[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 
being threatened.

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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