The Stop the War Coalition are marching again on September 27 this time under the reactionary slogan “End the Occupation of Iraq”.
It is reactionary simply because in the current situation with the need for reconstruction of the country and support for the Iraqi Governing Council, an end to occupation would mean handing the country back over to the lingering Baathist units and the foreign Islamasist bandits.
Because that is what the supposed ‘Iraqi resistance’, cheered on by the British ultra-left largely consists of. The occupation should be ended only when the US and Britain (and others) have succeeded in assisting the Iraqi people in creating a stable democratic government.
Representatives of all Iraqi parties, including leftists and communists, are part of the Iraqi Governing Council – progressives should be urging increasing power to be given to that body not that they be left to fight a civil war against the enemies of democracy.
Even opponents of the war will surely see that leaving the country now would be a grossly irresponsible act.
This slogan and the demonstration itself shows that the Stop the War Coalition trades only in demagoguery and that its concern for the future of Iraq and its peoples is fake.
Update: The Channel Four poll of Iraqi opinion found only 13 percent wanted the coalition forces to leave now. So Stop the War are now, beyond any doubt, campaigning against the expressed wishes of the Iraqi people.
What the poll also shows is that Iraqis want political power handed over quickly and the most popular form of government would be a multi-party democracy. So if people want to take to the streets to protest on behalf of the Iraqi people then urging a swift and serious handover of political power would be a more appropriate issue to address.
That is presuming of course that the prospective demonstrators actually want to protest on behalf of the Iraqi people.
It is worth remembering that six months ago you couldn’t ask Iraqis their opinions and if you tried they would be terrified of the consequences of giving an honest answer.
Indeed there are still plenty of countries where Channel Four (or anyone else for that matter) couldn’t conduct an opinion poll.
So perhaps if people want to go on the streets to protest about what is wrong in the world they should choose another slogan:
Anyone fancy marching on September 27 under the banner – ‘Globalise Democracy’?