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July 6, 2007 | Page 6

The politics of Iraqi labor
The dictator that Bush supports

The politics of Iraqi labor

THIS MONTH, U.S. Labor Against the War, United for Peace and Justice and other organizations sponsored an "Iraq Labor Tour" in various U.S. cities. One of the featured speakers represents the Iraq Federation of Oil Workers, which spearheads opposition to privatization of Iraqi oil and demands immediate U.S. withdrawal.

However, the tour also includes a representative of the General Federation of Iraqi Workers (GFIW). The GFIW (formerly IFTU) is sponsored by the Iraqi Communist Party (ICP) and former U.S.-installed Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. These parties oppose immediate U.S. withdrawal, support Bush's "surge" and demand that the Iraqi puppet regime crush Iraqi resistance--positions that are echoed by the GFIW.

Inexplicably, U.S. tour organizers deny these well-documented facts--see, for example, "Trojan Horse in the Antiwar Movement: Facts About the IFTU," from New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW), June 20, 2005.

NYCLAW believes that such support for pro-occupation forces undermines genuine solidarity with Iraqi workers, weakens the fight for immediate U.S. withdrawal and has no place on an antiwar platform. We also believe that tour organizers owe an explanation for their continuing misrepresentation of GFIW's true position.
New York City Labor Against the War

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The dictator that Bush supports

HOW MUCH longer will George W. Bush and his administration continue to support the Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf? Musharraf overthrew a democratically elected prime minister in a military coup, and declared himself president. Then he was "elected." Of course, he didn't have any opponents running against him.

In recent weeks, Musharraf has cracked down on the media, suspended a chief justice, detained hundreds of opposition party members, and banned the gathering of five or more people.

Pakistan has weapons of mass destruction, and I keep hearing that Osama bin Laden (remember him?) is hiding out along the Pakistani border. But President Bush will continue to support Musharraf because he (sort of) supports the "Global War on Terror." I wonder which side "our" government would be on if there was a "Global War on Dictatorships"?

Our country should support civilian democracies and oppose military dictatorships.
Chuck Mann, Greensboro, N.C.

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