Hiding the Face of Colonialism

July 26, 2003

Reprinted from "The Worker" newspaper.

The U.S. government faces growing difficulties in its colonization of Iraq.

Amongst other things, political demonstrations and armed resistance against U.S. occupation keep growing. In fact, earlier this month, General John Abizaid, the new commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, admitted that U.S. troops are facing a "classical guerilla-type campaign" and that "it's war, however you describe it." Defense Secretary Rumsfeld is warning that U.S. troops have been stretched to the limit and that the Pentagon may have to send more troops to Iraq, increase the duty tours of combat soldiers and call up more national guard units.

In mid-July a special Pentagon advisory panel sent to study the situation admitted that the U.S. had been unable to "stabilize" or "pacify" Iraq and recommended the "pressing need" for the U.S. to gain more U.N. support and bolster its military occupation by including more troops from other countries. Rumsfeld as well as Secretary of State Colin Powell also want to expand the role of the armies of U.S. allies.

The advisory panel emphasized that in addition to their military role, such UN and multinational forces will play an important political role. Robert Orr, Washington director of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Pentagon's advisory panel said: "Iraqis are extremely sensitive about being occupied. It just doesn't feel the same if an Indian or Pakistani soldier is on the corner than if it's an American." Another Pentagon advisor, Paul Sanders, underlined that a bigger multinational force: "would be helpful to diffuse responsibility for this massive undertaking and share any dissatisfaction with others and not be the sole target ourselves." Commenting on the Pentagon's plan to bring in more allied troops, the Chicago Tribune thinks that this will be helpful in "mollifying opposition at home" to the ongoing military occupation.

It is instructive to note that such liberals as Howard Dean, Al Sharpton, Dennis Kucinich and other Democratic Party politicians have been in the forefront of calling on Bush to rely more on the UN and a multinational army to bolster the U.S. occupation. This should again remind anti-war activists of the absolute necessity to expose and isolate these Democratic Party politicians and prevent them from having any say-so in the anti-war struggles. Their role is continually to seek ways to "mollify" the opposition and get the anti-war movement to reconcile itself to U.S. colonialism and aggression.

The anti-war movement must stick to its principles and aims and demand the immediate, unconditional withdraw of all U.S. troops from Iraq and the Middle East. We must recognize the sovereign right of every country to determine its own affairs and resolutely oppose U.S. intervention in all its forms.