Iraq

PO global at uk.pi.net
Mon Sep 16 17:30:24 MDT 1996


Dave's reply to comrade Malecki

Dave:
It is a gross
misinterpretation of the PO/LCMRCI/LTT statement on Iraq to claim
that the reference to Israeli workers is to be intepreted to mean
that ALL arab nationalism as a whole is the nationalism of the oppressed.
First you
have to identify which country you are talking about, and then
oppressed in relation to whom?  Palestine nationalism is the
nationalism of the oppressed in relation to Israel, [and its ruling
Zionist nationalism], Imperialism's watchdog, and imperialism. Maleki
is prepared to grant the `right' to Palestinian self-determination.

Bob:
> This has been the problem with the document from the very beginning and
why
> i raised the question of continuing to give this document my support. This
> formulation can be taken as nothing else other then you have
written off the entire Israeli Proletariat and poor people to Zionism! I
disagree whole
> heartedly.

Dave:
[Wrong.  When we side with the Palestinian national struggle we
call on those Israeli workers and poor people who reject Zionism to
put it to the test by defeating their own Zionist ruling class. We
know that this is the only way to unite the Palestinian and Israeli
workers. It proves to the Palestinians that the Israeli workers do
not side with the Zionist bosses to oppress the Palestinians. In this
way we prepare the ground for a Palestinian socialist republic side
by side with a Jewish socialist republic, or even better, a united
republic in which both Palestinians and Jews are free to decide how
autonomous they wish to be. ]

Bob Malecki:
> This would be like saying the same thing as the other thread that is going
> on about the "American people" supporting Clinton's imperialist attacks
> against Iraq, which certainly and overwhelming majority do---and writting
> them off as hopeless!

Dave:
[Where does the PO/LCMRCI/LITT statement say anything about the
"American People".  For one thing we oppose the use of the term
"American" is is US chauvinist to claim that only North Americans can
be Americans!  And as for the term "people"?!?  We demand that US
workers rise up against US imperialism, like Maleki did against the
ruling class during the Vietnam war.  It needs 10s of 1000s to oppose
the US war machine, like Maleki  did, to bring to stop the missile
strikes. I don't understand  why Maleki  responds to our statement which
he had a part in supporting in the drafting by claiming it is gangrenous.
The small
statement on Israel says nothing about Arab Nationalism, and clearly
talks of Israeli workers,  not Israeli people].]

Bob:
> This approach is the approach of people who are soft on third world
> nationalism! In fact in this case Iraq under the leadership of Saddam
> recently had the third or fourth most powerful army in the world. Enormous
> oil resources and was the darling of both American,German,Swedish
> imperialism where he spent a lot of the oil money over the years building
up
> just that army.

Dave:
[what is the relevance of this point as proof of PO being "soft" on 3W
nationalism? Are you saying that Iraq is a proxy of the US so we
should not take the US military strikes against it seriously. I can't
believe that given your role in drafting the Iraq statement]>

Bob:
 But then we are discussing here the Kurds and the Palestineans as being the
> oppressed nationalities. They are in fact that. And naturally
> Bolshevik-Leninists support their "right" to self determination and land
to
> live and thrive on.

Dave:
[yes, but not because of some automatic `right' by because the working class
 and poor people have overwhelmingly demanded national independence
 to stop the oppression, and we have to support this to prove that we do
 not oppress them, and to win them to socialism]

Bob:
> But Zionism is the oppressor nation? Or the nationalism of the
oppressed  [who is oppressing the Zionists ?] . I
> doubt that they are alone in the middle east.[Plenty of reactionary
nationalisms but are there any which match the role of  Zionism as
the stooge of US imperialism in the middle east] Zionism is a reactionary
> bougeois ideology that is imposed on Israeli,s from the top.There are
> millions of Jewish Workers and poor people who both through their position
> in society, but also other reasons do not accept this ideology more then
in the way that Americans appear to accept the present policies of the
Clinton administration.[that is why we must demand that they prove this by
fighting their own ruling classes]
>
Yossi:
 Although the special history and creation of Israel by the victors of the
> second world war must also be taken into consideration. In fact back then
> they had to fight a war against the British colonialists. Unfortunately
the
> leadership to a large part were Zionists. But who,s side were we on then?
>[neither  - the Zionists were imperialist terrorist stooges taking
the land off the Palestineans]
> >Arab nationalism has progressive and reactionary elements. It is
progressive
> >in relationship to opposition to imperialism, and national opression. It
is
> >reactionary when it comes to aspects like explotation of workers and
> >opression of minorities. Zionism is reactionary through and through.
> >The argument of class against class  while ignoring the reality of
> >particular opression was the method of Debs not of lenin.

Dave:
[ I have to agree with it!]

Bob:
 Now we come to the very heart of the arguement. Since when is Arab
> nationalism progressive against imperialism? In which Arab land?
[How about Iraq, Iran,  Eygpt, Syria ...]
Which Arab land has not oppressed the Palestineans? [If you mean
taken the Palestinians land by force, none. ] Being that you claim that
Israel is
the oppressor nation. And which Arab nationalist land is prepared to give
the Palestineans and the Kurds the right to self determination and
land.

Dave:
[ A hell of a lot of them oppose US intervention in the Mid
East, since they are the creation of the machinations of imperilism
in thepast. But most are out for themselves and oppress minorities
and are not going to give up land to the Palestinians. But then we
are not saying that Arab nationalism is progressive in the abstract
like you claim we do]

Bob:
 In fact it was and is none of them. The closest thing to a state that the
> Palestinians have come is the present situation. Naturally it is hardly a
> state, but some sort of self steer option under Israeli rule with military
> force. In fact this is far more then any of the so called "progressive"
arab nationalists have ever been willing to go! Thus all the talk about Arab
> nationalism being progressive is just ridiculous. Arab Nationalism, just
as
> Israeli Nationalism is reactionary and blocks the way to any independent
> class struggle by the Proletariat in the middle east..

Dave:
[again a false characterisation of our position which does not
counterpose Arab nationalism as progressive/Israeli nationalism as
reactionary]

Bob:
> >Of course we have to struggle to free the israeli working class from
zionist
> >ideology and practice, but this can be done only when the israeli workers
> >support their palestinians brothers and sisters against the zionist
state,
> >not in abstact as a class against class.
> [ this I agree with it]
> And then you throw in the above to cover your softness to Arab
Nationalism.
> Down on your knees PO begging the Jewish Proletariat to support their
> Palestinean brothers and sisters will not due. Trying to tell this to and
> Israeli worker in the context of the above is like saying to them go out
and
> commit suicide! The Israeli proletariat will fight only if it is in their
> interests with the Palestineans. It is the duty of a Bolshevik party to
> point out why it is in the Interests of both Israeli and Arab proletariat
> just why it is in their interests to fight together as an independent
class
> against all of their oppressors be they Arab, Jew or outside intervention.
> That is why the question "Not Arab against Jew, but Class against class"
is
> raised.

Dave:
[What you ignore here is the actual reality. You say, we can't
beg -actually we demand - Israeli workers to support the Palestinian
cause, because it would be suicide. Why not? Palestinian freedom
fighters are commiting suicide. PO forwarded a message about an
Israeli soldier jailed because he refused to serve in Jerusalem and
break the terms of the aggreement between Israel and the PLO.
Actively supporting the Palestinian cause does not necessarily mean
death. Nor does it mean supporting Arafat and the PLO regime which is
administering Israels phoney settlement. The recent general strike
called by Arafat against Netanyahu was a cynical cover to divert the
call for a general strike against his military regime which is
torturing and killing Palestinian militants. Against this actual struggle
in which both Palestinian and Israeli militants can collaborate and
build up trust, you counterpose a totally abstract Spartacist
solution - explain to workers on both sides what their common
interest is and that will lead to .... what? Posturing?]

Yossi:
> >No question that kuwait rurles are reactionaries yet israel is the
stronger
> >army in service of imperialism in the middle east. To compare Kuwait and
Israel
> >is to equte the elephant with the fly.

Bob:
 [Yes Kuwait was the
creation by the British in 1921 when it took it off Iraq.  Its
another bosses stooge state, now the launching pad for 5000 troops
and Stealth bombers. In any war between Kuwait and Iraq we would
support Iraq]

Bob:
> Finally it now comes down to just a question of who has the biggest army
in
> the service of imperialism. As if the israeli army does not have its own
> interests to defend.  Are you saying that in a war with say Iraq, Syria,
> Jordanien, Egypt, that Bolshevik Leninists would support the progressive
> Arab side? And the last little bit about Kuwait vs Israel is even more
proof that PO and there tendency have
> turned this issue from a scratch to Gangrene.

Dave:
 [it seems that Maleki is ignoring the extent to which Israel is an
agressive settler state sponsored by imperialism, funded and armed by the
US,
and for that reason in any war with any of the above mentioned
states, we would clearly call for the defeat of Israel and for the
defeat of the US who would be backing Israel up 100%]]


Bob:
It appears that PO and friends are turning away from a correct line and are
> trying to find support with the state capitalists and organisation that
Jörn
> represents. Good luck my friends. But the road you are taking, I certainly
> do not choose to follow. I withdraw all support to the document from this
> point on. What at the beginning appear to be a editorial difference has
> turned into and open sore and is stinking of Gangrene.

Dave:
[who are the state capitalists and the organisation that Jorn
represents? I would like to know who our supposed  closet allies are?]






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