Class War In Iraq

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 1980’s 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.

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From the pages of Resistance#22, regular monthly
bulletin of the Anarchist Federation

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