Wide range of speakers at solidarity meeting

The speakers at the Solidarity meeting on 7th September from 9-11am in the Attlee Room at Portcullis House, House of Commons are now announced. They are as follows:
Shanaz Ibrahim Ahmed from the PUK who will speak on behalf of the two major Kurdish Parties.
Laith Al Rubai. He will speak on behalf of the Iraqi List (a coalition of secular forces headed by former PM Mr. Allawi that fought the recent Iraqi General Election.
Salam Ali speaks on behalf of the committee. He is a member of the ICP
Azim Saghia: a well know. Arab. Writer. He is frequent contributor for Al. Haite newspaper, a very important Arabic newspaper.
Abdullah Muhsin from the GFIW/IWF
Chair: Dave Anderson MP

Brendan O Leary on Iraq

Normblog draws our attention to a BBC radio programme with a spirited debate on the future of Iraq.
Normblog says: In the first programme of the series Brendan O Leary, a professor of politics and a former constitutional adviser to the Kurdistan Regional Government argues that Iraq is still on course for a future as a federal pluralist democracy. He takes on a panel of journalists and analysts at the international affairs think tank, Chatham House. BBC World Affairs Editor John Simpson is in the chair. The programme was Hecklers, on BBC Radio 4, and you can listen again here (scroll down to H).

Shifting sands?

Al Sabah reports that thirteen conditions need to be met as the Sunni price for reconciliation. That they have been published may be indicative that some progress is being made. Iraqi Kurds fear that an alliance with Iran may begin military actions on both sides of the Iraqi border. Vali Nasr argues that the future of the Middle East ultimately lies with a resolution of the conflict between Sunnis and Shiites, rather than a settlement imposed by the US.(David Spector)

Boost for Iraqi farming sector

Agriculture was always given a low priority under Saddam but this could lead to Iraq becoming a net exporter of food again. The sector will be the
second largest contributor to the economy after oil and has the greatest
potential to provide new jobs.

US Labor Against the War on New Hadi Saleh Book

Speaking at the launch of the book at the House of Commons today, co-author Abdullah Muhsin of the Iraqi Workers Federation said: Iraqs economy was pulverized by Saddams wars, bled by sanctions and further devastated by the invasion, looting and rampant corruption. Iraqs economy needs emergency investment and widespread reconstruction. Free and independent unions will play an important role in making sure investment in Iraq provides quality jobs and decent public services.
‘But unions are also important in forming Iraq’s democratic future and national identity. Our independence makes us a home to all Iraqis irrespective of gender, ethnicity and religion. Unions are an antidote to the sectarian poisons of extremism in Iraq.
For the full story, click here.

Hadi Saleh Never Died

Probably the first song about trade unions I ever heard began with the words “I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night.” Those words have been an inspiration the authors of new book just published by the Trades Union Congress in Britain called “Hadi Never Died”. The book is a tribute to Hadi Saleh, the international secretary of Iraq’s new, independent trade union movement, who was murdered in January 2005 by masked gunmen who burst into his Baghdad home. But it is much more than a tribute: it is a beautifully illustrated volume packed with history, anecdotes and analysis. It tells the story of the Iraqi working class and its struggle for freedom — both under the Saddam dictatorship and under the occupation. Profits from the sale of the book go the TUC’s solidarity fund in support of the Iraqi unions. Please make sure your union orders several copies today: