Iraqi resistance earns world’s respect
Published Sep 22, 2005 7:34 PM
In the more than two years since they began
an armed struggle against the illegal U.S. occupation of their country, the
Iraqi resistance has earned the respect of the world’s people.
only throughout Arab and Muslim lands, but at gatherings like the World Social
Forum in India and Brazil, references to the Iraqi resistance were cheered.
Spokespeople for the anti-globalization movement like Arundhati Roy as well as
Marxists openly call for solidarity with the Iraqi resistance.
It is easy
to understand why the Iraqi fighters have earned this solidarity. And it is time
to extend the same solidarity from the anti-war movement here.
and May of 2003, Donald Rumsfeld’s strategy of “shock and awe”
appeared to have worked. Overwhelming U.S. military technology, with its modern
“blitzkrieg,” was supposed to destroy the Iraq state and force the
people to submit. Washington would then rule a docile Iraq and intimidate the
world into following U.S. dictates.
Any defiant nations, which Bush called
the “axis of evil,” could expect the same “shock and
awe.” Iran and Syria were nearby targets. North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela
were on the list. Zimbabwe came under pressure, too. Even China was threatened
with being surrounded by U.S. military bases.
It was a grandiose plan.
Once underway, it would mean the death of millions of people, including tens of
thousands of GIs.
Fortunately for the world, the Iraqis refused to be a
subject people and never let the plan get underway. The collective sacrifice of
the Iraqi people has changed the balance of power in the world. It has weakened
U.S. imperialism, especially its most aggressive elements, and encouraged
defiance to U.S. dictates on every continent.
Now the Pentagon has
problems recruiting enough soldiers to occupy Iraq, let alone conquer the world.
U.S. threats to bomb Iran or Korea must still be taken seriously, as should
threats to assassinate popular leaders like Hugo Chávez of Venezuela. But
where will the Pentagon find willing troops for new invasions?
It is appropriate, too, that the U.S. anti-war movement,
especially the serious opponents of imperialism, think of the Iraqi resistance
as an important ally. Recent events, including the Camp Casey struggles and
Hurricane Katrina, have shown that some anti-war forces have already moved
toward this position.
A dynamic sector of the anti-war movement now
consists of “gold star” parents. It is a remarkable gain in
political consciousness that the mother of a fallen GI from Baltimore, in the
midst of grieving over her loss, can speak publicly of her understanding of why
the Iraqis would fight to drive out the occupier.
Then there was Hurricane
Katrina. The Bush regime was caught. It had stolen funds from levee repair to
pay for the war. It criminally neglected to rescue those caught in the disaster.
Millions now see that the government in Washington neither represents nor cares
for the poorest sections of the U.S. working class, which are predominately
African American and other people of color. It is a racist regime that sends its
troops to kill people, not to save them.
The blows the Iraqi resistance
strikes against the occupation are not blows against the U.S. population. On the
contrary, weakening the regime in Washington strengthens the movement here for
equality, for workers’ rights and to end the war. The population here and
the Iraqis there have the same enemy: the regime in
Washington has no right to run Iraq
lied to justify the war. It committed war crimes while smashing the Iraqi state
and replacing it with an occupation regime and a puppet regime. International
law recognizes the right of an occupied nation to fight for self-determination.
Those who defend self-determination and the right to fight for it know the
choice of methods and means must be left to the people carrying out that
The Iraqi resistance is made up of many different organizations,
with different political programs and goals and ideologies. There is armed
struggle, union organizing, community organizing and other forms of struggle. As
of yet there is no national front. The many Iraqi forces that want to end the
U.S. occupation differ over tactics.
For example, the Iraqi National
Foundation Congress on Sept. 15 issued a statement critical of the targeting of
civilians a few days earlier in Baghdad, when 150 people were killed by a car
bomb, but put the onus for the killing on the aggressive U.S. tactics in the
north of Iraq.
Some people have argued that should U.S. troops leave, a
civil war would occur, or that the Iraqis would choose a religion-based regime,
or put Saddam Hussein back in power. Whatever the new Iraq looks like, this is a
decision that only the Iraqis can make, and they can only make it when the
If Washington can’t help the people of New Orleans,
it certainly can’t help those of Baghdad.
The duty of the movement
here is to join the struggle to make the continued U.S. occupation of Iraq
impossible and to do this in solidarity with the Iraqi sisters and brothers who
have stopped the empire in its tracks.
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