[Marxism] Shia response to assassination attempt highlights pre-el ection conflict with Shia

acpollack2 at juno.com acpollack2 at juno.com
Tue Dec 28 12:52:47 MST 2004

As always, insightful and important comments from Fred on where things are at. 

With regard to his last paragraphs (below), I would direct folks to 
Naomi Klein's article at http://www.thenation.com/docprint.mhtml?
i=20050110&s=klein calling on the antiwar movement to take up the 
demand for reparations for the destruction our government has 
inflicted. Certainly were such a demand visible (in fact at this point 
were the movement in general even visible!) we would be in a better 
position to dialogue with the Iraqi resistance about these thorny 
issues (Sunni/Shiite unity against the occupation).

And the same goes at the even more difficult level of revolutionary-to-
revolutionary dialogue about forging leaderships in our respective 
countries to fight against the occupation.

-- "Fred Feldman" <ffeldman at bellatlantic.net> wrote:
The chaos and ruin that has followed the US occupation also heightens
fear and insecurity across the board -- with the collapse of medical
care, education, employment,  and social security in all forms.  Adding
to the chaos is  the "privatization" of  everything  and the replacement
of an Arab-led society with domination by US companies that focus on
plunder and export of capital in the name of "construction.".

The elections  cannot re-establish Sunni domination.  Nor can they deal
a death blow to this domination to the extent that elements of it still
exist. Such issues are settled in struggle, not by elections pasted
together by imperialist scam artists. The vote will not truly create or
deal a death blow to anything.  But they have served very well, for the
time being, to heighten divisions in the Arab nation in Iraq.  In that
sense, the conflict over the elections is tending to strengthen the hand
of the imperialists.  The heroic battle of Fallujah highlighted the
ability of the resistance, especially to the extent that it can act in
the name of the entire nation, to turn military setbacks into political
victories.  But in the battle over the elections, tactical military
successes can become political setbacks.
But I think Washington is not playing as  strong a hand here as some of
these press accounts indicate.  They have shown no capacity to bring
order or progress to Iraq.  They are plundering the country and
stripping it of its resources.  The troops brought growing disorder in
their train, destroying the institutions that existed and then simply
"privatising" the disorder for purposes of  theft by US and related big
business.  The overwhelming mass of the Shia population, as well as the
Sunnis, want the troops out. No popular Shia leader can yet drop the
call for an end to the US occupation.  In this context, events after the
latest wave of electoral fever is over will tend  to foster broader
conflict across the board with the occupation, and tend to isolate those
who politically collaborate with them, Shia or Sunni, and compel the two
communities to reach out to each other.
There is no reason to think the upcoming election in Iraq will transform
the basic situation there -- a people oppressed across the board by an
imperialist ocupation -- than there was to think that the 2004 election
in the US could or would transform the political situation in that
The greatest challenge the US faces is still the fact that Iraqi society
is driven to resist them in order to preserve what remains of the
country's heritage and achievements, and to gain the power to begin
moving forward again.
Fred Feldman

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