Against all the odds

Soma reports that due to mines, wars, natural disasters, genetic and inborn factors, a large number of people have become disabled in the Kurdistan region. They can be seen daily in the markets, offices and government departments. In the Kurdistan region, scores of governmental and non-governmental organizations are engaged in dealing with the problems facing disabled persons, as well as working to protect their rights. It examines the formation of the Kurdistan Paralympics Committee.

Recovery of the southern Iraqi marshes

Normblog carries a report on how native species have returned to reflooded marshes devastated by Hussein regime. The marshes were devastated in the 1980s and 1990s by the Hussein regimes campaign to ditch, dike, drain, and burn them. Unable to pursue their traditional means of livelihood–fishing, herding water buffalo, and hunting–tens of thousands of Marsh Arabs fled to southern Iran.

Ann Clwyd in Iraq

Ann Clwyd has had a round of meetings with ministers in Baghdad and is reported to have urged the new government on Monday to complete investigations into police abuses and to free thousands of prisoners held in Iraqi and U.S. military prisons.

Appeal for solidarity

Gary Kent replies to letter in Guardian and urges increased solidarity with the Iraqi labour movement. Tuesday May 30, 2006 Guardian Jane Hoskins simplistic strictures on Iraq (Letters, May 29) define out of the equation those Iraqis trying to build a sovereign and federal polity after decades of minority rule. Hoskins ignores the new and non-sectarian Iraqi labour movement that was pulverised by Saddam, but has won nearly a million members in just three years. A recent Labour Friends of Iraq delegation met many union leaders from across Iraq. They are not “puppets” but real people, who asked us to … Continue reading Appeal for solidarity

Interview with Salam Ali

Member of the Central Committee of the Iraqi Communist Party Published by Nameh Mardom, central organ of the Tudeh Party of Iran, 26 May 2006, Issue No. 739 1- The new government of Iraq was announced yesterday. What is your view about the composition of the new government? Is this any near to your concept of the Government of National Unity? What position the ICP will take towards this government? – The new Iraqi government was formed after lengthy and tortuous negotiations between the various political blocs that won in the elections in Dec. 2005. The idea of setting up … Continue reading Interview with Salam Ali

Realism and intervention after Iraq

Andrew Rawnsley argues that if the cause of humanitarian interventionism is lost in Iraq, it will not just be Tony Blair who has tragic cause to be sorry. He says that despite the terrible mistakes made after the removal of Saddam, the case for liberal interventionism is still compelling. In a globalised world, morality and self-interest alike demand that Western nations cannot ignore what goes on within the borders of other states when they threaten their own citizens, their neighbours or the rest of the world. Rawnsley fears that the alternative is to retreat into the school of foreign policy … Continue reading Realism and intervention after Iraq

Murdered for wearing tennis shorts

The Times reports this atrocity in which the coach of the Iraqi national tennis team and two of his players were shot dead in Baghdad, apparently for wearing shorts, in a district where Islamic radicals have started to enforce brutal, Taleban-style law.

The Marines and a massacre in Iraq

The Times carries a shocking piece on an alleged massacre by US Marines last November in al-Haditha, a town on the Euphrates. An American soldier died in a roadside bomb and, it is reported that marines then ran amok, killing as many as 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians, including women and children, in cold blood. The eye witness account by a ten-year-old girl, Iman Hassan is harrowing. The awful incident is the subject of a US military inquiry with possible courts martial and murder charges. That is how it should be. American, British and other foreign troops in Iraq must uphold … Continue reading The Marines and a massacre in Iraq

Solidarity with Iraqi and Kurdish women trade unionists

The TUC carries this report of a trade union womens visit to Britain. The aim of the visit is set out as follows: The TUC believes strongly that womens participation in public life, and in particular in trade unions, is vital to the development of a free, democratic and open society. Given the fact that Iraqi/Kurdish women today make up half of Iraq’s population and some 35% of the workforce (in some industries, they are the majority, including some parts of heavy industry as a result of the need to draft women into the labour force to replace men sent … Continue reading Solidarity with Iraqi and Kurdish women trade unionists

Iraq recce

The Sheffield Star reports on the LFIQ delegation to Iraq. THREE years after the invasion by British and American troops, Iraq remains a dangerous place. But the risk of kidnappings and bomb attacks did not deter a delegation of trade unionists, including Sheffield teacher Sue Rogers and former North East Derbyshire Labour MP Harry Barnes. Despite reports of carnage still taking place daily, they saw how recovery was beginning to take hold away from areas such as Baghdad and Basra, where insurgents remain a constant threat. Sue, who teaches history at King Edward VII Secondary School, Broomhill, was on the … Continue reading Iraq recce