[Marxism] Current Iraqi rebellion

David McDonald dbmcdonald at comcast.net
Mon Aug 9 14:49:24 MDT 2004

I know I took some time off from politics in the middle there, but still, I
do not recall another example of a government attempting to create a puppet
government entirely out of new cloth, as the United States is doing
currently in Iraq, and having such a tough time of it.

First, the sheer fascistic horror of it. Before Allawi was even in power,
but while he was on the way, there appeared the astonishing story from the
Sydney Morning Herald (this is from memory, I hope I am not mistaken on the
source) about Allawi's personal execution, in front of many witnesses, of
six alleged Iraqi insurgents. This mass murder was committed in front of
numerous officials, and sent the strong signal to everyone that Iraq's new
police would have no problems fidning backup from the government REGARDLESS
of the tactics they employ. This is pretty much a replay of Al Capone's
famous ballbatting-to-death, in front of his troops, of someone with
questionable loyalty.  A day or so ago Allawi rescinded the Iraqi ban on
capital punishment imposed by the humanitarian instincts of the US
occupiers. Anyone not dumbfounded by the initial declaration of the end of
capital punishment in Iraq should change medication.

Over the weekend, a story emerged of US troops (specifically a sniper)
observing some serious torture of prisoners, sending troops to rescue the
attacked, then having the rescuers called back by orders up the chain of
command in the US:  let them be. This was on the first day of Allawi's

Then all the stories that have emerged over the last two months detailing
Allawi's connections, very deep indeed, to the CIA.

What we are observing is a fascist putsch with the novel feature that there
are actually no putschists to putsch except for among the highest ranking
government officials. The Iraqi police are to be the putschists-in-practice,
if and when they are able to emerge from behind the skirts of the the US
Armed Forces. This is the point of the torture of Iraqis by Iraqis of the
first day of "sovereignty":  join us and this is what you get to do, all day
every day. Now every society, especially including the US, has would-be
fascist elements lurking in it, ready to emerge when their time comes, the
sort of people who can be recruited for drive-by slayings, bombing
churches/mosques/synagogues full of people of whatever color, shooting
smart-alecky teenagers, and similar terrorist activities.

Allawi is trying to find those elements in Iraq, give them some better guns,
and let them have their fun with absolutely no holds barred. But I think
there is a problem emerging, which is that such forces are not even a little
ready to take on the resistance, especially the armed resistance. So far,
from the not very eyewitness reports, the US is having exactly zero success
in getting the Iraqis to take over the fighting.

So, far from inspiring fear, trembling and automatic obedience, the new
Iraqi army and police are likely to engender rage and loathing among the
Iraqi people. From possibly having some measure of sympathy with police,
many of whom are obviously trying merely to get a few dollars to survive in
an economy of 70% unemployment, the Iraqi population will only turn
decisively against them as a result of such terror tactics.  It is like
trying to create a SAVAK out of nothing in the middle of a civil war.

So why is the US heading down such a dangerous road? Well, who knows, but
the truth is there are no good roads for them to go down. It cuts against
the grain of everything military people think to sit around in fortified
camps and wait for the nightly shellings; this leads to demoralization of
the occupying troops, hesitation to go out when called upon, boredom,
insubordination, rancor at having to stay behind in Iraq when the should be
home but still doing nothing but hunkering down in fortified camps two years
after the end of their tours of duty, and more. This is why Stan Goff never
stops talking about the importance of initiative in military strategy. So,
clearly, the US has resumed the anti-Sadr offensive in an attempt to re-gain
the offensive and to see how things go when the US forces pretend to take
orders from Allawi. If nothing else, the sudden and timely disappearance of
Al-Sistani, just when he should be calling for jihad, shows this anti-Sadr
campaign to be an American choice. That's if the sudden replacement of army
troops with Marines in the Najaf area hadn't already convinced you that too
many things came together at the same time.

It is also possible that despite what seems terrible timing, the US may have
decided that Sadr is only going to get stronger and stronger (since, as we
know, the US has no intention of withdrawing from Iraq until the oil is
safely under US control) it's better to take him on now than later. A part
of this calculus must be that, other things remaining the same, Allawi's
government is thought not to have a chance of surviving through the US
election on its own.

David McDonald

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