Socialist Party
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9 February 2006

Iraq death toll rises

End the occupation

Demonstrate on 18 March

BLAIR WANTED Iraq to be his legacy. It's that all right. But not the legacy of liberation, democracy and prosperity that he promised. No! 99, 100, 101 ...that's the ever-rising number of British soldiers killed. How many more young working-class recruits must die fighting for Blair's legacy?

Alistair Tice

And over 2,000 US soldiers have been killed for Bush. Thousands more maimed and disabled. But at least they're counted. No-one knows how many Iraqis have died as a result of the invasion and occupation. Even Bush recently surmised "30,000, more or less"!

He doesn't know - the US military don't count dead Iraqis! However, studies comparing death rates before and after the 2003 invasion give at least 100,000 "excess deaths" which by now could be as high as 180,000.

For those left, life is worse than even under Saddam and sanctions! "The situation is much worse than it used to be," a retired soldier told a news agency. "Can you walk free in the streets? Did you receive your food ration last month? When you go to the hospital, do you find medicines? The answer is no ..."

And following the military occupation comes the IMF occupation! The International Monetary Fund insisted as a condition for its $685 million loan to the Iraqi government that it control the wage and pensions bill, reduce subsidies, and expand the private sector.

This has resulted in a five-fold increase in fuel prices so that in a country with the second largest oil reserves in the world, most people can't get petrol or heating and cooking fuel without queuing for hours or on the black market.

And things are likely to get worse. The US administration has admitted that half its reconstruction budget has gone on security, and they're not going to spend any more on rebuilding the country they've destroyed!

This is the human cost of a war based on spin and lies. The first casualty was truth. No WMD. No 45 minutes. No legal case. And now a new book Lawless World by Philippe Sands, a QC and professor of international law, confirms - using White House memos - what we already thought: that Bush was going to war whatever and Blair would support him with or without a second United Nations resolution.

Well three years on, Bush and Blair are both on their way out, politically maimed by their imperialist adventure. But for the British soldiers and their families and the Iraqi people who have to live and die with the consequences of their war, we must re-mobilise the anti-war movement to get the troops out and say 'no' to any attacks on Iran.