We posed the victory in Falluja as Iraq’s Stalingrad, a courageous and determined resistance of a small, poorly armed military force against the jost advanced, ruthless force in the imperialist arsenal.
Learning nothing from that defeat, US imperialism has turned now to Najef, a center for Shiite resistance to the occupation. Cleric Moqtada al-Sadr stands as a fearless lightning rod for defiant struggle against the US occupation. With the “Interim” puppets serving as a cover and the bourgeois propaganda organs demonizing al-Sadr, the US military launched a destructive Falluja-like operation against the center of this relatively populous city. Showing no regard for civilian casualties, vital services, or symbolic structures, the military juggernaut unleashed a massive assault. And again, though lightly armed and poorly trained, Iraqi fighters fiercely resisted this onslaught. And as with Fallujah, risings, demonstrations and other actions in support of the defense of Najef are springing up throughout Iraq. According to the deeply “in bed” New York Times, over a dozen Shiite towns have risen in solidarity with Najef, including Basra — crucial to Iraq’s oil exports.
Predictably the US press portrayed the weekend cease-fire as an act of generosity on the part of the US and their puppets instead of a desperate response to the unexpected resistance and broad outrage over this aggression. Intended as a show of brutal force designed to terrorize the Iraqi population, the Najef offensive has brought even more unity to the various forces of national liberation. Even with the cease fire, the events in Najef provoked the disruption of the phoney Baghad conference to anoint a 100 member National Assembly.
Signs of the maturation of the national liberation struggle include the emergence of a voice, a newspaper speaking for the movement. A recent issue of The Financial Times acknowledges that Nida al-Watan (The Call of the Homeland), edited by Abdul Jabbar Kubaisi, commands that respect. He maintains that his paper speaks for “the national vision of the opposition against the occupation”. As for the puppets, “They are nobodies who have never achieved anything. It is not their fault they have been maneuvered into this position.”
It is time for the Left in the advanced capitalist countries to recognize the Iraqi national liberation struggle as the cutting edge in the battle against imperialism. With a long and storied history of working class internationalism, the Communist Parties — especially — should take the lead in calling for the victory of the Iraqi forces of national liberation and demonstrate that support with militant solidarity.