His wide-ranging speech on international strategy included this assessment of the current Iraqi situation: The bomb which killed British forces in Iraq yesterday was a cruel and wicked reminder that this terrorism is dedicated to one end: to stop democracy flourishing in Arab and Muslim countries; to foster sectarian division; to drive out the possibility of reconciliation between people of different faiths. In defiance of the wishes of the Government of Iraq, now elected, and of the UN which for over three years has supported that democratic process, they urge violence to eliminate hope. In Basra, we are halfway through … Continue reading Blair speech on a whole Middle East strategy
Iraqi oil minister Hussein Al-Shahristani has called on Asian companies to help develop the Iraqi oil industry.
Labour Minister Meg Munn reports in Progress on seeing Barham Salih, Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq speak in the Commons and says that Whilst listening to him describe governing the country, it became clearer to me just how much Iraq is a country in transition, and that it continues to need our help and support. It was a dictatorship for 35 years, during which its political and social fabric was degraded completely. The current journey of transition cannot be anything but demanding and painful.
This IWPR report says that every day, Iraqi families are packing their bags and emigrating to escape the violence tearing their county apart. The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, estimates that 1.8 million people have fled to neighbouring countries and 1.6 million have been internally displaced since the fall of Saddam. In 2006 alone, 425,000 Iraqis sought refuge abroad.
The Guardian reports a visit to Northern Ireland by a delegation of government officials including the Iraqi national security adviser Muwaffaq al-Rubaie, who drew parallels between Iraqs and Northern Irelands sectarian and political disputes. He said: Although our conflict is on a different scale there are many similarities, particularly where there is a religious background laid on top of a political background. Mr al-Rubaie said violence in Iraq might last years but insisted it was unsustainable and would fall in the coming months amid new security measures. “Eighty per cent of the country is secure … Millions of people go … Continue reading Northern Irelands help enlisted to end sectarian violence
LFIQ Director Gary Kent tonight addressed a meeting of the Oxford University Labour Club. Speaking in front of the Clubs historic banner with the slogan Forward to Socialism he appealed to the audience and the wider labour movement to carry out its elementary duty of solidarity with the Iraqi trade unions. He argued that too many feel that the struggle for democracy in Iraq has been defeated whilst it is still to be fought for. He praised the work of the TUC and unions such as Unison but suggested that too many were sitting on their hands and that what … Continue reading LFIQ at Oxford University Labour Club
Saddams mass graves Hat Tip Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions
The Mesopotamian is deeply offended by this analysis of what the author calls the fortress of stability in the shape of Saddams Iraq.
Jim Nolan says good riddance to one of the most bloodthirsty tyrants of the modern era. He quotes novelist Ian McEwan who observed that there were, in relation to Iraq, two kinds of people: those who recognised the words Abu Ghraib before 2004 and those who only did so afterwards. Jim concludes that: Of course, the pious hand-wringing among significant parts of the Western Left about the war curiously and conveniently passes over the fact that their ideological brethren in Iraq – represented principally, but not exclusively, by the Kurds – were the subject of this most ruthless repression. In … Continue reading Bye bye, butcher
There was jubilation amongst the Iraqi community in London once the death sentence had been passed on the former dictator. Jabbar Hasan of the Iraqi Association noted that it was the first time ever in the history of the Middle East that a dictator had been judged directly by his own people. The Times says that the region does not need another martyr.