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Uncertain close of an pre-emptive strike against Iraq

13. June 2002

by the International Leninist Current

Uncertain close of an pre-emptive strike against Iraq
An US attack would put the mono-polar world order to a litmus test

Iraq is one of the last remaining Arab nationalist regimes. Despite its reactionary attack on Iran which served imperialist interest and its readiness all through the 80ies to behave according to the pattern set by the US strategy of “dual containment”, Iraq was not ready do fully subordinate to imperialism. This was proven by the maintenance of state monopoly of oil production and the attack on Kuwait. Iraq´s enormously rich deposits of oil and gas combined with national independence constitutes a decisive political and military threat to the imperialist architecture of the entire region which is of strategic interest to imperialism, not only thanks to the oil reserves. The US intends to bring down the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein in order to:

…· control Iraq´s oil resources
…· destroy its military potential
…· secure the US control over the Gulf states and the main imperialist puppet regimes
…· wipe out any Arab opposition to Zionist occupation of Palestine

The current sable-rattling and apparent war preparations do not derive from any specific circumstances related to Iraq. It is a pre-emptive attempt of the US to prepare to a deepening crisis in the Middle East heralding turmoil, popular resistance and rebellion. The strong Arab popular support for the Palestinian people against the Israeli massacre, the radicalisation of the Islamic movement and the popular dissent towards the American presence on the Arabic peninsula are only first signs. As a result of the attacks of September 11 the US have declared a permanent pre-emptive war against any major opposition to its predominance regardless of whether mounted by states, popular movements or vanguard groups. In order to stabilise the entire Middle East and thus the US world empire Iraq has been declared as the main target. An all-out attack is only a question of time.

However, the stakes are high also for the US and their potential allies. Iraq has not only retained a certain military potential, but is historically a stronghold of the social revolutionary, anti-imperialist and communist movement. Despite the dictatorial Byzantine character of the regime of Saddam Hussein, Baathism retains some support from both the intellectuals as well as the popular masses. Under the current circumstances, the regime is the only instrument capable of keeping independence from imperialism while despite the vicious embargo and the enrichment of the regime and its cronies it is still able to sustain the basic livelihood of the mass of the population.
Different to the attack on Iraq in 1991, most of the adjacent states are no more ready to support the war and offer imperialism its territory. This fact is reflection the growing opposition of the popular masses and the solidarity to the Iraqi people.

Therefore the favourite scenario of the US and its closest allies is a massive air-borne attack using the entire firepower and the most sophisticated weaponry including tactical nuclear bombs at their disposal subjecting Iraq to a destruction as massive as never seen before. In a few days the entire infrastructure should be dismantled and eventually Saddam Hussein killed either by a high precision strike or by a commando action. A military coup d´etat should use the Baathist state apparatus to erect a pro-imperialist military regime. However, this scenario bears so many imponderabilities that it is unlikely to work out.

The longer the bombardment will last the bigger the problems for the aggressor will become. First of all as massive Arab and Muslim solidarity movement will spring up (mainly causing troubles to the Arab regimes which will have lend tacit support to the attack) as well as a peace movement in Europe and the America. Second the Baathist state apparatus and the army will disintegrate minimizing the possibilities of a coup d´etat from within. Third the suppressed Shiite opposition forces with massive popular following in the South might rise similar as occurred in 1991. This will further complicate the situation for the US as the Shiite political leadership tends towards Iran. Forth a Kurdish attack on Mosul or even further to the South will automatically fuel pan-Kurdish tendencies also in Turkey which is the US stronghold in the region. Therefore Turkey will take action against it. Fifth all these tendencies would threaten the territorial integrity of Iraq which would put all the superficial borders of the region in question. Also the most true US allies will tenaciously oppose such a development.

So the US must provide for a “worst case scenario” there the only possibility to control the county is a massive ground intervention, at least a temporary occupation and the imposition of an open colonial regime. This would mean a massive military built-up with hundred of thousand of troops invading at least from the South and the North. Fierce military resistance from both shattered parts of the army as well as popular forces would result in massive casualties also among the imperialist soldiers. In Saudi Arabia but also in Turkey the allies´ war drive would have to be imposed definitely against the will of the masses but also of those of the regimes´.

There can be no doubt that the US war machine got the military power to conquer Iraq. The decisive question will be that of the time frame. The longer Iraq will resist and the slaughtering will go on the more massive the resistance in the Arab countries will become threatening the imperialist set-up and possibly bringing down the puppet regimes. This would generalise the war in the entire region and tend towards a popular war. This must be the strategic aim of the solidarity movement and would be the only relieve for Iraq.

A shattering victory of the US over Iraq would definitely stabilise the mono-polar world and the US hegemony over their allies. Therefore also China, Russia and other minor powers even including some European countries might oppose the war the more it sets the region on fire and the stronger the resistance will be. A continuing Arab popular liberation war, on the other hand, could sound the death knells for the US rule over the world. It could be the signal not only for other oppressed people to enter the field of struggle against imperialism but also of major powers to use the benevolence of the situation.

Therefore the main question is to build popular anti-imperialist politico-military organisations with a Leninist core in the main Arab countries such as Egypt, Algeria and Syria in order to lead the popular liberation war.

We do not believe that Baathism has the overall means to defend the country against an all-out imperialist attack. It does not dispose of the organic relationship to the Arab masses both in Iraq as well as in the entire Mashreq. Therefore we will be on the side of Baathism wherever it defends the country but we will strive to lend political support to the revolutionary anti-imperialist and communist forces who will struggle to preserve their independence. However, those opposition forces against Baathism who are overtly or covertly co-operating with imperialism will be fought in the same way as imperialism proper.

Defend Iraq against the impending imperialist onslaught!
Transform the imperialist war into a popular liberation war!

International Leninist Current
June 2002