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News ::
Class War in Iraq (english)
24 Apr 2003
Modified: 25 Apr 2003
Warsaw 1944, Grozny 1994, Berlin 1945, Stalingrad 1942, such were the military metaphors conjured up by the media. In the end it was more Los Angeles 1992. Yet again the working people of Iraq have put their needs before the siren call of patriotism.
Class War in Iraq - from Resistance #22 (AF-Ireland)

Warsaw 1944, Grozny 1994, Berlin 1945, Stalingrad 1942, such were the military metaphors conjured up by the media. In the end it was more Los Angeles 1992. Yet again the working people of Iraq have put their needs before the siren call of patriotism.

It is clear that the American military had insufficient force in place around Baghdad to conquer the city, and that the Hussein government was demolished not because it was defeated on an external battlefield - (where was the battle?) but because almost its entire armed forces deserted. Baghdad fell to looters, as armed mobs took over the streets before the arrival of American armour. Shops and government offices were striped bare by jubilant crowds of families - wealth re-distributed in an exemplary demonstration of socialism in action.

A glimpse of what was to come was seen in the early days of the war, when British troops were drafted in to protect the machinery of the southern oil fields from being liberated by the locals. Likewise as disorder descended upon Baghdad, Basra got a foretaste of a possible future. There the British Army opened fire, "warning shots" they said, as the local people re-claimed the goods that were produced by their labour.

The footage of British troops being stoned by enraged youths did not receive much media coverage. A few days later and British soldiers in Basra put their "Northern Ireland training" into action, murdering five looters, in what they said was an "exchange of fire".

All this represents a defeat for American Imperialism. Washington's strategy for the last 12 years has been to attack the working people of Iraq, with sanctions, the deliberate targeting of water and sanitation services, and blanket bombing. A strategy whose goal was to inflict so much misery and suffering that the Iraqi working people would be incapable of resistance. The creation of a perfect subject population for the day "regime change" would come. The day the assets, and workforce, of the "old regime" of the Iraqi National Petroleum company would be turned over to the new regime of Exxon.

The Anglo-American propaganda was urging people to stay indoors not to revolt. The only revolt they wanted was a palace coup switching power from one part of the state apparatus to another. Revolution is no stranger to Iraq, and on each occasion rebels have taken the streets they have faced the united opposition of all sections of the ruling class.

In 1958 in the first joint Anglo-American intervention in the Middle East troops were poured into Lebanon and Jordan to prevent an Iraqi uprising from spreading. In 1962 the C.I.A. gave Ba'ath party death squads a hit list of working class militants. In the 1980s the West supplied chemical weapons were used to massacre deserters from the Iraqi army. In 1991 revolution had reduced Hussein's control to a pocket around Baghdad, it was beaten back by a combination of the Iraqi state and the U.S. and British military.

Firstly, thousands of deserting troops were massacred on the road to Basra by the USAF and RAF.

Secondly, a ceasefire was then made with the Iraqi regime, all thoughts of overthrowing Saddam forgotten, and crucially the Republican Guard left intact to crush the uprising.

As part of the truce Iraqi counter -insurgency helicopters were allowed into the 'no fly zones' controlled by the American and British air forces. Now, a few days after Basra's "liberation", and the guns of the British Army are already being used to impose capitalist order.

Soon they will be joined in their efforts by a reformed Ba'ath party regime (minus the name and the current top ranks). Likewise elements in the anti-war camp, Clare Short, Paul Rogers, Robert Fisk, are vociferous in their condemnation of the Anglo-American bloc for failing to sufficiently repress "chaos" and "disorder". The only division between Washington, the Ba'ath party, and born again peaceniks like Putin and Chirac, is who gets what cut of the spoils, their "order", U.N. sanctioned or otherwise, means violence and exploitation for working people worldwide.

See also:
http://flag.blackened.net/af/
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iraqis are looters, troops keep souvenirs (english)
25 Apr 2003
robbing hospitals and museums is not an ideal vision of socialism in action. there is a lot of pentup pain and anger which must be dealt with by these unfortunate people, but there is no excuse for this sort of fratricidal and greedy indulgence...

oh yeah, and US thieves out of iraq!