g.maclennan at qut.edu.au
Tue Jul 8 19:41:37 MDT 2003
I have been like most members of this list watching events in Iraq with
growing interest. That is symptomatic firstly of my recovery from post May
1st depression caused by the media celebration of the USA victory.
Secondly I am beginning to hope that the USA Imperialists are trapped
between the scissors of a deflating economy and a failing military policy.
In conversations with Tom O'Lincoln on his recent visit to Brisbane he said
that he thought Bush had squandered his share of the post Sept 11 patriotic
upsurge. The relative easy victory in Iraq seemed to restore that. But
now the full implications of an occupation of a hostile country are coming
home to roost.
The Shia in Iraq seem to be sitting on the fence and watching the Sunnis
engage the Americans. I suspect their relative quietism can be explained
at least partially by the fact that they had been crushed by the Sunni
State Apparatus, and are only just beginning to re-emerge politically.
The present strategy of the Shi'ites appears to be one of watch and
see. Perhaps they do have illusions that the Americans will give them
democratic rights. But the killing of the British military police, which
was in essence a reaction to British brutality, was also a real warning to
the occupying powers. If the Shia move into active opposition then I think
the game is up in Iraq for Bush & Blair.
Awareness of this danger is not confined to the Left. Hence the recent
call in the Times to internationalise the Occupation, even though this
would represent a climb down by the Americans.
There is much at stake now, and it is not all bad news for the Left.
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