The Militant (logo)  
   Vol. 67/No. 45           December 22, 2003  
Iraqi resistance I
I agree with the Militant that no national liberation movement exists in Iraq. Reports do continue to surface that varigated anti-Saddam Hussein Baathist elements form part of the loose resistance—dominated by remnant Hussein loyalists. Scattered reports continue of increasing support from a segment of the disaffected masses that originally welcomed the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. If true, it further debunks the U.S.-led imperialist international forces label of terrorists given to Iraqi resistance.

Ken Morgan
Baltimore, Maryland

Iraqi resistance II
I ’d like to thank the Militant for its response to Richard Young’s letter in the December 8 issue. However, I feel the response does not go far enough and is still vague and lacking in sources in regards to the character of the Iraqi resistance.

While I am in agreement with the Militant in that the current resistance in Iraq is not on par with historically speaking the National Liberation Front of Vietnam, I believe it is an error to go completely the other way in labeling the resistance as simply the remnants of the Baathist Party as the bourgeois media and U.S. government continually state. Who really knows who these fighters are? Does the Militant have strong sources that show that the resistance is just remnants of the Baathist Party? As the saying goes, “the readers want to know.”

Again, I agree with the Militant in that all continuity of working-class leadership in Iraq and most of the Middle East has been disrupted by decades of Stalinist betrayal making the path to a workers and farmers government all the more difficult. Though, this does not give the workers and farmers of Iraq a break from the task at hand—freeing their country from imperialist military occupation. The response to Young’s letter ends with a quote from a November 17 editorial, “Revolutionists in Iraq today would fight for Iraqi sovereignty, which the U.S. armed forces prevent. At the same time, they would be opposed to the return of the Baathist regime. They would use whatever civic space exists to build and consolidate a revolutionary organization that could lead working people there down the road to get rid of the U.S. troops and keep the United Nations out as well.”

Well, yes that’s a good Marxist response for the need to build a Leninist combat party, the type of party that’s needed in Iraq today. In other words a good opening line. But has the art of the polemic been lost? People are fighting and dying in Iraq. What kind of civic space exists in Iraq to build such a party? We need more in-depth answers that maybe are unanswerable at this moment being just eight months since the start of the war. This should be stated then. Of course the answer to really helping the people of Iraq is building revolutionary parties in each of our respective countries.

Tom Alter
via e-mail

Iraqi resistance III
In your reply to Richard Young on the character of the “war on terror” and of the resistance in Iraq, you remarked that there is a political void that exists right now in Iraq. The Iraqi masses face a situation where there is no revolutionary leadership that can accomplish the historic task of liberating that country from the claws of the imperialist powers. However, the brutal character of the imperialist occupation that the Militant has depicted in many articles so far, and the open arrogance of the invaders, leave no choice to the people of Iraq and pushes them objectively towards the formation of a revolutionary psychology.

In brief, the formation of a revolutionary organization to liberate Iraq is already under way and being accomplished by the imperialists themselves. Do you think that due to that explosive situation there can be any prospect in the coming years of a revolutionary transformation of the political organizations of the nationalist bourgeoisie of Islamic reference, like the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution, or the Hezbollah? I don’t see any other prospect for the liberation of Iraq in the short term.

If you don’t see any such prospect can you clarify the nature of these parties? What would prevent them from accomplishing the national liberation of Iraq given the swing forward of a massive radicalization of the people?

Because just like the Chinese Revolution, many revolutions were accomplished by the pressure of the workers and the peasants despite and without a proper revolutionary leadership. This also touches another question, that of the political psychology of the Iraqi people: what is the state of mind of the workers and peasants of Iraq? Are they too weakened right now for political action? Do you think they need time to gather their energies before speaking of the national liberation of Iraq?

S.D. Fasfalis
Montreal, Quebec

Occupation of Iraq
In a reply to a reader in the April 28 issue, Argiris Malapanis wrote, “In a war between an imperialist power and a nation oppressed by imperialism, class-conscious workers always side with the oppressed nation—regardless of its political regime—and argue that the defeat of the imperialists in the war is in the interests of working people everywhere.” Today, U.S. and allied forces are carrying out a military assault “aimed at destroying remnants of the Saddam Hussein regime and others resisting the occupation” (December 1 Militant). In today’s context, how does the principle expressed by the Militant in April apply? Around what slogans can it be concretized?

John Riddell
Toronto, Ontario

Travel ban to Cuba
In the December 1 issue, the article “U.S. gov’t to begin trials of Cuba travelers” refers to a bill in Congress “that would have ended” the U.S. travel ban to Cuba. This is incorrect. The bill would have eliminated funding for enforcement of the travel ban, a totally meaningless action since the administration would simply have shifted funds from elsewhere. As far as I know, no member of the House or Senate has introduced a bill directly attacking the travel ban.

Arnold Weissberg
Havana, Cuba

The letters column is an open forum for all viewpoints on subjects of interest to working people. Please keep your letters brief. Where necessary they will be abridged. Please indicate if you prefer that your initials be used rather than your full name.  
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