Complexities in Iraq today

The following is an excerpted letter from the Iraqi Communist Party issued on Oct. 18. To see the letter in full go to www.iraqcp.org

During the past six months, Iraq has witnessed exceptional developments giving rise to a totally new situation. It is extremely complex, and fraught with enormous dangers, as well as holding real potential for leading our country out of its prolonged ordeal towards the democratic alternative our people aspire for.

Our Party opposed the war … While joining in the worldwide anti-war movement under the slogan “No to war … No to dictatorship,” Iraqi Communists … warn[ed] against one-sided positions, which overlooked the regime’s responsibility for the dangers and tragedies suffered by our Iraqi people.

The 9th of April, the day when the dictatorship eventually collapsed, has come to embody the complexities and contradictions of the new situation. Deliverance from brutal dictatorship was achieved, but the reality of occupation has replaced it.

In order to confront the new situation, our Party called upon all Iraqi patriotic forces to convene a broadly based National Conference representing the political, social, national and religious spectrum of Iraqi society.

Such a conference would have formed an Iraqi transitional coalition government with full powers, to administer the country during the transitional period, prepare a draft constitution and an election law, and embark on negotiations with the U.S. to end the occupation.

But this legitimate demand … was rejected by the occupation powers. The U.S. and Britain received further support with Resolution 1483 adopted by the UN Security Council, effectively conferring international legitimacy on their occupation.

Attempts by the U.S. to impose an Iraqi “Political Council” of only consultative nature were firmly rejected by the people and political forces.

Eventually a compromise was reached in mid-July 2003, with active mediation by the late UN special representative, Mr. Sergio Vierra de Mello, by setting up a Governing Council, with limited but important powers.

Our Party, which decided to join the Governing Council, along with the majority of other political forces, has regarded the Council as an arena of struggle rather than being a final, fixed and definitive authority.

Participating in the Council in its present form does not mean, in any way, accepting it as an alternative to the desired Iraqi transitional coalition government.

Our people, despite rejoicing at the fall of Saddam’s regime, did not embrace the foreign troops or receive them with flowers. They look forward to a speedy end of the occupation, and the restoration of the country’s full sovereignty and independence.

Resisting occupation is a right enshrined by the UN Charter. The Iraqi people, therefore, have a legitimate right to resort to various forms of struggle to end the occupation and restore national sovereignty. But resisting occupation is not limited to employing violent means in struggle, but rather includes various forms of peaceful political struggle.

The lessons of history teach us that peoples only resort to armed struggle when they are forced to do so after exhausting peaceful means.

Today, various possibilities and options are available to our people to exercise political struggle. Tens of political parties and organizations, trade unions, vocational and democratic organizations, associations, etc., have emerged … armed operations in our country’s current circumstances inflict harm on the desired aim: to get rid of the occupation as soon as possible. Such operations actually provide the pretext for the occupying forces to prolong their presence, as well as perpetuating the state of tension, concern and fear among the people.

Violations and violent acts against the people by the occupying forces have also led to violent reactions by the latter, giving rise to spontaneous armed operations. It is important, therefore, to distinguish between groups and forces that carry out such acts.

Tackling the security situation, however, requires urgent political, economic and social measures. First and foremost, prerequisites must be provided for a speedy handover of power to the Iraqi people and building a democratic regime in Iraq.

Developments in our country … have also emphasized the importance of activating the role of the United Nations … in supporting and guiding the ongoing political process in Iraq, as well as its role in relief operations and reconstruction.

Iraq is witnessing today an extremely complicated political process. … it is essential … to have international solidarity by the forces of peace, progressive and democratic movements … The future of Iraq, and the whole region, depends to a large extent on the outcome of the ongoing political process in our country.