6th IMCWP, Contribution of Iraqi Communist Party

10/8/04 12:45 PM
  • Iraq, Iraqi Communist Party 6th IMCWP En Asia Communist and workers' parties

Athens Meeting 8-10 October 2004, Contribution of Iraqi
Communist Party
From: SolidNet, Monday, October 18, 2004
http://www.iraqcp.org , mailto:iraq@iraqcp.org

Iraqi Communist Party, Contribution
To The International Meeting of Communist And Workers'
Athens 8-10 October 2004

Dear Comrades,

I convey to you the warmest greetings of the Iraqi
Communist Party and its best wishes for the success of this
International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties.
Allow me also to join other speakers in thanking the
comrades of the fraternal Communist Party of Greece for
hosting this important meeting and for their consistent
efforts to sustain this event as a forum for open and free
exchange of views about the urgent issues and challenges
facing Communists all over the world. We believe that
seminars and workshop, focusing on more specific topics,
with more in-depth analysis and discussions, and aiming to
develop joint political initiatives, on both regional and
international levels, can complement these meetings.

We seize this occasion to express our high appreciation for
the internationalist support and solidarity extended by the
Communist Party of Greece and fraternal parties, over many
decades, against dictatorship and fascist campaigns of
terror, mass executions and physical liquidation against
Iraqi Communists and democrats, especially under Saddam's
dictatorship. While continuing the fight today, under
extremely difficult and complex conditions, to end the
American-British occupation, restore national sovereignty
and independence, and build a democratic Iraq, we look
forward to your continued support and solidarity. Iraqi
Communists know only too well, from their own bitter
experience, who their true and tested friends are: those
who share their values and lofty aims of freedom,
democracy, human rights, peace and socialism.

International solidarity with the Iraqi people and
democratic forces, including our Communist Party, has
acquired special and exceptional significance in these
difficult and challenging times. We therefore look upon
progressive forces and broad mass movements opposed to the
war and warmongering policies as allies in our battle, not
only in bringing about a speedy end to occupation but also
in providing concrete support for building democracy and
peace. For only truly democratic regimes, expressing the
free will of their people can stand up to imperialism and
its aggressive policies for domination and hegemony.

Dear Comrades,

It is now one year and a half since the war and the
occupation of Iraq. Our country has witnessed exceptional
developments during this period, giving rise to a totally
new situation. It is extremely complex, and fraught with
enormous dangers, as well as holding real potential for
leading our country out of its prolonged ordeal, and moving
forward towards independence and the democratic alternative
our people aspire for.

We had been fully convinced, long before the war, that
there was no way out of the comprehensive crisis engulfing
our country and people, no end to catastrophes and
tragedies, and no hope for any reconstruction except
through achieving internal change and getting rid of
Saddam's dictatorial regime.

But our Party rejected the war, considering it to be the
worst alternative, exposing its real objectives as part of
the strategy of the US administration to extend and
consolidate its hegemony through a doctrine of pre-emption,
using the events of 11 September as a pretext to wage an
endless "war on terror".

While joining in the worldwide anti-war movement, Iraqi
Communists stressed the need for distinguishing between the
Iraqi people and Saddam's regime, warning against one-sided
positions which overlooked the regime's responsibility for
the dangers and tragedies suffered by our people. Thus we
called for clarity in positions and slogans, as well as
pressures on the dictatorial regime to avert war through
dealing in a responsible manner with its international
obligations and by opening up to the people and releasing
democratic freedoms.

When war loomed and became the most probable outcome, as a
result of Saddam's utter disregard for the fate of the
people and country, and also the determination by the US
administration to pursue its policy, our Party called upon
democratic and progressive forces, and the peace movement,
to support the alternative we favored most. It was a
national democratic and patriotic alternative, which relies
on the struggle of the Iraqi people and their armed forces,
as well as the unity of patriotic opposition forces, backed
by legitimate international support. Such an alternative,
supported by pressures to force the dictator to step down,
would have averted war and its tragic consequences.

The outcome of the war, the speedy collapse of Saddam's
military institution, and even the whole Iraqi state,
exposed the bankruptcy of the dictatorship and its hollow
claims. Furthermore, all this revealed our people's
overwhelming desire to get rid of the regime. Thus, in an
unprecedented development, of enormous significance for
Iraq and the region, the people chose to stand aside,
watching a fight between an imperialist power,!7 which they
knew only too well, and a deeply hated regime. The 9th of
April 2003, the day when the dictatorship eventually
collapsed, has come to embody the complexities and
contradictions of the new situation. A brutal dictatorship
had gone, but it was replaced with occupation.

Dear Comrades,

The overwhelming majority of our people were overjoyed at
the regime's shameful collapse. But it did not bring about
the emergence of the democratic alternative they desired. A
dangerous political and security vacuum resulted with
serious political, economic and social consequences that
are still with us today. Tackling this situation was, and
continues to be a top priority.

It is important to point out that our people, despite
rejoicing at the fall of Saddam's regime, did not embrace
the occupation forces or receive them with flowers (as some
had expected).

The developments over the past one and a half years have
vindicated our Party's rejection of war, invasion and

The country has faced, since 9 April 2003, a host of urgent
and interconnected tasks, the essence of which is creating
the conditions for ending the occupation and putting Iraq
on the path of national and democratic development.

Throughout these difficult and challenging times, our party
has made a vital contribution to efforts aimed at building
broad national unity against occupation, foiling plots and
maneuvers to divide and rule, while working at the same
time to rebuild the democratic movement, including
independent trade unions, women, students and human rights
organizations. Work continues to prepare for the elections
by the end January 2005 as part of the first phase of the
transition period. Significant progress has been achieved,
but the difficulties are enormous. Meanwhile, the Iraqi
Communist Party has re-emerged, despite losing thousands of
comrades and supporters under decades of fascist rule, as a
major political force. as the best organized democratic
force in the country. Its organizations are now active all
over Iraq, with more than 85 party offices in provinces and
districts. But the relentless work continues to address
shortcomings, to raise the level of cadres, as well as the
level of political awareness among the people, to fight not
only against the occupiers but also for fundamental basic
human, democratic and social rights. Important battles have
been fought, and won, such as that against attempt to
abolish a law upholding fundamental women rights. Such
battles are continuing along with the national battle
against occupation, for sovereignty and independence. This
is why it is of fundamental importance to understand the
close interconnection between the national and democratic
levels of the fight which is now being waged in Iraq. A
one-sided approach will not help to understand the present
complex situation and how best to provide concrete support
to progressive and democratic forces on the ground, inside

The difficult situation which now prevails is due to the
fact that we are now facing both, the legacy of
dictatorship and the legacy of occupation: three
catastrophic wars, 12 years of US imposed international
sanctions, which led to fragmenting the social fabric of
society, the lack of democratic traditions, and absence of
normal political life. This situation was aggravated by the
consequences of the war and invasion, the collapse of the
whole Iraqi state, the resulting power vacuum, the policy
of the occupation authority and blatant violations by its
armed forces numbering 140 000 troops. There is also the
scandalous "reconstruction" effort, with more than $8
billion of Iraqi money squandered by the occupation
authority during the first year of occupation.

Conferring international legitimacy on occupation through
UN Security Council Resolution 1484 in late May 2003,
instead of handing over power to an Iraqi broad coalition
government, as all political forces, including our Party,
had demanded, created further serious obstacles. The
setting up of the Governing Council, with limited but
important powers, and with the participation of al major
political parties at the time, was therefore a compromise,
reached with active mediation by the UN.

Our Party stressed that the Council was only one arena and
one platform, among others, for our struggle to achieve
national sovereignty and independence. We always emphasized
the need to continuously combine between our work within
the Council, and! in the present interim government, and
our efforts of a mass character, as well as strengthening
relations with all forces that want to achieve the
transition to end the occupation and build a united federal
democratic Iraq.

Dear Comrades,

Resisting occupation is a right enshrined by the UN
Charter. The Iraqi people, therefore, have a legitimate
right to resort to various forms of struggle to end the
occupation and restore national sovereignty. But resisting
occupation is not limited to employing violent means in
struggle, but rather includes various forms of political
struggle. The lessons of history teach us that peoples only
resort to armed struggle when they are forced to do so
after exhausting political means.

As a matter of fact, armed operations carried out by
shadowy groups, whether extremist Islamist or supporters of
Saddam's regime, inflict harm on the desired aim: to get
rid of the occupation as soon as possible. Such operations
actually provide the pretext for the occupying forces to
prolong their presence, as well as perpetuating the state
of tension, concern and fear among the people. Terrorist
acts targeting innocent civilians, such as criminal car
bombs, kidnappings and killings, as well as sabotage
against basic services, electricity networks, and oil
pipelines only aggravate the suffering of the people and
further alienate them. The victims were thousands of
innocent people, dead and wounded. These terrorist acts
have been strongly condemned by the Iraqi people.

There is also a patriotic element. Violations and blatant
acts of aggression against the people by the occupying
forces have led to violent reactions, giving rise on many
occasions to spontaneous armed operations targeting these
forces. It is important, therefore, to distinguish between
groups and forces that carry out such operations.

On many occasions in recent months, such as last April in
Falouja, the American occupation forces resorted to
oppressive measures, such as the excessive use of force and
collective punishment, which were strongly condemned by our
Party. The biggest losers in this confrontation were
innocent civilians, with more than 600 people killed,
including women and children. A similar situation developed
in Najaf, but was later contained through political
peaceful initiatives that were widely welcomed.

Dear Comrades,

The forces behind the deteriorating security situation are
mainly supporters of the previous regime and anti-people
terrorist forces of various shades. Saddam's fascist
security organization was left untouched. Through
subversive and criminal activities, these elements want to
assert themselves as a power in the political scene. It is
worth mentioning that some forces in the US administration
want to deal with and accommodate these elements in order
to contain the current complicated situation.

Tackling the security situation requires urgent political,
economic and social measures. First and foremost,
prerequisites must be provided for a speedy handover of
power to the Iraqi people, empowering them to decide their
own political future and social system, with their own free
will, through free and fair elections.

Dear Comrades,

The future of Iraq, and stability and peace in the Middle
East, the defeat of imperialist and zionist aggressive
schemes, and the triumph of the just cause of the
Palestinian people, depend to a large extent on the outcome
of the on-going political process in our country.

The voice of the Iraqi people must be heard. They demand
full control on all internal and external affairs of the
Iraqi state, including control of security, military
matters, and control over financial and economic resources,
i.e. the restoration of full sovereignty and independence,
and an end to occupation and foreign !military presence.

In this multifaceted and complex political process, your
continued support and solidarity, along with all
progressive and peace-loving forces in the world, will be
essential in helping to achieve the legitimate aspirations
of our people and their democratic forces: ending the
occupation, eliminating the legacy of dictatorship, and
building a free unified democratic and federal Iraq.

We look forward to strengthening and developing further the
fraternal ties among our Communist and Workers parties in
the joint international struggle, against imperialism, and
the onslaught of capitalist globalism; for freedom,
democracy, social progress, peace and socialism.