Response to Jeff K (Is Saddam a freedom fighter? Should "we" off him?)

David Schanoes dmsch at
Sat Jan 25 11:29:50 MST 2003


Can I pile on here?  That's a rhetorical question.

The issue at stake has nothing to do with the personal qualtiies of Saddam
Hussein, nor the social righteousness of his regime.

The simple issue is the organization of capital for an attack on a country,
and the fact that that attack is precipitated to maintain and extend the
rule of capital; and the fact that that extension is merely one aspect of
capital's assault everywhere on the standards of living of the poor, the
workers, etc.

Moral character is immaterial.  Saddam's brutality is immaterial.  To
capital.  And capital is calling the tune.  You want to fight that?  Then
accept the terms of the battle, initially, because in reality there is no
third way for WE for US.

Defense of the Iraqi people,  the Iraqi workers, means categorical
unequivocal opposition to the program of capital for the invasion fo Iraq,
the assasination of Saddam Hussein, or his "exile."  Opposition means
opposition to every and all imperial permutations.

At the risk of stirring Nestor G. into another attack, I would like to say
the situation is exactly analogous to Thatcher's assault on the Malvinas.
That required the unequivocal opposition of Marxists without mealy-mouthing
about the brutality of the Argentine military regime. Can you think of a
more painful regime, a more painful obligation?   However,  the better
solution in each of these cases, the surer path to revolution was/is the
defeat of the dreams of the advanced  capitalist power by the regime that
you may find distasteful because that defeat can only be accomplished by the
revolutionary mobilization of the workers in both advanced and less advanced
areas of capitalist domination. That's never going to happen if WE accept
the terms of bourgeois ideological moral justification for the armed
intrusion of capital.

Let me use a hypothetical example about a situation, a country, actually
countries, from the recent past.  Suppose the MPLA did not defeat UNITA and
its apartheid backers in the 1980s.  Indeed, this was the looming reality
until Cuba sent its divisions, (think it was 8 full divisions, including
artillery and armor) to confront and defeat the Union of SA.  This, by the
way, is perhaps one of the greatest moments of our lifetimes.   It certainly
ranks as one of the most noble moments, for which Cuba is revered, literally
loved, in Africa.  But anyway,  if Cuba had equivocated, say, apartheid
would have installed Savimbi and the terms of the deal would have been
sealed in the allocation of money from Angola's production of oil and
diamonds and other minerals.   Now suppose, and given Savimbi's well known
greed, ego, and erratic nature this is not a big if, suppose Savimbi 5 years
down the road, didn't like the terms of the deal, wanted more, simply for
himself, for no other reason and seized the mines, or the wells, and then
the apartheid regime and its US backers invaded to overthrow Savimbi.  As I
said not so far-fetched.  We know the US would justify its role by
denouncing Savimbi as a murderer a torturer a dictator a thief a pagan, ad
infinitum.  We should also know that the MPLA, what remained, would have
mobilized every resource to confront the apartheid army, that the obligation
of Marxists everywhere would be to expose the hypocrisy behind the imperial
thrust and mobilize all its resources for a defense of Angola (which borders
the Atlantic), in that alone is there the possibility for revolution.

We can extend the analysis to the multiple interventions in the former
Yugoslavia.  We can look furtther back and realize how important it was to
oppose the British Army deployment in Northern Ireland over 30 years ago to
"keep the peace," etc.


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