[Marxism] Thoughts on Iraq situation

Gary MacLennan g.maclennan at qut.edu.au
Sun May 16 18:48:35 MDT 2004

I fell somewhat presumptuous posting this.  My information on Iraq is all 
second or third hand.  I am especially indebted to the usual suspects - 
Juan Cole's column, reports at Al Jazeera, debka.com and the Guardian.  But 
I am still convinced that we are witnessing the Achjilles Heel of 
Imperialism being attacked relentlessly, and that by itself is worth 
commenting on.  For the Iraqi resistance is changing the world as we 
watch.  For example my students in my classes have almost overwhelmingly 
turned anti-Bush and none of them are radical or even particularly 
political.  The vast majority for instance also believed in the WMD story.

It is all about windows of opportunity - rare, very rare.  American 
politics do not at the moment permit the Bush team to do what is needed 
militarily - institute the draft and send 500,000 + troops to Iraq.  After 
November they will do that, I have no doubt.  Nor do I doubt that it is 
now  most likely that it will be a Democratic President who will crank up 
the war effort.

So the Iraqi resistance has until November to strike some decisive 
blows.  But for Al-Sistani and Al-Hakim the Shia would have joined al-Sadr 
and the position of the Coalition would have been militarily untenable. 
However it is not that al-Sistani and al-Hakim have not joined the revolt, 
it is that they have been actually propping up the coalition.

Here the role of the Iranians has been decisive.  Ever since the 
promulgation of the Axis of Evil doctrine the Iranians have been anxious to 
get their names of the hit-list.  They even attempted to link up with Colin 
Powell, and help isolate even further al-Sadr's militia.  But now the 
continued push against the holy cities of Kerbala and Najaf has forced the 
Iranian leader Al Khamenei to utter a protest.  I wonder though if it is 
simply a sop to his critics.

Decisive action by Iran would make the American position critical if not 
terminal.  This would be the most important victory over Imperialism.  Why 
won't they do It?  Why won't they all join in and push the Americans out of 

Well of course the answer is a simple one.  The Iraq and the Arab world 
that would result from the defeat of imperialism would be one where the 
likes of al-Sistani and al-Hakim would be lucky to survive.  So they 
hesitate, prevaricate and manoeuvre in the corridors of impotence.  In the 
meantime the resistance and the suffering continue.

Dr Gary MacLennan
Film & Television Discipline
Creative Industries Faculty
Gardens Point Campus
Brisbane 4001

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