Green conference position on Iraq

Jose G. Perez jg_perez at bellsouth.net
Fri Jul 25 22:38:26 MDT 2003


Coming out of its 2003 national conference, the Green Party of the
United States has adopted what seems to be a gravely mistaken position
on Iraq.

That position is to put on the back burner the struggle against the U.S.
occupation, suggesting as a theme "home by the holidays," and putting
front and center instead a call for impeachment and a decision "to take
political leadership in the growing movement for impeachment."

The Green Party press release can be found here:
http://www.gp.org/press/pr_07_21_03.html. And although there is a
promise that the full resolutions will be posted, I could not find them
on their web site. 

First, on impeachment. The idea is that Bush lied and therefore he
should be impeached (along with Cheney, etc.). Well, okay. But those
lies were designed to serve a political end: carrying out a war against
Iraq. The BIG crime wasn't the lies, but the war. And while that war
continues, to make the central focus the lies and how to punish them,
rather than the war itself, is like starting a big discussion about how
the Klansmen should be put on trial for stealing the rope while they are
still carrying out the lynching. I'm all for putting the Klaners in jail
for stealing --but before we spend the next few hours drafting an
indictment, shouldn't we FIRST stop the murder?

Moreover, is there really a "growing movement for impeachment"? Does
ANYONE seriously expect that articles of impeachment will be taken up by
the Congress? THIS Congress? They all voted FOR the war, overwhelmingly!
Yes there's been a couple of resolutions in city councils and a few
newspaper articles. That's all well and good, but it is at best
*secondary.* It is a good way of getting at some of the issues around
the war. But what is *primary* is the war.

And on the war, "Home by the Holidays" may be a clever Madison Avenue
slogan to sell airplane tickets or something, but TODAY, July 25, it is
a green light to the occupation and the war going on RIGHT NOW.

The United States only invaded Iraq four months ago, this Green
resolution would authorize and give political cover to five MORE months
of occupation.

The question is not one of how long it would take logistically to remove
the "coalition" troops and "civilian" occupiers, both governmental and
corporate, from Iraq. The point is political. By saying "by the
holidays," one *concedes* that the U.S. has some right to be there, is
doing something good or worthwhile or necessary there, and that is
FALSE.

The idea that the Iraq would descend into savagery if the U.S. withdrew
is a profoundly racist one. It is the United States that plunged Iraq
into its current state, and is deepening it, for what the United States
has to do is rip apart the social fabric of Iraqi society in the hopes
it can be put back together in such a way that there will be a *social
base* for a stable neocolonial client regime. 

The Green position could even be taken to mean that some armchair
generals in a Green Committee have decided five MORE months of
occupation is "enough" to "pacify" Iraq -- that the party takes a
dissident stance within the framework and in the context of a discussion
among the occupiers, the imperialists, on how to conduct their joint
affairs. That is a radically false position. There is no need, none
whatsoever, nor is there any political space in the United States, for a
Green Party that views its role that way. There's TONS of room in the
Democratic Party for imperialist liberals.

These basic positions expressed in the press release, which is posted
prominently on the green party national web site, is made worse by the
fine print:

"The resolution demands the removal of U.S. troops from harm's way,
citing the rising number of combat deaths (over 340) and injuries and
numerous non-combat fatalities and the damage to health and the
environment from the deployment of chemical, nuclear, and ecological
weapons."

What's missing? Thousands of dead Iraqis, for one thing. To talk about
the hundreds of dead U.S. soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places
where U.S. troops have been sent to kill and be killed, and NOT mention
the people of those countries being slaughtered, is racism and
chauvinism, plain and simple.

Moreover to talk about U.S. weapons in terms of their "environmental"
effects and "health" effects (obviously, with returning GI's in mind)
and NOT talk about the main VICTIMS of these weapons, the people of
Iraq, of Afghanistan, of Colombia, and the PURPOSE of these weapons,
which is the imperialist rape and pillage of these countries, is a
complete outrage.

What would a conscious Latin American say about this resolution? That
all the greens care about are the forests in Latin America, but not the
people. That they may have a different agenda on what they want to use
Latin America for, but their basic attitude is just as imperialist as
that of the corporations.

I can't imagine that the kind of people I know in the Green Party of
Georgia would vote for a resolution cast in those kinds of terms, which
are the complete dehumanization of the Third World. But the fact that
the person writing the press release could fall into presenting it that
way is a clear indication of the problems with the whole mindset
expressed by the main thrust of the resolutions themselves. 

They don't take on squarely the *main* political question in the United
States today, which is not impeachment but the war in Iraq, which is
precisely what needed to be done.

José




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