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".

Committee for a workers' International publications


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