Solidarity with Iraqi workers

Trade unionists or Islamists? AWL Wed, 03/09/2005 - 21:27

In October 2004 Subhi al Mashadani, general secretary of the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU) was shouted down at the European Social Forum. The meeting was abandoned.

After the ESF Sami Ramadani, an Iraqi leftist living in Britain, wrote a partial defence of the shouting-down. It was originally a letter to Alex Gordon, of the railworkers’ union RMT. The article was printed, abridged, in Socialist Worker on 30 October, and another article by Ramadani on similar lines was in the Guardian on 27 October. Martin Thomas critically examines the arguments.

Who represents Iraqi workers? AWL Wed, 03/09/2005 - 21:23

This article by Sami Ramadani appeared in Socialist Worker, 30 October 2004

The Left and "reactionary anti-imperialism" AWL Wed, 03/09/2005 - 21:22

“Reactionary socialism… half lamentation, half lampoon; half echo of the past, half menace of the future”
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto

“We had fed the heart on fantasies,
The heart’s grown brutal from the fare;
More substance in our enmities
Than in our love”
W B Yeats

Why socialists can not support the USA in Iraq (part 3) AWL Wed, 03/09/2005 - 21:18

Capitulators of today and yesterday

An example from the history of the USSR will also shed some Marxist light on the question of the attitude Marxists take when alien, anti-working class forces, are, or seem to be, doing work we want done, and would like to be strong enough to do ourselves, in our way.

In the mid 1920s, Trotsky and the Left Opposition, then the United Opposition (with Zinoviev), advocated a programme of industrialisation for the USSR. Their opponents, the Stalinists and the Bukharinites, scoffed at such an idea.

Why socialists can not support the USA in Iraq (part 2) AWL Wed, 03/09/2005 - 21:16

Not a penny for this system!

Amost instructive misunderstanding occurred when one of the New Blairites took issue with an editorial preface to some texts from Lenin and Luxemburg in Solidarity (3/52, 27 May 2004). The preface said:

Why socialists can not support the USA in Iraq (part 1) AWL Wed, 03/09/2005 - 21:09

By Sean Matgamna

[This is an edited and reworked version of an article by Sean Matgamna which first appeared in Solidarity 3/63 to 3/65. That can be found on this site: part 1; part 2; part 3. It was a reply to Don’t think twice, it’s alright, published in Solidarity no 3/62. More on the Iraq page of this website.]

Self-determination and democracy in Iraq AWL Wed, 03/09/2005 - 20:55

By Barry Finger

The demand for national liberation, for the right of self-determination of a people, is understood by socialists to be a demand for radical, consistent democracy.
This at once separates us from those who, such as the Buchananite paleocons, place the inviolability of the national principle above all other considerations and who may consistently oppose imperial interventions on that basis.

Is Iraq another Vietnam? AWL Wed, 03/09/2005 - 20:52

Chris Reynolds answers some questions

How is Iraq today different from Vietnam in the late 1960s?

In Iraq there are workers’, unemployed, and women’s movements which oppose both the US and other occupation forces and the Islamist and neo-Ba’thist militias which fight them. Socialists’ main duty is solidarity with those workers’, unemployed, and women’s movements.

There was no “third force” like that in Vietnam?

Solidarity with Iraqi workers AWL Wed, 03/09/2005 - 20:46

At the end of 2004 and beginning of 2005 there was a strike wave in Iraq, which affected many sectors of industry. The fledgling labour movement is beginning to raise its head.
But it is still organisationally weak. It faces many dangers, both from the US/UK occupation which keeps Saddam’s labour laws on the books, and from the Islamist and neo-Ba’thist “resistance” gangs, which have killed and kidnapped trade unionists.