Terrorists will not win over the resilience of the Iraqi people

The following letter appears in the Guardian. As a London-based Iraqi currently visiting family and friends all over Iraq, I cannot help but notice the sense of hope surging through this devastated country. The Iraqi people have been summoned to the ballot three times within one year and on all three occasions have responded in their masses, all eager to have a say in the new democratic Iraq. It’s a shame, therefore, that despite the optimism within Iraq, the western media continues to portray the situation in Iraq in a negative light – particularly the recent elections. We should not … Continue reading Terrorists will not win over the resilience of the Iraqi people

Briefing on Iraqi labour movement held in the Commons

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson chaired a briefing in the Commons, on Tuesday, on the new unified Iraqi TUC – the Iraqi Workers Federation – with senior trade union leaders, party activists and Foreign Office and Iraqi officials. These included Kevin Curran from the International Foodworkers’ Union, Tim Lezard, President of the NUJ and Joni McDougall, the International Secretary of the GMB. The meeting was addressed by the Iraqi labour movement’s international representative Abdullah Muhsin who stressed the importance of the free unions as part of Iraq’s new non-sectarian civil society. Dave Anderson, who is Chair of the Labour Friends of … Continue reading Briefing on Iraqi labour movement held in the Commons

Please support Books to Iraq, launched today

Books for Iraq can be found here. The new web site explains its purpose. In addition to the recent conflict and the continuing violence, two wars and twelve years of sanctions have had a crippling effect on Iraq’s pharmacy education and practice. These events have severely affected access to information resources such as books and journals, and imposed a total isolation from the scientific community. Iraq has an important position in the history of pharmacy. Baghdad was a prominent centre for science and culture; enlightened Caliphs created an atmosphere where Arab, Jewish, Alexandrian and Indian scholars could all contribute to … Continue reading Please support Books to Iraq, launched today

Purple fingers crossed for elections

Blogger Salam Pax has a fascinating piece in the Guardian on the run-up to the Iraqi election in which he says we go to vote again hoping that we will not be blown to pieces. And I really believe that we Iraqis do deserve a bit of credit for having done that twice now. I don’t think there is a better demonstration of the will to get this political process rolling and keeping it rolling than participating under the threat of violent death. I know I make fun of it all the time but this is not to be mistaken … Continue reading Purple fingers crossed for elections

Stick to anti-fascism

Nick Cohen examines the contradictions of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament which he says is tying itself in knots with its position on Iran and should stick to anti-fascist principles. Here is the full article. Before you go to a left-wing meeting, brace yourself for the likelihood that everyone you meet in the hall will be standing on their head. Do not be surprised to see communists supporting fascism, feminists throwing their arms around misogynists and liberals volunteering to be advocates for tyranny. It’s been like this since 9/11 turned the world upside down, and the temptation for a journalist … Continue reading Stick to anti-fascism

LFIQ mentioned in despatches in Commons

Mrs. Sharon Hodgson (Gateshead, East and Washington, West) (Lab): If he will make a statement on the development of the Iraqi security force. The Secretary of State for Defence (John Reid): We are continuing to build the capability of the Iraqi security forces so that they are increasingly able to take responsibility for delivering law and order themselves. The Iraqi security forces will provide the immediate security for the planned elections this Thursday and oversee the whole event. Mrs. Hodgson: I thank my right hon. Friend for that answer. Does he agree that this Thursday’s elections will further marginalise the … Continue reading LFIQ mentioned in despatches in Commons

LFIQ Joint President Harry Barnes examines options for the British labour Movement on Iraq

I initially make 10 propositions on what has happened in Iraq. I then draw conclusions on how Labour Movement activists can respond. (1) Iraq suffered from extreme forms of military and political exploitation under Saddam Hussein and his totalitarian Ba’athist Regime. (2) The economic and social conditions of the great bulk of the Iraqi people then collapsed as a consequence of the lengthy Iraq-Iran War, the Gulf-War and the United Nations economic sanctions. This was extended by Saddam’s reactions in deepening his exploitive controls. (3) The US-led invasion created further deaths, destruction and turmoil and helped to to the stimulate … Continue reading LFIQ Joint President Harry Barnes examines options for the British labour Movement on Iraq