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SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE  April 2004

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE April 2004

Subject:

Jim Petras sent this with permission to re-post, so please do...

From:

Maurice Bazin <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 15 Apr 2004 15:30:57 -0300

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (284 lines)

Dear friends,
> Jim Petras sent this with permission to re-post, so please do.

> *************************************
>
> Third World Resistance and Western Intellectual Solidarity
> 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.  The 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 are
> 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
> tanks.  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,
> Baghdad.
>  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 opponents.
>  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
> liberation).  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.
>
> James Petras   April 7, 2004

Maurice Bazin
Rua Pau de Canela 1101
Campeche / Florianópolis
88063-505   Brasil

Tel: 55 48 237 3140
Fax: 55 48 338 2686 (may need oral warning; pode precisar avisar)

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