The Guardian 30 August, 2006

Civil liberties & Middle East crisis

Statement Communist Party of Britain

There can be no basis for peace and security in Britain while the British Government promotes war and destitution in the Middle East. In the name of a "war on terror", the peoples of Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq have been terrorised and traumatised in their millions by the Israeli, British and US war machines.

In the name of so-called "Western values", British and US military intervention has plunged Iraq into mass bloodshed and sectarian civil war. In the name of a struggle against "Islamic terrorism", the state terrorism of the British, US and Israeli Governments is driving thousands of recruits into the arms of sectarian, obscurantist and reactionary organisations which resort to individual terrorism.

Now, in the name of defending our freedom here in Britain, new measures are being planned to restrict our civil liberties still further. On the eve of the August 10 arrests and airport emergencies, Home Secretary John Reid delivered a speech to the right-wing Demos organisation in which he called for our freedoms to be "modified" while whipping up hysteria about a global struggle between good and evil.

The proposal from EU Justice Commissioner Franco Fratelli for a Europe-wide response to a renewed terrorist threat should alert us all to the danger of a renewed assault on our liberties.

An immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of all Israeli forces from Lebanon is the precondition for restoring peace and security in Lebanon and Israel. The rapid withdrawal of British and US forces from Iraq is the precondition for liberating the Iraqi people from all forms of terrorism.

Justice for the Palestinian people on the basis of UN resolutions 194, 242, 465, 478, 2326 and many others is the precondition for securing peace and stability in the whole Middle East including Israel.

The refusal of Britain, the US and Israel to abide by the UN Charter and UN resolutions will never persuade other governments and organisations to act in accordance with international law.

It is now urgent that the labour movement in Britain comes out loud and clear in defence of national sovereignty and international law in the Middle East, and of democratic liberties here in Britain. Blair and the whole New Labour clique must be removed from office before they do any more damage at home and abroad, clearing the way for Britain to pursue an independent foreign policy which genuinely promotes peace, justice and stability.

Robert Griffiths, General Secretary and
John Foster, International Secretary Communist Party of Britain

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