Below is a leaflet of Jan. 8, 2005 by the Seattle Communist Study Group, calling on people to
participate in an anti-war march on Jan. 20 from Westlake to the Federal Bulding.
(CV #35, March 15, 2005)
. On May 1, 2003 Bush proclaimed "victory!" in his infamous photo-op speech aboard an aircraft carrier. The Saddam Hussein regime had just been smashed by overwhelming military firepower. But since then 100,000 more Iraqis have been killed by the policy of the U.S. government, 1,300 more U.S. military personnel have been killed (many times the number killed in the two wars against the Hussein regime), and still more U.S. troops are being sent! They're bogged down in a war of a different type, a quagmire with no light at the end of the tunnel.
. The Hussein tyranny was widely hated by the masses of Iraqi people. With its fall all the long-suppressed social forces of the country came into the open to organize their struggles to shape its future. But the U.S. was only concerned with replacing Hussein's dictatorship with its own. U.S. soldiers were used to break into homes, fire into crowds of anti-occupation demonstrators, impose a new censorship, and arrest leaders of the unemployed movement and many others. The U.S. opposed national elections and replaced officials elected at the local levels when it didn't like them---including with officials from the Hussein regime. A "shock" privatization program written in Washington was implemented that threw hundreds of thousands of workers out of jobs while the doors of the country were thrown open to U. S. businessmen and investors. The promised reconstruction became another name for grabbing $billions while doing next to nothing to help the Iraqi people. An interim "Iraqi government" was eventually appointed.
. The Bush administration justifies all this with the monstrous lie that it's fighting for freedom
and democracy in Iraq. But last year's revelations of the Abu Ghraib and other torture chambers
exposed to the world what this kind of democracy looks like, as has the treatment of the people
of Falluja. There orders were given as to who had to leave their homes and city, and who had to
stay. A bloody assault and massive destruction was carried out. People trying to escape were
shot. Medical relief teams were barred. And the U.S. released a plan that would require residents
to be retina-scanned and wear I.D. tags in order to live there. Falluja shows that behind Bush's
honeyed talk of freedom and democracy is collective punishment and plans to set up Nazi-style
. Beneath these groupings' opposition to U.S. imperialism is the strivings of the Iraqi bourgeoisie to be regional imperialists (as it was with Hussein). In fact this class nature leads those that dominate the armed part of the resistance to act no different than the U.S., i. e. , actions that disregard the number of Iraqi working and poor people who are killed (their version of "collateral" damage), or blowing up vital economic targets in order to "drive" the masses to their side (their version of the U.S./U.N. sanctions regime). They also brand people forced by poverty to work at menial jobs on U. S. military bases as collaborators and kill them.
. Thus a class force needs to be created that represents the interests of the working masses, a
force independent from the various clerical, Ba'athist, and other bourgeois forces. We can't say
whether this will arise from the working-class forces now in the overall resistance finding a
common voice, or in some other way. But the social basis for building such a force exists in Iraqi
society right now, i.e. , the Iraqi working class and poor (the majority of the population).
Although not at a high level, their economic struggles are invariably bringing them up against the
Iraqi bourgeoisie (whether pro or anti-U.S. occupation) which brings out police, troops or
fundamentalist thugs to suppress them. Their struggles for democratic rights, including for
equality of women, also bring them up against both the pro and anti occupation bourgeois
factions. And many have sacrificed everything for noble and democratic ideals in these struggles.
These tendencies that have arisen from the masses provide a basis for creating the kind of force
that can overcome the divisions being fostered by the fundamentalists and reactionary
nationalists that are holding back these struggles themselves---and a basis for bringing into being
a revolutionary-democratic resistance current. We should support every effort of the working
masses to further these tendencies, put their stamp on the resistance, and thereby, on the future of
. Thus the attempt to hold elections is not quieting things, as imperialism had hoped, but is bringing various contradictions to a head both with U.S. imperialism, and among the internal Iraqi forces. The latter contradictions could trigger civil war. Meanwhile the people face intimidation and death from both government and anti-government forces, and various forms of censorship continue.
. So, although elections are an important and just demand of the Iraqi people, the present elections may result in tragedy. Moreover, the result of this election, if held, will only reflect the relative strengths of the various dominant bourgeois groupings that have not been excluded by the election rules or have not boycotted. If the Shiite leaders dominate the new assembly, as expected, they may present new problems for U.S. imperialism, but it will continue to pursue its imperialist agenda, allying with the groupings it can, and clashing with those it can not. The need for building up a revolutionary-democratic alternative will continue to press.
. Today the U.S. working class (like that in Iraq) is very disorganized, and like the rest of society it's dominated by bourgeois politics. But of all classes, the bourgeoisie most recognizes the danger this class poses to its entire imperialist agenda. Hence its almost hysterical cries to "support our troops!", its constant flag-waving, fear-mongering and lying. The task of anti-imperialists is therefore to further enlighten the working class above all others on how the occupation of Iraq is against its interests, and draw it into organized anti- war activity. Mobilizing for the January 20 antiwar demonstrations provides an opportunity to take up this task.
U.S. imperialism, get out of Iraq!
Support the struggles of the Iraqi workers and poor!
Seattle Communist Study Group, Jan 8, 2005
(Read Communist Voice, http://www.communistvoice.org.)
Last changed on April 28, 2005.