[Marxism] More thoughts on Iraq

g.maclennan at qut.edu.au g.maclennan at qut.edu.au
Thu Feb 8 15:41:33 MST 2007

There is a very interesting piece on Iraq by a Brian Downing in the Asia Times at <ahttp://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/IB09Ak02.html>.  

It is written though from an overly military perspective and as such cannot serve as a guide to understanding what is happening.  Still in its way it is useful to see the counterinsurgency and insurgency strategies laid out so succintly.

It is also valuable that he does hold out the possibility that the Americans might succeed.  They may well be able to deal the resistance a fatal blow in Baghdad.  My own feeling here is that this matter cannot be decided in advance. The resistance might well be slaughtered.

Yet as always the  remorseless dialectic will kick in and there will be a terrible political price for the Americans to pay for any Baghdad victory.

However there was one note in Downing's article that I thought was quite false but illuminatingly so. He writes
"In the US, it will underscore the impracticality of the Bush administration's goal of transforming the Middle East into a Western-oriented region and lead to powerful if not irresistible public and congressional demands to withdraw expeditiously."

The point here was that prior to the invasion of Iraq the Middle East was a western-oriented region.  Not one single Arab nation contained a leadership that was truly independent of the West, and I do not exclude Libya here.

However what happened was that the Americans went for broke.  They were not content with the old arrangements and they went for the new imperialism -ostensibly under the banner of democracy.  The real intention however was to let loose the forces  of neo-liberalism on the region and garner super profits from the subsequent privatisation etc.

With the fading of that "vision splendid" Plan A, and the impossibility of Plan B (a return to the status quo), they seem now to be groping towards something like Plan C, which I would term the "stone age" option.  If they cannot reconstruct the region according to the neo-con vision, they can simply bring devastation and chaos. Doubtless then someone in  the Murdoch media will describe the subsequent wilderness as "peace".



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