[Marxism] Re: Cagan's support for el-Maliki

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Mon Aug 14 14:00:36 MDT 2006

I give no support to the el-Maliki government in Iraq, but I think the
Mike Friedman position is sectarian, and I think that UFPJ is not wrong
to reach out to the current Iranian government which is in what seems to
be growing disagreement with Washington despite its dependence on US
military support.  The political forces on which El-Maliki is based are
in no sense US artifacts as were Ngo Dinh Diem and Nguyen Cao Ky in
I think a position of unconditional diplomatic and political boycott of
the current Iraqi government is inappropriate.  Do we urge the antiwar
movement to demand the overthrow of Maliki by an exclusively insurgent
government?  Do we oppose national reconciliation in Iraq against the
Part of the reality of Iraq is that while opposition to the occupation
is overwhelming, support for the political forces in the resistance as
the sole government (as opposed to supporting their actions against the
occupation) is much more narrow.
I was not at all surprised at the stand Maliki took against the Israeli
invasion of Lebanon.  This is part of his domestic balancing act,
attempting to maintain the support of the Shia population, and part of
his balancing act with Iran as well.  My guess is that el-Maliki sees
the approaching attack on Iran (and it is still clearly coming down the
line) as his doom rather than his salvation.
Given the lack of real political hegemony in the anti-occupation
struggle in Iraq by any force, it would be wrong for us to reject
dealings in Iraq with political forces that are in growing conflict with
the occupation and the overall course of the US toward wider wars in the
Middle East and South Asia.
The el-Maliki is the latest in a string of ever-more unstable occupation
governments but it is not a puppet government.  I think it is a mistake
to refuse to maneuver with it in opposition to the occupation, which
brought it into being but is increasingly rejected by the base of the
goverrnment itself.
Frankly, it strikes me that this shows how much sectarian absolutist
ANSWER-style politics have taken root in the antiwar movement during
UFPJ's prolonged rightist default, above all on Palestine.
By the way, top Democrats advocated refusing to hear Malki when he
addressed congress because of his position on Lebanon. Given his
position on Lebanon, I see no reason for antiwar activists not to talk
to him, although the politics of the UFPJ letter are not mine.
Fred Feldman

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