SWP: "We do not accept the idea of a third pole in Iraq"

Submitted by AWL on 18 November, 2006 - 2:50

An amendment personally signed by leading SWPers for the Respect conference inveighs against any idea of a working-class "third pole" in Iraq, between the US/UK forces and the Islamist/ neo-Ba'thist/ Sunni-supremacist "resistance".

It calls for deleting points 3 and 4 of a motion submitted by Cambridge Respect and inserting:

3) Respect calls for the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq. We recognise that the main enemy in the regions is US and British imperialism and we are on the side of the 82% of Iraqis who in a recent opinion poll called for the troops to go. We do not accepts the notion of a third pole between the occupation and those resisting it in Iraq.

4) We do not equate Islamism with imperialism We defend Iran against the threat of imperialist attack

5) We support those campaigning to bring troops out. We support groups like the national foundation conference, which unites religious and secular forces, and trade unions, parties and other organisations which are trying to achieve and end to imperialist rule. We do not make our support conditional on those groups being secular, but recognise that there will be a whole range of religious and political forces campaigning to this end.

6) We support the International Peace Conference called by Stop The War Coalition on December 10th 2005 as a means of getting this range of voices heard

Amendment proposed by Coventry and the following people; Lindsey German, Ghada Razuki, Linda Smith, Murtaza ali Shah, Mohammed Bani, Carmela Ozzi, Rachel Eborall, Andrew Burgin, Yuri Prasad, John Hextall, John Fitzgerald, Sanna Hafez, Chris Bambery, Simon Basketter, Grace Lally, Diana Swingler, Suzie Wylie, Sean Vernell, Suzanne Jeffrey, Alison Woodward, Julie Bundy, Pat Boyle, Beccy Palmer, Narriman Massom.

The amendment is to a motion from Cambridge Respect, apparently inspired by local SWPers, and somewhat incoherent from any point of view, but with a clear wish to support Iraqi trade unionists and feminists.

Respect notes with approval the nascent Iraqi trade unions and women's groups that, in spite of the terrible occupation, have sprung up since the overthrow of the despicable Ba'athist regime.

Respect notes that, as of yet, only one trade union federation, the IFTU, is officially recognised within Iraq. Respect notes this is a contravention of ILO standards, and calls for all ILO standards to be upheld in Iraq. Furthermore, Respect condemns "order 875", issued by the Iraqi government in August, that requires all trade union funds to be handed over to the state.

Respect reaffirms its call for an end to the occupation, noting that an immediate withdrawal of occupying forces has been consistently demanded by three organisations in particular: the Organisation of Women's Freedom in Iraq [OWFI], the Union of the Unemployed and the General Union of Oil Employees [GUOE] - whose elected General Secretary has spoken on Stop the War Platforms.

In order to support the aforementioned groups, Respect resolves to publicise them politically, both to counter claims that 'progressive' Iraqis support the continued occupation, as well as to raise much needed funds for their continued campaigning against the occupation, privatisation of Iraq's natural resources by MNCs and in defence of civil liberties and trade union rights.

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