"This is because of the Americans. It is their doing while (our) politicians just sit in their seats of power. Is this what they call a democracy?"
Ibrahim al-Jaafari's future as Iraqi PM certainly looks uncertain as he is a complete failure at bringing a legitimating façade to the new regime.
US troops do not want to be forced to leave for the simple reason that part of the reason-detre of the invasion was to establish a permanent military presence in Iraq – the future invasion of Iran needs land borders to operate from and Afghanistan and Iraq are key pieces in that picture (see this piece in Green Left Weekly) A civil war, or robust insurgency, rules out the US using its forces in Iraq for anything other than maintaining their own presence.
Leaving aside my concerns about the ontological contradictions (I will get my money’s worth from that sociology degree) between supporting the insurgents and mourning those they kill, when it comes to defining what is happening in Iraq the left seems to be hedging its bets.
The Socialist Party describe it as “sectarian feuding” but also state that “the disintegration of Iraq in factional civil war has provided an ideal terrain for terrorist networks to flourish.” (Iraq three years on) Martin Smith is uncharacteristically measured and balanced on this in Socialist Worker (Let's ensure that Iraq is Blair's epitaph)
Although I liked the nuanced take in Eddie Ford’s piece in Weekly Worker (link) “What we are currently confronted with in Iraq is a combined armed struggle which is part directed against the US-UK occupiers and part directed against other Iraqi forces and national/religious elements. Especially given the fragmentation, that means that the occupation forces and this or that Iraqi faction engage in a crazy dance of conflict/compromise/cooperation. There are not two sides. There are many sides.”
I have two questions that I think we need to discuss
- Is there a civil war in Iraq? (as opposed to regular disruption and disorder)
- And do we think that there should be a civil war to oust the occupation?