'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Anti-Imperialism of the Iraqi Resistance (Part 1) 

Even on the left, there are people who perceive the violent resistance to the Iraqi occupation as merely nationalistic in nature, raising questions as to the extent to which the resistance is a legitimate expression of the sovereign aspirations of the people of Iraq. It is a subject periodically debated, as has been done here and here.

In fact, the resistance is international in nature, an effort to provide the territory and resources of Iraq from being seized by the US so that they can be used as an instrument to intimidate, and potentially even militarily attack, other countries. Consider this summary of a proposed Iraqi-American security agreement:

A proposed Iraqi-American security agreement will include permanent American bases in the country, and the right for the United States to strike, from within Iraqi territory, any country it considers a threat to its national security, Gulf News has learned.

Senior Iraqi military sources have told Gulf News that the long-term controversial agreement is likely to include three major items.

Under the agreement, Iraqi security institutions such as Defence, Interior and National Security ministries, as well as armament contracts, will be under American supervision for ten years.

The agreement is also likely to give American forces permanent military bases in the country, as well as the right to move against any country considered to be a threat against world stability or acting against Iraqi or American interests.

The military source added, "According to this agreement, the American forces will keep permanent military bases on Iraqi territory, and these will include Al Asad Military base in the Baghdadi area close to the Syrian border, Balad military base in northern Baghdad close to Iran, Habbaniyah base close to the town of Fallujah and the Ali Bin Abi Talib military base in the southern province of Nasiriyah close to the Iranian border."

Of course, this has undoubtedly been the goal of the US all along, but the eruption of the resistance in Fallujah on April 28, 2003 has prevented the implementation of it for over five years. If the Iraqis had passively relied upon the efforts of the global peace movement, the agreement would have been approved long ago.

In effect, the agreement renders the occupation of Iraq permanent, as reported by Patrick Cockburn:

Under the terms of the new treaty, the Americans would retain the long-term use of more than 50 bases in Iraq. American negotiators are also demanding immunity from Iraqi law for US troops and contractors, and a free hand to carry out arrests and conduct military activities in Iraq without consulting the Baghdad government.

The precise nature of the American demands has been kept secret until now. The leaks are certain to generate an angry backlash in Iraq. "It is a terrible breach of our sovereignty," said one Iraqi politician, adding that if the security deal was signed it would delegitimise the government in Baghdad which will be seen as an American pawn.

The US has repeatedly denied it wants permanent bases in Iraq but one Iraqi source said: "This is just a tactical subterfuge." Washington also wants control of Iraqi airspace below 29,000ft and the right to pursue its "war on terror" in Iraq, giving it the authority to arrest anybody it wants and to launch military campaigns without consultation.

The Iraqi resistance is seeking to prevent the US from transforming Iraq into an essential outpost of military neoliberalism. One can only hope that the endeavor is ultimately successful. Otherwise, war with Iran is inevitable.

Labels: , , , , ,

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?