[OPE-L:8715] Re: Re: a case against the war in Iraq

From: Ian Hunt (Ian.Hunt@flinders.edu.au)
Date: Sun Apr 06 2003 - 00:13:09 EST

Dear Jerry,
I use the term 'fascist' for an organised repressive dictatorship of 
the bourgeoisie with strong elements of state organised capitalism. 
Although I haven't made a detailed study of Iraq, the Ba'ath party 
looks like a fascist party, with an organised repression of any 
independent working class activity, elements of 'national socialism, 
and imperial aspirations, as shown in its agression against Kuwait. 
I am prepared to be surprised on this, though.
Other more 'theocratic' national capitalist dictatorships in the 
region could usefully be compared with Falangist Spain, I suppose, or 
treated as hybrids of feudal and capitalist elements.
As to being 'manifestly better off' there is a bit of a cheat in 
this, since an element of that will be the lifting of sanctions, 
which were imposed in kept in place by the US to topple Saddam. While 
the US is hardly to be praised for producing this improvement, since 
it would not be necessary without its intervention, it remains a 
reason for welcoming a post-Saddam Iraq.

Independently of that, the case is probably more contentious, as you 
suggest. If the US imposes its own repressive regime on Iraq, as 
seems a prospect, then things may get worse for workers and peasants 
in Iraq. But US political goals require at least a lifting of the 
apparatus of oppression with which Saddam operated (assuming all of 
this is not a 'big lie'). Dialectically, I was also conceding that 
there is an amnesty based case for taking the passing of Saddam in 
itself as a plus because I wanted to argue to a broad audience, 
including people who believe that saddam's regime is brutally 
repressive, that the war is unjust even conceding that. Removing a 
brutal dictatorship by invasion can only be justified in very limited 
circumstances, such as when the regime imposes a humanitarian crisis 
on its own people, which Saddam had not.

>Re [8712]:
>  > Iraq will manifestly be better off without Saddam's fascist regime.
>Hi Ian.  
>1) On what basis can the current government in Iraq be said
>to be "fascist"?
>2) Why are you assuming that Iraq "will manifestly be better
>off" after Saddam Hussein and the Ba'ath Party are removed
>from power?  Is there any reason to believe that a new (puppet)
>government selected by the invading power will be any better
>for the workers and peasants of Iraq?
>                   [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]
>A question on the preceding paragraph in your short essay
>which discussed "the real aims and the real consequences of
>the US led invasion of Iraq:  
>*  the aims and consequences that you state are entirely in
>reference to the *region*, the Middle East,  but shouldn't those 
>(and other)  intended aims and expected consequences
>underlying US policy be put in a *global* context?  I.e.  don't
>you view US aims in the current conflict in terms of global US
>strategy rather than just Middle East policy?
>In solidarity, Jerry

Associate Professor Ian Hunt,
Director, Centre for Applied Philosophy,
Philosophy Dept, School of Humanities,
Flinders University of SA,
Humanities Building,
Bedford Park, SA, 5042,
Ph: (08) 8201 2054 Fax: (08) 8201 2784

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