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Today's Topics:

   1. Third world resistance and Western intellectual solidarity (
   2. Iraq News and Views (Muhamed Ali)


Message: 1
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2004 12:21:59 EDT
Subject: Third world resistance and Western intellectual solidarity

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

Third World Resistance and Western Intellectual Solidarity
by James Petras
April 7, 2004

Falluja, Baghdad, Ramadi, Nasiriya - an entire people
has risen to confront the colonial occupation army, its
mercenaries, clients, and collaborators. First in massive
peaceful protests, they were massacred by US, British,
Spanish and Polish troops: Bare hands against tanks and
machineguns. The armed resistance, in the beginning a
minority now indisputably the most popular force, backed
by millions.

The colonial armies, fearful of every Iraqi, shoot wildly
into crowds and retreat; they encircle whole cities,
fire missiles into crowded working class neighborhoods,
helicopters pour machinegun fire into homes, factories,
mosques. In the eyes of the colonial soldiers, the enemy

is everywhere. For once they are right.

The resistance resists, every block, every house,
every store rings out with gunfire, the resistance is
everywhere. Every house takes hits, the resistance fight
on. People aid the wounded fighters, wash their wounds.

They provide water to the thirsty to quench their parched
throats and cool their hands - the automatic weapons,hot.

And where are the western mercenaries? The $1,000 dollar
a day hired guns with their flak vests, dark glasses, --
their swagger and insolence have disappeared. They too
have seen the charred bodies of their ex-partners of death.

Hundreds of Iraqis have been killed, thousands have been
injured, many more will die but after each funeral tens of
thousands more, the peaceful, apolitical, "wait and see"
ones have taken up the gun.

'It's a civil war', brays the bourgeois press. This is
wishful thinking. Shia and Sunni are in this together,
brothers and sisters (yes, women street fighters) in arms,
each covering their comrades' backs as they confront the

And the resistance is winning. Never mind the "proportions"
- five or ten or twenty Iraqis for each colonial soldier.
The Iraqi Resistance has won politically: No appointed
official has any future : They exist as long as the US
military remains but they will flee from the rooftops of
their bunkers as the US withdraws.

Militarily, the US and the mercenaries are taking thousands
of casualties -scores of deaths and wounded everyday. In
Washington, the civilian militarists, the architects of the
destruction of Iraq are panicking. "Send more troops!" say
Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and the would-be president Kerry.

>From his Texas ranch, Bush proclaims the resistance leader
Moqtada Sadr a "killer". Far from the fire, the mayhem, the
massacres, his television doesn't show the child with the
mangled face. Bush once again is far from the killing
fields - Vietnam and now Iraq. Now he can claim a draft
deferment - he is nominally the President who unilaterally
declared the end of the war in May 2003.

Now, April 2004 there are more than 600 dead US soldiers as
the Iraqi resistance rose to meet Bush's challenge "Bring
them on" and took the streets from the colonial army, then
they came on and conquered the cities and with sheer
courage and absolute determination they hold their ground.

The "Arabs" resist, while the overstuffed cabbage Sharon is
silent. His once loquacious agents, Wolfowitz, Feith,
Abrams and their underlings are strangely silent. Are they
worried that there might be a mass backlash against those
who cooked the data to get the US into a war in which
thousands of US soldiers will die and be maimed - in order
to "protect" Israel's undisputed claim to dominance in the
Middle East?

In the early spring of 2004, in April to be exact, the
dreams of a new colonial empire came crashing down on the
masterminds of the New World Order, an undisputed,
unilateral Empire. The end of the
Sharon-Wolfowitz-Blair-Chaney "Greater Mid-East
Co-Prosperity Sphere". The Iraqi resistance has turned the
Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz dream of a series of wars against Syria,
Iran, Cuba, and North Korea into a nightmare of bloody
street battles on every block in Falluja and Sadr City,

The heroism, the valor, the inspiration, the mass
resistance is all the more so as the Iraqi people draw on
their resources, their own solidarity, their own history,
their belief that they will be free or take down every
colonial soldier as they fight to the death.

The phrase "Patria o Muerte" takes on a special and very
specific meaning in Iraq: It is not a slogan of a leader,

a vanguard, to arouse and inspire the people - it is the
living practice of a whole people. Patria or Muerte comes
out of the mouths of teenage street fighters as well as
street venders and widows with black scarves.

The "Iraqi April Days" are a lesson to for the whole Third
World and other would-be imperial colonialists: Mass armed
resistance cannot be politically or militarily defeated.
The heroism of the Iraqi resistance stands in stark
contrast to the cowardly self-styled Arab leaders:

The Jordanian and Saudi monarchs, the garrulous corrupt
"President for Life" Mubarak, the Iranian Ayatollah
collaborators. Not one has moved a finger to aid the Iraqi
national liberation struggle. They fear the example of the
successful Iraqi resistance will light a fire under their
ample buttocks.

And the Western intellectuals? Since the resistance began

a year ago.not a single US intellectual, of the dozens of
progressive, critical thinkers ("Not in My Name") has

dared to declare their solidarity with the anti-colonial
struggle. They have "problems", I hear, "about supporting
Arab fundamentalists, terrorists, anti-Semites etc."

Echoes of the French intellectuals who also opposed the
popular armed resistance movements against the Nazis
because the "Communists had taken over." or later because
the 'colons' in Algeria also had a "right to be in Algeria"
(Albert Camus). In his book "Listen Yankee", C. Wright
Mills challenged US 'progressives' who balked at supporting
the Cuban Revolution in the early 1960's. "This is a real
blood and guts popular revolution", he said. "You can make
a difference, you can be part of the solution or part of
the problem."

The Western intellectuals are a problem. They are not
ordering the troops, even less are they (or their children
or grandchildren) pulling the triggers murdering Iraqi
school kids. They are sitting on their hands. "But", they
protest, "we oppose the war" while they scramble to endorse
candidate Kerry who does support the war and even calls for
40,000 more troops to pour missiles into crowded
neighborhoods., under U .N auspices to be sure.

So where are the Western intellectuals in these days when
the Iraqi people have risen arms in hand to resist the US
military juggernaut? There are two sides: An entire nation
fighting a colonial occupation army and US imperialism.
Serious and consequential political intellectuals must make
a choice:

To refuse to take sides is tantamount to complicity,
intellectual complacency is a luxury for intellectuals in
the empire which doesn't exist in Iraq. Over 1000 Iraqi
intellectuals and professors have been murdered during the
occupation. The issues are not obscure or complex. One side
demands free elections, a free press, and
self-determination while the other, the colonial officials,
ban newspapers, appoint puppet rulers and murder their

The paralysis of the US leftist intellectuals, their
inability to express solidarity with the Iraqi resistance
is a disease which afflicts all "leftist" intellectuals in
the colonial countries. They are fearful of the problem
(the colonial war) and fearful of the resolution (national

In the end, the comforts and freedoms they enjoy, the
university applause and adulation they receive in the
colonial motherland weighs more heavily than the mental
costs of a straightforward declaration of support for the
revolutionary liberation movements.

They resort to phony "moral equivalences", against the war
and against the "fundamentalists", the "terrorists", the
'whoever' who is engaged in their own self-emancipation and
has not paid sufficient attention to the self-appointed
guardians of Western Democratic Values. It is not difficult
to understand the absence of solidarity with liberation
movements among the progressive intellectuals in the
imperial countries: they too have been colonized, mentally
and materially.

Thousands of humble people in Iraq are giving these erudite
intellectuals a practical lesson in solidarity:on
April4,2004 in the midst of hostile tanks and helicopter
gunships, thousands marched from Baghdad to Fallujah
carrying food and medicine to the embattled and encircled
people in that city which will forever be remembered as the
cradle of emancipation

Will our intellectuals take note? Can they at least
circulate a statement "In Our Name" in solidarity with the
iraqui resistance?

In the meantime, the mass popular resistance in Iraq takes
on the well-fed, over-armed armies of occupation in hand to
hand warfare. They do no ask if their neighbor, friends or
comrades are Sunni, secular, Shia, Baathist or Communist,
they do not stand aside when a mosque, a school or a
housing project is bombed or machine-gunned.they have made
a commitment to engage in the struggle, to join in one
national movement to oust the invader, the oil thieves, the
murderers at hand and afar.

It's a pity, more for themselves than for any material
contribution they could make to the historical struggle
that the US progressive intellectuals have chosen to
abstain and once again demonstrate the irrelevance of the
Western intellectuals to Third World Liberation.


Message: 2
Subject: Iraq News and Views
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2004 16:23:22 +0100
From: "Muhamed Ali" <>
To: <>

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

1.'We will fight until the end, until each one of them dies'
Rory McCarthy in Garma
Thursday April 8, 2004
The Guardian <>  "It is a violent, little
coordinated movement with no political agenda and based on Islamist or
nationalist sentiment together with notions of tribal honour and

2. Comment


Why we must never abandon this historic struggle in Iraq

Tony Blair
Sunday April 11, 2004
The Observer <>

"There is a battle we have to fight, a struggle we have to win and it is
happening now in Iraq."

Blair: I will not flinch from historic Iraq fight

* 'Dictators would rejoice if we give up struggle'
* PM gives full backing to US military campaign
* Western leaders signal aggressive new tactics

Kamal Ahmed, political editor
Sunday April 11, 2004
The Observer <>



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