The Guardian January 28, 2004


Party members killed in Baghdad attack

In a dirty attack on one of the Baghdad offices of the Iraqi 
Communist Party ICP) last Thursday two Party members were killed 
and the offices almost totally destroyed.

An urgent statement from the ICP reporting the attack says that 
"in a spontaneous reaction to this vicious crime, party members 
and supporters gathered at the place, re-affirming their 
determination to challenge the forces of terror and reaction and 
to continue their fight alongside our people and all the forces 
of good-will to build a secure and stable Iraq, where there is no 
place for murderers who spill the blood of the innocent".

The Party has called on the authorities to reveal the identity of 
the killers and hand them over to justice so that they receive 
proper punishment for their treachery and crime.

UN role

An editorial in the ICP's newspaper Tareeq al Shaab 
supports the call for a bigger role for the United Nations.

It writes that "the meeting held on January 19 between 
representatives of the Governing Council, the occupation 
authority and the UN, acquires special significance. It responds 
to the demands of the majority of Iraqi political forces and the 
international community, for a more active role by the UN in 
supervising the ongoing political process in Iraq.

"It is well known that the occupation forces did not want, from 
the start, to give the UN a central role. Among the most 
important reasons was the desire to control the progress of the 
political process and its outcome in accordance with their 
interests and the objectives they had drawn up for their presence 
in Iraq.

"There is no doubt that giving a bigger role to the UN will be in 
the interest of our people in the present delicate and difficult 
phase. This role would allow the UN to act as a neutral broker 
that has been missed by the political process since the death of 
Mr Sergio de Mello, the late special representative of the UN 
Secretary General. He was killed in an atrocious terrorist act 
that was carried out by forces hostile to our people and their 
legitimate desire to end the occupation and build a new regime 
based on democratic principles.

"To achieve this aim, elections must be conducted under neutral 
international supervision. This is the role which is assigned 
mainly to the UN, taking into account its international 
legitimacy, as well as the accumulated experience and expertise 
that it has acquired, making it qualified to undertake an active 
and constructive role in providing the prerequisites for the 
emergence of an independent national government and ending the 
occupation of our country", the ICP said.

The editorial says that the demand by Iraqi people and 
organisations for an active role by the UN has recently 
increased. Such a commitment will help to lay a firm basis for a 
state based on law that would ensure the rights of all the Iraqi 
people and guarantee human rights in accordance with the UN 
Charter.

US Out!

The Iraqi Communist Party has always made it clear that they want 
the US troops out and the establishment of an independent and 
sovereign Iraq.

The ICP is Iraq's largest left party which battled Saddam 
Hussein's dictatorship and now holds a seat on the US-picked 
Governing Council. The Party blames Washington for the upsurge in 
armed resistance and wants UN peacekeepers to replace American 
troops in the near future.

"If the Americans had listened to us back in May and allowed a 
national conference to pick a legitimate government, there would 
never have been this level of instability", said a Party 
spokesperson recently.

He said that despite the ideological differences between the 
communists  who still stress their Marxist roots  and the 
coalition, the two sides have co-operated surprisingly well over 
the past several months.

Much of this is due to the fact that the communists and other 
secular parties serve as a political counterbalance to the 
dominant, but fractious, Sunni and Shiite Muslim groups and the 
ethnic-based Kurdish parties.

An official of the coalition making up the Governing Council said 
"The Communist Party probably has the broadest geographical 
representation in the country, it's the most national of the 
parties. We get along fine with them and they've behaved 
responsibly in terms of the redevelopment of Iraq."

"We are encouraging the masses to get involved in this political 
process and in the creation of new democratic institutions," said 
the Party spokesperson.

With a core of committed activists and a growing network of party 
cells, the Party is re-establishing its influence among workers, 
farmers and educated professionals.

Messages of solidarity and protest can be sent to the Iraqi 
Communist Party  fax 0011 44 87 01344121
or email iraq@iraqcp.org

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