Is it possible to end the occupation of Iraq?

Opinion

It is in the interests of the peace and democratic forces of the U.S., of the vast majority of our people, that we join with the Iraqi people and the people of the world to compel the Bush administration to end all forms of occupation and control of Iraq now.

On Nov. 2, we must elect an administration that will respond to the pressure, end the occupation if Bush fails to do so, and not repeat such aggression elsewhere. Only then can we end the huge financial drain of the occupation that is contributing to starving funds for jobs and other social welfare needs at home. Only then can the lives of Iraqis and U.S. troops be saved. Only then can we begin to restore the good name of our country in the world.

The democratic and peace-loving forces of the U.S. and the world put up an unprecedented fight to prevent Bush from attacking Iraq, in forms ranging from a worldwide simultaneous demonstration of tens of millions, to the halls of the United Nations, to neighborhood vigils. The Communist Party USA was an integral part of all those struggles.

Bush still hopes to fool the Iraqi and U.S. people by appearing to turn over power to a handpicked compliant group and reducing the number of U.S. troops until just after the elections.

While paying close attention to how the Iraqi progressive forces assess their situation, we have to judge how best to struggle here in the U.S. to end the occupation. Maximizing pressure to turn over control of the country to the democratic forces of Iraq and to get the U.S. out completely requires supporting not only the demand to “bring the troops home now!” We need also to support “UN peacekeepers in!” UN peacekeepers enter a country only with agreement of the authorities of that country. Even among those who opposed the war originally and now want the U.S. out, there is concern about how to prevent leaving Iraq in a state of civil war as a result of the U.S. aggression. Given the present armed attacks by backward forces and the existence of a number of politically contending militias, including one acknowledged to have been created by the CIA, the concern is legitimate and is expressed by some Iraqi progressive forces. Such a danger can best be met by UN commanded and controlled peacekeeping forces. By including such a just demand, it will be much easier to build maximum pressure and ensure major support in Congress for withdrawing the U.S. military.

Some on the U.S. left complain that the UN is a tool of U.S. imperialism or of imperialism in general. That case could have been made when the UN General Assembly endorsed the U.S. aggression against North Korea in 1950. Now the UN is the scene of major struggles between the forces for peace and progress in the world and those for war and reaction, headed by the U.S. Not every battle is fully won, but the UN has been resisting U.S. dictation on Iraq. There was evidence of the change in three recent votes of the General Assembly. These condemned the Sharon government of Israel for threatening the life of President Arafat, for assassinating Palestinians and for building the separation wall. Only Micronesia and the Maldives joined Israel and the U.S. in opposing those resolutions.

In most cases, if the Bush administration is for something internationally, it is safe to assume the peace, democratic and progressive forces of the U.S. and world should be opposed. But in a complex situation there can be moments when, for its own basically reactionary reasons, the administration supports something democratic forces support for opposite reasons. That is the case with the U.S. opposing Ayatollah Sistani’s proposal for immediate direct elections. While opposing a federal state, the Bush administration apparently recognizes that if the Kurds are excluded by a majority Shiite Arab vote, the country may split apart in civil war, or, due to fundamentalist militias that control sections of Iraq, end up with a theocratic regime similar to Iran’s. That result would only produce long-term instability for U.S. imperial interests. The U.S. wants instead to handpick caucuses, to assure its dominance after June 30. If that proves impossible, it would like elections postponed until after the U.S. elections, under cover of a UN recommendation, but keeping control in the meantime.

Whether the U.S. will be compelled by the Iraqi people, world public opinion and a growing majority sentiment in the U.S. to give up real power and get out in favor of democratic Iraqi political power and UN peacekeepers remains to be seen. As the Bush administration sees its present policy become an ever-greater threat to its reelection, the possibilities of a compelled just solution grow.



Danny Rubin is a member of the Education Commission of the Communist Party USA. He can be reached at pww@pww.org.