The tragedy of Baghdad – with almost 1000 Shia pilgrims killed in Iraq’s bloodiest day on 31 August – competes with the catastrophe of New Orleans in a kind of “league of horrors”.

No-one believed US vice-president Dick Cheney when he said the Iraqi insurgency was in its "last throes".

In contrast to claims by George Bush and Tony Blair, the most likely outcome of the Iraq elections will be to fuel opposition to the occupation and exacerbate divisions between the various ethnic and religious groups.

After only a few days, the sham of the Iraqi ‘elections’ became evident as Iraq was shaken by a renewed wave of bombings and violent attacks on government officials and the occupation forces. As each day passes, it becomes clearer that the elections have resolved nothing for either the Iraqi peoples or the...

Bush and Blair have been quick to hail the elections in Iraq as a "victory for democracy" and a vindication of their brutal occupation of Iraq, but this was largely for public consumption.

Just before Christmas, 100 people were killed and injured in an attack on a US Army base dining hall in Mosul, northern Iraq. Nineteen US soldiers were amongst those killed - the most deadly attack on US forces since the war and occupation began.

"IT IS a mess in Iraq". The UN special envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, was certainly to the point. Elections, he said, would not be possible on the 30 January "if the circumstances stay as they are".

There is justifiable revulsion, shared by the socialist, at the videoed public beheading of Ken Bigley. However, Ken Bigley’s brother, Paul, was right when he said that "Blair has blood on his hands".

"This is far graver than Vietnam. If we leave and there’s no civil war, that’s a victory." William Odon, former head of the US national security agency, is more in touch with the reality of Iraq than George Bush and Tony Blair.

The dreams of the US right-wing ’neo-cons’ lie in tatters on the battlefields of Iraq. One of the only certainties in the turmoil of Iraq is that imperialism’s occupation is doomed to failure.

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