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

Toby Dodge on rebuilding Iraq

Dr Toby Dodge in the Independent writes that calling for speedy troop withdrawal in the vain hope that things will somehow miraculously get better once British and American troops have gone cannot deliver this. He concludes that An honest and sustainable approach to the unfolding tragedy would be, first, to admit that the situation is very bad and getting worse. Second, it would admit that the rebuilding of the Iraqi state and reconciliation of its population is beyond the resources or capacity of any one state, even the world’s sole remaining super power. Once these two things have been recognised, … Continue reading Toby Dodge on rebuilding Iraq

Irish lessons for Iraq

The Irish Times (via reports that Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari is studying the Northern Ireland peace process “very closely” to see if the same approach could help resolve the conflict in his own country but recognises that that the problem was the greater intensity and viciousness of the Iraqi conflict and that the insurgents had no political dimension. He said that the motto of those who are fighting us is very simple: Either we rule Iraq or we burn Iraq.’

Observers report on Iraqi referendum

The Next Century Foundation provided the only international observers operating at large in the interior of Iraq and accredited as election monitors to the Independent Electoral Commission for Iraq during the recent referendum on the new iraqi constitution. Their warts and all report concludes that Overall, we regard this referendum as having been fair — despite minor local irregularities. Though these were regrettable, they had no significant effect on the final outcome.

President Barzani at Downing Street

The Kurdistan Regional Government web site carries a transcription of the joint press conference given by Tony Blair and the Iraqi Kurdistan President Barzani on 31st October. Tony Blair met with Masoud Barzani at Number 10 and spoke briefly to journalists afterwards. Opening statements Tony Blair: Good afternoon everyone. A very warm welcome to President Barzani. We are delighted to have you here, Sir. Thank you for everything that you are doing in Iraq at the present time. Obviously after the Constitutional Referendum the next stage is to have successful elections in December. We hope that they will be successful … Continue reading President Barzani at Downing Street