The ‘Morning Star’ and the Iraqi ‘resistance’

February 26, 2009 at 9:04 pm (iraq, iraq war, islamism, Jim D, left, stalinism, thuggery)

I sent this letter to the ‘Morning Star’ (the newspaper closely associated with the old, Stalinist, Communist Party of Britain, and also with a layer of the trade union bureaucracy), today:

Dear Comrades,

I was disappointed to find the ‘Star’ giving uncritical coverage for two days running (Feb 25 and 26) to a film (“Meeting Resistance“) that appears to portray the Iraqi resistance as a progressive force.

From the two articles, I gather that the central thesis of the film is that “the vast majority of the resistance is a nationalist, popular resistance by Iraqis who have no relationship with the former regime.”

Whilst it is true that the “resistance” has many components, that assessment flies in the face of what socialists, secularists, women’s and gay organisations – all of which have been brutally attacked by the resistance – have to say. Even female dancers have been murdered by the resistance, for being “pornographic”.  The best evidence available (more reliable than the testimony of eleven people featured in the film, anyway), is that the “resistance” comprises loyalists of the old regime, an unknown number of foreign jihadists, straightforward criminals and some (like the Mahdi Army) who combine conservative Shia Islamic fundamentalism with an element of nationalism.

None of these forces can be described as any sort of national liberation movement.

Most extraordinary of all was the ‘Star”s failure to mention the resistance’s savage attacks on trade unionists, including Hadi Salih, the international secretary of the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions, who was horribly tortured before being shot dead by ex-Ba’thist assassins on 4 January 2005. “My enemy’s enemy is my friend” is never a good slogan – and especially not in Iraq.

Yours

Jim Denham

To read the ‘Star’ articles I am referring to, click here, and here.

For a good, working class  pre-emptive rebuttal, read this.

31 Comments

  1. hey said,

    …………
    ………
    ……

    the film mainly covers the period before the resistance took on a more sectarian angle

    have you watched it?

  2. Jim Denham said,

    hey: no I haven’t, and made no pretence of having done so. Which is why my letter doesn’t attack the film itself – just what I understand its central thesis to be.

    Btw: when, exactly, was the period *before* the resistance became “more sectarian”?

  3. resistor said,

    Denham has not seen this film

    He claims to have, ‘The best evidence available..’. what is this evidence and where did it come from?

    He then claims that Hadi Salih was ‘shot dead by ex-Ba’thist assassins’. How could he possibly know this as no suspect in this case has even been arrested?

    Is Denham psychic?

    Denham is clearly an opponent of any resistance to the American invasion of Iraq. He is an apologist for imperialism and mass murder.

  4. Jim Denham said,

    “resistor”: replying to your twattishness is becoming a bore.

    1/ Where, exactly do I claim to have seen the film?

    2/ I base my statement upon the evidence unearthed by the IFTU at the time, and accepted as good coin by (amongst others) the British TUC. If you, resistor, have evidence that it is wrong, please put it forward. Otherwise, I stand by what I said.

    3/ I , and the organisation I belong to (the AWL) are on record as opposing the invasion of Iraq. We oppose reactionary and fascist so-called “resistance” movements in Iraq and everywhere else. Clearly, “resistor” is not so scrupulous in his attitude towards fascism…which is, of course, all of a piece with his well-documented anti-semitism.

  5. resistor said,

    1/ Where, exactly do I claim to have seen the film?

    Doesn’t stop you rejecting it out of hand.

    2/ I base my statement upon the evidence unearthed by the IFTU at the time

    What evidence is that? The IFTU offered only speculation. You talk of ‘an unknown number of foreign jihadists’ which is best dealt with here

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraqi_insurgency#Foreign_participants

    ‘While it is not known how many of those fighting the U.S. in Iraq are from outside the country, it is generally agreed that foreign fighters make up a very small percentage of the insurgency. Major General Joseph Taluto, head of the 42nd Infantry Division, said that “99.9 per cent” of captured Insurgents are Iraqi.’

    Which demonstrates your contempt for research or facts.

    3/ I , and the organisation I belong to (the AWL) are on record as opposing the invasion of Iraq.

    and any resistance to it – hypocrisy

    Isn’t it remarkable how your opposition to the resistance against the American occupation of Iraq follows a well-worn script used by Nick Cohen, Oliver Kamm, Harry’s Place and every other scumbag who cheered on the invasion.

    ‘his well-documented anti-semitism’

    Liar. Can you give one instance of anything I have said which is anti-semitic? You won’t because you can’t. In your case ‘well-documented’ translates as a lie repeated.

    Moreover when I exposed your anti-Arab racism, when you described Palestinian refugees as ‘ex-pats’, you tried to deny it in the most dishonest fashion. Also you, like your beloved leader Matgamna/Mahoney still want to deny Palestinians the right to return to their homes, purely on the basis of their race. What do you call that?

  6. Jim Denham said,

    “resistor”: I note that you offer no defence on my first point. Perhaps one day you will learn to speak/write the words “sorry” and “wrong”. When you grow up.

    The IFTU’s evidence was, and is, quite simple: the murder (and, in some cases, torture) of their members at the hands of the so-called “resistance”. About as decisive as you can get, I should have thought. The people you support, “resistor”, who murdered trade unionists, are fascists.

    As for your anti-semitism, “resistor”, answer me this: does Israel have a right to exist within pre-1967 borders? Yes or no?

  7. Alderson Warm-Fork said,

    *sigh* Not that it will stop you considering each other idiotic, but you seem to have been misled by grammatical ambiguity.

    Resistor says: “Denham has not seen this film
    He claims to have, ‘The best evidence available..’. ”

    I think Denham read this as “Denham has not seen this film, he claims to have.”

    Hence he asks “Where, exactly do I claim to have seen the film?”

    To which resistor offers no answer, save “Doesn’t stop you rejecting it out of hand.”

    Denham is confirmed in his opinion of his opponent’s dishonesty and so says “I note that you offer no defence on my first point. Perhaps one day you will learn to speak/write the words “sorry” and “wrong”. When you grow up.”

    Hurrah for grammar!

  8. maxdunbar said,

    From the Guardian obit:

    ‘[Saleh's] IFTU comrades described the killing as bearing all the hallmarks of the former security services.’

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/2005/jan/20/guardianobituaries.iraq

    So the evidence points to Saleh’s killers being Ba’athists.

    It is not surprising that no arrests have been made as civil society in Iraq is a bit shaky to say the least.

    Still, I’m sure Resistor has a convincing alternate theory.

  9. resistor said,

    Supposition is not evidence.

    I never suggested that Denham had claimed to have seen the film. He is well known for making claims without evidence. His dismissal of a film he hasn’t seen is typical of his ‘ignorance is strength’ attitude.

    He writes, ‘As for your anti-semitism, “resistor”, answer me this: does Israel have a right to exist within pre-1967 borders? Yes or no?’

    Yes, it does have this right under international law, however the Palestinians have an equal right under the same law to return to their homes. Does Denham support their right to return, Yes or No?

  10. Jim Denham said,

    No

  11. maxdunbar said,

    From the evidence available, the most convincing theory is that the killers were Ba’athists.

    Do you have an alternative theory?

  12. Harry Tuttle said,

    resistor wrote:

    Liar. Can you give one instance of anything I have said which is anti-semitic?

    How about claiming Israeli Jewish adults were fair game because they may or may not have served in the IDF. Or the countless times you questioned the definition of antisemitism under the pseudonym Puzzled. My favorite of course was your use of a Theodor Herzl quote to suggest that Jews were responsible for antisemitism.

    I’m sure there are countless more in the Harry’s Place archives.

  13. Jim Denham said,

    As well as being an anti-semite, “resistor” is also a liar. Note his evasive answer to my question about Israel’s right to exist. He doesn’t give us his own opinion, but quotes “international law”. We all know he’s a “drive ‘em into the sea” man at heart.

  14. resistor said,

    Denham denies Palestinians their fundamental human right to return to their homes on the basis of their race. That is racism and he is a racist.

    Dunbar writes, ‘From the evidence available, the most convincing theory is that the killers were Ba’athists. Do you have an alternative theory?’

    I base theories on evidence – there is none, so any ‘theory’ will be pure supposition. Maybe Max should write a few whodunnits to find out what evidence really is, but I don’t expect he’ll get them published either.

    ‘How about claiming Israeli Jewish adults were fair game because they may or may not have served in the IDF. ‘

    Not what I said. The question of who is or is not a civilian in Israel is a complicated one. Most Israeli adults, which can include Druze or Bedouin Arabs, serve in the IDF and its reserve. They can refuse to take part in the ongoing war crimes of the IDF. The position of the IDF is that any Palestinian man, woman or child is ‘fair game’. As you so quaintly put it.

    I have never use the pseudonym ‘Puzzled’. You’re just making stuff up now, but thta’s one of your methods.

    I do not believe that Jews are in any way responsible for anti-Semitism. That is the Zionist theory pronounced by by Hertzl and others.

    Denham descibes my answer as evasive. He knows that I, like his leader Sean Matgamna, believe the creation of the state of Israel was a crime against the Palestinians – does he now claim Matgamna is an antisemite? However Israel exists whether we like it or not based on international law. Denham rejects international law when it comes to the Palestinians, even though Israel signed up to it when they joined the UN.

    I want an end to the killing on all sides and justice for the Palestinians. Jim Denham is Avigdor Lieberman’s representative on this site. What a pathetic scumbag, the AWL deserves you.

  15. Jim Denham said,

    Does Israel have the right to exist, behind pre-1967 borders? Answer the question. “resistor”! If you answer clearly, then there will be no further room for debate. By the way, I am not aware that Sean Matgamna has *ever* argued against the creation of the state of Israel, on the grounds that it was a “crime against the Palestinians”: please cite when and where, “resistor.” by the way: I am in favour of a negotiated peace – unlike you with your “absolute anti-Zionism” – which is, in reality – a form of anti-semitism.

  16. sackcloth and ashes said,

    Does this film say anything about the fact that the ‘resistance’ is in the process of being destroyed – by the Iraqis themselves?

    Here’s to the Sawhah, the Peshmerga, the trade unionists, the womens rights activists, and the other true freedom fighters in Iraq.

  17. maxdunbar said,

    Resistor

    By your logic, Jack the Ripper was innocent of his crimes purely because he was never caught.

    Saleh was an enemy of Saddam’s regime and his wounds were consistent with Ba’athist torture techniques.

    Once more: if Ba’athists didn’t kill Saleh, who did?

  18. resistor said,

    Ask Matgamna what his policy on Israel was when he was kicked out of the IS.

    ‘…if Ba’athists didn’t kill Saleh, who did?’ Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t. I don’t know, and nor do you. Evidence please.

  19. Harry Tuttle said,

    Resistor:

    Not what I said. The question of who is or is not a civilian in Israel is a complicated one. Most Israeli adults, which can include Druze or Bedouin Arabs, serve in the IDF and its reserve. They can refuse to take part in the ongoing war crimes of the IDF.

    No, it really isn’t all that complicated. Israeli civilians are not legitimate targets. Nor do they become so once they leave the service.

    The position of the IDF is that any Palestinian man, woman or child is ‘fair game’. As you so quaintly put it.

    That would make them wrong. I’m sure your Likudnik counterpart would argue Palestinian men, women, and children are acceptable targets given the militarization of Palestinian society.

    I have never use the pseudonym ‘Puzzled’. You’re just making stuff up now, but thta’s one of your methods.

    That’s possible, but incredibly unlikely. There were only three people over at HP that used the Dodgeit service, and two of them were sock puppets. That leaves you. I’m sure it must be a coincidence that all three were obsessed with Jews and Israel.

    I do not believe that Jews are in any way responsible for anti-Semitism. That is the Zionist theory pronounced by by Hertzl and others.

    No, you misrepresented what Herzl wrote. He believed that as long as Jews were stateless they would be vulnerable. But a state that could act on their behalf and provide a safe harbor would change that situation.

  20. maxdunbar said,

    Resistor

    The IFTU, the British TUC and the Guardian, and indeed anyone who knows anything about the case, accept that – on the evidence available – Saleh was murdered by members of the former security services.

    Just because these people don’t leave signed and notarised confessions doesn’t make them innocent. They had the means, the motive and opportunity.

    If you’re going to deny this, you need an alternative explanation for Saleh’s murder.

  21. resistor said,

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Theodor_Herzl

    The Diaries of Theodore Herzl (1956)

    The Diaries of Theodore Herzl as edited and translated by Marvin Lowenthal (Dial Press, New York, 1956),

    In Paris… I achieved a freer attitude toward anti-Semitism, which I now began to understand historically and to pardon. Above all, I recognized the emptiness and futility of trying to “combat” anti-Semitism.

    In reaction to the Dreyfus affair.

    The anti-Semites will become our most loyal friends; the anti-Semitic nations will become our allies.

    Noting that anti-semite’s desire to expel Jews from their nations would aid the Zionist cause.

  22. sackcloth and ashes said,

    More smears from that amphibian, anti-semitic piece of shit.

  23. Olive Spread said,

    sackcloth and ashes wrote “Here’s to the Sawhah, the Peshmerga, the trade unionists, the womens rights activists, and the other true freedom fighters in Iraq.”

    Don’t know what or who the “Sawhah” are, but otherwise spot on. See more:

    http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/middleeast/news/article_1366494.php/IST_LEAD_Thousands_protest_in_northern_Iraq_at_Turkish_vote

    http://www.handsoffiraqioil.org/2008/05/iraqi-trade-unions-end-occupation-tear.html

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/jan/28/iraq-women-rights-us-news

  24. maxdunbar said,

    Resistor at 21: hello, relevance? Where are you?

  25. voltairespriest said,

    Probably needs to readjust the settings on his hat.

  26. resistor said,

    See 19.

    also

    ‘By your logic, Jack the Ripper was innocent of his crimes purely because he was never caught.’

    And you know who he was I take it, and the same man killed all five women? After all we do have as much, if not more evidence for those crimes as for the murder of Hadi Saleh.

  27. charliethechulo said,

    What’s the betting that resistor reckons it was the freemasons?

  28. maxdunbar said,

    So the IFTU, the UK TUC and the Guardian were all wrong about Hadi Saleh’s murder, and Resistor was right.

    Who would have thought it? Another triumph for the commissar of people’s justice.

  29. sackcloth and ashes said,

    ‘sackcloth and ashes wrote “Here’s to the Sawhah, the Peshmerga, the trade unionists, the womens rights activists, and the other true freedom fighters in Iraq.”

    Don’t know what or who the “Sawhah” are, but otherwise spot on.’

    FYI, the ‘Sahwah’ (sorry for my typo) are Sunni former insurgents who woke up and smelt the coffee. They got pissed off with AQ and other assorted scumbags (sorry, the ‘resistance’) for slaughtering civilians, and took up arms against them from 2006.

  30. Euripides Trousers said,

    Their change of heart had nothing to do with them being given loads of cash and a promise to be left to their own defences if they fought alongside the occupying forces?

  31. Jenny said,

    Hmm.. I still think this documentary’s important even though the Iraqi resistance groups have turned on one another. It can be seen as a cautionary tale about allowing the disorder of a country to sit for so long.

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