Gould Graduates Me to "Thunderer" Class [re: More on Iraq]

M. Junaid Alam junaidalam at msalam.net
Wed Sep 10 08:19:26 MDT 2003

Mr. Gould once again dances around the simple fact that Hussein is just
one, passing part of a larger process unfolding here. He doesn't provide
any evidence to counter the easily available media and press reports
that a lot of the resistance is genuine and not based on fealty to
Hussein. He quotes Lenin for the second time in two weeks - with the
same quote, I should add - and then continues talking about Ba'athists.

Ba'athists, Ba'athists, Ba'athists. So you end up with statements I
could find tuning into Fox News, or hearing Condi Rice:

"It's worth reminding Louis that he quantifies the number of civilian
casualties from the imperialist invasion as 7,000, which is probably a
reasonable approximation, to which you must of course add some thousands
of Iraqi military casualties.

It's a fact, however, that several hundred thousand Iraqis have been
killed over the last 20 years by the Baathist regime."

Hey you know the Aztecs apparently had a kind of nasty form of ritual
sacrifice going on, as part of their culture. Good thing the
Conquistadores came right down and "Civilized" all that muck up, eh? Of
course the Spanish never installed and financed Montezuma either so...

"It's reasonable to assume that the relatives of people actually
killed by the Baathist regime, in events like the repression of the
Kurds and the Shiites after the rebellions in 1991, vastly outnumber the
relatives of people killed in the recent imperialist assault and invasion."

Actually Saddam reacted the way any other ruler would if half his nation
suddenly revolted (due to ill-fated hopes of an ill-timed call by Bush
I, at that): he tried to crush it. It's not clear what the point here
is, because once again, Gould's obssession with the return of Hussein is
totally ridiculous; he keeps mentioning Hussein and Ba'athists only
because it's his lone justification for conditionally supporting
imperialism, which he does by pimping the UN.

Mr. Gould, this is not about the Ba'athists anymore. The scope and
scale, the ideological and political importance of the situation, goes
far beyond "Ba'athist remnants". Obviously this is true, but just in
case you missed it, here's one bit of it: the brother of the most
important slain Shiite leader has placed primary blame for the bombing
on the US. The "provisional authority" CPA has no real power. The whole
country in general is unstable, the US has had to do an about-face
before the UN, and its own public, and as people connect the dots
between breaking school and social systems and billions being pumped
into Iraq, you are writing paragraph after paragraph about the evils of
Hussein. No doubt he would be flattered by the attention.

And now, to our delicacy of the hour:

"The most extreme response to my views is the recent response from Alam,
who leaps from being an extremely junior Thunderer to being a very loud,
abusive and politically revealing Thunderer."

Bob, that was a painful blow; I can't believe that at one point in my
wee childhood I was a mere "extremely junior Thunderer". Maybe you can
take a look at my CounterPunch article "The Longer View" and see how
"junior Thunder's" predictions about the Iraqi situation have actually
come to be. Nevertheless I must thank you for graduating me into a
better Thunderer.

"Comrade Alam's contribution is a very crude and confused expression of
anti working class and even anti modern "anti imperialist", hysteria,
directed at the masses in Iraq from someone currently living in an
imperialist country."

I think the confusion is entirely yours.

What is crude about it? The analogy is rape. That is not an unfamiliar
analogy to Marxists and revolutionaries when discussing imperialism and
colonialism. I am sorry it offends your "civilized" sensibilities, but
it may not be innappropriate since the arrival of the Anglo-American
occupation force has apparently spurned the emergence of rape of young
Iraqi women by thugs and bandits on some scale. Or are they all clones
of Uday?

Also apparently I am "anti-modern". What the fuck does that mean? I run
around in a Toga jumpsuit or something? I am just pointing out that your
fantasies about the social composition of Iraq based on the WCP sect is
farcical. As for myself I think I am pretty modern, I build web-sites,
have a girlfriend, and sometimes switch out of my toga for shirts and pants.

The nonsense about being "anti-working-class" is hardly clever, since I
identify myself with the Iraqi and Arab masses; my position is that a
defeat for US imperialism will prevent Israel and the US from crushing
them all, whereas you identify yourselves with the UN's role as occupier
and take basic US propaganda about "terrorists" and "remnants" as a
launching point for your discussions.

"The problem with this view is that the Iraqi masses clearly contain
within them a number of contradictory elements, social forces, desires
and interests."

No Mr. Gould, that is not a "problem", it is a reality, which analysis
has to permeate and ultimately present a set of political priorities to
be executed by revolutionaries everywhere.

"Alam's hostility to the existing Iraqi working class, who are
exploiting the situation after the fall of the Baathist regime to
re-establish a workers movement, is pretty clear. Gould did not invent
the oil workers in Kirkuk and the workers in Baghdad and other places,
who are responding to the initiatives of the Workers Communist Party,
but obviously Alam doesn't think much of such workers. It's pretty
clear, also, that the majority of the Iraqi masses want the imperialist
troops out of Iraq forthwith, but a large majority of the Iraqi masses
seem to be hesitant about immediately commencing an unequal military
struggle against those occupiers."

Are you referring to yourself in the third person? Must be a modern thing.

All struggles, especially in their infancy, take on diverse tendencies
and expressions, and if "a large majority" of Iraqi masses "seem to be
hesitant" about raising arms that doesn't make it "anti-working class"
to support armed resistance. I imagine at one time large majorities in
any occupied country that ultimately revolted did not initially support
one set of tactics over another which later became dominant and popular.
I know that when the guerrilas in Cuba were fighting in the Sierra
Maestra the city's working-class people weren't exactly cocking their
rifles, but then again, we are in real life and not a cartoon series
where people are labelled "junior Thunderers" and one has to go out of
one's way to remark that "the Iraqi masses clearly contain within them a
number of contradictory elements".

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