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

Saturday, March 19, 2005

"If we had an air force I promise you we would only target French barracks" 

Thoughtful interview with Tariq Ali in the Socialist Worker on the nature of the Iraqi resistance:

Q: The Iraqi resistance is demonised by Bush and Blair as terrorists, supporters of Saddam Hussein, Islamic fundamentalists and so on. Tell us what you think of the resistance.

A: Every resistance movement against imperialism has been categorised as terrorist — the Mau Mau in Kenya were demonised and brutally tortured by the British; the Algerian FLN by the French; the Vietnamese by the French and the Americans.

Today Israel’s Ariel Sharon refers to Palestinians as terrorists, Russia’s Vladimir Putin crushes the Chechens in the name of fighting terror and Tony Blair is assaulting traditional civil liberties in this country in the name of fighting terror. It’s hardly surprising that the Iraqi resistance is characterised in the same fashion.

Obviously the means used to drive out imperial occupiers are determined by the nature of the occupation. The brutality of the US troops and systematic torture they have used has been well documented. So how can the resistance be beautiful?

During the Algerian war a leader of the national liberation front, the FLN, was asked about using terror against French civilians in cafe bombings in Algiers. He replied, “If we had an air force I promise you we would only target French barracks, but till then...”

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