The Left

Solidarity and Internationalism

Over sixty Communist Parties – from Albania to Venezuela – have signed a grandly entitled letter: The Statement of Communist and Workers’ Parties on the occasion of the 3rd Anniversary of the War against Iraq.

The letter demands “immediate withdrawal of all occupation forces … legal action against the crimes of the invaders and full compensation for the damage they caused”.

The list of signatories includes the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, Communist Workers’ Party of Russia, the Party of the Russian Communists and the Communist Party of Soviet Union, as well as both the Brazilian Communist Party and the Communist Party of Brazil.

However, Britain is poorly represented. Only the Communist Party of Britain has signed. The Communist Party of Great Britain don’t seem to have been invited to support the statement.

Gary Kent notes two other surpising omissions from the list of signatories:

[W]hat struck me as odd is that the Iraqi Communist Party and the Kurdistan Communist Party have not signed.

I don’t know of this is by commission or omission but whilst it is true that Communist Parties need not take the line from the Iraqi parties, it is still somewhat surprising that they don’t appear to heed what I assume is a greater caution on their part on the issue of the immediate withdrawal of foreign troops.

The Iraqi Communist Party sees the withdrawal position quite differently from their colleagues.

In a recent article posted at this site, their International Secretary says the following:

“Our Party has called for a timetable for withdrawal of foreign forces together with doubling the efforts to provide the internal political, institutional and security conditions for this withdrawal. The National Accord Conference held in Cairo last November supported such a withdrawal timetable in order to avoid chaos and additional suffering. We believe that this is a realistic agenda and can be implemented in a relatively short period. With the formation of a permanent government, that has already endorsed the idea of “an objective timetable” for withdrawal and speeding up the transfer of security responsibilities to the Iraqi forces, this issue will feature prominently on its agenda.”

As I say, national parties have the right to form their own views but they would benefit from their Iraqi comrades more nuanced and authentic view of the realities of life in Iraq, in the name of solidarity with the Iraqi people.