The world working class and all that

Lueko Willms Lueko.Willms at
Mon Aug 11 03:17:09 MDT 2003

Dear Louis, 

   sorry for not heeding your warning, but I think that this message
does contribute some new aspects which have not yet been voiced in
the discussion here. 

  I want to take up one point from this: 

# Subject: The world working class and all that
# From: "Richard Harris" <rhh1 at>
# Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2003 00:41:09 +0100

  where he writes among others: 

> I say Iraqis should shoot the invaders.  In England and the US 
> we have to defend the Iraqis' struggle.  

   Sure. Lets do that. 

   But now a word about the Iraqis. They also do organize
demonstrations against the occupation which are not shooting sprees.
What should the Iraqis write on their banners they carry with them to
make clear what they want? Should they write "Let's shoot the
occupiers"? Should they drop the demand that the US- and British
occupation forces leave the country, and immediately? 

  I think posing the question answers it. 

  Besides, I do not yet see behind the armed attacks on the occupiers
an organized movement which unifies the whole nation behind it; this
is still to come, and it is for me an open question in what form such
a movement would organize and fight. The Shi'ite population simply
proceed to organize their own life, as far as I can see (which is not
to far because of the fog created by the Weapons of Mass
Disinformation, the international capitalist media). Let me state
clearly that this assessment does not change my opposition to the
occupation and my demand for immediate and unconditional withdrawal
of the occupying forces. 
>      There are many people in the UK, more in
> Europe, who regard the war as an inexcusable aggression.  
> More that half the population in most European countries. 

   I also doubt that this is true. There is not so much political
clarity in the heads of our European working people. There was much
more political confusion in the anti-war mobilizations before the war
started, and currently there is hardly any mobilization going on. 

   Now some words about this from Richard Harris' original posting,
which I quote from

# Subject: Re: marxism-digest V1 #6200
# From: "Richard Harris" <rhh1 at>
# Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2003 00:52:28 +0100

> In my original posting, I said:
> "I am not going to tell any American comrade what to do, 
> but the slogan BTTHN  sounds to me American patriotic 
> (does it include British troops?  Don't just say yes as 
> no British left is using that slogan.

   which makes complete sense to me. Why? Because the British troops
are not the main force in the occupation and subjugation of Iraq
(even if their presence is all the more revolting because of their
history of the colonial master and oppressor after 1919). 

   When you say in Britain "Bring the troops home now" this could be
understood to leave out the US troops who are the main force of the
oppressors in Iraq. So it is certainly necessary to find another
formulation for that same practical demand -- to get out the
imperialist invaders and occupiers out of Iraq -- which includes the
US troops, too. Otherwise it might be similar to the attitude of the
German bourgeoise -- it is OK to subjugate the Iraqi people, but we
do not want to be made responsible for it, and do not want to bear
the bloody consequences. 

   BTW, "troops out" does not specify where they are to go. To Kuwait
maybe? Syria? I have always explained to everybody who wanted to
listen to me that the best move for peace in the world would be to
withdraw the US troops behind their border, i.e. to the US mainland.
"Home", so to speak...  

   But now lets imagine that you meet some relatives of a British
soldier in Iraq, and who explain to you that they would their loved
ones coming home right now, as soon as possible, without delay. They
want them being brought home now. 

   What would you tell them? That you are opposed to the withdrawal
of that unit from Iraq, so that the Iraqis have a chance to shoot
them all? Or wouldn't you agree that it is a good idea, and that the
occupation troops, be they British, US, Polish, or whatever, should
get out of that country and leave the Iraqi people alone to regulate
their own affairs. 

   OK? Agreed? 

   And, please, let us return to a civilized debate. 

Lüko Willms
Frankfurt/Main, Germany 

More information about the Marxism mailing list