10 IMCWP, Contribution of the Iraqi CP

11/28/08 4:23 AM
  • Iraq, Iraqi Communist Party IMCWP
http://www.iraqcp.org , mailto:icpinter@yahoo.co.uk
International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties
Sao Paulo - Brazil (21-23 November 2008)
Salam Ali (Member of the Central Committee & Responsible for International Relations)
Dear Comrades,
I convey to you the wholehearted greetings of Iraqi Communists, and their best wishes for the success of the 10 th International Meeting of Communist Worker Parties, so as to contribute to developing the role of our movement in building a global front against neo-liberal globalisation and imperialism, for peace, democracy, social progress and socialism.
We express our thanks to the fraternal Communist Party of Brazil for hosting this International Meeting, which will also provide the opportunity to reiterate our solidarity with the peoples of Latin America and the significant achievements and victories of the social and political Left in this continent.
We also seize this opportunity to express, from this international forum, our gratitude for the international solidarity extended to our Iraqi people, democratic forces and Communist Party in the ongoing struggle, under extremely difficult and complex conditions, to end the occupation, restore full national sovereignty and independence and build a unified democratic and federal Iraq.
Dear Comrades,
The global financial crisis, with its enormous proportions that is storming capitalist economies today, is an expression of the internal contradictions of globalized capitalism, revealing once again the inability of the system to resolve these contradictions, and also its desperate attempts to save its collapsed financial institutions so as to secure the interests of the financial cliques, through forcing the working people to shoulder the burden by using tax payers’ money. These attempts have been best descried by the motto: “Nationalizing losses and privatising profits.”
There is almost total agreement that the current global crisis has signalled the failure of the extreme neo-liberal model of capitalism that has been dominant for more than 20 years. New horizons have, therefore, opened up, that have promising potential for an upsurge and for broadening the struggle by forces that are not only opposed to globalisations, but are also opposed to capitalism itself.
One of the direct consequences of the crisis is that it has shaken one of the most important foundations of ideological hegemony that was imposed by neo-liberalism over several decades. The crisis has proved, once again, that the unconstrained market is not rational and leads to catastrophes. It has also shaken the conviction that there are no alternatives better than the present international economic system. Furthermore, it has given impetus to those who are fighting for an alternative that surpasses capitalism, with various degrees of radicalism.
Better opportunities undoubtedly exist for greater strides on the road to building a broad international movement to confront the internationalism of capital. But this requires a proper and sound basis for organisational forms that combine flexibility and effectiveness, to be able to accommodate the great diversity in the composition of the forces that are now participating, as well as those that will potentially be attracted in the future, to this international movement.
We have to take into consideration in this respect that what is required now is the mobilization of a variety of forces on both national and international levels that are diverse regarding class and social position, ideological basis, political programs, organisational forms and world outlook. Perhaps the bulk of these forces do not reject capitalism as a system, but only reject some of its effects and impact, and only so in some specific areas.
The consistent forces that are opposed to capitalism that are seeking an alternative system (i.e., socialism), should be able to play an effective role in ensuring the cohesion of the movement, in developing its positions, actions and struggles, so as to enrich its social content, increase its influence and ensure its consistency and durability.
In this respect, we believe it is of utmost importance to give the necessary attention to the close interconnection between the struggle for political democracy and the struggle against imperialism and all forms of exploitation and oppression. Neglecting this dialectical interdependence, between these two struggles, leads to adopting one-sided positions and to the lack of solidarity with the forces that are fighting for national liberation and for democratic objectives that are in line with the general struggle against imperialism and neo-liberalism.
Dear Comrades,
Our 8 th party Congress, held in Baghdad in May 2007, devoted special attention, in its analysis of the international situation, to developments in Latin America in recent years. The political report endorsed by the Congress contained a detailed section entitled: “The Victories of the Left Forces in Latin America”. I mention this to show you, especially to fraternal parties from this Continent, how these victories have inspired Iraqi Communists, especially the youth.
In that Congress report, after referring to the victories in Chile, Venezuela, Brazil, Salvador, Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua, it said that this outcome has shown that Latin America is no longer the “back yard” of the US.
This rise of the Left in Latin America is seen by our party as being of deep historical significance. Coming several years after the collapse of the socialist camp in Europe and the Soviet Union, it proves that the class and social struggle; the struggle for justice and freedom, cannot be extinguished and will not die, and that humanity, in its striving for progress, tends objectively to seek social justice, to break capitalist hegemony and build a new world.
The fall of the socialist camp may have initially caused a setback for the forces of the Left and social progress, but developments have revealed that the human society has recovered its balance and self-confidence, and has begun to formulate new, previously uncharted, forms to escalate the social and class struggle for justice and peace.
Our Party’s 8 th Congress document concluded by saying: “Several lessons, drawn from what has happened in this Continent, need to be grasped. First and foremost among these lessons is that the world needs a comprehensive alternative project to the imperialist system.. It needs a project, a vision, to inspire the imagination of peoples, to free them from the shackles and barrier of fear, and to develop their will and enormous desire to look forward to freedom, justice and equality.
Dear Comrades,
In addition to the dominance of the financial character of the world economy, and its implications (as demonstrated by the current global crisis), there is also the unipolar world order led by the US that has also resulted in grave violations of international legitimacy and resorting to war and aggression (as was the case in the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003). It has aimed to impose its hegemony on the world, not hesitating to ignite the flames of many “local” wars resulting in tens and hundreds of thousands of victims.
In this context, I would like to say a few words about the situation in Iraq.
Five and a half years after the US war on Iraq, the collapse of the dictatorial regime, and occupation, the struggle to end the foreign military presence continues to be closely interconnected with the struggle to rebuild the new Iraqi state and determine both its context and character. Hence the “uniqueness”, so to speak, of the situation that has unfolded in Iraq.
Under these complex and difficult conditions, a ferocious battle is continuing, not only over power and wealth, but also over formulating the political, economic, social and cultural orientation, that will determine the features of the new Iraqi state that will emerge. It can be said that national, democratic and social tasks combine and interact. Therefore, along with the task of ending the occupation and its legacy, restoring full national sovereignty and independence, we have the tasks of eliminating the legacy of decades of fascist-type dictatorship, restructuring Iraqi economy and rebuilding the state on a democratic federal basis. International and regional factors interfere, making the struggle even more complex and intensified. Our party has put forward its own vision, encapsulated in the Patriotic Democratic Project, that aims at building a modern democratic state; a state based on law and institutions and the principles of citizenship, ensuring democracy and social justice, as opposed to sectarian projects and a return to dictatorship, whether nationalist or religious.
Meanwhile, Iraq is going through a crucial and critical juncture in the political battle to seize back national sovereignty. After 8 months of negotiations between the Iraqi and US governments, a draft agreement dealing with the withdrawal of American forces, as well as other issues, has been finally presented (last Monday) to the Iraqi parliament for discussions and possible ratification.
Our Party openly announced its detailed position regarding the contents of a previous version of the draft agreement, on 31 October 2008 (3 weeks ago) at a public meeting held in Baghdad. It was the first political movement to do so. Our party has demanded that a clearly-defined timetable for withdrawal is stated, preventing any attempt to extend the presence of American forces beyond the specified deadline. Other points were also stressed, dealing with the issue of Iraqi jurisdiction over the US military and personnel during the interim period; Iraqi control and oversight over operations; the protection of Iraqi funds abroad when the UN mandate ends; and not allowing Iraq to be used as a staging post for aggression against neighbouring countries. The party called for deleting any ambiguous language that allows for extending the presence of American forces. It demanded that the draft agreement be amended, otherwise it will be rejected. Similar demands were made by many other political forces.
The final version of the agreement, with important amendments, is now being discussed in parliament. This calls for the withdrawal of all American forces (not only “combat forces”) by the end of 2011, to be preceded by withdrawing from all cities and towns by the end of June 2009. This is a significant climb-down by the Bush administration which had always refused to set a timetable. It is worth mentioning that the plan by American president-elect Obama, for ending the war in Iraq, called for withdrawing troops within 16 months of his inauguration. But this was later amended to so-called “responsible withdrawal”, based on consulting US military commanders, and also leaving behind a “residual force” for training purposes, combating terrorism.. etc. We have no illusion that the policy of the US is not decided by this or that president, and that it is the product of diverse and contradictory interests.
If the agreement is not approved by 31 st December 2008, then the Iraqi government will have to request an extension of the United Nations mandate that has governed foreign military presence since 2003 against the will of the Iraqi people. This would mean maintaining the status quo, with open-ended presence of American forces, which we believe is a worse option.
We must not lose sight of our objective: that is ending the occupation and the evacuation of all American and foreign forces, and the restoration of full sovereignty and independence. Independence will not be full and real unless the Iraqi people also exercise the right to decide their own economic and social system, and unless they can formulate policies independently in all fields. Achieving this objective requires, first and foremost, national unity and national consensus, as well as pushing ahead with the policy of national reconciliation.
Dear Comrades,
Despite enormous challenges, the Iraqi Communist Party has been rebuilt across the whole of Iraq and has been actively involved in organizing hundreds of mass activities in defence of people’s and workers’ rights and interests, and expressing their aspirations. This has come with heavy sacrifices, with the martyrdom and loss of tens of comrades. Among them were cadres of the party, including a member of its Politbureau, and a secretary of its provincial party organization in Mosul, in northern Iraq. On 23 rd August this year, a prominent cadre and leading intellectual, Kamil Shyaa, was cowardly assassinated in Baghdad.
In this difficult struggle, we look forward to the active solidarity of fraternal parties. Concrete support is needed. We must look ahead as Iraq enters a new crucial phase in its fight to end the occupation, restore its national sovereignty and independence, defeat sectarianism and anti-people forces, and build a unified democratic and federal Iraq.
Our Party, despite the enormous challenges ahead, armed with unlimited confidence in the Iraqi people and guided by their higher interests, will continue to strengthen the ties and relations with fraternal parties, and with all peace loving, progressive and democratic movements in the world.. in our joint struggle for a better world, and in upholding the values of socialism and communism.
Long live International Solidarity!
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