From a Maoist mailing list that I am on, an excellent piece on how Communists and the Left in general have so utterly failed the people of the Middle East. This is part – a small part, but still a part – of why Islamists are so popular. The Left has completely blown it. I had never heard of the Three Worlds Theory before. It’s hard to believe that any Leftists anywhere got behind such nonsense. The record of the Iraqi Communist Party has been sorry indeed, and I had not heard good things about the WCP’s of Iraq and Iran. It’s incredible that the ICP-MLM’s line is that in the event of a US invasion of Iran, they will fight alongside the US to overthrow the regime. The only reasonable position to take in these cases is to fight the invaders. I recall that in Iraq, in 1967 and 1973, after there had been a huge purge of the Left, the Communists who were in Iraqi prisons in 1967 and 1973 demanded to be let out in order to join the wars against Israel. They promised to go back to prison afterward. That’s the spirit! Viva patria libre. This is a good piece. It doesn’t argue for throwing our weight behind fundamentalist nuts, but on the other hand, it doesn’t argue for supporting imperialism either. However, I would also reject the usual leftwing notion, stated below, that Israel is a pawn, tool or colony of US imperialism. As a recent piece in Counterpunch pointed out, this must be some kind of a joke. Israel offers no benefit to the US or any other Western country. At best, it’s a giant millstone. A typical Left theory is that imperialism wants to keep the Middle East stirred up and at war so they can sell weapons to it, make money off the weapons sales, and, in the case of Arab nationalists, divide and conquer the Arab World through the placement of an Israeli colony in the middle of it. Or, alternatively, to keep the Arabs dependent on our arms sales, profiting us and insuring their loyalty. Although this theory is very appealing to Leftists (I even subscribed to it myself for a bit), it’s appalling in its stupidity. First of all, capitalists want peace, not war. They make way more money when a region is at peace than when it’s at war, the arms industry aside. That Israel is some sort of a colony of the US and not the other way around (as Uri Avnery has noted) is a preposterous theory. This theory has the advantage of letting the Israelis off the hook. Poor pawns of imperialism, boo hoo. Jew as victim all over again. Further, it avoids the minefield of the Jewish Israeli Lobby in the West, which the Left does not want to touch. Much of the Left is still sensitive to anti-Semitism. Anti-Semites have always been our worst enemies, and they left piles of dead Communists, Leftists and progressives built of tens of millions of our dead, as high as mountains, in the past century. Further, any anti-Semite worth his salt will quickly remind you of the debt we on the Left have to the Jews, who have been instrumental in our movement. Finally, anti-Semitism as a form of racism is of course anathema to us. The problem here is that Israel, and its heavily Jewish Amen corner in the US, is part of the problem. No mealy mouthed pussyfooting around the issue gets us away from that. That doesn’t mean we turn into anti-Semites. It just means we call em as we see em and place the blame where it lies. The media I read and listen to it is full of Jews screaming about Israel. There’s no logical reason why one must be an anti-Semite to oppose the Zionist regime. The piece starts here: …What this implies is that we should only support a communist or progressive national resistance to Israel. But this is just the usual western Left delusion. What are the Communist forces in the Middle East? The revisionists such as the Iraqi Communist Party that sat on the Iraq Governing Council as collaborators when the US was carrying out its genocidal attack on Fallujah. The Worker-Communist Party of Iraq and Iran whose mentor Hekmat openly supported the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. The Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist- Maoist) who repeat the error of the ‘Three Worlds Theory’ by calling for ‘revolutionaries’ to fight to achieve the same objective as the US (overthrow of the current Iranian regime) in the event of a US invasion of Iran. The Three Worlds Theory was the theory that revolutionaries and progressives should effectively unite with US imperialism to defeat the perceived greater threat of the Soviet Union. The CPI-MLM just takes the same dud theory and applies it to Islamic Fundamentalism. Communists have sold out the people of the Middle East too often to be trusted now. It is obvious that the US and its proxy Israel is the main enemy of the people of the Middle East and other oppressed nations. They have devastated Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and Palestine. Why on Earth would the people of the Middle East choose to try to resist this dreadful force that is bringing their nations to ruin under the leadership of people that time and time again side with the country that is the cause of all their misfortune? It’s absolutely ridiculous for Communists to make such a meal of criticising national liberation movements like Hamas. Yes, we know such movements can end up vacillating in their resistance to imperialism. But the Communists who make this criticism of Hamas just use this as an excuse for siding with American imperialism in a far more decisive manner than groups like Hamas and Hezbollah have done. The vacillations of the national resistance movements are just used as an alibi by the Communists for their capitulation to imperialism. Rather than criticising groups like Hamas from such a position of abject weakness, Communists should be criticising themselves for the way they have failed the people so dreadfully. Only once this is done can credibility be regained. Does any of this mean we should tail Islamicists? Not at all, though that is the slander thrown against all Maoists that disagree with the policy of fighting on the same side as US imperialism. The Maoist line in the case of an attack on an oppressed nation is to unite with all forces that can be united with to resist the foreign invasion. The Maoists therefore form a United Front to wage a war of national resistance. This front must be led by the Maoists, not by the reactionaries. This leads to an obvious problem that initially the Maoist Party will be small and unable to lead. Therefore their priority is to build up their strength. This can and will lead to conflict with the reactionary government and the reactionary resistance movements, just as Mao’s PLA fought with the Chiang Kai-Shek’s army before and after the anti-Japan United Front had been formed. Even while engaging in such conflicts Maoists must stress the line that the main enemy is the invader but that only the Maoists can lead successful resistance, not the reactionaries. Such a line is a world away from the line of uniting with imperialism against local reactionaries. Finally, we must avoid the moralism that says we, who are not in the Middle East, should not tell them how to run their struggles. When Communist parties are going very badly wrong then it is our responsibility to point this out. The CPI-MLM has certainly not been shy of expressing its criticisms of the CPN (M), so I hardly think moralistic considerations should concern us either.
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