Sunday, May 20, 2007
The second development of note is the emergence of an explicitly Marxist resistance group, called the Iraqi Armed Revolutionary Resistance. Communists not affiliated to the washed up ICP have for some time been fighting in resistance cells, but this is the first time I've heard of a group organising on an explicitly leftist agenda to fight the occupiers. Unfortunately, it's probably quite a small outfit, but at least they've figured out that unless the left explicitly engages in anti-occupation activity it will probably have no chance in a post-occupation Iraq. For some reason, they mention the South Lebanese Army, claiming that they are involved in operations on behalf of the occupiers. First I've heard of that.
Third, Sadr's movement is dramatically changing tack, with a purge of 'extremist' elements from above, and renewed attempts to reach out to Sunni groups and politicians. The Mahdi Army has been accused of some atrocious behaviour, having been sucked into the sectarian civil war dynamic, and it would take a lot more than this to persuade Sunni groups to work with them. Further, the comments of spokesperson Salah al-Obaidi reported here tend to suggest a conciliatory attitude toward the Americans - not as an army, but as capitalists. He explains that the Sadrists would be open to dialogue with the Democrats and even some Republicans. I know this is part of their game of vying for influence in a post-occupation Iraq, but can they really anticipate productive arrangements with American capitalists and politicians who have brought about the collapse of Iraqi society? Following from recent street-fights with the American army, the withdrawal of Sadrists from the government, and the forced exile of Sadr, this is an interesting way to have your cake and let the yanks eat it. Still, if there's a renewed strategy of trying to form links with Sunni groups, that alongside the emergence of the 'Reformation and Jihad Front' would pose the possibility of a genuinely pan-Iraqi movement, which could - y'know - raise a set of demands, a programme with some broad appeal, coordinate tactics, that sort of thing.