Article from the Mar. 2005 issue of the Socialist
newspaper of the Socialist Party, Irish section of the CWI
End the occupation
Building for 19 March
by Daniel Waldron, Belfast Socialist Youth
SOCIALIST YOUTH are now gearing up for the anti war demonstration in Belfast on 19 March. Despite the propaganda of the big business media in the West, it is clear that the recent elections in Iraq have done nothing to stabilise the country.
According to the media, the elections were a "momentous" and "joyous" occasion for the people of Iraq. However, the emptied streets, closed borders, restricted movement and martial law of the previous two days suggested the occupying forces and their Iraqi stooges were getting ready for a battle, not a celebration.
The UN recognised that the way in which the election was carried out was "highly irregular". There were many reports of voters having armed guards standing over their shoulders and "reminding them" who they should vote for. Failure to comply led to serious physical assault in a number of cases.
We have seen a renewed wave attacks from the Iraqi resistance after the elections. The vast majority, including many who voted, have no faith in the occupiers and want an immediate withdrawal of all foreign troops.
The Belfast demo on 19 March is part of the international day of action against the occupation. It will begin at 2pm at the Arts College on York Street. Afterwards, Socialist Youth will be holding a public meeting under the title "How Can Imperialism be Defeated?"
For more details on these events or to get involved with Socialist Youth, tel: 07821058319.
Bush and Blair - Get out of Iraq NOW!
by Cillian Gillespie
ABU-GHRAIB prison, Fallujah and Najaf. Two years ago the names of these places meant very little to most people. Now they have come to symbolise the sheer brutality of the past two years of colonial war and plunder in Iraq.
In those two years, the minimal infrastructure that existed in pre-war Iraq has been destroyed, 100,000 Iraqis have been left dead and the number of US and foreign soldiers that have been killed has gone over 1,500. Why has this happened? The emergence of the mass anti-war movement in 2003 showed that the majority of people were not convinced by Bush and Blair's rhetoric and lies about democracy and weapons of mass destruction.
The fact that these war criminals would like us to forget that no WMD's have been found, confirms what working class and young people believed to be the case from the start, that this was a war for oil and profit. Iraq has been looted and ransacked by multinationals like US Vice-President Dick Cheney's Halliburton to the point where it is now the most privatised economy in the world.
Here in Ireland, the Fianna Fail/PD government continue to quietly assist US imperialism by allowing the use of Shannon Airport by US warplanes. 300,000 US troops have passed through Shannon Airport in the past two years. This same government is responsible for an economy where young workers can be paid less than Û5 an hour to help their friends in big business and are more than willing to assist in an occupation to rob the resources of Iraq.
There is another aspect to this war that makes it even more disgusting and criminal. In the aftermath of the Asian Tsunami that left a 250,000 dead, Bush reluctantly pledged $350 million to the disaster relief effort. Yet he certainly has not been shy when it comes to forking out $300 billion of US taxpayers' money to maintain the occupation.
On 19 March, Socialist Youth and the Socialist Party will be intervening into the anti-war demonstrations in Dublin, Shannon and Belfast. Many young people will be disgusted and repulsed by what has happened and is happening in Iraq. If you are one of them, then our message is clear. The events of the past two years are as good a case as any as to why we need to oppose the capitalist system we live under. The amount of wastage in terms of human life and money spent, all for pursuit of profit is beyond belief. It is the continuation of the pro-capitalist policies at home and abroad that leaves 2.4 billion people in absolute poverty.
We are asking you to join with us in the struggle for a socialist society. To join us in the struggle for a society that can meet the needs of all humanity and put an end to the wars waged for the interests of a few.
Other reports on anti-war protests