Joint statement on Iraq (fwd)

Spoon Collective spoons at jefferson.village.Virginia.EDU
Sun Sep 15 20:50:08 MDT 1996

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 15 Sep 96 15:59:41 PDT
From: PO <global at>
To: DavidKeil at, Nathan Newman <newman at>
Cc: marxchat at, marxism at,
    marxism-news at
Subject: Re: Joint statement on Iraq

Reply to Nathan:
We agree with you when you said:
" Yes, US attacks on Iraq that hit civilian populations are to be condemned.
But so are Iraqi attacks on the Kurds."
In the fight between both Kurdish bourgeois factions the workers don't
support anybody. We defended the Kurds against Hussen while we defended Iraq
against the US attacks.
There are many progressive struggles in the world. Hussein is not a
progressive left wing leader. He is a brutal dictator. Why Iraq is so
Because it is necessary to stop the US violent attitudes and militarism.

Nathan wrote:
Okay, please explain to me why allowing Iraqi-backed Kurds to butcher
Iranian-backed Kurds is the progressive position?

The Gulf War was all about oil and the defense of the Kuwaiti oil well--I
mean regime.  Well, the US et al won all that.  The Kurds could die and it
doesn't change a thing, a good reason no one really cares about the
Kurdish situation.  In fact, a lot of folks around the world (including
the US) have traditionally been just as happy to see the Kurds die over
the years, since they just create complications in geopolitical dealings
with Iran, Turkey and Iraq.

Frankly, it seems completely nonsensical to make defense of a regime
seeking to exterminate the national aspiration of the Kurds as the top
priority of the Left.  The situation in northern Iraq is complicated by
about seven different sides and morality is hardly black-white.  Yes, US
attacks on Iraq that hit civilian populations are to be condemned. But so
are Iraqi attacks on the Kurds.

With real, clear democratic fights around the world, from the fight for
freedom of the rising rebellion against the Indonesian regime to the
struggles of the Zapatistas in Mexico to anti-racism organizing in the US
and Europe, why concentrate left activity on Iraq?

One of the reasons the Left has lost influence in foreign policy is that
we have abandoned any principled stance around human rights, progressive
nationalism and humanitarianism in favor of knee-jerk

If folks want the left to unite on Iraq, what should the Left position be
on the disposition of the Kurds in Northern Iraq?


On Fri, 13 Sep 1996 DavidKeil at wrote:

> In a message dated 96-09-13 13:57:48 EDT, global at writes:
> >The Gulf war is the most important issue in world politics today and
> >socialist have to build a LEFT UNITY in action against that attacks.
> Yes. Let's talk about how socialists can work together against this
> danger of a new U.S. Gulf war against the population of Iraq. It'd be
> especially shameful for socialists to duck their heads right now, because
> rest of the world powers haven't even felt strong enough to say openly
> they back the U.S. bombing. This means that the socialist position of
> opposition to Clinton's war is probably a majority position in nearly
> country of the world.

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