by Joe Davison
(Swans - December 19, 2005) I don't like the concept of predictions. I don't even like the word. As a materialist and a socialist I believe in extrapolating an analysis from events and using that analysis to plan the way ahead in challenging the state.
The occupation of Iraq, just as it has been since it began, remains THE issue. From it stems the various domestic social issues that have arisen to make more acute the class struggle that is an ever present of the capitalist system of economics.
That juggernaut of destruction and death, otherwise know as US imperialism, has been bogged down as a result of the courageous and doggedly determined resistance of the Iraqi people; responsible as a result for creating the space and time for a second front against neoliberalism to develop in Latin America. There, the Bolivarian revolutionary process in Venezuela continues to move further and further left towards the arms of avowed socialism. Hugo Chávez, who surely is Fidel Castro's natural successor as spokesperson of the aspirations and anger of that continent's poor and exploited, remains undimmed in his determination to break the domination and exploitation of Latin America by the United States. The motor force behind this determination and increasingly radical position of Hugo Chávez is, as ever, the people; in this case the Venezuelan, Cuban, Bolivian, Ecuadorian, Argentinean people, the millions throughout the region who have had enough of neoliberalism and the poverty it has wrought, and who have invoked the legacy of Che Guevara as the way ahead.
In Bolivia the eruption of revolutionary consciousness, which led to a brief period of dual power, has brought Evo Morales to the fore and anticipated victor in the upcoming elections there. Not only that but recently the governments of Latin America joined to reject NAFTA and the writ of the free market, again responding to the pressure exerted upon them by the people, the true and only motor force of history.
It is worth repeating though: none of this would have been possible without the resistance of the Iraqi people to an increasingly desperate and untenable occupation. The difference between last year and this year in terms of this occupation is that now we know for certain the imperialists are aware the occupation is untenable too.
To date all attempts to normalize the country under occupation have failed, with the anticipated opportunities and profits for transnational corporations yet to be realised. The Balkanization of Iraq into three separate regions -- Kurd, Sunni, and Shia -- is a possibility, though in the event the U.S. would only be able to count on controlling the Kurdish region in the North, a pale imitation of the original vision which the Neocons had not only Iraq but for the entire region.
In July of this year the G8 Summit met in Scotland. Despite the hopes vested in the Make Poverty History campaign the summit predictably came up with nothing concrete or meaningful to alleviate global poverty and the continued despoliation of the environment. Yet, why would they? Indeed, the notion, the very idea that the representatives of the elite responsible for setting the world on fire would come up with anything to counter the effects of their economic policies was always an exercise in delusion.
The prescription for Africa, as well as every other poverty-stricken region of the world, is resistance to the same free market onslaught responsible for the war in Iraq as well as the war being waged against the poorest and most vulnerable segment of society here at home too.
If anyone needed any convincing that this is true surely Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed New Orleans, provides irrefutable proof of the racism, savagery and barbarity enshrined in the prerogatives of an economic system dripping in blood from head to foot.
In the U.K. the horrific bombings that took on the London transport system on July 7 brought Blair's part in the occupation of Iraq home to the British people. Increasingly he's become isolated and loathed by all except the Neocons in America, who succeeded in manipulating his desire to establish some Churchillian legacy for himself to help in their attempt to establish control of Iraq's natural resources and, through that control, exert control over the energy required by the burgeoning economies of China and India.
Both Bush and Blair have seen their popularity plunge domestically this year, and the focus of the antiwar movements in the U.S. and the U.K. must now be to exact the heaviest political and legal price possible from these men and the other leading architects of this bastard war and occupation. This must be done not only for the purposes of retribution, though we are certainly not averse to that in this case, but much more importantly to send a message to future generations that wars of plunder and imperialist occupation will not be tolerated.
In saner times people who claimed to hear the voice of God in their head were immediately institutionalized. Now they are allowed to be president of the United States.
The latest act in the ongoing charade taking place in Iraq is the attempt to pass off colonizers justice as real justice in the trial of Saddam Hussein.
Saddam at least remains unbowed to the end. Originally a creation of Western imperialism, his only crime in the eyes of those responsible for a sustained attack on Iraq over 15 years, which has been biblical in scale and destruction, is that he dared stand in their way. Like so many dictators before, created and brought down according to the needs of an economic system predicated on profit regardless of the human, social or environmental cost, Saddam evokes an image of many a former ally of the original Roman Empire swept aside mercilessly as soon as they outlived their usefulness.
At time of writing yet another black man -- Stan "Tookie" Williams -- has just been executed by lethal injection by the US injustice system.
If ever a nation was crying out for revolution it is the United States of America. Let's hope in the year 2006 the collective consciousness and anger of the most vulnerable and oppressed segment of American society is heightened and pulled closer towards the day when the real criminals in our world -- these privileged, rich, white savages who practice statecraft like gangsters -- are held to account for their crimes.