Imperialists cover up war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan

British soldier screams at Iraqi prisoners in 'stress positions' at the Shaibah Logistics Base

A BBC and Sunday Times investigation, revealed in BBC Panorama on 18 November, has exposed further evidence that the British government has repeatedly attempted to cover-up evidence of war crimes committed by British soldiers in the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. The investigation interviewed 11 former civilian police officers who had been involved in investigating killings and torture and concluded that the Ministry of Defence was determined to quash and prevent prosecutions against British soldiers in order to protect the reputation of Britain’s military. One investigator from The Iraq Historical Allegations Team (IHAT) told Panorama: ‘The Ministry of Defence had no intention of prosecuting any soldier of whatever rank he was unless it was absolutely necessary, and they couldn’t wriggle their way out of it.’


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Iraq: mass protests threaten corrupt and sectarian state

Protest in Tahrir Square, Baghdad, 25 October 2019 (photo: FPP/CC 4.0 -

The state created by US and British imperialism following the 2003 invasion of Iraq is hanging by a thread. Throughout October and November a mass movement has arisen demanding far-reaching political and economic change. The brutal response has turned the movement from routine discontent to a real threat to the corrupt and sectarian state. More than 400 protestors have been killed and 15,000 injured. The movement has been anti-sectarian and has targeted the whole political class which has profited from oil and regional conflicts whilst the mass of Iraqi people has seen nothing but instability, poverty and decline. With US imperialism’s influence in the region waning, growing Iranian influence has been a major focus of demonstrators.


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The Gulf War: premeditated murder of a nation

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no. 100 April/May 1991

gulf war
September 1990: Refugees plea for food on the border between Iraq and Jordan

'Then this civilisation and justice stand forth as undisguised savagery and lawless revenge...A glorious civilisation, indeed, the great problem of which is how to get rid of the heaps of corpses it made after the battle was over'

(Karl Marx, The Civil War in France)

After 40 days of war there are not heaps but mountains of Iraqi corpses. 200,000 Iraqi people are dead or mutilated. The imperialists lost just 157. In this statistic is starkly revealed the one-sided savagery of the war. 1,000 Iraqi lives for each Western one. 28 countries, including the richest and most powerful, against one nation of 18 million people. An imperialist army of terrifying technological killing power against a conscript army equipped with second rate weaponry. An air force that could pound Iraqi towns and troops without fear of airborne challenge until pilots complained there was nothing left to bomb. Eddie Abrahams and Maxine Williams argue that those not shamed and disgusted by this spectacle have forfeited their humanity.


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Imperialism's new world order

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no. 101 June/July 1991

Defending their war against Iraq, Bush, Major and lap-dog Kinnock are never tired of proclaiming the ‘West’s’ democratic and progressive purpose. Eddie Abrahams argues that, translated into the lives of the majority of Iraqi, Palestinian and Kurdish people, this purpose has meant more poverty, more oppression, and more death.

The Gulf War was waged to stop Iraq from ever again challenging imperialist interests in the Middle East and Gulf region. It was an integral element of US strategy as expressed in a National Security Review on 'Third World Threats':

'In cases where the US confronts much weaker enemies, our challenge will be not simply to defeat them, but to defeat them decisively and rapidly.'


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How Saddam crushed the communists

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no.100 April/May 1991

Comrades who want to place events now unfolding in Iraq in their proper historical and class context will profit by reading this excellent book - Iraq Since 1958 - From Revolution to Dictatorship. It outlines British imperialism’s role in the founding of modern Iraq and meticulously records a frequently overlooked tragedy – the destruction of the Iraqi communist and workers’ movement at the hands of the Baath Party.

The carve up of the Middle East and the birth of Iraq

In 1920 General Edward Spears wrote that:

'...the French and the British...satisfied each others' appetites after the First World War, by serving up strips of Arab land to each other.'

Until the First World War, the Arab world fell within the domain of a decaying Ottoman empire. This oil rich area became a battleground as Germany, Britain and France fought to replace Ottoman rule. In their struggle, the French and British won Arab support with promises of democracy and independence. But in secret they concocted the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement which gave Lebanon and Syria to the French whilst the British got Palestine and Iraq. With Germany's defeat and the collapse of the Ottoman empire, the victorious allies were free to carve up the region.


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Operation Desert Storm - Imperialists go to War

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no. 99 February/March 1991

The attempted demolition of Iraq began under the cloak of darkness at 3am on 17 January 1991. By the end of just the first day of Operation Desert Storm Iraq had been subjected to a bombardment one and a half times more powerful than Hiroshima and double that which flattened Dresden. Days of unrelenting bombing, the biggest in history, will be followed by the use of ground forces against shell-shocked Iraqi troops.

For the first time we are witnessing the full range of modern high-tech conventional imperialist warfare. Overwhelming force is the key phrase. A massive technically superior military machine is being used against Iraq's 18 million people. To ensure against the remotest possibility of defeat or heavy imperialist casualties nothing must be left to chance. Hence the over 700,000 imperialist and allied troops, the 1,650 fighter and bomber aircraft, the 3,800 tanks and 129 battleships carrying cruise missiles, and the 1,000 US nuclear warheads with British and Israeli additions held in reserve. Hence on day one the dropping of 18,000 tons of explosives in 1,300 sorties and the firing of 1,000 plus cruise missiles (each costing £1m). This onslaught was designed to rapidly and completely destroy Iraq's capacity to retaliate. It failed - US and British aircraft have been destroyed and Iraqi Scud missiles have hit targets in Israel.


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The Iraq Inquiry: Imperialists clean their stables

Iraq war protest

On 21 January it was announced that the long awaited inquiry into Britain's role in the Iraq war of 2003 would be delayed until after May's general election. Sir John Chilcot, who has led the inquiry, explained that the delay was due to the time taken for those criticised in the report to respond. Former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair has denied that he has any role in holding up the report. The inquiry began its work 6 years ago in 2009 and has interviewed countless key figures in British imperialism's drive to war. No doubt the results of the inquiry - if they ever come to light - will further undermine any remaining confidence in the major ruling class political parties, and the very notion of bourgeois 'democracy'. Below we republish an article from Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 217, first published in 2010, which sets out the context of the inquiry.


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US threatens intervention as ISIS advances towards Baghdad

On 12 June 2014, the Iraqi air force began bombing its own people in Mosul and Tikrit. The attacks were part of a desperate attempt to stop the advance of Sunni fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), who had earlier captured the two cities. The following day ISIS captured two more towns in Diyala province. In the previous few days, ISIS had also attacked parts of Samara and Kirkuk, taken-over the university in Ramadi and seized the town of Baiji, the site of a major oil refinery and a power station for Baghdad. ISIS stated its intention to attack the capital.


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Iraq’s election sham

Parliamentary elections in Iraq this spring took place within the deepening conflict between the mainly Shia government and the Sunni Al Qaeda inspired group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Since December, over 1,700 members of the Iraqi military and 4,000 civilians have been killed. ISIS now has effective control of Anbar province and other areas in the north and west. It controls the Fallujah dam and has been able to damage water supplies to Baghdad. ISIS levies taxes in cities such as Mosul and Tikrit and has held a military parade on the outskirts of Baghdad. ISIS also controls large parts of southern and eastern Syria. It is recruiting fighters from North Africa, Chechnya, Iran and Tajikistan.


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IRAQ: US supports attacks on Sunni opposition

At the turn of the year, Iraqi government forces launched attacks against centres of Sunni opposition in Anbar province. In Ramadi they destroyed a Sunni protest camp and arrested Ahmad Al Awani, a Sunni MP. Al Awani’s brother and five guards were killed, together with a further 11 people. In Fallujah, 15 Iraqi soldiers were killed in initial clashes. The leading force in the Sunni uprising, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), took control of police stations, burnt military vehicles and captured 75 Iraqi soldiers. The Iraqi government attacked with air strikes and artillery, claiming to have killed 60 ISIS fighters. Indiscriminate mortar fire in civilian areas was reported, forcing more than 10,000 people to flee the city. Clashes were also reported in Abu Ghraib and Baghdad. Jim Craven reports.


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Defeat in Iraq undermines US hegemony

A recent statement from the official Chinese Xin-Hua News Agency emphasised China’s determination to end US global hegemony. It said, ‘The world is still crawling its way out of an economic disaster thanks to the voracious Wall Street elites. Such alarming days when the destinies of others are in the hands of a hypocritical nation have to be terminated.’ While the US tries to control the consequences of its failure to impose military domination in the Middle East, China has been extending its influence by economic and political means. China has cancelled Iraq’s huge debt and made extensive investments in the infrastructure and oil industries. It plans to buy 30% of Iraq’s oil exports next year. China is also a major customer for Iran’s oil, putting it in a strong position to affect events at the core of the region. In contrast, US hopes of affecting regime change in Syria and Iran, if necessary by military means, have been dashed, first by Russia’s intervention over Syrian chemical weapons and then by Iran’s readiness to negotiate over its nuclear programme.


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Iraq deteriorates as imperialist carve-up unravels

In the aftermath of the imperialist occupation, Iraq has become ever more unstable. The Iraqi people are suffering the highest levels of bloodshed since 2008. At the end of July, at least 55 people were killed and more than 100 injured in five bomb blasts in Baghdad and elsewhere. On 28 August, at least 66 were killed in bombings and shootings, which included an attack on a military convoy. Altogether, more than 700 people were killed in July and more than 800 in August – a total of over 4,000 since April. Much of the violence has been initiated by Sunni militias, particularly the Al Qaeda affiliated group called Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), and has been aimed at Shia and government targets. The Sunnis claim they are being discriminated against and denied jobs and influence by the predominantly Shia government of Nouri Al Maliki, though the aims of ISI no doubt extend beyond parity with the Shia. Shia militias and government forces have retaliated against the Sunni population such that most areas of Baghdad and elsewhere have become ever more divided along sectarian lines. Jim Craven reports.


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Iraq war’s bloody aftermath

An estimated 1,000 people were killed in May in the sectarian violence that is escalating throughout Iraq. Former Iraqi security adviser Dr Mowaffak al-Rubaie warned: ‘If we go on like this we will have civil war and then partition – partition of Iraq would be as bloody as the partition of India.’ Both will have been the consequence of imperialist intervention and occupation.

While much of the violence is around Baghdad and the south of the country, it is the Kurdish north that poses the greatest immediate challenge to the unity of the country. Ignoring the central government, the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) has unilaterally signed oil contracts worth $20bn with over 50 companies, including Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Total and the Russian Gazprom. A pipeline delivering 300,000 barrels per day from the high quality Taq Taq field to Turkey is due to open shortly. The pipeline is a joint venture by the Turkish company Genel, run by former BP boss Tony Hayward (of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill infamy) and the Chinese company Sinopec. Security at the oil field is provided by a British company using ex-special force mercenaries from South Africa.


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Iraq ‘civil war’ widens

At the beginning of May, a senior Iraqi politician told Patrick Cockburn of The Independent: ‘It is wrong to say we are getting close to civil war. The civil war has already started.’ Jim Craven reports.

On 23 April, Iraqi government forces attacked a Sunni protest camp at Hawija near Kirkuk, killing at least 23 people. In the ensuing clashes, over 50 more people were killed. The next day, Sunni militants took over a police station and killed three Iraqi soldiers near Tikrit. A few days later, five more soldiers were killed in Fallujah and at least 23 people were killed in bomb blasts in southern Iraq. The UN estimates that 700 people were killed in April, the highest monthly figure for five years. On 20 May, more than 70 people were killed and nearly 200 injured in bomb blasts across the country – from Baghdad and Samarra to Basra and Hilla in the south. People in Baghdad are reported to be stocking up on food and other supplies. Shia militias, in the guise of government soldiers, are surrounding Sunni areas as they did during the worst sectarian conflicts of 2006. The main road to Jordan, where many Sunnis sought refuge, has been closed.


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Iraq – 100 years of imperialist division

The prime minister of Iraq, Nouri Al Maliki, recently warned ‘If the Sunni opposition is victorious in Syria, there will be civil war in Lebanon, divisions in Jordan and a sectarian war in Iraq’. His prediction was provoked by the growing, mainly Sunni, movement against Al Maliki’s government. Over 250 people were killed during January and February in attacks by Sunni groups on Shia and government targets. More than 50 were killed in 17 bomb attacks in and around Baghdad on the 10th anniversary of the invasion. In February, tens of thousands of Sunni demonstrators blocked the streets in five major cities. In Samarra, Sheik Mohammed Jumaa called for an end to ‘tyranny and oppression’, threatening: ‘You will witness what other tyrants have witnessed before’. The movement is gaining inspiration from the Sunni opposition in Syria. In March, 48 Syrian government soldiers were killed by Sunni fighters when they crossed the border into Iraq. Jim Craven reports.


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Iraq – bloody legacy of the occupation

One year on from the withdrawal of imperialist troops, the Iraq they occupied for over eight years remains divided and torn apart by violence. Iraq Body Count recorded over 5,000 Iraqis killed in 2012 and concluded, ‘The country remains in a state of low-level war. Little has changed since 2009.’

In late October and November, at least 110 people, mainly Shia, were killed in a series of bombings in Baghdad. In December, thousands of Sunnis took to the streets in Ramadhi to protest against the Shia-dominated government. The protests followed the arrest of 10 bodyguards of the Sunni finance minister Rafia Al Issawi during a raid on his office. The Sunni deputy prime minister, Tariq Al Hashemi, is still in exile in Turkey after fleeing for his life last year. At a rally, Al Issawi claimed, ‘Injustice, marginalisation, discrimination and double standards, as well as the politicisation of the judicial system and a lack of respect for partnership, law and constitution...have all turned our neighbourhoods in Baghdad into huge prisons surrounded by concrete blocks.’ Shia Prime Minister Nouri Al Malaki threatened to use force against the demonstrators. Days later a car bomb in Musayyib killed at least 27 Shia pilgrims. Maria Fantappie, an Iraq expert with the International Crisis Group, said, ‘December has completely shaken the political scene. We are at this moment in a kind of tornado.’ Abdulazziz Sager, head of the Gulf Research Centre said, ‘If the demonstrators decide to defend themselves with guns this could easily lead to a civil war.’


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Iraqi people resist oil theft

In August Iraq overtook Iran as the second largest oil producer in OPEC. It had not been in this position since the 1980s. Although the result reflects the dwindling sales from Iran because of the international sanctions, Iraqi production has nevertheless increased to more than three million barrels per day (mbpd) in recent months. This follows the signing of major contracts with international oil companies between late 2008 and early 2010 to develop a dozen oil fields. The companies include Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Total, Russian Lukoil and the Chinese CNPC. In addition, Total, Exxon Mobil and Russian Gazprom signed deals with the Kurdish regional government. The Iraqi government has a target to produce 12 mbpd by 2017 (more than Saudi Arabia), though a more realistic estimate would be 4.5 mbpd because of the lack of pipeline infrastructure. The oil companies, however, are being paid per barrel produced regardless of whether or not they meet government targets. This is far more profitable than simply being paid for the services they provide, although oil drilling contractors are receiving above rate fees from the Iraqi government.


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Afghan misery continues: imperialist plans in disarray

A UN-backed survey has found that around one million Afghan children under the age of five are malnourished. In southern provinces such as Helmand and Kandahar, where the war is at its fiercest, almost 30% of children suffer acute malnutrition (30% is one of the official bench marks for declaring a famine). Afghanistan is now bottom of the UN development programme poverty index. It has the world’s third worst infant mortality rates. Nine million Afghans (36% of the population) live in absolute poverty, with a similar number living just above the threshold. Less than a quarter of the Afghan people have regular access to safe water. At the same time, a super-rich elite, sponging off the spoils of war, live in grand mansions and drive around in luxury cars. As of 16 September 2012, 430 British soldiers have been killed for this. Jim Craven reports.


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Iraqi ‘dictatorship’

Among the many excuses made by the imperialists for their war on Iraq were the removal of Saddam Hussein and the establishment of democracy. As Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki consolidates his power, many in the country believe one dictator has been replaced by another. Kurdish journalist Zakia Al Mazouri, persistently threatened by Al Maliki’s regime, said, ‘This government that came now is not better than the old one. There is no real democracy.’


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No peace in Iraq

Violence continues to sweep across the supposedly ‘secure’ Iraq that US forces left in December. By the beginning of February 434 Iraqis had been killed. On 24 February at least 60 more were killed when Sunni groups attacked Iraqi security forces. 25 Iraqi police were shot in Haditha on 6 March and 13 people died in explosions in Tal Afar two days later. Iraqi legislators have passed a bill to buy 350 armoured vehicles for their own use.


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US troops leave Iraq in turmoil

When President Bush and his allies in the British Labour government launched the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 they did so with the deception that the Saddam regime possessed weapons of mass destruction and had links to Al Qaeda. They suggested that the troops would be welcomed as liberators, that they would have to stay for only six months and that Iraq would become a beacon of democracy for the Middle East. The number of troops involved was estimated at 100,000 and the total cost at around $2 billion. Over eight years later, some 1.5 million US troops have served in Iraq and direct spending by the US Department of Defence is an estimated $757.8 billion. Over 4,800 US, British and other coalition troops have been killed. Jim Craven reports.


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Iraq’s oil and Labour lies

On 22 May the last British troops left Iraq when 81 Royal Navy trainers left the southern port of Umm Qasr. That same day there were at least ten bomb attacks across the country. Foreign Secretary Hague declared that the allies had left Iraq ‘a much better place than we found it’. In 2010 the death toll from attacks in Iraq was 4,038 or 11 a day. So far this year 1,200 Iraqis have been killed in attacks. 179 British military personnel were killed in Iraq since the 2003 invasion. Iraq’s dead run into hundreds of thousands.


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War for global domination

FRFI 172 April / May 2003

The US/British Coalition war on Iraq has immense consequences not only for the countries involved, the invaders and the invaded, and the neighbouring countries in the Middle East, but also for the rest of the world. This war is a watershed, marking the complete disintegration of the old world order which subsisted from the Second World War onwards. This war initiates the new century that the US has marked down as its own: this is its opening bid for global domination. The British ruling class, under the leadership of its most committed imperialists, the Labour government, is no poodle, but a greedy partner in this enterprise. The Coalition strategy is both a war for oil and for stamping its authority on future world relations. We should be clear, however, that while the US may want to claim ‘a new American century’, and Britain may demand its share, the seeds of their own destruction have already been sown. Alongside wars come revolutions.

The Coalition war began on 19 March after months of diplomatic manoeuvring, strong-arm tactics, and behind the scenes, the remorseless movement of troops and war materiel to the region around Iraq. US Joint Chief of Staff, General Tommy Franks, promised ‘this will be a campaign unlike any other in history’, comprised of ‘shock, surprise, flexibility and overwhelming force’. ‘S, G and A’, he said, adopting the style of an advertising executive, ‘special forces, ground attack and air bombardment, in that order.’ Hundreds of journalists were ‘embedded’ with Coalition forces, ready to be drip-fed information favourable to the invaders. As if as a warning, a crew of ITN journalists travelling independently, were wiped out by Coalition ‘friendly fire’ in the first days of the war.


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Bin Laden killing signals US military intentions

As the crisis of capitalism deepens, the US must become ever more determined in defence of its global hegemony. The killing of Osama Bin Laden on 2 May 2011 was a calculated act to demonstrate that the US will use its military power wherever and whenever necessary, regardless of international law and national sovereignty. As President Obama boasted in his ‘victory’ speech, ‘Tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history.’ Jim Craven reports.

Since Obama took office, air attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan launched against the (professed) wishes of their governments, and certainly against the wishes of the people, have increased dramatically. According to the Brookings Institute, ten civilians have been killed for every militant victim. In the past two years special forces operations have multiplied six-fold and now average 20 attacks every night. Their rules of engagement allow soldiers to kill ‘enemy combatants’ even if they are unarmed and present no visible threat. Hundreds of innocent men, women and children have been slaughtered.


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Iraq: Demonstrations rock government

Anti-government demonstrations were held in dozens of towns and cities across Iraq during February and continued into March. Thousands of people took to the streets and occupied buildings, demanding better services, clean water and electricity, more jobs and the dismissal of corrupt politicians and officials.

In Suleimaniyah in the Kurdish north, nine people were killed and 47 injured when the local militia fired on a crowd of more than 3,000 besieging the headquarters of Masoud Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party. Iraqi security forces also had to defend the headquarters of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, which is led by Iraqi president Jalal Talabani. Protests continued every day, causing the local government to impose a night time curfew. In Kut three people were killed in clashes with police while demonstrating against the US occupation and Iraqi Prime Minister Al Maliki. In Basra hundreds of protestors erected tents outside government buildings, while in Fallujah demonstrators carried banners reading, ‘No for sectarianism, yes for unity, down with Al Maliki’s government.’ In Sadr City, the poor working class area of Baghdad, posters read, ‘We voted for you, where are your promises?’ The Iraqi army tried to force demonstrators to leave Baghdad’s Tahrir Square and established checkpoints to identify protesters.


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Afghan people resist occupation

Reviewing the war on Afghanistan in December 2010, President Obama claimed that US/NATO troops had arrested and reversed the Taliban’s momentum. The US military claimed it had killed over 1,260 Taliban leaders and fighters and captured 2,360 in the previous three months. Since July 2010, when General Petraeus took command of US and NATO forces, there has been a 300% increase in special forces’ night-time raids. In Kabul, the CIA now has its biggest foreign station since the Viet Nam war, with a private army of 3,000. The number of bombs and missiles launched by the occupying forces increased by almost 50% last year. One US official proclaimed, ‘We’ve taken the gloves off, and it’s had a huge impact.’ Jim Craven reports.


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Iraq: new government – same occupation

At the end of December 2010, the Iraqi parliament finally endorsed Nouri Al-Maliki as prime minister, nine months after the elections. In a compromise deal following pressure from both the US and Iran, Sunni candidates received nine ministries and one of three deputy prime ministers. Iyad Allawi, favoured candidate of the US, whose Sunni-supported Iraqiya alliance won the most seats in the election, called for ‘real reconciliation’, having previously repudiated any coalition with Al Maliki. Supporters of the Shia cleric Moqtada Al Sadr received eight junior ministries. The Sadrists had also previously refused to join any government headed by Al Maliki, who had backed US attempts to destroy the Sadrist militia, the Mehdi Army, in 2007. Al Sadr himself returned from four years’ self-imposed exile in Iran and called on his supporters to give the new government a chance.


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Currency wars

The 11-12 November meeting of the heads of the G20 group of countries ended in failure. The world economy faces crisis: massive unemployment exists internationally, there are huge global trade and investment imbalances, and the shadow of a future financial crisis looms large. Yet by the end of the meeting, all they could agree about was a collection of platitudes, hopes, wishes and fine words about the desirability of co-operation.


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IRAQ: a record of death, torture and deceit

Secret US documents revealed by Wikileaks in October confirmed the record of atrocities committed by US, British and Iraqi forces that we have regularly reported in FRFI, but which the imperialists have always denied. Jim Craven reports.

In order to try to hide the extent of the slaughter, the imperialists maintained they never recorded the number of Iraqis killed, but the leaked documents log over 109,000 deaths. This is still a gross underestimate. For example, only 103 deaths were logged from 3,800 air strikes. The documents contain evidence of the murder of 21 civilians by British troops and 700 civilians killed at checkpoints. Video footage of resistance fighters being killed in cold blood while trying to surrender is included, as well as evidence that US forces were involved in Shia death squads. There are over 300 examples of US abuse and torture of detainees and at least 1,500 records of torture by the Iraqi security forces. Between 2004 and 2005 orders were issued to US forces not to intervene in such cases, but US troops continued to hand over Iraqi detainees, knowing they would be tortured.


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Violence rises in Iraq

Keen to bolster his poll ratings before the forthcoming mid-term elections, President Obama declared the end of US combat operations in Iraq at the end of August. The 50,000 US troops still in the country are supposed to leave by the end of 2011. They remain fully armed and combat-ready but are supposed to fight only in self-defence or if asked to do so by the Iraqi government.

However, six months after the elections in March, no elected Iraqi government was in place. The parliament of ‘democratic, sovereign’ Iraq, as Obama recently called it, had not met since January. Talks between State of Law, the coalition of incumbent Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki, first with the other main Shia coalition, the Iraqi National Alliance, and then with Iraqiya, the coalition headed by Iyad Allawi that won most seats in the election, broke down because of Al Maliki’s insistence on remaining in office. The US is now trying to devolve prime ministerial powers while allowing Al Maliki to stay. The plan is to create a council for national strategy that would be headed by Allawi. He was the imperialists’ choice as first prime minister after the invasion and is long associated with the CIA.


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