[Marxism] Bankruptcy of the Iraq Communist Party

Lil Joe joe_radical at earthlink.net
Sat Dec 18 20:34:25 MST 2004

This is the first time, as I am aware, the the Democratic Party's
"progressive" list has posted something from Al Jazeera, and
"communists". To participate in the sham election, being
boycotted, is to endorse the invasion and occupation, as is
to participate in the Quisling "government".

This shows why the Iraqi workers in the resistance are drawn
to "Islamists",who are fighting the occupation. Also shows
why Iraqi "communists" are irrelevant in Iraq, and the Middle
East generally. They are collaborators!

Lil Joe

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Sent: Saturday, December 18, 2004 3:53 PM
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Subject: Iraq's Communists Join Election Race

December 18, 204

Iraq's communists join election race

The commuists have handed in the second largest list

The communists, Iraq's oldest political party, have
submitted a list of 257 candidates drawn from all
sectors of Iraqi society and united under one banner,
newspapers said.

"The Union of the People list includes personalities of
all faiths and all communities," party secretary Hamid
Majid Musa told the daily Al-Madaa, without saying who
would head the new group.

He said, however, that one of those on the list is
culture minister Mufid al-Jazairi, who represents the
communists in the interim government.

Musa said negotiations to link the party with other
non-religious ones and the Kurds in order to have a
wider-based list had failed.

"Each preferred to go it alone," he said.

The communist party is the oldest political group in

It was founded in 1930 and became one of the most
powerful parties in the Arab world, before being
progressively weakened by the former ruling Baath party
and the advance of socialist ideology throughout the

Second major list

The communist list is the second major list submitted
for the elections, following one backed by Ayatollah
Ali al-Sistani, the most influential Shia figure in

The main Shia parties form the backbone of this list
which was also open to other groups. It comprises of
228 candidates.

Iraqis are to elect a 275-member national assembly on
30 January in the country's first free elections in
half a century.

The assembly will write a permanent constitution,
which, if adopted in a referendum, will form the basis
for another poll to be held by 15 December next year.


December 17, 2004

Left vies to keep red flag flying but sectarianism set to dominate Iraq poll

BAGHDAD (AFP) - Some 2,000 communists gathered in a
Baghdad sports hall for the first rally of Iraq (news -
web sites)'s election campaign but, however hard the
party's militants try to keep the red flag flying, the
January 30 poll is likely to be dominated by

Once one of the strongest in the Arab world, the Iraqi
communist party has always prided itself on being
virtually the only faction to overcome the country's
communal divisions and recruit senior cadres from the
long oppressed Shiite and Kurdish communities as well
as the Sunni Arab elite.

But after two decades of Saddam Hussein (news - web
sites)'s iron-fisted rule which manipulated and
accentuated sectarian division, and forced the party
itself to go underground, the ageing militants who have
resurfaced are facing an uphill struggle in their bid
to take advantage of their newfound freedom.

The communists' historic slogan: "A free country and a
happy people," which echoed around the stands of this
stadium Friday would have been a virtual death sentence
under Saddam's regime.

And many of the veteran cadres who turned out told of
relatives or even whole families executed for party
membership after the communists were worsted by
Saddam's right wing of the Baath party in the power
struggles of the 1970s.

Red-scarfed culture ministry official Raad Sabri said
he had lost no fewer than 23 members of his family to
the purges of the ousted regime.

He himself was sentenced to death in 1978, only to see
the sentence commuted to 450 years in prison and then
military service as a human shield in Iraq's eight-year
war with Iran, an experience he miraculously survived.

A full 91 of the 275 candidates on the party's People's
Union list are women, a matter of great pride for
Culture Minister Mufid Al-Jazairi, the communists'
representative in the US-backed interim government.

But despite its proud tradition of opposing Saddam's
despotic rule, the party has seen its secular values
increasingly marginalised here as Iraq's growing
impoverishment has ruined the middle classes and
brought traditional religious and sectarian loyalties
to the fore.

The main Shiite parties are campaigning on a common
list, as are the Kurdish former rebel factions. The
Turkmen and Yezidi minorities of northern Iraq have
their own lists, and the small Christian community
boasts three.

Even the avowedly secular Iraqi National Congress of
onetime Western favourite Ahmed Chalabi, a Shiite from
the southern city of Nasiriyah, has made common cause
with the two mainstream Shiite religious parties as it
bids to survive in the sectarian political climate.

Among the Sunnis, secular elder statesmen Adnan
Pachachi and Nassir Chaderchi are running their own
lists as is President Ghazi al-Yawar, an influential
tribal chief.

But even if the Sunnis defy the boycott demands of
anti-US insurgents to turn out at all, the Muslim
Brotherhood-backed Islamic Party of Iraq is regarded as
a more likely beneficiary of their votes because of its
control of a network of mosques.

Joost Hiltermann, an Iraq analyst with the Brussels-
based think-tank, the International Crisis Group, says
that after so many years of dictatorship, outsiders
ought not be surprised at the retarded development of
party politics here and the resurgence of traditional

"It's very early for proper political parties," he told

"A lot of them are sectarian or confessional. It will
take time till proper political parties emerge."


Copyright (c) 2004 Agence France Presse.


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