• the war in iraq-a revolutionary war
• the war in iraq-a revolutionary war
Posted by patrickm at 2005-04-18 06:40 AM
The war in Iraq - a revolutionary war.
Progressive Iraqis are discussing and debating and publishing on the way forward, and gaining confidence with each milestone. They are building support and isolating their die-hard enemies. They are going from strength to strength. They know their lives are changing and that they are becoming empowered.
Reactionary Iraqis and their foreign Jihadist allies, have fallen into a very unattractive nihilistic hole. The masses of people, that had any sympathy for a ‘resistance’ to the foreign occupation are now abandoning this road as a dead end. The reality, that Iraqi’s are now in control - and have come to that position, not by the foreign appointment, but through an electoral, and on-going constitutional process, has sunk in. The occupation is effectively over and the Iraqi political process is going full speed.
The armed forces of, or for, the revolution, are already overwhelming and they are growing. The enemy, being divided and directionless, has no effective strategy and is following self -defeating tactics. So, it’s not surprising that this enemy is dramatically shrinking. Working against the interests of the vast majority of the Iraqi peoples, is no way to develop an effective strategy, and so they are truly doomed.
The united-front, in favor of a democratic constitution; and elections, is spreading to forces that had been sitting on their hands (or even worse) up to date. Many more Iraqis, will have purple ink on their fingers, when the next vote is held. Even more people the vote after that. The enemy of this revolution is in deep trouble.
Iraqi politicians are openly speculating that most if not all coalition
troops will only be required for another two years. Meanwhile, the
Despite on-going casualties all around, the trend lines are such, that the end of Coalition involvement can now be reasonably predicted within this second Bush presidency. Iraqi politicians will plan to achieve their predictions and even if it takes a little longer than originally predicted, the goal of an independent Iraq will not change and will be achieved in a fairly short order.
It may be true that the situation could have been even better, if the US and coalition forces had been led by experienced revolutionaries, but they were not. To paraphrase Rumsfeld, united-fronts go to war with the armies they have, not the armies they would wish to have. But consider what remarkable progress has been made in only two years.
Perhaps it wasn’t always clear, but it is now!
Before the war was launched, the widely imagined
Powell, was sure it would cost more than the inexperienced theorists were proposing, and he was right about that. Currently, (
that Iraqi troops will increasingly carry the burden of the fighting it
would be reasonable to predict that somewhat fewer than three thousand
troops will have lost their lives by the time the troops are finally
But no matter what the various US factions knew, all the sides in Iraq knew that their world was about to be turned upside down. People on the top would be sent to the bottom, and perhaps some people on the bottom would go to the top. They may not have known why the war was going to happen, and they may not have known what would replace the regime, but they probably did know that nothing could be worse.
However, ordinary Iraqis, despite their hostility to Saddam, were (and essentially still are) also anti-US. Let’s face it, it would be difficult for any self respecting Iraqi not to be. So, the majority would have thought that a war launched by the Americans would only be for crass self-interest (as opposed to the enlightened self-interest that draining the swamp analysis implies) or to deal with the WMD issue, as it was presented.
those who reasoned WMD, when this theory crashed and burnt they would
have then thought that it was either a genuine mistake, or that they
had been fooled and that it was to steal Iraqi oil after all. The Iraqi
peoples, in the vast majority, would have thus believed that the new
regime would be imposed by the
After two years and a fairly successful election, everyone has gained some much needed experience. The war has been going long enough for the evidence of its revolutionary nature to be inescapable. The complaint from the western ‘anti-war movement’ is now that there is a war going on, not that this war is wrong, but that war is wrong. So what? The opposition is now being dishonest, as they mostly don’t hold a pacifist view. Pacifism is a view held only by a very tiny minority.
Since the elections, there is a new war against the Iraqi government that must be fought and thus supported by people who support the Iraqi masses. We can thus conclude that the anti-war movement as it has been is about to spin out of control and crash entirely. What will remain could have nothing whatever to do with anything left-wing. Take the following site as an example of the dilemma.
The Iraq Body Count, (IBC), is what I would call a widely respected database run by a group of academics and peace activists.
“This database includes up to 7,350 deaths which resulted from coalition military action during the "major-combat" phase prior to
IBC currently, (
Visit IBC, scroll down and study a few pages of the death statistics. Regardless of whether you think of yourself as some kind of leftist, centrist or rightist, it’s well worth the effort in order to get a grasp of what is going on incident by incident.
No one, acceptable in polite company, in the western “anti-Iraq-war” movement, left right, or centre, will admit to supporting Saddam and the Baathists, but the IBC rightly talks of the breakdown of law and order that occurred as a result of the US led liberation (or if you prefer invasion ) of the country. That is, and it’s worth reminding yourself of this from time to time, a breakdown of Saddam’s law and Baathist order. No one supports that law and order, yet, they all complain that it broke down, or rather was broken down by another force. They all claim to have wanted this to happen but not by an outside force. They wanted the breakdown of Saddam’s law and Baathists order to have been achieved by the unarmed Iraqi people!!
If you are opposed to Saddam and his Baathists, and you oppose Islamic Jihadists, consider the deaths statistics that the IBC systematically reveals. Consider how much better, after only two years of country wide revolutionary war, the strategic situation of the Kurdish people is (as but one shinning example). Remember, that casualties may be as low as twenty thousand. Saddam’s lot killed more than 5,000 in one day in Halabja! Compared to what the favored method of liberation, as promoted widely in the anti-war movement is, ie the Iraqi peoples liberating themselves, without an outside invasion, these casualties are self evidently ‘cheap’.
Everyone can talk about supporting the liberation of the Iraqi peoples, but don’t bother listening to those who will not own the casualties that their preferred method of liberation implied. Nothing is cost free. Have a real good look at the type of deaths on the IBC list. The question arises what would their war have looked like, with the law and order still fully armed with helicopter gun ships, tanks, artillery? etc
While you are looking at the IBC stats, identify the type of deaths on the actual list that would not have occurred under their preferred civil-war model of liberation. Substitute the type of deaths that would have and then consider the reasoning of this “peace” site.
A question arises as to how this death rate (roughly 20,000 / 750 = 27) compares to the pre- liberation, Baathist death rate. Note, that the numbers now, not just include, but are overwhelmingly those killed by the Baathists, and Jihadists, in their on-going bombings, beheadings, and assassinations of their Iraqi opponents. They are so included apparently because the invasion led to the breakdown of Saddam’s law and Baathist order!
Now at some point this logic itself breaks down, because a new and just as legitimate, law and order, will have been erected, and thus the deaths from that point have to be leveled at the new criminals ie the old ruling class Baathists and the Jihadists.
Since there has been an election that is substantially legitimate the time has already arrived. But others might not. The question arises what will have to happen for you personally to accept that the deaths from x time on are due to criminals / terrorists breaking the new law and order? What boxes do we have to tick before we can draw a line and move on?
• Re: the war in iraq-a revolutionary war
Posted by Anonymous User at 2005-04-20 06:22 PM
patrick, your post puts a good argument. You make a good case for the war being worth it , I do admit there's a problem just saying it shouldn't have happened because that position really doesn't want to think about how things used to be and what other way it could be changed. sometimes eggs have to be broken, that's true but it can sound very harsh to talk like that when we are so comfortable and far away.
I'd like to know what you think of the study that was in The Lancet last year and said that the death toll is much higher than what IBC says (Lancet says the toll is 100,000) . You can read about it on this website
http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/issues/iraq/attack/consequences/2004/1029deathtoll.htm the original study can't be got on the web at the moment . I haven't got much computer time till next week probably and will try to find out more then. this is in a rush.
• Earth calling planet peace movement; None, of this blood is for oil!
Posted by patrickm at 2005-04-21 12:40 AM
None of this blood is for oil!Samsky: I have read about the Lancet study, but I think it is methodologically flawed, and the people promoting it logically offside with the Iraqi masses.
Iraqis want their new government strongly backed; the war ended, and with the government they have just voted for, in charge and victorious. This fledgling government has a war to fight against enemies both internal to Iraq, and foreign jihadists. I don't know how many casualties these enemies will inflict before they are defeated, but I know that the war against them will go on until they are defeated.
Iraq's elected political leadership is making sufficient concessions to those who have not been, shall we say; helpful up to date. This leadership will not be either intimidated from fighting back, nor provoked into spreading the civil war as they fight back. But the time for more concessions has ended.
I have confidence that the new leadership will be both resolute, just and wise in prosecuting the war.
Anyhow, I wrote most of what follows just before the US elections in an email to an acquaintance, so I thought I would update it and see what people make of it.
The person I was replying to when I wrote this, never did - and I don’t wonder why.
• Re: toll of the war
Posted by byork at 2005-04-22 12:41 AM
Hi samsky. I'll post again later on the Lancet study and why I don't think it can be regarded as authoritative. But for now, I'd like to point out that, under the UN sanctions against Iraq, UNICEF and anti-war leaders such as John Pilger stated in 1999/2000 that half a million children died because of the sanctions.
Sanctions were seen as an alternative to invasion by the UN but, as the pro-war Left argued, tyrants just transfer the suffering implicit in sanctions onto their own defenceless people. This is what happened in Iraq under Saddam. The Unicef report of 1999 concluded that, "if the substantial reduction in child mortality throughout Iraq during the 1980s had continued through the 1990s, there would have been half a million fewer deaths of children under-five in the country as a whole during the eight year period 1991 to 1998". Here's the link: http://www.unicef.org/newsline/99pr29.htm
My point is this: if the figure of 500,000 child deaths is accurate (and we can only speculate as to how many more children would have died in the sanction period after 1999), then wasn't it good that the invasion and occupation ended that toll? The UN sanctions actually lasted until 2003. The Bush administration successfully called for the lifting of the sanctions after the overthrow of Saddam in March/April 2003.
If the UNICEF figure is accurate, then shouldn't the figure of 150,000 children's lives saved be factored in? (That's based on the claim that 50,000 died each year because of the sanctions).
Accepting, for argument's sake, the Lancet finding of 100,000 deaths since the invasion (which began in March 2003), I'm perplexed (well, not really) as to why the Pilgers of the world don't see how their own figures work against their anti-war stance. Pilger's website said that, "A 1999 Unicef report calculated that more than half a million children had died as a direct result of sanctions. On average 200 hundred Iraqi children are dying every day". Pilger link: http://pilger.carlton.com/iraq
One could also factor in the Kurdish lives that would have been lost, in the scores of thousands, through the Ba'athist policy of Arabification - had the US and British not protected the Kurdish region with well-armed military aircraft.
I hope this doesn't seem like I take the loss of 100,000 lives lightly. But the methodological flaws in the Lancet survey, based as it was on cluster sampling, makes me doubt the figure. I'll post on this later.
• Re: clarification - toll of the war
Posted by byork at 2005-04-22 12:58 AM
In conde nsing my post, I may have created the impression in the following line - "I'd like to point out that, under the UN sanctions against Iraq, UNICEF and anti-war leaders such as John Pilger stated in 1999/2000 that half a million children died because of the sanctions" - that UNICEF/Pilger were citing that figure for 1999/2000. This was not the intention. The period of UN sanctions ran from 1990 to 2003. The UNICEF estimate was made in 1999 and taken up by Pilger in 2000.
• Re: the war in iraq-a revolutionary war
Posted by patrickm at 2005-04-22 07:11 AM
The following was (with some minor amendments) written just after the last Australian federal election. It's another reply to an acquaintance from the anti-war ‘movement’. Most of the points discussed are of current relevance, so I'm publishing it now. Please excuse the extreme hostility that is apparent as I was very angry with this particular individual for a number of reasons including his carping position on Iraq.
At this stage I dont think that any point in Alberts analysis holds up no democracy, no spread of enlightenment no abolishion of torture and now more violence towards the people of
You are just plainly wrong. Elections are approaching, fighters for the ideals of the enlightenment are daily standing up to barbarity, the
Did you catch Colin Powells description of his fellow cabinet mates if you havent he described them as "fucking crazies"
No I did not, but I am not surprised that a fairly conservative military sort thinks like that. You would have to be specific however to make any sense of the comment.
I suppose that you would like to know my oppinion of the us election
No. Let’s face it I already knew your opinion, it is no surprise whatever!
For you there is no progress in the world at present, and all is just doom and gloom. So many, backward bourgeois government’s, about which to moan and groan, and yet, so little time! Alas that is the fate of the Trotskyite. From whining about
The forces of Saudi billionaire OBL; the utterly barbaric forces of Jordanian, Al Zarqawi; the followers of the jumped up Iraqi Shiite thug, Moqtada Al Sadr; the forces of the ‘Sunni’ mass murdering butcher, Saddam Hussein; those of the vicious Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Bashir; the Serbian nationalist gangster Slobodan Milosevic, being tried for his war crimes; the Zionist war criminal Sharon retreating from Gaza (while doing what Nixon did before retreating from Vietnam) and to top it all - western Greens and Pseudo-lefts of all stripes willingly adding themselves to the list destined for history’s dustbin: just fantastic. What splendid progress in so short a period since 9/11!
With a roll call like that it looks like the newly reborn internationalist forces are getting stuck into the anti-globalisationists on a global scale, as it should be. From
This is because, with the collapse of the easy, turned difficult WMD justification, progress in developing mass support for the war can only be made by directly advocating liberation, and bourgeois revolutionary, norms applicable for the twenty first century and applied globally. (Note this is exactly what George W Bush has done with his most recent speech
No one should be left behind in the age of the Internet! There really is no excuse for your advocacy against “the war on terror”. The proletariat is now committed (though not yet fully, and or consciously) to a liberation philosophy that spans the globe but still recognizing the existence of great nations that are outside and still too big to profitably destroy.
In short, the Chinese have to liberate themselves, but come the time (and by my estimate even that is not historically speaking very far away) internationalists will find powerful ways of assisting even their liberation and revolution.
These new policies and realities are only just developing the properly equipped leading forces who know how to fight in the new way. While the main force, is still largely the unreformed
All this progress, so early in humanity’s 3rd world war, which I estimate will take all of the next fifty years to prosecute, is breathtaking! After all, this is a war far more complex than WW2, so, even with the quickening speed of human development, two generations could hardly be enough for this task. Still there is room for greater optimism. After all, the enemy is now reduced to the feeblest of threats, and wildly lashing out in all directions.
Imagine the progress when a genuine left force emerges and takes the political lead. I am only sad that it maybe quite some years before the reborn internationalist left takes the military lead as well as the theoretical lead, but who knows? I maybe unduly pessimistic.
Before that military time arrives, the political lead must arise in some centers of importance, and this is unfortunately too far away at present for me to speculate on.
All that can be said in this regard is that the independence and initiative of pro-liberation forces will enable political growth, as these policies and philosophies are consistently applied, in the face of the bankruptcy of the pseudo-left. You may think that is only an expression of hope. Only time, will tell and we may not be here to see it! But you and your comrades are already the walking dead, and without any hope whatsoever.
One only has to look at the full spectrum of the anti-war brigade to realize who the fifth columnists are in this war. With their incessant nonsense that it’s all about oil, and that the
The openly right wing elite made their careers pushing the disastrous policies that resulted in the 9/11 blowback. They now condemn this dangerous new policy. Their policy is democratic rhetoric while anti-democrats, are actually installed, propped up or supported. Pushing democracy for real, they warn with grave demeanour, is destabilising to the whole region. The pseudo-left in practice have ended up agreeing with them!
Well Im hoping for a Kerry win on the same basis I thought a govt change was good in Macedonia You remember
Your uninteresting example, this time is of
“Nations want liberation, Counties want independence and the people want revolution.” is still the world wide direction of history, despite me knowing nothing much about
The thing is, elections are to be thought about one at a time, but your singular view never changes.
Re Oz, and the
I’m also confident, that
You are disappointed that the ALP (that you always support) didn’t win, and even worse that it went backwards and looks like continuing in the same direction! I’ve got news for you, it’s going to get a shit load worse. The best you will be able to do is hope for bad times to save the electoral bacon.
I recall your joy at the 1993 election. You could not have conceived of the impact that just a few of us could have had, a mere three years later, while you still remained a paralyzed onlooker. Reflect on that, and you may see opportunity where you currently see only despair.
Here I am referring to the impact of the Neither! Campaign. There were only a handful of us and we had a terrific impact, forcing subsequent changes in the electoral act; exposing all the political parties in the parliament, in one way or another. Making sport out of the highest courts in the land; having daily coverage in all levels of the media, and where Amnesty International declared Albert Langer to be Australia’s first political prisoner in thirty years.
In short, making a big enough impact that the Federal court, was, forced to let him out of jail after only three weeks, of a ten week sentence for contempt of court. (A sentence handed out by a state Victorian Supreme Court Judge at the instigation of an Electoral Commission that would not itself lay charges about the breaching of the electoral act!)
Having raised all this now, I am just informed by Anita that there will be a determined effort to compile the material of this campaign and make it accessible on Lastsuperpower, but just don’t hold your breath. It is however an important series of issues that also has very important implications for both US and British leftists and democrats as well as Australians. So keep your eye out for a Neither! collection… To resume
Tony Blair seems to me to be a rather large fly in your ointment. True the openly conservative party in
Finally, there is no ‘interests of the people of