Some Reflections on the Events that Currently Shake Iraq, 2005 - ICG

"Our enemy is in our own country. It is our own bourgeoisie."

Karl Liebknecht 1915

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Since two years, the analyses about the events in Iraq were certainly not lacking. All has been said, written, discussed and published. Thousands of pages explained us the contradictions within the American government, between the pair Chirac & Schröder and their lover Bush, the competition between the oil company Halliburton and the French one Total-Elf-Fina, the American empire and its strategic interests, the confrontation USA-China, dollar against Euro, gas, oil, the lucrative operation of Iraq reconstruction, the sale of war weapons, etc. But this overdose of words, all this propaganda, should we add, only shows the terrifying dead end in which the proletariat (and its vanguards) is nowadays, bogged down in the swamps of bourgeois analysis. The main thing has been hidden to us, overshadowed, neglected, masked and disguised: the confrontation between proletariat and bourgeoisie was written off. This has thus strengthened the dominant speech characterized by the ideology announcing the end of history (of class struggles) and the perpetuation of capitalism that the bourgeois would like to see as eternal, only disturbed here and there by the confrontations between the various fractions owner of the means of production.

Our starting point is radically different. As communists we don't analyze events in order to merely understand them, but well in order to transform the reality, to completely disrupt it and to put the words THE END on this society of misery, war and famine. To spend one's time describing the throes of this anthropophagous society, it is taking pleasure in an eminently passive role and turning into a lab assistant who has a practice of the biology of capital rather than to be involved in its death, its funeral and its brutal end. To start from the point of view that appears for us as the most obvious, the most essential, from the analysis of the destruction of what destroys us every day as proletarians, this means to decidedly take place in the heart of the events that go on in Iraq as an active part of those events, as an active force, as a vanguard. We affirm this even though nowadays this word is frightening and is often understood in its Leninist-like version.

Three years ago the Anglo-American troops invaded Afghanistan in the name of the "struggle against terrorism" and then it was the turn of Iraq. But in this whole time, we nowhere have read any words explaining the central issue: where is the proletariat in all this chaos? What does it make? Which are the alternatives that it faces in its attempt to get autonomous from all the bourgeois forces in order to bring them down? It is about these issues that we should discuss nowadays, we i.e. the few small groups of proletarians that try to maintain the flag of social revolution at the top, against heavy odds, in this sickening atmosphere of social peace. And instead of that, most of the people, or even everybody, remain bogged down in the issue to know if such or such interbourgeois contradiction is the most fundamental. And when we say that, we don't yet consider the worse: the inability for a large number of proletarians to see in these events the struggle of our class brothers. In addition to the disgusting indifference towards this new massacre of proletarians, there is Eurocentrism and its racism as a consequence. How many sociological-like discussions focus on the question to know if there would exist only a shadow of a proletarian in Iraq? This forgets too fast the unicity of the capitalistic mode of production, its world character since more than five centuries now, analysis that we already had the opportunity to develop on several occasions in this review and that renders null and void all the wild imaginings like those affirming that in Afghanistan the USA would like to develop the capitalistic mode of production, and defending that it is for this reason that they invaded this country. As well, there are some ideologies supporting that the proletariat would not exist in these regions and that only a whole of tribes and specific modes of production, as feudalism, would exist. Arguments heard on several occasions and that prevent all real discussion on the real needs of our class and the answers to provide, mixing up lamentably the immediate modes of production, which are often heirs of precapitalistic old structures (that maintained some of their old shapes), without perceiving until which point all these ones are subsumed into the capitalistic mode of production.

To forget that capitalism is the only mode of production that succeeded in unifying all the other modes of production in the history of mankind, this is to give all these social democrat ideologies more than their due, ideologies that undermine, today as yesterday, the camp of the proletariat and dive it often into false answers. An example of this is the support to struggles of national liberation or even, for the most idiotic, to the common anti-Americanism. To discover that capitalism is global in 2004, like Attac, Le Monde diplomatique or José Bové do, this is taking the piss of our class, of its history and the ruptures that it already made with the old world. Marx, in the IVth chapter of the first volume of the Capital, already wrote in 1867 (we insist: in 1867!): "The circulation of commodities is the starting-point of capital. The production of commodities, their circulation, and that more developed form of their circulation called commerce, these form the historical ground-work from which it rises. The modern history of capital dates from the creation in the 16th century of a world-embracing commerce and a world-embracing market." No comment.

Comrades, let's leave this ideological swamp of the bourgeois analysis in order to go actually back on the way of social revolution again and to consider the questions that our class needs to resolve. Let's come down from the ideological balconies of the false knowledge in order to go back to our place within class struggles and to get the events that take place in Iraq without the distorting lens through which this society in decomposition would like we see them. In order to get history to walk on its feet and not on its head we intend to quickly make a first approach of what is happening in this region so rich in struggle, i.e. the Middle East.

In spite of the whole propaganda made in order to sink our struggles into oblivion, we should stress that the Middle East and the Near East constitute a real social powder keg since decades. One of the major criteria of intervention of the whole bourgeoisie in this region remains without any doubt the necessary stabilization of this geographical area regularly shaken by very important social disturbances. Without going back in time too far, we can already define a cycle of struggle starting in the seventies, and the year 1979 as one of its heights when a generalized proletarian uprising in Iran swept aside all at once the fourth army of the world, the Shah of Iran and his terrifying secret services. An uprising it was very difficult for the local bourgeoisie to contain, despite having appealed to various candidates to the throne during several months. Finally, it had to call on a radical fraction of social democracy dressed with the local colors of the ayatollahs' turban in order to break this powerful movement of struggle. A war launched by Iraq and supported by all the bourgeois fractions of the planet (from the USSR to France, to the USA and even Israel), came to complete this work while supporting the ayatollahs in their disgusting counterrevolutionary task, while enrolling local proletarians in the defense of the homeland, Islamism or even Pan-Arabism. This is in a very brief way how the bourgeois all over the world are united, how all the fractions become unified, in order to face the only nightmare that is continually haunting them: the social revolution, the overthrowing of their deathly system.

It is during this kind of events, as it happened the day after the Parisian insurrection in March 1871 or the Russian one in October 1917, that we can speak about the materialization of a process that generates a real world state of capital merging all the fractions of the bourgeoisie that defend the general interest of the system, its reproduction upon an always widened basis, and focusing on a point of gravity in order to embrace here and there state-controlled structures already existing. When the social revolution knocks on the door of history with all its power, all the exploiting fractions forget (for a while, that goes without saying) their immediate interests and side with the more capable fraction of defending capitalism against the assaults of the proletariat. The world state is definitely this process, this movement of permanent reaffirmation of the monopoly of class violence, inter-fractions struggle and generalized unification facing the historic enemy. In each affirmative period, the world state defines itself more strongly, while expressing each time in a more explicit way the organization of capital as an exclusive dominant power, as an exploitation force that, in order to secure the world social order, requires each time wilder levels of monopolization of violence in the hands of the bourgeoisie and particularly of its most powerful fraction. As a world state, capital is scared of the permanent catastrophe it produces, because this catastrophe inevitably provokes violent, armed and uncontrolled reactions. It is essential to defeat these reactions in order to maintain its domination. In these cases, it turns out that it is difficult to think in terms of country: the process that leads a more determined bourgeois fraction to restore order in a socially disrupted region, is often going beyond the commonly admitted bourgeois division between the states. One can assert that within the USA as well as in structures like the State Department, the Pentagon, the CIA, the US Air force, the US Army, a bourgeois fraction more determined than the others to play the role of world police is asserting itself nowadays with the support of the whole other fractions, including those with which it is in competition. During the war Iran-Iraq, and despite the existence of two blocks, the whole fractions, even those that declared only yesterday to be enemies, shelved their differences for a while in order to face together a proletariat that, let's not forget it, had just overthrown one of the most powerful governments of the planet: the Shah's regime.

The ten years that this slaughter without a name lasted were similar to the human massacre of 1914-1918 and had inevitably to generate its contradiction. Desertions, refusal to fight, strikes and mutinies became widespread like a social epidemic pushing proletarians under the uniform to unite, to fraternize in order to face both armies. This is what happened in the swamps around the Peninsula of Fao in the region of Basra as well as in the mountains of the northeast of Iraq around the region of Halabja. The bourgeois' answer was equal to the proletarian refusal to sacrifice themselves for a reason that is not theirs: repression, imprisonment, shooting, kidnapping and chemical bombing (1). This is what this dying world had to give to those who didn't want anymore submit to its cannibalistic needs. This situation could not last eternally. A peace between both belligerents was necessary to pacify the proletarians from both sides of the border, even though the epicenter of the discontent movement had henceforth moved from Iran towards Iraq, where the regime of Saddam Hussein had difficulties keeping the anger that rose against it and against the sacrifices that the disgusting homeland had demanded from proletarians by now bloodless. The solution to maintain this anger out of the social confrontation was quickly found: it was about to divert this overflow of misery and rage towards one of the rich Iraqi neighbors and to let the destitute satisfy their hate against the bourgeoisie and its war, while participating as mercenaries in the depredation of the rich Kuwait. We know what followed. Iraqi invasion of the emirate with the blessing of the American state, which at the same time prepared to bring the proletariat into line while setting up the greatest world coalition never organized since World War II. This was the price for restoring order in this region. The number one purpose of the bourgeois fraction that led the Coalition was to put an end once and for all to all these proletarians who, guns in their hands, challenged the authority of the exploiters since a too long time. The second purpose was to get rid of Saddam Hussein and his fraction, incapable to fully assume this task. In spite of the 500,000 warriors armed to the teeth and the great naval and aerial forces, the Coalition was not able to seize Baghdad. Proletarians recovered their class path again and returned their guns against their own officers. Basra, Baghdad, Sulaymaniyah and other cities revolted against the bourgeoisie. There appeared "shoras" or councils, organs of self-organization of our class, which as a result ruined all the dreams of the Coalition and its war plans. Being incapable of repressing this generalized insurrection, the Coalition let the Kurdish nationalists in the north and Saddam Hussein in the rest of Iraq do the dirty work. The Coalition gave the National Guard, which had been miraculously spared by the aerial bombing, a free hand to start a new slaughter against the insurgent proletarians.

But in the history of class struggles there is neither coincidence nor miracle. If the planes of the Coalition didn't unload their tons of deadly bombs upon this army corps specialized in the maintenance of bourgeois social order, it was because they knew that it could be necessary in case of a massive rebellion. And the generalized insurrection confirmed that this had been correct: the Republican Guard was indispensable. The world bourgeoisie had certainly considered this scenario in its different plans. Who pretends that our enemies are stupid? Unfortunately for us, they know their general interests and it is often that they think in term of class. It was necessary to leave Saddam Hussein in the government and to postpone the bloody conquest plans established by the Pentagon and the UNO as well.

The exploited paid heavily for having dared to rise up in arms and for having prevented the most determined fraction of the world bourgeoisie to restore order in Iraq under the mask of the Coalition. After the million of deaths of the Iran-Iraq war and another million of deaths due to war, aerial bombing and repression in 1991, the next 10 years were not softer for our class brothers. A huge embargo was decided by this den of rascals known as the UNO, killing slowly thousands of children. All in all, a new million of deaths filled cemeteries. At the same time, the aerial bombing didn't stop, but now under cover of humanitarian help. Day after day, the embargo was strengthened with the help of the Anglo-American air force that unloaded in Iraq, since 1991, almost the same amount of bombs than in Germany during World War II. This allowed to Saddam Hussein and his clique to strengthen their influence on the proletariat, since this could not eat anything else than what the Iraqi government (with the help of the UNO vultures) distributed under shape of rations, since the black market was something terribly expensive for the miserable fellows. Hunger was a terrifying weapon in the hands of the bourgeoisie that used and abused of it in order to destroy and to submit our class brothers in struggle in this region. In the north of the country, where Kurdish and Islamist nationalists gave one another a helping hand in order to crush the proletariat, the policy consisting in exchanging weapons for food was systematically organized, with the blessing of the UNO, the USA and all the GNO on site. This policy stuck every proletarian while putting him faced with the dilemma to know if he had to leave his gun in order to eat, as cleverly recommended by the whole humanitarists and other humanrightists on site, or if he had to use his gun in order to seize by force what he and his prole need.

After having starved and bombed proletarians during years, with the complicity silence in the mass media, the strategists of the Pentagon declared after the events of September 11th, 2001 that the time was come to put an end to this problem of insecurity and subversion. A new invasion was planned, following the Afghanistan one. The arrogance of those who nowadays consider themselves to be the masters of the world is so unbelievable that the US War Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, told that with hardly a tenth of the previous Coalition, he would parade in Baghdad in some weeks. Being wiser, the military of the Pentagon sent a few 200,000 men into a coalition, lesser widened than the one of 1991, even though behind the show of the pair Chirac & Schröder and their partner Putin, the whole bourgeois fractions of the planet had joined forces with US Marshal Bush about the main purpose of this operation: to restore order in this region. None of the exploiters were lacking in this war against the proletariat and none of those who told so loudly their opposition towards this conflict made nothing at all to prevent it. The show of this so-called opposition to war didn't obviously prevent Chirac, in collaboration with the US troops, to allow the B52 flying fortresses to fly over their aerial space and, which from airfields in Britain took off in order to unload their tons of bombs on the cities of Iraq and preferably on the working districts. Meanwhile the German state that advocated a pacifist policy simply paid millions of Euros in order to carry the police operation led by the Anglo-American troops through to a successful conclusion. Tightrope walker's game that allowed the SPD chancellor Schröder to win the legislative elections with his ecologist allies, riding on the pacifist wave that flooded at that time in Europe, while taking a substantial part in the 230 millions of dollars that the European Union sent in Iraq, under cover of humanitarian help. As for Putin he received the authorization to also restore order in Chechnya from the world policeman, who gave the Russian state terrorism a free hand, in return for his diplomatic and military support towards the second version of the Gulf war (2). Finally, the show against war could not be complete without the scene of the endless votes of the UNO and the media stands of its Secretary-General Koffi Annan, who at the same time of the publication of his resolutions, prepared the invasion of Iraq planned by the Pentagon while collecting top secret information under cover of humanitarian help. This spying directly led by the UNO agents on site in the framework of the aid policies towards civil populations, and directly transmitted to the CIA, is nothing more today than an open secret.

This second intervention in Iraq was not only a generalized war between several capitalists confronting each other in order to conquer the world and to eliminate their enemies in an out of control race, but also tremendously looked like a police operation, as there happens every day in cities like Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, where death squadrons paid by rich tradesmen liquidate youngsters and young proletarians called delinquents, allowing thus to kill them more easily. As for these policemen in Brazil, the US military was called to restore order at an upper level in a region where social instability had become a too important problem. Beyond the different approaches in the way to proceed, this was clearly the purpose of the world state, all bourgeois fractions allied. Some, sure of their strength, wanted to go there without any pressure of the UNO resolutions, others preferred to go there under the blue banner of humanitarianism and "humanrightism", while hoping to avoid in that way the dawn of a guerrilla warfare that could destabilize the whole region; issue that in case of victory of the invasion troops could definitely and socially destabilize the whole world. This is the reason why, Chirac, Schröder, Putin and Annan join forces with the Bush staff, while secretly having hope to see the American republicans to bite the dust and to be sent back in the parliamentary opposition at the time of the American presidential elections. Their hope was that a democrat becomes president and calms things down while pulling out all the stops upon Iraq, but under the banner of the UNO. It is obvious that this topic would deserve a more important development, but all this it would go beyond the purpose of this short contribution.

The fact is that this time, the military and the humanitarian had not been mistaken. The police operation was efficiently managed; the four weeks of conflict were a walkover, despite some difficulties and some 55,000 civilians killed under the disgusting name of "collateral damages". The American troops had no hesitation in shooting at everything that was moving. Orders had been obviously given from high places, encouraging to shoot first and to verify afterwards.

The Iraqi army and its special forces had suddenly disappeared from the battle field, leaving the Anglo-American troops the way open in order to enter in Baghdad. The relative ease of the invasion troops to go through the whole country nearly without incident, from the south to the north, proved only one thing: that proletarians in Iraq, mobilized, regimented, knocked into shape in barracks and sent out to the front in order to sacrifice their life on the altar of the homeland, these proletarians had refused to make it. As during the war Iran-Iraq in the eighties, as during the first Gulf war, the proletariat in Iraq set once again an example towards its brothers all over the world, while refusing to fight in favor of its own oppressors. Nobody emphasized this admirable attitude, according to what we read on these events. This little "detail" tell us much more than any analysis about proletariat's state of mind at that moment. This is the reason why Saddam Hussein lost the war, not because of the treason, either known or presumed, of his collaborators and his accomplices, but simply because the cannon fodder of wars, the proletarians, usually so docile, refused to fight, refused to die for interests that were not theirs. Entire units thus dissolved themselves into a few minutes on the roadsides while leaving badges, uniforms, officers, shoes, vehicles and tanks in order to dress in civilian clothes again; but, and it is important to emphasize, while taking care to keep their weapons. Thus, proletarians deserted, but armed, and returned to their homes while waiting to see what was going to happen.

A second interesting event is to be emphasized, always in order to get off the military, diplomatic and political episodes developed by the media and without any interest for our analysis here: we refer to the way how our class brothers greeted those who had pretentiously self-proclaimed themselves to be the "liberators of the new Iraq". There were no great joy outburst as Western Europe had known during the arrival of the Anglo-American troops after the retreat of the German troops in 1945. Despite the brainwashing of the GI's, the "liberators" met only a very few enthusiasm when they arrived. It is with great suspicion that the local proletarians welcomed the Anglo-American troops, still remembering very well that during decades those who nowadays came "to free" them had supported Saddam Hussein. They still remembered very clearly that in 1991, after having encouraged them to rise up against Saddam, the current "liberators" had stopped their offensive allowing thus the repression forces of this same Saddam to slaughter them. The invasion troops had hardly gotten rid of the last pockets of resistance, that thousands of proletarians swept into the streets, not in order to applaud "their liberators", but on the contrary to loot everything that could more or less represent the hated power of the Baath Party and Saddam Hussein. And the damned of the earth didn't stop after such a good start. The looting took place on a large scale: from the presidential palaces to the barracks while passing by the ministries and even the residences in the bourgeois areas as well as the mosques. One piece of evidence is a call abundantly distributed by an obscure "Supreme Committee of the Islamic Revolution", regrouping most of the imams, asking "with all humility to the faithful to bring back everything that was looted". The imams explained these events as "a moment of distraction" from the faithful. These sellers of ideological opium forget that in 1991, the revolted proletarians in Najaf and Karbala had sacked these whorehouses that they call "holy places". This shows all the consideration that our class brothers feel for these sellers of false paradise. In spite of the few information that filters through this region, one can assert nowadays that very few looted objects were restored; another proof about the current limits of the ascendancy of these bourgeois forces - the Islamists - over the proletariat in Iraq.

The occupying troops didn't prevent the looting, hoping probably to calm the rage of the proletarians, and only preserved from depredations the famous Department of oil and everything that is more or less connected to it: oil well, pipelines, refineries, oil and shipping terminals, gasoline depots, tank trucks, etc. The fraction regrouped around Bush junior would please to do the dirty work, in order to serve the interests of capital as a whole, but it doesn't forget its immediate interests bound to oil and weapons; this issue tends towards to irritate its competitors that don't forget to remind the Bush staff of their own interests. In order to remain dialectical, it is only here that dissension between bourgeois are to be found, dissension (overanalyzed by a whole of groups that claim to adhere to social revolution) between the bourgeois of Halliburton and BP (British Petroleum), those of Total-Elf-Fina, the Russian and Chinese oil societies, which before the war did a deal of exclusive rights of exploitation of the Iraqi mineral resources. Under cover of "respect of private property", under cover of the "right of people" and other legal nonsense, Chirac and consorts reminded the occupying troops that they could not let proletarians attack with impunity the bourgeois and their property. A semblance of order was restored with submachine-gun and when it was not enough, it is with cannon that occupation troops recalled who was the master. But the American leaders' arrogance was such that they didn't give themselves the means in order to control a situation that already was beyond any control only a few days after having conquered Baghdad indeed. Boosted by such an easy victory, Donald Rumsfeld disbanded by decree not only the Baath Party and the government of Saddam Hussein, but also the Iraqi army and even the police, against the opinion of a whole of specialists in social pacification (as Bernard Kouchner who was ready to "support the Americans" and to "begin to serve free Iraq"). He thus provoked a gigantic chaos generalized by the looting and the occupations of official buildings by hundreds of families with no means of support. For all those who had believed in the occupying forces' official speech about "new Iraq", the "end of dictatorship", "democracy"..., the disillusion was definitely great.

Convinced of an easy victory and with such a huge strike force at their disposal, the US troops could not imagine at this moment that someone would try to show signs of rebellion. At the Pentagon, the problems that looting and chaos generated were considered as epiphenomenona and that order would be quickly restored, once the power of the American army would have decided to put an end in there. This is the reason why postwar had not been planned by the strategists who had decided the invasion. They thought that after the thrashing that the army of Saddam Hussein was going to get, everybody would shut up and order would be restored. It was again without taking into account the determination of proletarians not to let themselves be pushed around. During the summer, demonstrations broke out almost everywhere and very quickly turned into riots. As in Basra in August 10th and 11th, 2003 where several British soldiers are slaughtered by a crowd furious to live under a new yoke and in a situation of misery that doesn't stop increasing. The same reasons producing the same effects, thousands of proletarians took to the streets in Falluja, Ramadi, Mossul while asking the occupying forces to restore electricity, water, roads and food. In some few words, everything that is necessary for surviving after a war. The only answer of the Anglo-American troops was to arrest and to scatter the rioters with automatic rifles. Here and there, some smarter regional commanders got down to work in order to bring a minimum of infrastructures back into operation. Very quickly, occupation troops are going to recognize to have jailed more than 10.000 people for "breach of the peace". And nothing is enough in order to pacify angry proletarians. Since early the year 2004, more and more unemployed get organized in order to demonstrate through whole of the country. Thus, the weekend of January 10th and 11th, 2004 in Amarah, thousands of proletarians demonstrated asking for better living conditions and ended up transforming their march into a riot, attacking those who are responsible of their miserable situation: the town hall, the HQ of the 1st battalion of British light infantry. The Iraqi policemen and the English troops didn't be particular about details while firing into the crowd: at least 6 people are known to have been killed and dozens others injured as well.

Whereas the official line of "new Iraq" was that all the evils afflicting the Iraqi were due to the cupidity of Saddam's regime, the reality that the proletariat every day lives is still worse today than under Saddam. Often food starts running out, and this despite the enormous inflow of merchandise being dumped onto big cities sidewalks since the frontiers are reopened to the trade. There is no job and therefore there are no wages, increasing thus the state of misery against which a great part of the population struggles since several decades. Officially, the rate of unemployment is currently close to 70% of the active population. The dissolution of the army accelerated the process of pauperization while thousands of families are stricken by the withdrawal of their wage. And this, even without speaking about the destroyed infrastructures and the denationalizations/ privatizations forcing always more proletarians to unemployment, to misery. No wonder therefore, if some proletarians rise up in arms against the Anglo-American troops and start using guerrilla warfare or even great scale social reappropriation in order to survive. Sabotages of pipelines, attacks and looting of convoys, bombing against GI's on patrol, against refineries, began to develop everywhere, provoking in return reprisals, which are often indiscriminate, led with always more violence and arrogance by the US troops and other occupying forces. This situation provokes in turn a discontent and an always more generalized rejection of the occupation troops. The targets show how local proletarians refuse to docilely submit. Let's take a look for a while in order to better understand what really happens in Iraq.

Every day, there is information about the fact that an American soldier stepped on a mine or was fired in an ambush. The same applies to local policemen of the "new Iraq" who very often see their buildings taken as one's target, and especially on payday, when they are all gathered. But if the purpose is very understandable here, it's the same for other attacks currently led against what more or less can represent the fact to bring the proletarians of this region to heel. Let's recall that one of the first attacks was led against the Jordan embassy on August 7th, 2003. One will be warned later, during the month of October, that the Jordanian state, with the discreet help of the French and German secret service, had received the unrewarding job to contribute in the international division of labor for restoring order in the region, while forming 30,000 policemen during hardly 8 weeks of training course. No wonder if these buildings were targeted for a bombing. On August 19th, the UNO headquarters is targeted, killing its leader in Iraq Sergio Vieira de Mello and most of his collaborators as well. There is no need to recall that the proletarians hate this world institution, which organized starvation during years, and is currently taking part with full forces in restoring order in Iraq. Ten days later, on August 29th, it is the turn of the leader of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the ayatollah Al Hakim, to be murdered in an attempt in Najaf. On September 2nd, new attempt against the police HQ in Baghdad, damaging the office of his chief Hassan Ali. On September 20th, Akita Al Hachimi, very known Baathist working with Tarek Aziz at the State Department of Saddam Hussein, is murdered after being nominated by the USA on September 2nd as a member of the Iraqi provisional authority. On September 18th, new attack against the refinery of Bajdji, the greatest of the country, holding up the oil exportation for several days. On September 23rd, new attempt against the UNO headquarters that, despite Koffi Annan's speech announcing the departure of his men after the first attempt, still had let more than 4,000 civil servants, most of them from Iraqi origin, in order to continue to make their pacification dirty work. On October 10th, murder of José Antonio Bernal, staff sergeant in the Spanish airforce but actually agent of the Spanish intelligence service (CNI). Seven other intelligence agents will be killed some weeks later, on November 29th, forcing Aznar's government to close its embassy and to repatriate a whole of civilians and diplomats who also worked for the country pacification. On October 12th, a car bomb exploded before the Baghdad hotel that mainly accommodates CIA members, Iraqi provisional government members, as well as a whole of American businessmen coming to do "a bit of business" at the expense of our class brothers' misery. On October 23rd, as the Pentagon wants to call in the Turkish army to come to subdue the rebellion in Iraq, a car bomb exploded before the Turkish embassy. On October 27th, Paul Wolfowitz, the Pentagon number two after Donald Rumsfeld, just escaped death. Several rockets came to crash on the facade of Al Rachid hotel where he stayed. On November 3rd, three explosions stroke the HQ of the American army in Baghdad. On November 12th, explosion of a bomb before the court of Rassafa at the East of Baghdad. Since then, several judges have been murdered. On November 21st, rocket attack against the Department of oil and against the Sheraton hotel where an American civilian (3) working for Halliburton has been seriously injured. In December, one heard that Paul Bremer, the person in charge for social pacification in Iraq, had escaped until now two attempts. And Friday December 19th, it is the turn of Ali Al-Zalimi, a high leader of the Baath Party, responsible for the repression of the 1991 uprising, to be lynched by demonstrators in Najaf (4).

We could indefinitely lengthen this list, but this would not add anything to what we said above; the whole apparatus, services, organs, the local representatives of the world state are systematically targeted. Far from being indiscriminate, these acts of armed resistance are logical if we make the effort to get a little bit off stereotypes and ideological brainwashing that the bourgeois put forward as only explanation for what happens in Iraq. Through the targets, as well as in the daily guerrilla warfare led against the occupation forces, one can make out the windings of a proletariat that tried to struggle, to get organized against the whole bourgeois fractions that decided to restore capitalist order and security in the region, even though it is still extremely difficult to appreciate the autonomy of our class towards the bourgeois forces that try to control the anger, the rage of our class against everything that more or less represents the world state. Acts of sabotage, bombing, demonstrations, occupations and strikes are not the fact of Islamists or Pan-Arabic nationalists. This interpretation would be too easy and would go in the way of the dominant speech that wants to absolutely trap our understanding into a struggle between "good and evil", between "the good and the bad guys", a bit as in a western movie, disposing once again of capitalism deadly contradiction: the proletariat.

Here is a better example about what proletariat is living as contradiction. It happens in Duluya, a small city in the north of Baghdad in the famous "Sunnite Triangle". Since they occupy the city, at the end of March 2003, the Americans must regularly face shootings against their troops and their convoys. As a reaction, they decided to raze several thousands of date palms running along the roads of the region. It is rumored that a mysterious Baathist organization would be behind these attacks. At least that's what is said in the Arabic papers, whereas the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz has another version about these mysterious attacks: they would be the deed of "young people with nothing to do" who for about 1,000 or 1,500 dollars paid by Islamist organizations would organize the attack against the US troops. And the newspaper to quote one of these youngsters: "It's the best way today to earn one's living in Iraq." As if by chance, since the occupation troops razed the date palms, in order to fight the insurgents, and that dozens of farm workers have been deprived of their livelihood, the attacks against the GI's didn't decrease, but on the contrary increased.

Everything will be settled in the months to come. Will proletarians, who are very strongly against the whole world fractions of capitalism, be strong enough for not sinking into radical Islamism or Pan-Arabism that, with the capture of Saddam Hussein (Sunday December 14th), seems to be on a roll? Will our brothers in Iraq be strong enough for not getting bogged down in a popular war of national liberation? The answer cannot come only from the local proletariat that, as long as it will remain so dramatically isolated in its struggle, will have difficulty not falling into one or another bourgeois fractions' arms, which try to enroll our class as cannon fodder under one of its banners. It will depend on the balance of power between proletariat and bourgeoisie at the most global level, at the world level, and especially in the native countries of the occupation troops. And there we must state the fact that unfortunately this balance is not in our favor, even though we get a breath of fresh air from here and there, from Bolivia, Peru, etc. The responsibility of our class brothers through the world, and more especially in the USA, in England, in Poland, in Spain, in Italy... react, get restless, get organized and refuse to act as cannon fodder, turning this war into social war against their own bourgeoisie.

However nothing important is happening in those centers of international repression. The proletariat in the United States is bogged down in a deep patriotism condensed in the famous slogan "support our boys"; completed for the "most critical" with a sheep-like crusade calling to dumb pacifism. It is necessary to emphasize in this context, and against the current, some interesting reactions that took place on the west coast of the United States, just when war was triggered off. Also during these demonstrations, some proletarians had brandished a banner asserting: "we support our troops when they shoot their officers", thumbing its nose at the government's official slogan calling to "support our troops".

But if the diversion of this official watchword appears sympathetic and show us the way to follow in the struggle of the proletariat, we have also to admit that the attitude expressing with force the lifelong position of our class -i.e. revolutionary defeatism- unfortunately remains terribly isolated into a swamp where pacifism is next to the flattest third-worldism. Even among GI's parents associations, in the forefront of the struggle against war in Iraq, they had all count on the democrat party to come to power at the last presidential elections in order to "bring back our children home" rather than on a direct action against the army that sends them to "smash Arabs". Within the US army, whereas the contradiction always becomes stronger between the formation for soldier's profession and the prosaic reality to be nothing but a cop sent all over the world in order to repress the destitute having the same social background, only a few give up becoming mercenaries.

This is not the 1,500 military who deserted or refused going to kill in Iraq that can tip the scales in our favor. Let's recall that at the time of the war in Vietnam they were officially more than 200,000! This is not either the courageous declarations, in the middle of patriotic hysteria imposed in the USA since September 11th bombing, of some deserters who are very clearly claiming their refusal to kill civilians, that are going to change things about the catastrophic submission situation in which the proletariat in this country is today in relation to its own bourgeoisie. The same applies to the other states dispatching troops in Iraq and that, for the meantime, don't meet with no real opposition against that.

But we can be sure that the bloody occupation of Iraq is not finished; the American and allied troops will have to remain there for still a long time and this quagmire that begins to look like the Vietnam one is going to certainly oblige the Pentagon to send always more troops in order to face the increasing number of attacks (5).

"We lack means to assess if we win or lose the world battle against terrorism. My impression is that we didn't make today any decisive progress." Donald Rumsfeld wrote in his memorandum for the US Congress, November 14th, 2003.

At the last count there were more than 1,200 deaths since the beginning of this conflict, without speaking about those who are in secret mission (undercover) and who are discreetly buried in the desert (several tombs have been lately discovered). Injured are more than 15,000 despite the protections in Kevlar that most of the soldiers carry and the immediate undertaking of the injured by specialized teams. This means more than ten injured every day, of which most are seriously wounded. As the American neo-conservative newspaper "The New Republic" noted: "The media has always treated combat deaths as the most reliable measure of battlefield progress, while for its part the administration has been reluctant to divulge the full number of wounded."

Never since the Vietnam, the US Army had to face such a large number of injured. Bodies that are sent back home overnight within cargo aircraft in order to avoid television cameras and demoralization of the troops staying home. Suicides into the enlisted troops is increasing day after day, although the figures in this respect are not released, and the number of soldiers officially sent back home for "mental health problems" (soldiers who did a slow burn) amounted to 478 in September 2003. Let's also recall that the number of attacks against the law and order troops is close to 70 to 75 each day, and that most of the troops are there since nearly two years. It's getting a long time and begins to displease the troops who "don't understand anymore the reason why they are there". Let's add the inability of the Pentagon to replace them because a lack of soldiers, and we have here a cocktail that becomes more and more explosive for the bourgeois fraction that is establishing itself as the world police.

Do we have to see in all this the forerunner of a possible breach in the national unity, a breach of a similar nature to the one during the war in Vietnam 40 years ago, while huge cracks have appeared within the American society? At that time, the only hope for a soldier avoiding to be terribly wounded or killed, was to oppose by all means his involvement into war. And these child's play means consisted above all in avoiding any confrontation with the enemy. While practicing the "fragging", which means "killing an officer with a grenade", soldiers who were against war provoked such a terror among their officers that these no longer dared to send them to the battlefield, losing this way the control upon their troops. In 1970, the Pentagon published the figures of 65,643 deserters, that is to say is the equivalent of 4 infantry divisions! Other interesting figures are the existence of more than 300 clandestine newspapers against war directly published by soldiers and that greatly contributed to breaking the isolation, while generalizing the opposition to war. Daily demonstrations in the USA, sabotages, strikes and building occupations really prevented the continuation of war. Thus, in the early seventies, the American government had to put a brake on its commitment in Vietnam and to withdraw its troops little by little. While remembering these significant facts about the horrible nightmare the bourgeois lived at that time, we can see that there's nowadays a huge gulf between this period of struggle and us, but we can also show the only way that will put an end to this slaughter.

Our conclusion can only be temporary. We tried in these few lines to catch the events that take place there under our eyes, while trying to leave the journalistic categories that can certainly not grasp the complex reality of what takes place over there. To continue speaking about Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, Baathists, Islamists, about such or such tribe, such or such clan, this is erasing the essential contradiction that pushes capital to try to restore order in a region disturbed since several decades by a combative proletariat and that doesn't yet accept to submit to the dictatorship of the economy. We can only repeat the call to our friends, readers and the whole comrades, so that they consider the struggle led by our class brothers in Iraq as their own. We will be able to break their isolation only while generalizing our struggles against our own bourgeoisie, where we are living in, and while taking a hard line with our program and our class purposes. Only revolutionary defeatism can shake this society to a significant extent, society that doesn't have another project than to accumulate mountains of skeletons, and can make the decisive breaches towards its violent destruction.





1. Bourgeoisie's cynicism has no limit and is equal to its state of putrefaction. Whereas, still yesterday, these chemical bombing with their thousands of deaths were in practice organized, supported and financed by the whole bourgeois fractions (and in the first place: the German state for gas supplies and the French state for the airplanes), nowadays these same states denounce and rejects these bombing as "excesses" made by the individual Saddam Hussein and his henchman Ali, aka the chemical.

2. It is also necessary to emphasize the Russian help for the invasion, which consisted in providing the Pentagon with the plans of the Iraqi military facilities as well as the tactics that the Iraqi army could use; since as government officials of the former USSR they had built and trained the army of this country.

3. It is necessary to emphasize that everywhere when it is speaking about civilians, with regard to the occupation forces, the directly repressive functions of many of these mercenaries are hidden, mercenaries who are recruited in order to be useful for the occupation. The occupation army itself is recruiting, for the completion of its purposes, a whole of private companies that provide the occupying forces with guards specialized in interrogations (i.e. torturers), with bodyguards; besides it is clear that the different unofficial police forces (i.e. death squads) are using the "civil" cover as everywhere in the world.

4. This article has first been published in our central review in French (February 2004). From then till the publication of this text in our review in Spanish (September 2004), the situation for the occupying forces didn't stop worsening. The attacks, demonstrations, looting and occupations, became widespread, both massively and geographically. The resistance spread, at the present time, throughout the whole regions of Iraq. Nowhere in this country, those who more or less represent the world state and who want to impose the capitalistic social order, are in a safe place: the occupation troops, the local soldiers and even the mercenaries of all kind, the Kurdish nationalists and even the Iraqi politicians, including the high dignitaries of the "New Independent Iraq", no matter they are laymen or members of the religious hierarchy, all of them know that they can be eliminated at any time.

5. What obviously doesn't rule out that the Pentagon itself and generally the American state, next to many others, is expecting on medium-term on the preparation of a more international repression force, with a better pacifist cover provided by those who opposed the war and therefore with a greater humanitarian legitimacy, supported by the UNO.

*Translated in English: early 2005*

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Dec 15 2005 20:19



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