[Marxism] NLR against Bush-Kerry, for the resistance

andypollack at juno.com andypollack at juno.com
Sat Aug 7 14:56:24 MDT 2004

Editorial in the current issue, http://www.newleftreview.net/PDFarticles/NLR26201.pdf

Yet those who shook their heads at the pre-emptive proclamations of the 2002 National Security Strategy have been unwilling to see it founder. With the upsurge of resistance in Iraq has come a flood of liberal imperialist advice on how to run the Occupation better. Joseph Nye laments the paucity of American TV channels capable of beaming us soft power into the Arab world. Anthony Cordesman offers recipes for more effective interrogation of prisoners. Michael Ignatieff, after deploring the painful moral juxtapositions that even sullied Reagan's funeral, warns that 'America cannot abdicate its responsibility'. Andrew Moravcsik explains: 'Europeans may find the next Iraq is a Kosovo, and they want America to intervene'. Though celebrations have been muted, the UN-sponsored installation of a hireling regime in Baghdad has been all but universally hailed in the Western media as a 'positive step'.

>From those who opposed the Anglo-American invasion in 2003 on the grounds that it lacked UN legitimation, or that sanctions were doing the job, there has been, understandably, a deafening silence about the future of the Occupation, broken only by murmurs about deadlines. For many, opposition to empire has been reduced to abhorrence of Bush. But the Bush administration has already implemented every step in the Democrats' programme: handover to an Iraqi government, with UN blessing and NATO involvement, as in Afghanistan. Hopes that a Kerry Administration would significantly alter current us policies in the Middle East are futile. As Clinton's foreign-policy linchpin Strobe Talbott recently explained: `The Bush administration was right to identify Iraq as a major problem. A President Gore or McCain or Bradley would have ratcheted up the pressure, and sooner or later resorted to force'. Kerry backed the invasion, will retain the Patriot Act, supports Sharon's security policies and is calling for an extra 40,000 active-duty us troops and a doubling of special forces capability. On present showing, a vote for him is little more than another bullet for Iraq. In this sense, the Bush revolution has succeeded; it has produced its heir. Whatever its colour, the next US administration will attempt to consolidate its position there. It will not be the November polls that decide the fate of the march on Baghdad. The reality is that, so long as hard blows continue to be inflicted by the resistance on the occupying army and its clients, domestic support for the recolonization of Iraq will drain away, regardless of which multimillionaire sits in the White House.

The same holds true of Europe, where Paris and Berlin have predictably hastened to patch up their relations with Washington and approved NATO engagement to support its Baghdad regime; in the case of Chirac, sealing the pact with the Franco-American invasion of Haiti, and UN-backed overthrow of the constitutional government there. The rifts that, eighteen months ago, supposedly threatened the Atlantic alliance have been ceremoniously buried in the Normandy sands, in County Clare and Istanbul. Washington's military-imperialist thrust into Central Eurasia, at first deplored by right-minded pillars of the status quo as an overreaching adventure, has become the basis of a new world consensus: the hegemon must not be allowed to fail. The first, elementary step against such acquiescence is solidarity with the cause of national liberation in Iraq. The US-led forces have no business there. The Iraqi maquis deserves full support in fighting to drive them out.

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