The Militant "endorses" March 15 protest

Jose G. Perez jgperez at
Sat Mar 15 23:28:46 MST 2003

Fred Feldman writes, after quoting the Militant: "This is another tortured
effort to equate the role of France and the United States in the Security
Council.  The fact that both are imperialist is treated as immediately
determining concrete facts such as who is bribing and threatening other
council members, without requiring factual proof.

"In reality everyone knows that the United States is offering bribes and
making threats all over the place to get votes-- even the Vatican has
complained about this.  There is no evidence that France has made any effort
of this kind, and the  veto threat indicates that they are counting on this
to defeat Washington or force a compromise compatible with French

I don't think the main think wrong with the Militant's stance on this are
their counterfactual assertions, but something deeper. They view this
essentially as an interimperialist conflict in which Iraq merely plays the
role of the booty the pirates are fighting over.

If that were true, then the Militant's stance would make sense: which one of
the imperialists has better table manners is really neither here nor there.
But interimperialist rivalry in this sense, with nothing else at stake, is
in my judgement a subordinate part of this whole crisis. This isn't simply a
fight over the booty.

The United States is proposing to subjugate Iraq even further, turning it
back into a direct colony,  to all intents and purposes, at least for a
time. There is also a danger of a partition of Iraq, Turkey hasn't been shy
in signalling its intentions. Washington is doing this as part of a
strategic campaign to further undermine the independence and room for
maneuver of all the countries in the region, and to prepare the way for an
invasion of Iran, which is next on Washington's hit list, I believe. The
French, for their own imperialist reasons, oppose this degree of further
subjugation that the United States wants to impose. In opposing this the
French imperialists (and the Germans, etc.) are, in effect, in a bloc, at
least partially, with us.

I think the differences are quite deep, much more than France et al. losing
a few contracts and clients. Otherwise it would certainly have been in
Washington's interest to reach an accommodation on those issues at this
point, and I think even this Bush regime would understand that. I think the
Europeans are less inclined to think you can really do things in the old
colonial way, they think this whole messianic "war on terrorism" isn't going
to work.

The situation is analagous to one where some imperialist country, to weaken
a rival and possibly break into one of its markets, decided to back an
independence movement in a colony belonging to another imperialist power,
and that led to some sort of political-diplomatic clash between the two. It
would be wrong to place an equal signs between the two imperialists in this
case, but it wouldn't really be a matter of who was being more obnoxious or
arrogant in their tactics.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Fred Feldman" <ffeldman at>
To: "marxmail" <marxism at>
Sent: Saturday, March 15, 2003 10:27 PM
Subject: Re: The Militant "endorses" March 15 protest

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