Magazine of Socialist Action in Australia

Iraq war heightens terror threat

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Howard, Bush and Blair, the coalition of the willing, are all guilty of giving aid and comfort to terrorists around the world. The invasion of Iraq has given terrorists of all persuasions and in particular al-Qaeda a new source of inspiration. This inspiration attracts young people from around the world to their cause.

The Socialist Party demands the immediate withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iraq and for workers and poor people to take control of their destiny without interference from religious bigots or swaggering super powers.

The justification for the invasion of Iraq has been a layer of lies. They invaded because of weapons of mass destruction – they found none. They invaded because of the links to Al Queda – they found none. They invaded to bring democracy to the Middle East and brought chaos, death, destruction and civil war. They invaded to put and end to al-Qaeda and other terrorists and have given terrorists their most fertile breeding ground.

The real reasons for the invasion were two fold, the oil and for the maintenance of the prestige of the west in particular the United States.

Cracks are beginning to become more evident in Iraq with British Army chief General Sir Richard Dannatt recently suggesting that British troops should be withdrawn as quickly as possible from Iraq.

He was quoted as saying that the presence of British troops was exacerbating the security problems that the British are facing – not just in Iraq but around the world. He subsequently said his comments were misunderstood and that troops should only be withdrawn after the local forces were ready to take over – but the inference is clear enough. The presence in Iraq is making the problems of terrorism worse.

Even Howard is saying he would be surprised if Australian troops were still in Iraq in 3 years time, although he was not going to be drawn on any particular date for withdrawal and has just recently reaffirmed keeping troops there. He has however made suggestions that the goal in Iraq has become a little less grandiose than democracy in Iraq. Now he will settle for ‘when we are satisfied that what we leave behind will be relatively stable, and democracy has a reasonable chance’.

George Bush is also under pressure with reports that the US may be in Iraq until 2010, a new study showing the death toll may be 20 times higher than previously estimated and a new poll showing two thirds of Americans now oppose the war. A new estimate of deaths published in the respected Lancet medical journal has estimates ranging from 426, 000 to 794,000 whereas previous figures had the death count at between 43, 850 and 48,693.

Bush has recently had talks with top military advisors to try to adjust US strategy, with rising deaths for US troops and increasing rise in sectarian violence.

It is clear especially now that no tinkering around the edges is possible. All foreign troops including Australian troops need to be withdrawn as soon as possible to allow the Iraqi workers and poor people to try to salvage what they can from this debacle.

Editorial comment from the November 2006 issue of ‘The Socialist’


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