Prospects of normalization in Iraq

The Iraqi "sovereign people" went finally to the polls. It doesn't matter whether 68 or 30% voted (depending on the opposite estimates made by the international observers). We don't care about elections at all, let alone when held by an invading army in a country at war. The point is that the democratical principle not only has passed in Iraq, but has become consolidated among our leftists, turned into ridiculous notaries of the ballot legality. It is obvious to us that the election results have been suitably "precooked" in the occupier's "kitchen", as they seem to be perfect for a future coalition government. Besides, all means are useful to win a war: from rigging elections to firing on journalists and even on allies. Whether one likes it or not, there has never been a war without deceptions and victims. So, we let moralists shout their indignation and try to consider the facts prospectively.

Our review gave a lot of space to the analysis of the war in Iraq, understood as one of the episodes of the general war between the imperialistic powers. We therefore stated that it would be impossible to deal with the Iraqi conflict separately from the attack against USA on the 11th September 2001, the subsequent war in Afghanistan and, above all, some single preceding events, neglected by media but very important if taken as a whole. In fact, it's in the last thirty years that the decline of the US economy has become more and more clear, compared with the past American overpowering strength: the same thirty years that have seen, instead, the relative strengthening of Europe, China and the Islamic world, which had been becoming a magnet for the international capitals, mainly those coming from the huge oil rents (that is to say the surplus-value raked up from the industrial countries).

Even though based on enormous value-flows to Washington, the old system was taken in good part by the other industrial countries for the evident benefits they got from it, being net exporters to the United States and also financiers of the Americans (that is, buyers of US bonds and then parasitic coupon-clippers just like their powerful ally overseas). In effect, those who paid for it were the proletarians of industrialized countries, more and more intensively and extensively exploited, and the people of non-industrialized countries, compelled to incur debts and to refund them with rough materials and enslaved labour. Well, today this system has reached its breaking point.

Our old thesis that every imperialistic country is forced to finance its future competitors because of the vital need to export its plethora of goods and capitals (see Marx's articles on the British commerce) has received a clear confirmation right in the last thirty years. An interesting corollary is that the major imperialistic countries (USA ahead) financed not only their competitors, but also a mercenary force that ended by setting up on its own or offering its services to the highest bidder. Therefore, what mostly contributed to the "blowback" was not the US policy of dominion and oppression, as supposed by the well-informed American publicistics, but the degeneration of the exchange relations, owing to a "locomotive" that, instead of hauling, is being hauled toward the scrap-metal dump. These are the premeses of the attack upon the Pentagon and the Twin Towers, of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, and of the "endless" war that, like other wars in the past, will be fought on various levels, not only the military one. It's not for nothing that the war for the direct control of the Middle East had been favoured by the US industrial-military apparatus since many years back, with two options: Saudi Arabia (Edward Luttwak, Rand Corporation) and Iraq (Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, all of them members of the present US government).

The scenario proposed by Luttwak and the Rand Corporation was certainly more rational, because it would have eliminated a hotbed of reaction (Saudi Arabia) and maintained the alliance with a laic and largely industrialized country (Iraq). Besides, as Luttwak pointed out, the Saudi Arabia operation would have had nearly no risk for the American troops, being the Saudis practically devoid of an army. As everybody knows, the second option has prevailed, but the invasion and the occupation of Iraq have been realized without the US suffered losses comparable to those resulting from a true war. Now, therefore, the problem of invaders is to normalize the situation in Iraq within some sort of strategy. That is, classically speaking: continue the war by other means, as the war has been the continuation of politics after the thirty years aforesaid.

So far, as we have stated on many occasions, the American "politi-warfare" has been rather coarse, since it has been lacking in political mediation. This is an ingrained attitude of the USA, due to their shortage of history and their overpowering strength, which reduces diplomacy to a bagatelle; and it turns into a weakness when there is no material possibility to exercise what the Americans call "leadership" or "soft power", and here is called with the Gramsci's term "hegemony". Without this possibility, we don't see how the state of war can finish and leave place for the wished "nation building", that is the phase of business, buildings and open market, which would finally allow the US "hegemonic" capital to penetrate into Iraq. In other words, to give Iraq at least a semblance of normality, the United States must defeat guerrilla fighters or however negotiate with them. Nevertheless, after suffering enormous losses, the Iraqi guerrilla army is now getting reorganized around the forces of the old regime, which entered clandestinity while the American occupation troops were advancing.

This guerrilla army (to be not confused with the bands of fundamentalist slaughterers, whose atrocities are a blessing for Western media) is a respected military force, deriving from the bourgeois national party and therefore in a position to take the reins of power in Iraq (unlike the present puppet government or any other one will result at the end of the constitutional cycle dictated by the American invader). Obviously the papers don't write much about it, as journalists must be content with information spoon-fed to them by the US military authorities and spend almost all of their time loafing about in the bars of the Green Zone hotels. Nevertheless, if one reads attentively the news reports from the American official sources, he can realize that the guerrilla fighters control a large part of the Iraqi territory, and that their actions, far from decreasing, are improving in quality and efficacy (so it is right to suspect that Uncle Sam has a hand in the otherwise senseless massacres of civilians).

Although they showed obtusity in the recent past, the Americans will end by resign themselves to the impossibility of relying only on their own arms, Kurds and Shiites, unless they decide to break Iraq into three parts. This solution, probably entertained by some strategists, wouldn't be advantageous, however. In fact, the planned expansion of the war into Iran, Arabia and Syria requires a great, populous, industrialized and Americanized country, serving as a "casemate" for the capital-artillery called "soft power". In all likelihood, since they couldn't bear the cost of another hot conflict in the near future, the Americans will prefer to adopt the same "Ukrainian" strategy they are trying in Lebanon, with an eye to Damascus.