|This is the week the US lost the war.
The US has no military move to make that will not unite the Iraqi
people more against it. It is already dependent on the goodwill of its
suddenly no-longer puppet Iraq Governmental Council. The Brits are
quietly working to undermine any military solution, which it is in
their interest to do.
The key question is that the Iraqis have shown the armed men of the
Sunnis and Shia will cooperate against the USA.
It is therefore false for the UK Guardian editorial today to say that
Britain and the US must stay in Iraq to avert civil war.
Unless the USA is sufficiently Macchiavellian to hand
Saddam Hussein over to the IGC now, to split the Sunnis and the Shia,
it has lost. It is in their own imperialist interests to go rapidly.
30 June has become April 11. And the deadline for the withdrawal of US
and UK troops must be brought forward far faster than the undefined
date pencilled in for long after June 30.
This could indeed be a revolutionary situation both in Iraq and for
the Middle East, and perhaps even the balance of world power. But it
is hard to predict the range of possibilities, and to know which way
each progressive should lean.
Concentrating on citizens of US and UK the call should be for troops
out now. More difficult is how to articulate that the aid, indeed the
reparations to which the people of Iraq are entitled, should be cut
free of imperialist strings. Even people like Robin Cook will hedge
on questions like this.
For progressives inside Iraq, not many of whom presumably have time to
read this e-mail list, there is indeed a complicated struggle,
hopefully non violent, about how to unite all progressive strata in a
new state structure that recognises the reality of existing bodies of
armed men, regional and religious differences, individual human rights
and religious convictions. Liberal materialist democrats in Iraq will
be tempted to have dialogue with international financial
reconstruction initiatives that are capitalist and imperialist in
nature to balance the power of the fundamentalists.
It is much harder for anti-imperialists in the imperialists heartlands
to define demands for a reconstruction programme that will not impose
the requirements of international finance capitalism on the struggling
Iraqi people but rather envisage economic and social reconstruction
growing up from the lives of the Iraqi people themselves.
With a majority of one, this morning, I lean towards a call for a
reparations/reconstruction fund as the best way to articulate this.
How about an Argentinian presence on the supervisory board?
Plus the demand for a Middle East peace settlement.
An effective alliance between anti-imperialist islam and progressive
forces could in principle over the next year shift the balance of
power in the world. There are enough funds to finance this, and enough
massive mistrust of the whole Iraq war among progressive strata in the
West. It won't happen but it could, and the sharing of imagination is
the first step to action.