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Socialism 85 - July/August 2004

The Iraq incubus haunting Bush and Blair

IT WAS A symbolic event. Two days early (28 June), the US-controlled Coalition Provisional Authority formally handed over to the ‘sovereign’ interim government headed by prime minister Iyad Allawi. "The Iraqi people have their own country back", proclaimed Bush (in Istanbul for the NATO summit).

But the brief handover ceremony took place within the ‘green zone’, the US security bunker. There were no celebrations on the streets. On the contrary, attacks on the occupying forces and their Iraqi auxiliaries intensified. The ‘sovereign’ authority of Allawi’s government rests entirely on the 145,000 US and other imperialist forces. These forces will remain under the exclusive control of the US and its allies. According to general Myers, US chief-of-staff, they will be there for at least another five years.

The message of the June elections

‘It’s time to draw a line and move on’, said Tony Blair in January, as the Hutton report into the death of WMD expert David Kelly was published. But he can’t, as the June elections demonstrate. CLIVE HEEMSKERK assesses this biggest test of public opinion since the 2001 general election.

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The Euro-elections 2004
Arne Johansen analyses the Europe wide results, Alex Rouillard reports on the setback for the far-left LO/LCR electoral pact, and Tinette Schnatterer examines moves in Germany towards a new party

New left party in Brazil
Peter Taaffe interviews the Brazilian MP Joao Babatista (Baba), one of the leaders of the new left Party of Socialism and Liberty

US presidential elections
Philip Locker reports from the USA on Nader's anti-war challenge to Bush and Kerry

The poisoned cocktail
Bill Hopwood reviews a recent report on the impact of waste incineration on human health