Chris Harman

Only the Beginning

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The US military may have succeeded in Iraq but now the problems are beginning to mount up.

Defeating Saddam Hussein's armed forces was the easy bit for US imperialism, even if victory was not quite as quick as the White House had hoped. Its real difficulties start now.

Already there are signs of massive resistance to the continuing US occupation of Iraq on the one side, and of splits over what to do next within the US administration on the other. To understand why, it is necessary to be clear what the war was about.

Leader of the Pack

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The war in Iraq has exposed splits between the imperial powers.

The spectacle of French president jacques Chirac trying to block George Bush's path to war was one few people would have predicted in May last year when he was reelected president. The French ruling class had happily taken part in the last three US-UK wars, against Iraq, Serbia and Afghanistan. And France has its own very dirty record of imperialist violence in Africa. To see what motivated Chirac it is necessary first to be clear about the reasons for Bush's push to war.

Far Right: Left Pole of Attraction

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The growth of the anti-war movement means greater forces to deal with the dangers from the far right.

Two contradictory moods are sweeping Britain. There is the enormous movement against the war on Iraq. Not only has there been the biggest anti-war demonstration the country has ever seen, but the global anti-capitalist mood that emerged after Seattle has been getting a wide echo within the movement, feeding into the first real political student movement for years and creating a wide sense of solidarity with the firefighters' strikes at the end of last year.

Jams Today, Jams Tomorrow

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London's congestion charge will do little to solve its transport problems.

On 17 February London's mayor, Ken Livingstone, introduces his £5 a day congestion charge for anyone who drives into central London between 7am and 6.30pm. The charge is already generating enormous controversy--and massive speculation as to whether it will work.

Venezuela: The Rich Striking Oil

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Chris Harman introduces two accounts which shed light on the struggle to depose Hugo Chavez.

The new year saw the second concerted attempt within a year by the Venezuelan upper classes to overthrow the government of Hugo Chavez. On both occasions the scenario was like that enacted against the Popular Unity government of Salvador Allende in Chile in 1972.

Striking a Bargain

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The role of the trade union leaders is complex and contradictory.

Arguments over reform and revolution are as old as the working class movement. That does not stop people repeatedly confusing the issues at stake. One of the most widespread confusions in Britain is the belief that reformism is embodied in one political formation, the Labour Party, and cannot exist outside it.

Blood Sacrifice

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Review of exhibition 'Aztecs', Royal Academy, London

The Aztecs exhibition will stun and perplex many people who see it. There are displays of magnificent sculptures from pre-Hispanic Mexico. There is a beautiful filmed reconstruction of the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan, one of the biggest and most magnificent cities in the world before the Spanish conquistadors tore it down to build Mexico City. But there are also written descriptions of how many of the sculptures and buildings were used for gruesome religious rites.

Get This Party Started

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To ban parties from the movement would only benefit established parties.

One of the biggest and most enthusiastic meetings at last month's European Social Forum in Florence was about 'parties and movements'. Five thousand people crammed into a hangar-like hall 150 metres long for what was, in many ways, a rerun of a much older debate, that on 'party and class'.

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