has the biggest oil reserves in the world next to Saudi Arabia. If the imperialists were to quit Iraq, they would be driven out of the whole of the Arabian peninsula, leaving behind them the majority of the world’s oil resources.

This would be an economic and political disaster for Anglo-American imperialism.

The imperialists will have to be driven out of Iraq by an alliance of the Iraqi and Arab peoples with the working class of the UK and the US, where anti-war feeling is rising rapidly.

There is no doubt that the Iraqi masses are going to step up their liberation war, and that the insurgents will be joined by many workers and youth in southern Iraq influenced by the political changes that are taking place in the Iranian leadership.

In the US, anti-war feeling in the trade unions is rising fast, while in Britain every trade union conference leading up to the TUC Congress is expected at the least to call for a withdrawal of all British troops from Iraq by the end of December 2005.

Already, the CPS civil servants have called for an immediate withdrawal, and the UNISON union for a complete withdrawal by the end of 2005.

There is now considerable heat building up under the British trade union leaders to take action on this issue, since they were responsible for withdrawing a TUC resolution at the Labour Party conference in September 2004 which called for the Labour government to draw up a timetable for a British withdrawal, and which would have been carried.

The trade union leaders saved Blair, and by the same token aided the occupiers of Iraq, who have killed thousands since last September.

The UNISON leaders said at their conference that the motion was withdrawn because they had received firm commitments from Blair that were in line with UNISON policy on Iraq.

Now Blair has restated that British troops will stay in Iraq ‘till the job is done’.

We say that the UNISON and TUC leaders must publish the ‘commitments’ given to them by Blair, and must inform the government that if the withdrawal from Iraq has not begun by the TUC Congress, with a completion date by the end of 2005, they will be calling a general strike to bring down the Blair government.