Monday, August 27, 2007

Minutes/resume of CPSL meeting on Iraq (08/26/2007)

[11:32] HenryJames Milestone: Let's start with a round of comments. We will begin on my right, with comrade ggtk, and go around the circle until it ends back at me. If you don't want to speak, say pass.

[11:35] Boris Niekerk: Iraq was obviously an imperialist adventure planned before september 11th and we use all oppose this illegal occupation.

[11:36] PsyBorg Leonov: the war on Iraq is a continuation of imperialist policy towards the region since the sykes-picot agreement. We should support progressive elements that oppose the US and the UK etc.

[11:37] Dissident Vollmar: in response to supporting progressive elements, i think that care should be taken in not supporting radical islamist militants. obviously. The situation that i see in Iraq right now is one of civil war. i havent been keeping close track of the "progress" in Iraq, but from what I've heard, its devolving, with really nothing to be done about it.
too many people are vying for power. the sunnis and shiites have deep differences and resentments. so yes, the United states involvement is an issue, but that's not the only thing to be looked at here when talking about progressively helping the Iraqi people.

[11:40] Hideki Kojishi: We're all Marxists here ... Even the Sunni-Shiite conflict, at the top, is about controlling wealth ... It seems clear to me that the war in Iraq is entirely driven by the American war industry ... it has no other reasonable function ... it does not make America or Britain safer (to the contrary in Britain) ... it oppresses the Iraqis and inflames Islamic hatred ... the only way to end American militarism which drives this war - and the next in Iran - is to somehow disconnect the militaryindustrial complex from its lackeys in government ... Marx would understand: it's all about money.

[11:46] Lupe Matova: well, i think that we have to have sure, that all poblations have the right to defend their autonomy, and to choose their future, then the irakian also. Its right, that the resistence include a lot of smalls grups of differents lines....but the principal think to defend for comunist is the freedom of all countries, against ocupation and also to denonce the real interests of imperialism in the zone

[11:48] Kakumei Arashi: ok, first of all im a japanese and its 4am in japan, so im sleepy. m sorry if i make a misstake. in my oppinion, the war on iraq is never justified whether one is a communist or not, because there is no connection between 911 and iraq and sadam didnt have any wepons of mass destruction. so i think the war is a conspiracy of what we call empire, including US, british and japan. so, they have to retreat from iraq as soon as possible

[11:55] Alys Abruzzo: First I agree a lot with Lupe. I aplogise for the lack of babbler. I will keep my contribution short based around the 2 slogans, 'victory to the insurgency' and 'troops out of Iraq'. raIt is our duty in countries with troops in Iraq to campaign for their withdrawral. The situation of civil war has been created by the occupying forces and their arming of sectarian gangs. Bush made a point about linking defeat in Iraq to defeat in Vietnam and in a way he is right. A defeat for the US in Iraq will be a huge setback for their ambitions in the region.

[11:56] Rockerduck Bogdanovich: first of all i would say that like a comrade pointed out before, if we look at the reasons of this vile war, we find a set up that not a dangerous communist but President Eisenhower pointed out in his farewell speech. this is the tight connection between weapons industry lobbies and the US government. on the other hand its clear that Us and its allied are in the mid term aiming to China. to do that they do need to set up a strong military presence in the middle east. the so called Allied are building 4 permanet beses in Iraq and it is the reason why they stay here. i would note also that the composition of US Army is basically made of proletarians that fight just for bread or for a future. our problem is how this vicious circle can be broken. i think that the first weapon we need is the US people themselves, the other ciountries will follow. i dont live in Us so, i cant say that much. i will wait for a American corade to talk to extend my arguments.

[12:06] Rascal Ratelle: getting the us people on our side will not be easy. a good part of the USA is pro bush, namly the southern states. how do you propose we get those pro bush shoutherners on our side? red necks are the hardest minds to change, dam near imposible if you ask me and they hate communists

[12:13] HenryJames Milestone: I think that Iraq is more than a civil war or an occupation. It is part of a larger campaign by U.S. imperialism and its cartel of states to re-divide the world along lines most favorable to it. If there is a connection between 9/11 and Iraq, it is only in the sense that they both represent key elements in a larger strategy. We are seeing today in countries like the U.S. a growing disparity between its economic and military power. Quite simply, the army is bigger and stronger than the government's pocketbook is. The result is that there is a need to expand into more markets, to acquire more resources and access to resources, and to regain an advantageous position in relation to its rivals in Europe. This, in my view, is the basis of the Iraq occupation. It is not so much about the oil as it is control of its flow -- especially when it comes to the flow into Europe and China.
But in this occupation, there is not a simple "good guys / bad guys" arrangement. The reality is that both the occupation and the so-called "resistance" represent two sides of the same Dark Scenario being imposed on the world in the wake of the end of the Cold War. As communists, I believe that our first and most important task is to stand with the working people of Iraq, their organizations and movement, and that it is they who deserve our support. The organizations of the so-called "resistance", while ideologically diverse, are small and are composed mainly of either dispossessed elements of the former Iraqi ruling class -- i.e., Ba'athists -- or of reactionary bourgeois and petty-bourgeois elements masquerading as "anti-imperialists" for the media and the western left. While it is true that there are many thousands of Iraqis who have picked up the gun and have rightfully resisted, these are not what I am speaking about when I talk of the "resistance". Rather, I am speaking about the specific organizations that go around the world attempting to pass themselves off as the "voice of Iraq" -- such as those who went to the "Anti-Imperialist Camp" in Italy a few months ago.
As communists, I think we can all agree that immediate, unconditional withdrawal of all imperialist occupation forces is our top demand. In my view, this is the crux of how to defeat imperialism in Iraq. Support for reactionary "anti-imperialists" -- disgruntled ex-employees of imperialism -- is not a communist position, in my view.


[12:27] Boris Niekerk: One thing to remember comrades is that it is in the interests of large US companies to keep such a war such as this going. Us businesses made huge profits in WW1, WW2, Vietnam, the Gulf and Afghanistan. as usual the ordinary US citizens must die for this. This war must end as soon as possible.

[12:30] Lupe Matova: we can see in this days, that economy situacion in the world enter in a depresion fase...and if we remenber in all the history, when the imperialism see a danger for its economy, this is similar than more and more wars. The USA
all we are here, we know the situation in irak, and some comarades dont think than people in the mayorit are against irak war, american people...because they beleive that this war would be good for their interests...but the economy situation in this days, and for the future is very see the bourse crash in this days....and perspectives in the next months, were more difficulties in USA, and in all “rich" countries to mantain the econonomy....this will be a beginning of a lot of moviments into the labour class, and this will concience the labour people in the real situation,in the enormous spend of money, public money to make wars that defends multinationals interests.
the irakian war dont answer the spectatives of bigs companies...they dont win that the wanted, and now, i think than the real deal for USA governement is how to go away from irak. like say henry, militar spend is very big, but this traslate a minory spend in social help, social security, education, health...and with we say that ther will haven t work....this is an explosive situation. i agree with henry that we have to stay with working class of irak, and the workers, now are also into the resistance movement, then we have to stay near the resistence.
The real resistance is to the occupation and with the support of 80% of the Iraqi population, is carrying out a guerrilla war, centralizing its objective on the military mostly the occupational army and the collaborationists: The national guard and the Iraqi Police, military services created by the occupier to protect itself from the resistances. Its being used right now in counter insurgent operations. Its clear that like all national liberation movements its formed by mixed groups of different tendencies that are with contradictions, some progressive, and others reactionary like of the Islamist fundamentalists, all with a point in common thats the fight against the United States. Something similar happened in Europe during the German occupations when the resistance had in its ranks, reactionaries with monarchist elements as well as communists. This fact in no way put the progressive character of the national liberation movement an issue. The Marxists have to support the Iraqi liberation movement, in the same manner that the Iraqi Marxists participate in it, but not only disintegrating themselves in together of the movements, without surrendering their ideological and organizational independence. Exposing clearly that the fight by the national liberation can only triumph like a fight for a social liberation Denouncing the reactionary character of islamic extremism and the opportunism of the leaders, showing them like the other face of the same coin of Imperialism. Proposing within the movement a basic common program for the socialist transformation of society and the means to carry it out. A political program that attacks the Imperialist occupation, the fundamentals of feudalism and capitalism.

[12:34] Hideki Kojishi: Well said, Lupe ... Mikhail Bakunin said that the sole purpose of the state is war. We cannot think in terms of "the Iraqi people" or "the American people." The classic enemies are: wealth, religion and the military ... all are being damaged by America's runaway imperialism. We must beware of supporting oppressive Islam in our actions against the war. In America, the Left shall rise soon, as it shall globally. As more and more wealth is concentrated in fewer hands, the people rise up. That is as it has been in the 19th and the 20th centuries. Trade unionism, the soul of Comminism, is growing again in the U.S. Middle class wealth is vanishing and that will turn the tide, as people realize they are working and dying for the benefit of an elite. This tide swept the world in 1848 and with modern communications, it can move even faster today. the state and its military will lose control of the people when the underclass refuses to fight for its own oppression.

12:36] PsyBorg Leonov: The objective of the war in Iraq and the WOT in general has short, medium and long term aims. Short term, to establish closer control of the area and use it as a base for destabilisation of the region. A (probably nuclear) attack on Iran is almost certain and these developments are allowing Israel to aquire more territory and US and other multinationals to obtain lucrative business particularly in the arms and oil sector. Another short term reason is to cover up the general finacial collapse that is happening and carry out looting operations to refill the coffers. Lastly to criminalise dissent and opposition to the neo-liberal globalisation agenda Medium term, to prevent the emergence of regional powers who can challenge imperialist hegemony in the area and frustrate the eatablishment of an Arab Union along the lines of the EU or similar institution. Long term, to threten and encircle China and Russia. This is just the start. Meanehile they ignore the global warming crisis and this leads to further desperate situations and forced migrations etc. In my view it is very serious. we ain't seen nothing yet. There needs to be the broadist aliance of progressive forces along the lines of the World Social Forum and every single left, social justice, peace and environmental group that has generally progressive aims. We should be part of this. The prospect that the neo-liberals offer us is for a big world war which would be nuclear sooner or later and massive environmental damage. We need the broadist of fronts to repel this possibility.

[12:38] Rockerduck Bogdanovich: well i would comment on what Lupe and Hideki said. for what i can remember, there is no evidence that a economical crisis automatically leads to a increased consciousness of the workers. i would say, looking at the last century, that fear and other factors do lead instead to a aquaintance to fascist instances and this is what we see in EU today for instance, not to mention other Countries. So i woud say that there is a double danger we have to face and a double task we have to accomplish in our RLs as strongly as we can and that is to help our close neighbors as the first to think the consequences that follow to this aptitude to think in terms of national interests, fear of any difference, and willing of a strong lead.
for what about the Iraqi resistance, im all with HenryJames, we have to stand for the part of that that deserves to be sustained.

[12:50] Lupe Matova: rock, the evidence of economical crisis, is that to mantain economy, FED, and BCE have to puto 200 000 milions dollars in circulation... and also pur more cheap money for banks....this is a simptome of a very bad situation, and we cant see that can realy save the economy. and about resistence : Do not be misled by the distorted information given to us by the media owned by large capitalist monopolies. This media is utilized for the United States and their allies for presenting the Iraqi insurgency like a group of fanatical of the Islamist fundamentalists. It is the same divisions in the various factions, principly the Sunnies and the Shiites who go about terrorizing and indiscriminately kill the civilian population. This permits the occupation army to show the war like its a "war against terrorism" and presents themselves like the " saviours of democracy", defenders of the population who are incapable of taking their destiny into their own hands. Using the media, they convince public opinion that it is urgent necessity to maintain themselves in the territory of Iraq and thus control (They[US] Love them...) the energy resources of the region.

[12:54] HenryJames Milestone: I think it's important, first, to distinguish between the small-r resistance -- the people of Iraq fighting individually or as neighborhoods -- and the capital-r Resistance -- the organizations presenting themselves as the alternative to the occupation and the Maliki government. I would say that the resistance waged by the people in Iraq is something that is worth supporting to a point. But that is not the same, in my view, as what the "official" Resistance is doing. At the same time, there is also the issue of the sectarian militias and the role of political Islam in the country. The use of political religion by the occupation forces, the sectarian groups and the "official" Resistance is something that has virtually own the country apart. We cannot speak abstractly about what we as communists see as our view on Iraq. If the Islamists and Ba'athists were to win, for example, it has very real consequences for the workers of Iraq and the region. We cannot ignore this. It my be that we in the western countries can move on to the next headline, the next campaign or protest. But the workers of Iraq will have to live with it for years to come -- provided they are able to stay alive.

[13:00] HenryJames Milestone: This is why we need to look more toward the concrete situation and what each side in the conflict would mean for the people of Iraq. This not only includes the organizations of the "official" Resistance, but also the independent labor movement and the civil resistance being waged by organizations like the Iraq Freedom Congress. The IFC in particular is something we should look at closely. They have demonstrated an ability to build across sectarian and religious lines, to unite workers into a revolutionary-democratic movement for a socially-progressive future, and also put armed forces on the ground to make it a reality. For that effort, the occupation, the sectarian militas and the "official" Resistance have targeted them. Even if we do not formally support the IFC, we should recognize that their ability to unite the oil workers, the mechanics, the teachers, the unemployed unions and the main women's organizations is supportable. Also, I think we should look more at the work of the Federation of Workers' Councils in Iraq and support their efforts.

[13:05] Lupe Matova: i agree with henry that we have to differency the islamist and petit bourgois groups of the resistence. i know thar the ideal resistence dont exist, a concencius marxistresistence dont exist in anyway...always we will have no-homogene group, so, if we want to support working people, we have to support resistence, bat making a call out to iraqi youth and workers so that they make return to their revolutionary and anti-imperialist traditions that they have showed greatly on many on many occasions and to convince that this movements can only be founded on the bases of the working class, that they are the only class able to unite with different religious groups,ethnicities, nationalities and social stratums with the common objective of social transformation. And defend what is the only way out, the only way to defeat imperialism, is a unified revolutionary fight against the occupation , oppression and sectarianism.

[13:08] Boris Niekerk: Comrades if we are clear on our position surely we should spread our message to the people of SL? I know many who would agree with what has ben said here.

[13:16] Lupe Matova: about action, a propose....we can make a demostration against the foreign ocupation, and support working peopla in irak, the next sunday or another day we can al be. also, the secretary can make a resume of the meeting, in the commun points of all comrades, to give a comunicate of conclusions

[13:20] Smoke Wijaya: I think it is very clear we all agree on the need to end the occupation

[13:21] Lupe Matova: and its claer for all, that the only force can make free iraky people, is working class force against capitalism and make a socialist country.

[13:35] Rascal Ratelle: we should be carful when we say"By Force, becuase this conjures up bad images in the mind, such as Chinas GOV abuse of the capitalist system. China has run their system By firc, they controle the media to the point that they can't evan get the truth out, what they watch, read, see. my concerns is how do we make the people see we CPSL are not like the corrupt Chinies comunists?

[13:42] Lupe Matova: its important what you say, rascal, but to make the difference between china comunism, and us, is very simple....comunist burocracy of china is the same than capitlism....we are comunist, and defend the worker class power....and it is not the idea of burocreacy chinese comunist party

[13:42] Rascal Ratelle: Lupe how do we make the other people see that? How do we convice the working populis?

[13:44] Ernest Newman: I agree that the "C"word is a huge looking at the IFC documents, everything makes so much sense....anyone with a brain can see they are the only ones talking any sense...but then you see that they are a mainly communist formation....for so many otherwise intelligent people, that is such a negative buzzword....and, especially for "worker", average joes with limited education, that is, it may be an unsurmountable obstacle, for getting them to listen to anything else you have to say. what ever the reason, however unjust, incorrect, or whatever, it's the material fact.

[13:46] Lupe Matova: to make the people understand, only with meetingd, like this, debates , peeches, all around us, in SL, and RL...i know its difficult, but its our work.....explain with a lot of paciene our ideas...and always defending the working class power to govern....the capitalism use the confusion of stalinism to crash comunism...we have to separate us of stalinism sistem, and explain that is nor comunism

[13:49] ggtk Wei: maybe we can do a campaign with tracts, posters,... in SL to explain that "communism isn't" stalism, defends freedom,equality, workers, etc

[13:55] Lupe Matova: comunists, we have a very good instrument to explain what we want....the clasicals writtings of comunists like marx, engels, lenin, gramsci, rosa luxemburg, and also the method: the materialism dialectic, for ggtk propose of tract, is interesant, but i think that with these meetings, about specifical themes, we can explain our ideas about what is for us comunism, real comunism. we have to have pacience

[14:07] Lupe Matova: i agree, with comrades wants more action in CPSL.....and i propose some of this...onlythe secretary have to resome the conclusions and put it in web, also, we would make a demostration against irakian ocupaton
[14:08] Lupe Matova: its along yhe work we do here, that people see what we are and we all agree that stlinism arent comunist really, and we have to explain it always to each people ask

[14:09] Smoke Wijaya: I propose we end this meeting. That I make the chatlog avaiable and draft a resume, which I willpost together in the notices and blog. Then a new meeeting, like wednesday, to discuss that resume and decide on action accordingly.I think we got a more clear view of what we agree on....and from which we can launch raising awareness and action

[14:20] Smoke Wijaya: Thursday 30th of August, 10 AM PDT, continuing meeting on Iraq.

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