[Marxism] "If we don't hang together, we shall hang separately" (Re: Decisive showdown)

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Wed Apr 7 02:08:08 MDT 2004

What is taking place in Iraq is an advance for the struggle there, no
matter what the immediate outcome.  Washington has some big advantages
in this conflict, including air power which is very likely to come into
play.  In this conflict, I think Washington also has the support of the
entire imperialist "world community" including the UN.  This is what the
imperialist dissidents feared Washington would set off with the removal
of Saddam, who had been sitting on the lid holding down all this Iraqi
anti-imperialist struggle capacity.  Now they confront it, and we should
have no doubt they all prefer to see it defeated.

Remember, Tet did not end in a military victory -- although perhaps
Fallujah, Najaf, etc. will be more luckly.  But Washington never
recovered from the blow -- not to this day.

While al-Sadr was under growing pressure, we should not ignore another
factor: solidarity with Fallujah.  I think that al Sadr and the forces
around him decided that it would be a grave mistake to leave Fallujah
alone in this situation or to allow the US imperialists to create the
impression that the Fallujah uprising was just another chapter of
Shia-Sunni competition.  The Shia forces around Sadr have decided, as
Benjamin Franklin once advised the American revolutionaries, "if we
don't hang together, we shall hang separately."

Washington is counting on the majority of the Shias, who are not part of
al-Sadr's grouping, to support the suppression of his forces, but I
doubt they will achieve this.
If Sistani supports the suppression of Fallujah and al-Sadr, his days as
a leader will definitely be numbered -- and not a big number, either.

Will the Baathists regain power in this process, as Nestor encourages us
to speculate.  Not very likely, and if they do, it will be as
post-Saddam and even anti-Saddam Baathists.  All the evidence at present
indicates that Islamists, not the former Baathist officers and so on,
are now the dominant sector of the leadership including in the Sunni
areas like Fallujah.

Of course, if the leadership was Baathist or even downright Saddamist,
it would still be the duty of every fighter to stand with the Iraqi
people in the struggle against the occupation. But that doesn't seem to
be the situation on the ground, nor does there seem to be any movement
in that direction.  

What we are seeing is the people in Iraq, a very big majority of whom
are anti-Saddam and even anti-Baath, as they are and as they have been
shaped by their experiences, taking matters into their own hands with
the leadership they find at hand (like the Iranians and Khomeini in the
struggle against the US-imposed shah).
Fred Feldman

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