From the International Report delivered to the CPGB-ML’s central committee on 4 February
Following the official withdrawal of US forces from Iraq in December, the US is deploying a small fleet of surveillance drones (which are claimed to be unarmed) in Iraq in order to protect its interests. In other words, most human soldiers may have left, but they have been replaced by robotic equivalents, backed up with some 5,000 private security contractors and 11,000 (!!!) ‘embassy staff’.
Even the puppet Iraqi government finds these facts embarrassing and difficult to justify to the Iraqi people, who continue to be under threat of attack by US controlled forces. Note has been taken of how drones have been used to kill large numbers of innocent villagers in Pakistan, while US personnel responsible for the massacre of civilians, such as the marine put on trial for leading the 2005 massacre of 24 civilians in Haditha, Iraq, are ‘punished’ with nothing more severe than a demotion.
Even more embarrassing is the fact that the US openly neglected even to pretend to consult the Iraqi puppet government about the installation of these facilities, let alone obtain its permission.
Following the massacre at Mejer, in which 85 civilians were killed in a single Nato raid, Dr Moussa Ibrahim makes an eloquent plea on behalf of the Libyan people for journalistic integrity (9 August 2011).
Five of the seven defendants in the EDO decommissioners trial in Brighton have been found not guilty of conspiracy to cause criminal damage by unanimous verdict given yesterday.
Clearly under pressure from the growing public anger against Israeli attrocities and British complicity, the judge directed the jury to remember the suffering of the Palestinians during the massacre, and pointed out to them that legal channels to oppose EDO-MBM had been exhausted.
The remaining two defendants await their verdict, which is likely to be decided on Friday by the jury at Hove crown court.
The defendants were on trial for decommissioning the EDO-MBM arms factory in Brighton during last year’s attack on Gaza by Israel. Six activists entered the factory on 17 January 2009 to sabotage the production of essential component parts for bomb release mechanisms in F16 fighter planes used by the Israeli ‘Defence’ Force.
The action caused over £300,000 worth of damaged and, most importantly, disrupted the supply chain of the Israeli war machine.
The defendants took the stand as the accusers not the accused, admitting they had deliberately sabotaged the factory in order to prevent Israeli war crimes from continuing in Gaza. As the trial proceeded, EDO-MBM was exposed as being complicit in these crimes through supplying parts for the F16 fighter jets.
This result follows the acquittal at the beginning of June of nine women for their part in the protests at the Raytheon armaments factory in Derry in January 2009, and the victory in 2008 of the Raytheon 9, who occupied the Derry plant during Israel’s attack on Lebanon in 2006.
Meanwhile, however, a large number of young people, mostly muslim, who demonstrated in London against the Israeli attacks on Gaza in 2008/9, have been handed down outrageous and draconian sentences simply for showing their opposition to Israeli war crimes.
And Joe Glenton remains in prison after being court-martialled for his heroic and principled refusal to return to the illegal war in Afghanistan.
Full support needs to be given to the campaigns to free Joe and the Gaza protestors. We must show that such acts of intimidation will not deter our opposition to war crimes or stop the growing Palestine solidarity movement.
The vindication of the action taken by the EDO decommissioners is a victory for the anti-war and Palestine solidarity movements.
Free Joe Glenton; jail the warmongers!
Free the Gaza protestors; jail the warmongers!
No cooperation with war crimes!