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Iraq’s constitutional quagmire shows Bush plan in shambles

Published Sep 3, 2005 12:09 AM

For some time now it has been the strategy of the Bush administration to wage relentless war against the anti-occupation Iraqi resistance fighters while simultaneously trying to establish a stable puppet regime through a so-called “democratic,” U.S.-orchestrated constitutional, parliamentary process. It is a strategy calculated to isolate and erode the resistance.

At the present juncture, the opposite has happened. The resistance is more powerful and widespread than ever. According to the Pentagon, insurgents launch 65 or more attacks on U.S. forces every day. Even by Pentagon accounts, it is more sophisticated and effective. Everyone associated with the occupation is at risk. No official or businessman can travel anywhere without being flanked by heavy security. Numerous military operations have been carried out in cities and towns to “clean out” the resistance. And after each operation, including the devastation of Falluja, the liberation forces re-emerge to strike at the occupation.

The political process, on the other hand, has degenerated. The counter-revolutionary exiles and domestic collaborators with the Pentagon, assembled by Washington, are at each others throats trying to grab territory, oil, and power—all backed up, of course, by F-16s, Abrams tanks, U.S. helicopter gunships and 138,000 U.S. troops—set to increase to 160,000 by December.

The latest announcement on Aug. 22 of an agreement, or lack of agreement, on a constitution shows that the Bush strategy is in shambles—Bush’s claims that “demo cracy has triumphed” notwithstanding. The big-business media has repeatedly referred to these negotiations as between Shiites, Kurds, and Sunnis. This is calculated to both give the false impression that the power brokers assembled by Washington represent the mass of the people and also is aimed to sow division.

This already discredited agreement was made between a group of traitors to Iraq who have attached themselves to U.S. imperialism. They are using a U.S.-contrived constitutional process, drawn up under the Transition Administrative Law (TAL) dictated by Paul Bremmer, former U.S. viceroy of Iraq. Bremmer drew up the plans when the Bush administration finally realized it was facing a major resistance. Bremmer had appointed a Governing Council which was growing more discredited by the day. Washington tried to get by with the appointment of a provisional government, but finally had to agree to elections under pressure from Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. Sistani, a the Shiite spiritual leader of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI). Sistani was under pressure from the masses.

Conspirators in the Green Zone

Among the forces that agreed to this constitution is Jalal Talabani of the Kurdish Democratic Party. The Talabani clan has had an off-again, on-again relationship with the CIA. His father worked with the CIA against the Iraqi Revolution of 1958 after it started moving to the left. Jalal, the son, collaborated with Washington against the Iranian Revolution after the overthrow of the U.S. puppet Shah in 1979.

Talabani’s role during the war was to make available to the U.S. forces his army, the Peshmerga, as fighters in the north after the Turkish government refused to allow the U.S. 4th Army to use Turkish soil to invade Iraq. Talabani’s forces fought side by side with the U.S. military during the war and lent its forces for the invasion of Falluja.

Another moving force is Abdulaziz al Hakim, leader of the SCIRI, which refused from the beginning of the war to support the resistance. Its armed Badr Brigade never fired a shot against the occupiers and recently has opened fire on the forces of Muktada al Sadr, who is opposed to the occupation. Al Hakim became a member of the original hand-picked Governing Council (after his brother, also a member, was assassinated) and the Provisional Government under Bremmer. He is the oldest son of Grand Ayatollah Muhsin al Hakim, who waged a relentless campaign against the land reforms, women’s rights and communism after the 1958 revolution which ousted British colonialism.

Another mover is Ahmad Chalabi, a “secular” Shiite. Chalabi is an exiled banker, under indictment for embezzlement in Jordan and the original favorite of the Pentagon which accompanied him into Iraq with 700 troops before the war ended in April 2003. Chalabi was a CIA operative who tried to engineer an insurrection against Saddam Hussein in the mid-1990s. In the run-up to the war Chalabi supplied “intelligence” to the Pentagon and propaganda to the U.S. big business media about Saddam’s non-existent “weapons of mass destruction.” His mouthpiece was Judith Miller of the New York Times. Chalabi, deputy prime minister, reinvented himself as head of the so-called United Iraqi Alliance in the Jan. 30 elections.

Sunni leaders, such as Saleh al Mutlaq, Adnan Dulaimi and other Sunni members of parliament and the constitutional committee, who were brought in at the insistence of Washington, are now crying foul because the reactionary Kurdish forces under Talabani are trying to grab the oil in the north at Kirkuk and al Hakim of SCIRI is trying to grab the oil in the south at Basra.

Back in July, when the resistance was struggling against the election, Dulaimi, the head of a major Sunni institution called the Sunni Endowment and a member of the present government, was preparing to issue a fatwah calling on all Sunnis to participate in the elections.

This entire process was overseen by Zal may Khalilzad, U.S. ambassador to Iraq, who worked day and night, seven days a week for months to strong-arm this pro cess. Khalilzad is part of the Cheney-Wolfo witz grouping of world conquerors going back to the first Bush administration. He had a hand in shaping the doctrine of enforcing U.S. world supremacy, which later became the Bush Doctrine. He was an adviser to the UNOCAL oil company when it was negotiating with the Taliban in Afghanistan for a pipeline. He was an architect of the war against Afgha nistan and the creation of the puppet government of Ahmed Karzai. And he was an advocate of the war against Iraq.

The real issue

As the Bush administration’s constitutional strategy disintegrates and the military is unable to subdue the resistance despite hundreds of billions of dollars spent, thinkers within and outside of the Pentagon and the State Department may very well begin to lean towards stoking the divisions that have emerged even further.

Divide and conquer through internal strife may be a political humiliation for the militarist, would-be conquerors in the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld camp. But strategic necessity may force them to foment division as a primary weapon. This would be a drastic retreat from all-out military victory. But they may regard this as far less humiliating than being driven out by the resistance. The mass sentiment against the occupation is likely to frustrate such devious efforts or attempts to engineer separate oil regimes in the north and the south that would be beholden to the U.S. oil barons.

For now the capitalist press is focusing everyone’s attention on the backroom negotiations between the conspirators in the Green Zone. The world is supposed to become engrossed and take sides as the various factions fight over centralism versus federalism, secularism versus Islam, etc. These are not issues that the world-wide movement should be preoccupied with.

For all those who support the resistance and who support sovereignty and self-determination for the Iraqi people the issue is not what is in the constitution of the puppets of Washington but the fact that the whole gang is tied to imperialism.

The Shah of Iran was a “secularist” and modernizer. But he was put on his throne by the CIA in 1953 and proceeded to suppress revolutionaries and progressives, institute torture, and give the oil wealth of the country to U.S. oil companies. The Saudi monarchy is clerical, feudal and repres sive. Women are veiled and the royal family rules. They have been clients of the U.S. government and the U.S. oil companies since World War II.

The starting point for a position of international solidarity with the heroic Iraqi resistance is to brand this gang of “constitution” givers as collaborators with the occupation. They are accomplices in the attempt by Washington to reconquer Iraq.

Various anti-occupation forces within Iraq may feel it is necessary and helpful to their cause to utilize the parliamentary process in the struggle to unmask the occupation. Others may be firmly opposed to such maneuvers. That is the business of the Iraqi anti-occupation forces.

But the anti-war movement in the U.S. and around the world must give not an iota of credence to Washington’s constitutional machinations and any other attempt to stabilize its rule and weaken the resistance.

The only way any constitution can possibly reflect the sovereignty and self-determination of the Iraqi people is when the occupation and all its hangers on have been driven out and the resistance organizes the new order in Iraq.