Joanne Landy does it again
to www.marxmail.org on
I suppose it was only a matter of time before New Politics editor and Council on Foreign Relations alumnus Joanne Landy would get involved in the brouhaha over slain Iraqi trade unionist Hadi Salih. She really has a nose for "third way" sanctimoniousness when it comes to matters such as these.
As an acolyte of Max Shachtman, she has perfected the art of
striking moralistic poses when
Landy makes sure to cover her left
flank by writing, "we disagree strongly with the IFTU's
support of UN Resolution 1546, which supports the
For some interesting comments on the murder of Hadi Salih, you can turn to Doug
Ireland's blog. Although
Boston University Prof. Assaf Kfoury, a member of the editorial team at Occupation Watch whose judgment I respect, analyzed this history in private correspondence a few days ago (from which I quote with his permission):
business, and the wider context of what happened to Iraqi communists (I should
perhaps write Communists with an upper case "C"), has been a really
sad story. The Iraqi CP is the oldest political party in
"Perhaps you are familiar with this history. The ICP is now riven with dissent, factionalism, and debilitating internal struggles. The official leadership of the ICP has two ministerial posts in the Allawi government, one very minor and one of average importance, while the big posts (defense, foreign affairs, interior) are occupied by representatives of the pre-occupation exile groups or the two pro-US Kurdish parties.
"The ICP people
inside the Allawi government are targets of the
resistance, just as much as other members of the government. But there are ICP
factions against the government, one of them called the "ICP-cadre wing
(or faction)" (my poor rendering of the Arabic), which is vociferously
"Because the ICP
has been historically rooted in the labor unions of the large cities (Baghdad,
Basra, Mosul, etc.), with really dominant positions
in them at one time, they still have a very strong presence among labor
organizers (not much heard of in the US corporate media) who are of course
paralyzed by the internal factionalism or utterly confused. I think, in time,
the current ICP will turn into a relic of the past, surviving but with no
significance, somewhat like the CP
"...It is most unlikely that Salih was killed by 'fascist Saddam loyalists' [as the IFTU is claiming]. Much of the armed resistance is carried out by an assortment of unemployed city and small town people, politically marginalized groups, often using religion to find an ideological context, some of them disabused ICP people who had been suppressed by the Baathists.... I think we should condemn the targetting of all trade unionists, many of whom are not in the IFTU or have broken with it (I can't give you statistics or firm evidence on this, but there are many anecdotal stories that point to this)."
In any case, the petition is not about trade union rights.
It is about creating a kind of anti-antiwar movement. In
The 'open letter' also conflates the actions of a few lunatics on the fringe of the resistance with the resistance tout court, and attempts to imply guilt by association with a flimsily constructed syllogism: You support the right to resist the occupation; some of those alleged to be part of the resistance carry out acts of extreme brutality; you must therefore support these acts. You would think that any fool would notice that the conclusion does not follow from the premises, but not these fools.
The bulk of the LFoI's "open letter" is therefore based on
nonsense and spin. The fact that it has been sent to local StWC
groups supports the claim that this is part of an attempt to split the
coalition before the elections. LFoI enjoys rather
convivial relations with some senior Labour
ministers, including the surrealist Ann Clwyd MP who
is a leading member. Its sole political accomplishment to date has been to
contribute to achieving union backing for the Blairite
stance on the occupation of
You can excoriate them at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Landy really gets to the heart of the matter when she writes:
"We also oppose the victory of those elements of the resistance whose agenda is to impose a repressive, authoritarian regime on the Iraqi people, whether that regime is Baathist or theocratic-fundamentalist."
In other words, she is neutral between