Iraq: US attacks civil resistance

An urgent alert from the Iraq Freedom Congress informs us that at 3:00 AM Baghdad time on July 4, US and Iraqi government forces attacked the home of the head of IFC Safety Force, Abd-alhussein Saddam, causing serious injuries to him and his young daughter. He is now hospitalized, and we await further details.

The IFC is a coalition of civil resistance groups who oppose the occupation and seek a free, secular Iraq. The Safety Force is a civilian patrol the IFC has established to secure its areas against the various militias terrorizing Iraq’s cities.

See our last posts on Iraq and the civil resistance.

  1. Support Iraq’s civil resistance
    The UK Alliance for Workers Liberty (AWL), one of the few left groups to offer solidarity to the IFC, airs an internal debate on its website Workers Liberty June 30, addressing dissension within its ranks over the question of a “troops out now” position. The AWL’s Daniel Randall uses a Q&A format to put the case in favor of this stance. Excerpts:

    Q: If the troops withdraw, only the Islamists elements are strong enough to take power. Therefore, doesn’t any sloganistic or programmatic support for their withdrawal equate to support for the coming to power of the most reactionary elements in Iraqi society?

    A: Only if we base our slogans and programmes on calculations based on the current strength of existing forces. Such calculations and assessments are important; they help us root our politics in concrete reality. But they are not the sum total of our politics. Being a third campist means developing slogans and programmes that allow the third camp to grow as an independent force, one capable of changing the situation on the ground.

    Our starting point is not, therefore, “who is currently the strongest force in Iraq?” or even “what would happen (or probably happen, or certainly happen) if the troops left?” Our starting point is “what will build the third camp?” If the third camp forces in Iraq do not raise anti-occupation slogans, if they do not undertake anti-occupation struggle (using whatever means they have at their disposal; clearly, no Iraqi workers’ organisation is in a position to organise nationwide general strikes or democratic workers’ militias to fight US troops) they will never be able to challenge the current balance of forces…

    Q: Of course we want the troops to leave… We recognise that they have no progressive role and consistently oppose their presence. But given that if they were to leave “now” the consequences would almost certainly be bad, why do we have to raise this as a demand? We are for troops out…but shouldn’t take responsibility for potential disaster by raising the demand ourselves.

    A: The situation imagined in this scenario is practically implausible. There is no magic button that, if pressed, will cause the imperialist presence in Iraq to disappear in a puff of smoke allowing the Islamist sectarians to immediately devote their full attention to crushing the labour movement and, primarily, each other.

    The manner of the exit of imperialist troops from Iraq will depend on who forces the exit; whether, for example, it is the product of a deal between various sectarian power-blocs (currently the most likely outcome) or whether it is the product of the victory of a popular movement of some kind. Our job is to do whatever we can to ensure that it is the latter, and then that the movement is not only “popular” but working-class and socialist. “Troops out” demands are part of that process…

    The occupation has been given enough time already; four years of impoverishment, insecurity, repression and both direct and indirect incitement of ethno-sectarian warfare are enough to show us that the occupation will not deliver on its stated project of importing liberal, bourgeois-democratic capitalism to Iraq. How much more time is needed before we acknowledge this ourselves?