Imperialism forced to change course (but not its spots)
The period up to 2003 may be seen as one where the forces of imperialism could invade countries to impose their agenda. Since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, this direct military action by imperialism has been challenged to the point where the monopoly capitalists have been forced to change their approach. The barbarian forces of imperialism invaded and looted the cradle of civilization, Mesopotamia (Iraq). The united resistance of the Iraqi people, together with the growing resistance of the working class in the imperialist heartlands of the US and Britain, have halted imperialism in their tracks. The global anti-war movements drew in millions of the working classes across the globe in protest against the imperialist invasion on Iraq, on an unprecedented scale. Openly pro-imperialist forces/parties have been defeated across South America; in the Spanish elections; in the Palestinian elections and through the current ongoing uprising (intifada); in the invasion of Lebanon.
The defeat of the Republicans in both Congress and Senate elections reflects the growing mass discontent among the US working class over the continuing occupation of Iraq. One of the factors has been the over 3000 fatalities and over 20 000 US troops maimed or injured since the March 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Imperialism has been forced to adopt different tactics as part of their strategy to subdue and control the working classes of the world. An old weapon that ruling classes have used over the centuries has now been pushed more to into prominence, namely the use of ‘divide and rule’ tactics rather than direct military force.
The mock trial of Saddam Hussein and his summary execution
The capitalist media have deliberately confused the political reasons behind the trial and execution of Saddam. One of the arguments given is that it was necessary to execute Saddam to act as a deterrent to the forces of resistance acting against imperialist occupation. US imperialism has 140 000 troops, backed by close to 80 000 mercenaries and allied forces, as well as 200 000 Iraqi troops. With this massive force they have been unable to break the resistance of the Iraqi people, how can the execution of a dictator that the masses hated, act as a deterrent to their uprising? No, there must be other reasons.
Was the widespread hatred for Saddam the driving force behind his speed trial and execution? Was his execution to give legitimacy to the ‘new’ Iraqi state structures? If the aim was to appease to masses and to give legitimacy to the current Iraqi state structures, then Saddam would not have been executed before he had accounted for all his crimes, such as the gassing of the Kurds, the suppression of the 1991 uprisings, the Iran-Iraq war, etc, etc. Thus the speedy execution of Saddam could not have been to appease the masses nor would it have given the courts or state more credibility.
To uncover the political reason why Saddam was executed so soon we have to delve a bit deeper: During the entire time that Saddam was in captivity, he was under the control and guardianship of the US military; the so-called Regime Crime Liaison Office of the US embassy in Iraq were the behind-the-scenes organisers of the trial; US Secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice gave the go-ahead for the execution ; Saddam was hanged for the killing of 148 people who were involved in a failed assassination attempt against him- the one crime where there was no direct involvement of US imperialism- in 1991, imperialism looked the other way while Saddam massacred thousands of people- they preferred Saddam rather than risk a mass uprising against him that would bring to power an Iranian-style leadership. The gassing of the Kurds and the chemical weapons used on the Iranians in the 8 year war in the 1980’s were all at a time when US imperialism supported Saddam to the hilt. If the other crimes of Saddam were put under the spotlight it is possible that he would have exposed the real role of his former comrades, Rumsfeld and other agents of US imperialism in the many atrocities that the Iraqi regime committed. Here is the reason why Saddam was so speedily executed- to cover up the role of imperialism. The exposure of the complicity of US imperialism in the atrocities of Saddam would have heightened the resistance to the current occupation, in Iraq, in the US and internationally. It would also have shattered the fragile alliance that US imperialism uses to control the Iraqi state.
Saddam killed off any opposition, be it Sunni, Shia or Kurd. He was a representative of the Iraqi capitalist class and acted in their interests. The Iran-Iraq war, if we extend the argument of the capitalist press, could have been seen as ‘Shia killing Shia’, which showed that religion or sectarian belief had nothing to do with the war. During this war US imperialism was supporting the Iraqi regime and supplying it with chemical and other weapons.
The arrest of British soldiers disguised as Iraqis in a car loaded with explosives, together with revelations that the Iraqi interior ministry set up death squads, are all evidence that imperialism is behind a protracted campaign to promote sectarian conflict between ‘Shia’ and ‘Sunni’. This is much the same as imperialism has promoted conflict between Hutu and Tutsi in Rwanda, between Catholic and Protestant in North Ireland, between Jew and Arab in Palestine, between Zulu and Xhosa in South Africa, etc.
The ‘leaked’ video of Shia’s taunting Saddam at his hanging, the mock disagreement between the ‘Sunni’ Presidential Council member al-Hashemi (who refused to sign Saddam’s execution order) and the Shia Prime Minister Maliki (who signed the execution order), were all calculated by imperialism to further fan the flames of sectarian divisions.
The Iraqi people are united in their desire for imperialism to leave. The sectarian clashes are also calculated at breaking the resistance to the extent that US and other imperialist companies are allowed free reign to exploit the resources and the working class in Iraq.
US imperialism is making one last desperate attempt to break the resistance of the Iraqi people through the sending of 20 000 more troops. They will not succeed. Twenty thousand more of the US youth are being sacrificed for the profiteering aims of imperialism. Despite this last ditch attempt to smash the resistance, imperialism has come to the conclusion that direct military intervention will not achieve their objectives. This means a shift by imperialism towards the use of creating ethnic, sectarian and/or religious divisions among the oppressed, and the use of indirect military interventions. Besides imperialism creating inter-ethnic fighting in Iraq, they are also behind the clashes between Fatah and Hamas factions, as well as supporting the invasion of Somalia by Ethiopian troops.
In the case of Palestine, imperialism wants to break the united resistance against the Zionist terror machine. In Somalia, the existence of a state without a centralised capitalist government poses a problem for imperialism. Not only were imperialist troops driven out in 1994 but for the past 15 years there has been no centralised state apparatus. This weakens capitalist-imperialist ability to exploit the country and also shows that a country can exist without a capitalist state apparatus. If this example spreads to Sudan or any of the other mineral or oil-rich regions then the functioning of the imperialist economies would be in serious trouble. The supposed threat of Al Qaeda in Somalia is a convenient cover for US imperialism to bomb the Somali resistance. Whenever imperialism runs out of excuses they always haul out Al Qaeda from their bag of tricks. Osama Bin laden was once on the payroll of imperialism during their invasion of Afghanistan to expel the Russian occupiers. It may be legitimately asked if Al Qaeda or sections of it are still on the payroll of imperialism.
South Africa has started its 2 year term as part of the UN security Council on the 1st January of this year. Will the SA government oppose the imperialist attacks in Somalia and elsewhere? We think not.
WE CALL ON THE WORKING CLASSES AND OPPRESSED OF THE WORLD TO UNITE AGAINST IMPERIALISM AND THEIR LACKEYS, AND TO OPPOSE ALL THEIR ATTEMPTS TO DIVIDE US! IN PALESTINE, AFGHANISTAN, LEBANON, IRAQ AND SOMALIA WE CALL FOR THE FORMATION OF WORKERS AND PEASANT COUNCILS TO INTENSIFY THE RESISTANCE TO IMPERIALISM. WE CALL ON THE WORKING CLASS IN THE IMPERIALIST CENTRES TO INTENSIFY THE MOVEMENT TO ‘BRING THE TROOPS HOME’. WE CALL ON THE ETHIOPIAN WORKERS AND PEASANTS TO MOBILISE FOR THE TROOPS TO BE WITHDRAWN FROM SOMALIA! DOWN WITH IMPERIALIST OCCUPATIONS AND BOMBINGS! FORWARD TO THE BUILDING IN EVERY COUNTRY OF REVOLUTIONARY WORKING CLASS PARTIES AS PART OF A REVOLUTIONARY INTERNATIONAL- THE REBUILT FOURTH INTERNATIONAL! FORWARD TO WORKING CLASS POWER! FORWARD TO SOCIALISM!