[Marxism] The US's inevitable dictator
g.maclennan at qut.edu.au
g.maclennan at qut.edu.au
Sun Jul 11 17:56:12 MDT 2004
Thanks for posting this Marvin. I agree with you that the
ascent of someone like Allawi was inevitable. I call this
the Mobutu solution, after the thug that emerged from the
Congo crisis. But I am also inclined to think that Allawi
may not be able to stabilise the situation for the
Americans. The crucial elements necessary for his success
are the political and military defeat of the resistance.
There are not enough American soldiers yet to give him the
latter, but politics is I think the Achilles heel of the
Resistance. Here the inability of the Resistance to
articulate a program, which is genuinely progressive, leaves
them vulnerable to the politics of war exhaustion. By
progressive I mean a political program which encompasses the
genuine achievements of modernity, but which lays the basis
for an alternative to capitalist modernity within an Arab
context primarily but not exclusively.
I want though to comment on some aspects of Wilkins’ article
because it is an excellent illustration of how main stream
journalism proceeds, when mainstream’s own imperialism is
1. “A Tough Guy Tries to Tame Iraq”
The first move is to substitute “tough” for brutal or
thuggish. Tough is suitably macho and we warm to tough as
oppose to wimpish or weak. “Tame” also is an interesting way
to describe indiscriminate bombing and torture. Of course
there is no attempt to ask why Iraq needs taming or who gave
Allawi the right to do it.
The detail of the hand lopping torture which follows the
opening statements would seem to destroy Allawi’s reputation,
but we are in a crisis situation here and it is analogous to
the crisis facing the German ruling class in 1930-2 when they
opted for Hitler, precisely because he was a thug who would
take out the communists. Allawi is the stuff that contras are
made of, and a’s ruling class would recognize that from the
axe motif. “Blow torch Bob” has been re-incarnated it seems.
2. The second move is to rely on assertion and opinion and to
present these as facts.
These are that the Iraqis welcome a strong man as a solution
to their problems; and that the government is enjoying ‘a
measure of legitimacy” and even a “honeymoon”.
Of course the empirical reality is that attacks are back up
to 35 a day.
3. Resort to the big lie forms the third move. We have it in
the sentence “… the American-sponsored framework that is
designed to lead the country toward democratic rule next
year”. That there can be no possible move towards democracy
under a hand lopper like Allawi is simply ignored and we get
the same old same old to justify American conquest.
4. In lieu of democratic elections and the assertion of the
sovereign will of the people we have “expert” sources quoted,
who by a happy coincidence agree with George Bush and Co the
following sence is a real gem in terms of this genre.
"That Allawi worked for the C.I.A. may be a problem for
Americans," an Iraqi
journalist said in conversation recently, "but it is not a
problem for Iraqis."
5. My final comment concerns the absolute distortion in
terms of describing what is going on. In his first week in
office, Mr. Allawi came out fast and hard, signing a law that
granted the government broad powers to quell dissent and
disorder. Thus we are told that Allawi “came out fast and
hard”. He did no such thing. He sits in terror within the
American compound and if he came out he would be
assassinated. His only hope is that the American army will
pulverise the Iraqi people into submission and then on the
back of that defeat he will reign like a Mobutu or Somoza for
30 years or so. However there is no sign yet that the Arab
revolution, generally and the Iraqi resistance in particular
has been dealt epochal type blows.
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