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Iraq: They are Still Lying to Us

Posted by Fredsvenn den november 6, 2007

They lied to get us into a war which has cost up to one million Iraqi lives and the deaths of over 3700 American and 168 British soldiers. They are still lying to us to keep us in the same war, which the overwhelming majority of people in Iraq, the United States and Britain want to end now, with all foreign troops brought home.

Gordon Brown says the British withdrawal from Basra is part of a successful strategic plan to hand over control of the city to Iraqi forces. The truth is, a few thousand British troops never had any control of Basra – a city of two million people – and the attempted occupation was resisted by the Iraqi people from the start. The British withdrawal to a single base on Basra airport is an ignominious retreat from a city which is too dangerous for the occupying forces to remain. In short, the British army has been defeated in what The Independent calls «one of the most futile campaigns ever fought by the British army.»

It wasn’t futile to George Bush, who needed the political cover of a British presence to justify his illegal war. Now it looks like Gordon Brown intends to maintain that presence to avoid embarrassing a president whose popularity ratings are amongst the lowest ever recorded.

Brown is due to make a long awaited statement to the House of Commons in early October. What he should announce is the complete withdrawal of British troops from Iraq (an apology to the Iraqi people and a promise of reparation payments is too much to hope for). What is much more likely is an insistence by Brown that the British forces will stay in Iraq, at least until George Bush leaves office. In other words, no departure from the war policies of his predecessor Tony Blair.

This is why Stop the War has called a demonstration outside the House of Commons on Monday 8 October, the day Parliament reassembles, to represent the anger felt by the antiwar majority in this country over Britain’s continuing participation in one of the worst war crimes in recent history – an anger which MPs have refused to reflect in parliament. In the words of Andrew Murray, national chair of Stop the War, writing in The Guardian:

«Overwhelming that gap between popular outrage and parliamentary apathy is the key to ensuring the full and final withdrawal of the troops from Iraq, where they serve no purpose beyond covering George Bush’s imperial nudity. That is why we are organising a demonstration in London on October 8, the day Parliament reassembles, to demand troop withdrawal from Iraq.» XXX

Please join this demonstration and help publicise it as widely as possible. If you would like to help your local Stop the War group build support for the demonstration, contact the Stop the War national office: telephone 020 7278 6694, email office@stopwar.org.uk.

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