Why I oppose the demand, "Inspectors out of Iraq!"

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Sat Mar 15 22:40:24 MST 2003

Another aspect of the Militant's endorsement of antiwar actions and
apparently increased participation was the call for "Inspectors Our of
Iraq," which the paper proposes as a central and indispensable slogan for
the antiwar movement today.

In fact, it seems likely -- though this is not a prediction and events may
take a different turn -- that this demand will have been granted before the
next issue of the Miltant comes out.

 The United States government is preparing to order the inspectors out of
Iraq within a few days, as it did in 1998, in order to launch its massively
escalated and perhaps unprecedentedly savage attack on the Iraqi people.

The Iraqi government, and as far as I know the people agree with the
government on this point, want the inspectors to stay.  This is part of the
effort to use the inspections to counter the lies of the U.S. imperialists,
and take maximum advantage of the differences between the majority of the
permanent members of the Security Council -- France, China, and Russia --
who fear a takeover of Iraq by the minority. the U.S. and Britain. This
approach stems from weakness, but it would be suicidal for Iraq not to take
this weakness into account and -- since the conflict between the United
States and Iraq revolves partly over their willingness to cooperate with the
inspections and the U.S. insistent that the inspections are at the end of
their usefulness -- their position has to be respected the way the movement
formulates its position.

The withdrawal of the inspectors this week will  be a setback for Iraqi
sovereignty, not a gain.  The Cuban government, of course which holds that
under current circumstances Iraq must abide by UN resolutions, has not
called for ending the inspections at this time.  Cuba has adopted this
position not for reasons of realpolik,  but as a responsible international
leader of the fight against the war

The demand is part of the Militant's tendency to slightly shift the focus of
antiwar protest from the war being carried out and prepared by the U.S. and
Britain to opposition to  the anti-sovereignty measures favored  by the
other powers on the Security Council for imperialist or other selfish
national reasons.

In my opinion, the inspections were and are an onerous imposition on the
people of  Iraq.  So, indeed, are almost all the measures required by the
agreement imposed by Washington and its then UN security council allies
after the first Gulf War.

This is something that we have to patiently explain, as I believe most
members of the list do whenever they get the chance,  to the many people who
are confused about this (partly because the actual situation  necessarily
generates some confusion). But I think the demand "Inspectors out of Iraq"
contributes nothing to the fight to oppose the U.S.-British-Spanish
imperialist war or to defend the sovereignty of Iraq today.
Fred Feldman
 In my last contribution on the Miliant's change toward the antiwar movement
(which I welcome as I do support from almost any quarter), I committed a
silly error.  Concerning the Militant's long held prediction that the
current capitalist crisis made this war inevitable, I wrote, "This is a
that will be "confirmed" if, as has always been probable,  there is a war,
"disproved" if there isn't,   and has political value in either case."  It
has NO political value in either case, of course.
Fred Feldman

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