It should not be exaggerated and it may well prove to be yet another false dawn, but there is presently a small sign of hope for the peoples of Iraq. I personally remain sceptical, but unlike many in the anti-war movement (notably the leadership of the Stop the War Coalition), I sincerely hope that the carnage and anarchy subsides and that some form of civil society emerges. My disgust at the StWC is that their sole concern has always been to promote domestic opposition to Bush and Blair, rather than solidarity with the peoples of Iraq itself. At times, the StWC leadership (eg: Galloway) has gone to far as to denounce brave Iraqi trade unionists and to support the fascistic thugs who’ve tortured and murdered them.
Our task in 2008 must be to support the only force that can offer real hope in Iraq: the organised labour movement. We should also keep the prerssure up on the British government over the shameful deportation of Iraqi refugees and the scandalous betrayal of Iraqi interpreters.
And, while we’re at it, here’s a free plug for the best source of international trade union news and solidarity on the web: labourstart.
These are difficult times for the working class movement throughout the world, but as James P. Cannon once said:
“I’ve been around and seen a lot, and I know very well that this jungle of a class society we live in is full of the tricks and dodges and angles of the self-seeking, and loaded with traps for the trusting. But I know, too, that this is not the whole story, or even half of it. The great majority of people everywhere want to live honestly and help each other…
“They are the heralds of the future and represent its spirit, the spirit of socialist cooperation, whether they know it or not. They and others like them, harnessing their natural impulses to social goals, will do away with the social system which distorts and cripples human nature. They will change the world and make it fit for all people and all nations to live together in peace and fraternity.”
(‘To the Men Who Gave Their Skin’, 1951, republished in ‘Notebook of an Agitator’, Pathfinder Press, 1973).
…Best wishes and solidarity for 2008!