:: Friday, January 28, 2005 ::

Iraq and a hard place

ZNet |Iraq | Second Reply To Alex Callinicos

Gilbert Achcar's debate with Alex Callinicos continues. They are discussing some very important issues, namely the Iraqi elections and the question of the resistance. Gilbert raises the point that the left previously called for elections in Iraq. Additionally the resistance is a very diverse bunch, including elements of Sunni sectarianism and Shia extremism.

But let me move on. You believe that the armed actions in Iraq are more effective than the mass movement of the Shias. I beg to differ, as they say in aristocratic English. If Washington only faced an armed insurgency among the Sunnis (20% of the population) and had the support of the Shias (60%) as well as the Kurds (another 20%), do you seriously think that it wouldn't be able to crush the insurgents -- even if that meant several Fallujas or worse? On the other hand, even if there were no armed insurgency at all in Iraq, isn't it obvious that Washington and London would have all the trouble in the world keeping their troops there in the face of mass demonstrations of the population to get them out? Just imagine how much easier your task in Britain would be, and the task of the whole antiwar movement in the US and worldwide -- and how much more effective the movement would be -- if Iraq had been experiencing mass demonstrations to kick the troops out, like those that toppled the Shah of Iran or, again, those Sistani called in January 2004, rather than indiscriminate killings and beheadings.

On the whole I agree with him here, a political leadership is what is missing in Iraq, with the actions of the organised working class being the most important section of any mass opposition.

:: Alister | 6:48 pm | save this page to del.icio.us Save This Page | permalink⊕ | |


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