on New Labour's hands
hand-wringing by the New Labour government following the murder in Iraq
of British engineer Ken Bigley should fool no one. For, as Bigley’s
brother Paul said, the Blair regime has blood on its hands.
We are just not talking just about Ken Bigley’s either. Thousands of
civilians - no official figures
exist - have been killed by US and British troops in Iraq since the
illegal invasion in 2003. The “rules of engagement” of the occupiers
are to shoot first and ask questions later. There is overwhelming evidence
of the random killing of civilians, especially by US pilots.
The war that was launched on the back of one of the biggest lies in
history – namely the existence of “weapons of mass destruction” – has
torn Iraq apart and produced an insurgency aimed at freeing the country
from foreign troops.
Where there was no evidence of terror groups inside Iraq before the
invasion, Bigley’s murder is another gruesome reminder of how others
have filled the vacuum created by an occupation which, not surprisingly,
is seen by many in the Muslim world as an attack on Islam.
The war which was supposed to demonstrate the power of the US to impose
its political will and a market economy on Iraq for the benefit of global
corporations, has instead exposed the brutal, conniving nature of the
American and British governments. They clearly knew there were no weapons
in Iraq and had decided to invade before WMD even became an issue.
By continuing to justify the invasion Bush and Blair simply reinforce
the new doctrine of pre-emptive strikes and invasions against any country
or regime that does not fall into line, especially those, like Iraq,
who are incapable of serious military resistance.
Countless millions around the world have rejected the Bush-Blair lie
machine. There are exceptions, of course. These include the supine leaders
of the British trade union movement. In exchange for a few hollow promises,
they manoeuvred at the recent Labour Party conference to defeat a motion
calling for an end to British involvement in Iraq. The same leaders
– whose organisations were nominally part of the Stop the War Coalition
– then had the hypocrisy to join the campaign for Bigley’s release.
Our choice is simple: we must work for the defeat of New Labour, for
regime change in Britain. That is the message we should take into the
election campaign that is looming. Don’t waste your vote on New Labour.
Instead, we must redouble our efforts to build an alternative.
for a Socialist Future
October 9, 2004