I convey to you the wholehearted greetings of Iraqi Communists and their best wishes for a successful International Meeting.
We seize this opportunity to express our gratitude for the internationalist support and solidarity extended to the Iraqi people, to our Communist Party and democratic forces (trade unionists, women and youth organizations..), by many fraternal parties all over the world. We look forward to your continued support in the difficult and complex struggle ahead in Iraq, to end the occupation, restore full national sovereignty and build a unified democratic and federal Iraq.
The first topic in the themes chosen for this International Meeting, “The Dangers and potentialities of the International Situation”, is of special relevance to our country Iraq, about 3 and a half years after the US-led invasion, war and occupation, with catastrophic consequences, first and foremost for our Iraqi people, and also for peace and stability in the Middle East and the whole world.
The Iraqi experience, and its eventual outcome, is therefore of great significance to the to the struggle of peace-loving and progressive forces all over the world, to stem the aggressive onslaught of US imperialism.
It will not be possible, in this brief contribution, to go into detail about the situation in Iraq. But I urge the comrades to have a look at a brief report on the current situation, prepared for this International Meeting, based on an extensive statement issued by our party´s Central Committee meeting held last September.
I would like, however, to mention few points:
- Our Party openly opposed and rejected the warmongering and hegemonic policy of the Neo-conservatives in the US, long before the war on Iraq in 2003. We opposed the war, invasion and occupation, exposing its imperialist objectives. This position has been vindicated, thus enhancing the credibility of our Party in Iraq, among the people. In the unique and extremely complex situation that developed after the war, with the collapse of the Iraqi state, following the collapse of the fascist-type dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, our Party, along with the major political forces, resorted to political struggle as the main form of fighting against the occupation, and for regaining national sovereignty and independence.
- Let me say few words about the ongoing political process in Iarq:
- We view this process as a contradictory process. Different constituent political forces and currents (Islamic, nationalist – both Arab and Kurdish -, democratic and liberal) have different and conflicting visions and societal projects and agendas. The occupying powers, the US and its allies, also have their own, well-known, agenda and plans, and are still a major player.
- Bur the events and developments in Iraq clearly show that the internal dynamic, and the internal forces, can effectively influence the direction, content and pace of the developments of the political process.
- This influence grows stronger, the more the Iraqi forces succeed in unifying their ranks and act together on agreed-upon national objectives.
- National Unity, (which is a recurrent theme also in Palestine and Lebanon), is therefore indispensable in the fight to overcome sectarian divisions, that have been accentuated and manipulated by the US administration: National Unity, and national consensus, are also indispensable for the fight to seize back full national sovereignty, eliminate the legacy of dictatorship end the occupation, and empower the people to take their destiny into their hands.
- We conceive the political process as an arena of struggle, with the aim of bringing it closer to the national democratic agenda.
- In this process, as always, our Communist Party is guided by the interests of the Iraqi people, toilers and workers.
- In parallel with the fight for the big issue, of ending the occupation, Iraqi Communists are playing a prominent and a leading role in social struggles, defending the rights of workers and people.. as recently demonstrated by the wave of strikes by tens of thousands of teachers, that swept many provinces all over the country.
- In addition, there is the continuing fight against privatization of sate enterprises, against neo-liberal plans and the diktat of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and to keep the oil wealth under Iraqi control.
- These social and glass struggles cut across the ethnic-sectarian divide, and therefore also contribute significantly to strengthening the Iraqi national identity and national unity.
Relevant also to the main theme of this International Meeting , is what has happened over the past few days in the US. The American people have spoken, and passed their verdict against the Bush administration. It is (if I may borrow a geological term !) like a tectonic shift (an earthquake) in the political landscape of the US, that could have far-reaching consequences for other parts of the world. It has provided yet another powerful example on the impact of peace and mass democratic movements.
Iraq dominated the US Congress elections. So, the question that arises now is: What will
It remains to be seen how things will develop in the US.. But already Rumsfield is gone, and he may soon be followed by the US representative in the UN, John Bolton, the well-known hawkish Neo-con.
One very important aspect, however, is that pressure will increase for the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq.
A national consensus is emerging in Iraq, among the major political forces, that there should be a clearly-defined timetable for a speedy withdrawal of the occupying forces, linked to rebuilding the Iraqi armed forces. Up to now, Bush has adamantly refused to be committed to such a timetable, obviously preferring an open-ended military presence and occupation.
This crucial issue will come up for review at the UN Security Council by the end of this year. Such a timetable, and also seizing back effective control over security matters in Iraq, is fundamental to restoring full national sovereignty and speeding up the end of occupation.
Finally, one word about internationalist solidarity. We call on all fraternal parties to develop more concrete forms of support and solidarity with the Iraqi people, Communists and democrats.
This should be coupled with clear and unequivocal condemnation of all human rights violations in Iraq, whether committed by the occupation forces, by terrorists and extremist and reactionary Islamists, or by paramilitary organizations.
Mass killings of innocent civilians, and the so-called suicide bombings, targeting mainly workers, the unemployed and women, in poor districts, have nothing to do with resisting the occupation. As a matter of fact, they provide free service to the occupiers and their “divide and rule” tactic, alienate the people, and stir up sectarian strife.
In conclusion, we salute the advances made by the forces of the Left in Latin America. They are an inspiration to progressives all over the world.
We also strongly condemn the Israeli atrocities committed against the Palestinian people, including the horrific massacre carried our three days ago in the town of Beit Hanoon in Gaza.
Solidarity with the Lebanese people and Communist party against the Israeli aggression ..
Solidarity with the Iranian people and the fraternal Tudeh party against external interference and for democratic rights.
And we voice our condemnation of anti-communist measures and the ban of the Communist Youth Union in the Czeck republic.
Long live Internationalist Solidarity
Long live Communism