Baltimore IMC :
Baltimore IMC

LOCAL News :: Labor : War in Iraq

Audio of Iraqi Labor Solidarity Tour in Baltimore

Listen to two delegates from the IFTU (Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions) speaking in Baltimore regarding organized labor and the occupation of Iraq.

It's worth having a listen to what the IFTU has to say, without immediately falling back on a knee-jerk ideological response which valorizes only the unlimited violence of (any) insurgency (whatsoever) in the face of imperialsit aggression. There are some pretty valid critiques of the IFTU(for example Sami Ramadani's long critique of the history and current policies of the IFTU and it's connection to the Iraqi Communist Party(ICP), or the shorter statement issued by New York Labor Against the War, in which they explain why they cannot support the Northeastern part(composed of IFTU memebers, with the other regional components of the Tour comprised of different, more radically anti-occupation unions) of US Labor Against the War's Iraqi Labor Solidarity Tour -- the statements of the IFTU do seem to mirror those of the occupying powers.

Nevertheless, unless one believes that the only thing at stake in Iraq is the degree to which the United States can be humiliated as an occupying power, it's in the best interest of those interested in ending the occupation here to listen to(even if ultimately they don't agree with) voices from Iraqi civil society. Taking spefically the case of the IFTU, what are we to make of an organization which feels threatened both by the occupation forces and by ex-Baathist and theocratic elements within the armed resistance(as the IFTU delegates made clear here in Baltimore and as Abdullah Muhsin underscores in this interview? More generally, to what extent do we, as anti-war activists here with little direct access to the social and political situation in Iraq, have a clear, undistorted picture of the Iraqi resistance? Is the only correct position to endorse any and all acts of violence which are committed in the name of resistance, and to disavow anyone who seeks to build an independent and democratic Iraq by working through or with the (deeply flawed) political framework emerging in Iraq? This is a difficult question, and one to which ideological assumptions probably will not provide an honest answer. Even if we do not agree with the IFTU's position regarding the Iraqi resistance and the US occupation, we should support(and laud) their efforts to organize workers in Iraq, and we should listen to what they have to say as we try to come terms with the complicated political terrain that is occupied Iraq.

Hopefully we'll get some reports from the other stops on the tour from other independent media sources, and perhaps what the other Iraqi labor organizations have to say will be easier to digest....

This site made manifest by dadaIMC software