[Marxism] RE:Explosion in Iraq Mosque

Marvin Gandall marvgandall at rogers.com
Thu Mar 4 13:53:23 MST 2004

Calvin Broadbent wrote (March 4, 2000 10.44 a.m.):

“Do you believe then that the attack was al qaeda, even though they have
denied it, and was designed to increase anti-american feeling? I am not
sure that if the Americans were involved that their strategy has
backfired. There is a prevalent racist demonology of Iraq, like there is
in Haiti and elsewhere, which suggests that Iraqis can't govern
themselves, and that there needs to be an iron fist to keep their ethnic
and religious squabbles under control. Would America not love to play
the role of Leviathan in Iraq? Furthermore, it is easy for the US
government, and the British, to say that they were right to invade (to
get rid of Saddam) and right to occupy
(to keep anarchy from reigning).”
Reply: I don't know if it was Islamic fundamentalists, but the fact that
the attacks were carried out by multiple suicide bombers makes me think
that perhaps it was. It would be difficult for secular nationalists to
recruit suicide bombers, and they normally shun the tactic. If it were a
US operation, I would expect the CIA to use car bombs, which they could
then blame on "Baathist bitter enders". And, as mentioned previously,
because the bombings fan anti-American rather than anti-Sunni feelings
among the Shias, this serves the interests of the resistance, not the
US. I’m not surprised, given that Shia civilians were targetted, that no
one has claimed credit for the attacks.

In a more general sense, I can't agree that the US wants to, or can
indefinitely, "play the role of Leviathan in Iraq". Its purpose for
invading, apart from seeking to demonstrate its power to the world, was
to gain control of Iraq's oil and secure the country as a strategic
regional base -- but through the medium of a client Iraqi government,
rather than directly. These concrete economic and military objectives
and indirect mode of control are what drives US foreign policy, rather
than racism or an arrogant desire to dominate for domination's sake,
although these undertones are always there. If the Americans felt they
could pull their troops out tomorrow and still have their interests
protected by a stable IGC-type government, they'd do so without
hesitation, IMO.
Calvin wrote:

“Is the Sunni resistance really what is preventing America from
repairing the infrastructure? Certainly British Petroleum (BP) has made
massive profits since last April- clearly the oil is flowing alright for
them. What jobs do the occupiers intend to create? Is the resistance
solely of a Sunni religious composition?”
Reply: You make a good point about BP. As you suggest, oil has started
to flow again and the occupation authorities claim production (2.5 mbd)
is nearly back to pre-invasion levels, which is still well below
capacity, but much better than what it was. They're making the same
claim for electricity generation. But there is still massive
unemployment, which the US was hoping to reverse mainly through a
firesale of Iraqi assets to foreign investors. That hasn't yet
materialized, partly because of widespread Iraqi nationalist sentiment
which has prevented the selloff - for now - but also because many
foreign firms are reluctant to invest until they are certain the country
is secured. In some cases, they’ve had difficulty getting insurance
coverage and are worried about the risk to their employees in the
present unstable climate. So the insurgency is, IMO, still inhibiting
the postwar reconstruction, although maybe the pace of the latter is
picking up. The US is counting on billions of US taxpayer dollars
allocated by congress to pick up the private sector slack.

My understanding, which is probably yours as well, is there are dozens
of small Iraqi resistance organizations, with the Islamist
fundamentalists one wing and secular nationalists the other, many of
them Baathists but not necessarily Saddamists. Most operate in Baghdad
and the adjoining Sunni triangle, where they seem to have strong support
from Iraqi townspeople and farmers who have borne the brunt of the
American occupation.
“Thanks for your replies Marv- I think it is an important discussion.

Agree. Same back to you, Calvin.

This email was cleaned by emailStripper, available for free from

More information about the Marxism mailing list