[Marxism] WSJ op-ed: let Iraqis vote on withdrawal

Marvin Gandall marvgandall at videotron.ca
Fri Dec 1 06:22:31 MST 2006

Joaquin writes:

Marvin wrote: "What's more surprising is that the Sadrists, the largest
coherent political force in Iraq calling for a US withdrawal, haven't
floated the idea of a popular referendum, if only as a powerful tool to
rally domestic and international opinion. They or other anti-occupation
Iraqi groups haven't done so to my knowledge at least."

It's not surprising to me at all. A "referendum" may play well among
imperialist liberals, progressives and socialists, but no truly patriotic
force will recognize the legitimacy of a referendum while  nearly 200,000
imperialist troops and mercs are occupying the country and terrorizing its
No occupation force would permit it, but if a referendum had been able to be
held, there's every reason to believe the Iraqis would have voted for an
immediate US withdrawal. They've openly expressed this opinion to reporters
and to pollsters sponsored by the State Department and private agencies, so
why would they balk at doing so more anonymously? They've already voted and
demonstrated, including arms in hands, in support of the Sadrists. You may
be overestimating how much the Iraqis, despite the punishment inflicted on
them, are collectively intimidated by US forces and underestimating how much
the nervously trigger-happy US troops are frightened by the Iraqi militias.
A demand for a plebiscite would put extra pressure on the Americans and
their collaborators - that would be it's only effect - but it's not going to
happen so there's not much point debating it.

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