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Commentary :: Peace & War

Is Iraq transfer of power a sham?

Yesterday many were surprised by the handover of power in Iraq. “The Washington Post? reported that the hastily arranged ceremony marked the end of the U.S. occupation administrations power and the beginning of the so-called political authority of the interim government. The question is what exactly defines political authority? I'm sure many would say that political power is based on who's got the military might. Even the reactionary and conservative camps would agree that who ever has the most military might has the power. This analysis is not very far off from what Lenin and Engels said. Lenin drawing from Engels analysis in "The Origin of The Family Private Property and The State", noted that a state is essentially a body of armed men. When he said this, Lenin was referring to "bodies of armed men placed above society and alienating themselves from it," which are the police. Lenin was also referring to the army that can serve both a domestic and international role of repression depending on the circumstances. What exists in Iraq today is a poorly armed and timid militia of citizens that never seem to go anywhere or do anything without the U.S. military sanctioning any raids or arrests and tagging along as babysitters.

In essence Iraq has no true police force of its own; it definitely does not have a military. Fifteen months ago the occupying forces in Iraq disbanded their military. Iraq and Afghanistan have taken on the same character.

Imperialism and Iraq

"Considering the difficulties which men have had to hold to a newly
acquired state, some might wonder how, seeing that Alexander the Great
became the master of Asia in a few years, and died whilst it was
scarcely settled (whence it might appear reasonable that the whole
empire would have rebelled), nevertheless his successors maintained
themselves, and had to meet no other difficulty than that which arose
among themselves from their own ambitions.

I answer that the principalities of which one has record are found to
be governed in two different ways; either by a prince, with a body of
servants, who assist him to govern the kingdom as ministers by his
favour and permission; or by a prince and barons, who hold that
dignity by antiquity of blood and not by the grace of the prince. Such
barons have states and their own subjects, who recognize them as lords
and hold them in natural affection." - Nicolo Machiavelli from The Prince

At the highest stages of Imperialism the armies for the conqueror invade in the interests of capital, the option of a colony becomes almost impossible. For several reasons that are pointed to above in modern times we might think of the Interim government as a sort of baron since it is not really possible for a foreign invader to hold power for long. Even though the Baron back in feudal days held some sort of limited political power over a region, he had the king’s army acting as both his domestic peace keeping force and army. They would remain there until such time as the newly conquered land could raise its own Prefects and Army. Feudal Imperialism, of course, differs from Capitalist Imperialism as even Lenin himself points out, but none the less Capitalism being at a higher stage of development than Feudal society still uses many of the same tactics as Feudal societies before it did. The fact of the matter is that these newly acquired lands were referred to as conquered simply and straightforward because back then they did not need to justify occupation. In this day in age they cannot simply just justify it as the will of god and the king. At least not with threat of beheading as before, at least not yet anyways. In this day in age it’s important for them to maintain some sort of illusion of Democracy. A necessary component must be the duping of the masses into thinking that Iraq and Afghanistan are not conquered nations.

Cacique Democracies and Semi-Cacique Democracies

A Cacique Democracy is an entirely new manifestation of Imperialism in Feudal Imperialism once a conquered land was ready with its own forces of repression it was simply integrated into the kingdom and took on a Mercantile role sending tribute back to the main kingdom. Now however once a conquered nation passes the stage of being a nation under construction by the foreign army, it will eventually become a full-fledged "puppet regime". It moves in a Dialectical progression from a brief period as Colony or occupied nation to a Semi-Cacique Democracy and then finally to a Cacique Democracy.

One question that needs to be addressed is why can't the country be integrated into the kingdom? In answer to this we would say in a sense it is being integrated. What happenned in Iraq was not really a transfer of power to the Interim government rather it was a transfer of power to the new ruling class of Iraq though still small and growing this new ruling classes role is to extract not only profit for itself but also its Creditor state. This new rising domestic ruling class in Iraq's sole role will be to see to it that the formation of a new state to defend their class runs smoothly and that the interests of foreign capitalists are protected.

In a Semi-Cacique Democracy however the newly rising ruling class does not yet have its own state to defend itself so rather their role is in a sense as benefactor and to give the illusion of a domestic oppressor. One of the first declarations of this Interim government was to postpone elections and call a state of disorder. According to "The Washington Post" the U.S. response was to call up several thousand reservists to serve in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Both countries seem to be in a permanent state of disorder these days to quote a top U.S. Military Spokesmen, "no one really likes to be occupied."

The future of Iraq

Michael Moore points out in his latest documentary at least many more thousands of troops would be needed to put down the insurgency. This is exactly right! Before Iraq can make the transition from an occupied nation completely over to Cacique Democracy it must overcome the dissidents in the country. In both Afghanistan and Iraq this is the case and only brutal police state tactics will ever achieve this end of U.S. Imperialism. In the near future we can expect to see many more troops needed to be cannon fodder for Capitalism. While the situation seems hopeless Kerry would not improve the situation either, as he is still a member of a party largely financed by the same corporations whose interests lay in Iraq. If he does not do what they want they will simply cut that funding to the Democrats and I’m sure Kerry would not risk upsetting all his corporate buddies. Make no mistake a change in whose sitting in the oval office is not the same as a regime change. A real regime change happens when the masses overthrow a government and setup something new. Regime changes have never throughout history taken place through a ballot box nor will they ever such would be counter to history. For now the tasks of both American and Iraqi workers should be to oppose not only war and occupation but also the very system responsible for it CAPITALISM!

U.S. hands off Iraq, Afghanistan and The World!

For real Democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan!

No more blood for profits!

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