[Marxism] SWP and Iraq

Robin Maisel robinmaisel at earthlink.net
Wed Nov 26 13:57:41 MST 2003

Walter does not believe the SWP has called for immediate withdrawal from 
Iraq, end the occupation bring the troops home now.  I refer him to 
Volume 67, Nos. 13, 14, and 31 (April 21, 28 and Sept. 15.  Those are 
respectively two editorials and an interview with Joel Britton.
Additionally, I refer him to the Reply to a Reader by Argiris Malapanis, 
editor of the paper, where he says the editorial of April 21 was wrong.::

          " The world, however, still remains very heterogeneous," 
Trotsky continued. "The coercive imperialism of advanced nations is able 
to exist only because backward nations, oppressed nationalities, 
colonial and semicolonial countries, remain on our planet. The struggle 
of the oppressed peoples for national unification and national 
independence is doubly progressive because, on the one side, this 
prepares more favorable conditions for their own development, while, on 
the other side, this deals blows to imperialism. That, in particular, is 
the reason why, in the struggle between a civilized, imperialist, 
democratic republic and a backward, barbaric monarchy in a colonial 
country, the socialists are completely on the side of the oppressed 
country notwithstanding its monarchy and against the oppressor country 
notwithstanding its ‘democracy.’"

For that reason, socialists supported a victory for Argentina during the 
1982 Malvinas war--even though a U.S.-backed military dictatorship ruled 
the country at the time--when British imperialism launched the Royal 
Navy against Buenos Aires to put the "Falkland Islands" firmly back 
under London’s colonial rule. Likewise, the Militant supported a 
military victory by Baghdad over the imperialist invaders in the 
just-concluded war, pointing out that such a victory would have 
strengthened the hand of working people around the world, including the 
struggles of the Iraqi people against the police-party state run by the 
regime of Saddam Hussein.

The U.S.-British victory in Iraq and occupation of the country by 
imperialist troops is a blow to working people. That’s why the statement 
made in the front-page editorial in last week’s Militant, "The unfolding 
occupation of Iraq is not a major defeat for the working class. That 
defeat came a long time ago... in the bloody counterrevolution that 
brought Saddam Hussein to power," is wrong. It contradicts the editorial 
stance of the paper outlined above, which is based on long-held 
positions of the communist movement."

    I would suggest an eye exam but I don't think it would help.  
Hostility to the SWP by some of its former members is a cataract 
requiring more extensive correction than a new set of glasses.

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