Significance of Building Solidarity with Iraqi Civil Resistance

Sato Kazuyoshi, President of the Movement for Democratic Socialism


There has been a bitter controversy going on between the Western Left and Iraqi Civil Resistance over how to evaluate Islamic armed forces. We have concluded that we cannot support, nor extend our solidarity to, them on the grounds that their strategy excludes many Iraqi citizens -- above all, women -- and do great harm on the civilians, and will bring the Iraqi future society under an Islamic dictatorship. Through strengthening the struggles of a civil resistance which champions secularism, freedom and egalitarianism, we can demolish the war system of global capitalism and open up a vista of democratic socialism.

The 34th ZENKO (National Assembly for Peace and Democracy) Conference was held in the summer of 2004 to discuss its main theme of how to win the withdrawal of occupying forces from Iraq. The most disputed point in the conference was about the slogan of solidarity with Iraqi Civil Resistance. Representatives of the ANSWER ("Act Now to Stop War & End Racism") Coalition in the U.S. and of the Stop the War Coalition in the U.K. expressed their view that "we can't say from outside Iraq which of the anti-occupational resistance forces are right," and that "it is a matter to be left to the self-determination of the Iraqis, and the world anti-war movements have only to focus on bringing troops home." In response to this argument, representatives of the UUI (Union of the Unemployed in Iraq) and OWFI (Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq) emphatically protested and asked what is wrong with building solidarity with movements that are demanding the withdrawal of occupation forces, and aspiring to a free, egalitarian and secular Iraq. After long debates, resolutions of the ZENKO Conference were rephrased on the basis of consensus, and a resolution to demand the withdrawal of occupying forces was adopted as a conclusion of the conference. The root of the conflict of views derived from how to evaluate the armed resistance.

Presently, the Movement for Democratic Socialism (MDS) is right in the middle of the struggles against the war on Iraq, hoisting aloft the flag of solidarity with the Iraqi Civil Resistance. It is considered imperative to summarize the controversy between Western peace activists/organizations and those who promote the Civil Resistance in Iraq for the sake of fighting against bellicose global capitalism in Japan, as well as in the world, and for the sake of winning the withdrawal of occupying forces from Iraq. This is what we are trying to examine in detail in this paper.

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