Just in case any readers had been under the impression, from some of the links on this site in the past week, that the anti-war movement had recently begun to see some sense and recognise that the ‘resistance’ in Iraq was the enemy of peace and progress in that country, I feel obliged to offer a clarification.

Or rather Tariq Ali does:

Even the bien pensants who opposed the war but support the occupation and denounce the resistance know that without it they would have been confronted with a triumphalist chorus from the warmongers.

I’m glad he’s cleared that up. And he is right of course – peace and progress in Iraq would have led to a triumphalist chorus from those who supported the war. Thankfully the resistance has been busy blowing up Red Cross centres and killing Iraqi civilians, so western supporters of the war haven’t been able to score points off Tariq Ali and his friends. That’s what really matters.

Sooner or later, all foreign troops will have to leave Iraq. If they do not do so voluntarily, they will be driven out. Their continuing presence is a spur to violence. When Iraq’s people regain control of their own destiny they will decide the internal structures and the external policies of their country. One can hope that this will combine democracy and social justice, a formula that has set Latin America alight but is greatly resented by the Empire.

Once again Tariq Ali is on the mark. Sooner or later all foreign troops will have to leave Iraq. And like Tariq I too hope that when the Iraqi people take control of their country (I’m sure Tariq’s phrase ‘regain control’ was an innocent mistake given the nature of Saddam’s regime which Tariq opposed for decades) they will combine democracy and social justice.

Indeed Tariq Ali is considerate enough to offer us a brief sketch of the resistance he supports.

According to Iraqi opposition sources, there are more than 40 different resistance organisations. They consist of Ba’athists, dissident communists, disgusted by the treachery of the Iraqi Communist party in backing the occupation, nationalists, groups of Iraqi soldiers and officers disbanded by the occupation, and Sunni and Shia religious groups.

Leaving aside the lovely neutral phrase “religious groups”, this is Tariq Ali’s alliance for social justice and democracy – Ba’athists, other armed Saddamites and Islamic fundamentalists.

Meanwhile, Iraqis have one thing of which they can be proud and of which British and US citizens should be envious: an opposition.

Yes indeed, if only we in Britain too had a reactionary opposition that would rejoice in death and destruction, regardless of the consequences for ordinary Iraqis.

Perhaps something should be done about that Tariq? What about an alliance made up of dissident Labour Party members, disgusted by the treachery of the Labour Party in backing the occupation, nationalists, Trotskyists, Stalinists and religious groups?