by IAC, John Catalinotto
The International Action Center in the USA would like to send a greeting of solidarity to the organizers of the International Iraq Conference – Occupation, Resistance, International Solidarity set for March 12, 2005, in Berlin. This perfectly legitimate conference has come under attack from a narrow array of pro-government forces in Germany that are attempting to vilify and attack the right of the Iraqi people to defend their country from an illegal war and illegitimate occupation.
The United States government waged an aggressive war against Iraq, telling lie after lie and changing the story regularly in an attempt to justify the bombing and invasion and occupation of that sovereign. This is the crime. Without this occupation there would be no need for resistance, no need for car bombs, no suicide bombs. It is Washington who sent hundreds of thousands of U.S. youth into danger in Iraq.
We in the anti-war movement in the U.S. are struggling to end the slaughter in Iraq by bringing the U.S., British, Italian and other troops out of Iraq immediately. We see and we know that without the Iraqi resistance the Bush administration would likely have ordered another invasion of another country – Iran, Syria, North Korea, Cuba – all are on the list. The resistance has been saving the lives of others around the world, including the lives of U.S. youths.
The meeting in Berlin has organized a program that allows the German public to hear a sample of voices defending the right of the Iraqis to resist the occupation. It provides a variety of voices also from the European left that defend this right to resist occupation. Neither the Iraqi resistance nor its support from the workers´ movement in the imperialist countries is any less legitimate simply because it doesn´t speak with one voice.
During World War II the French Resistance to the Nazi occupation followed both Gaullist and Communist leadership. One might have different opinions about which of these forces should wind up running France, but both of them had a million times more right to run France than Hitler Germany did. It is hard to imagine that these resistance forces never committed excesses and only killed heavily armed soldiers on duty. But no one progressive would dream of vilifying the French Resistance today.
Those who are attacking and criticizing the organizers of this conference -- who are only giving an opportunity to the Iraqis to explain their reasons for resisting – are in reality covering up for the real criminals: the Bush administration, the Pentagon, and anyone who has facilitated or aided their illegal and aggressive war on Iraq, a crime against peace, a war crime, a crime against humanity.