Thursday, April 28, 2005

History -it's a mystery to some people

SIAW renew posting with an email from Matewan (named after this, I assume) attacking the SWPs approach to history. The email ends

As Mahdy Ali Lafta, leader of the Iraqi Teachers’ union argued recently in a Morning Star interview, “We are the Resistance”. You can see why he said that. Iraqi Communists and trade unionists built the Iraqi labour movement between 1925 and 1948 around the dual demands of economic and social justice and national independence, they were savagely oppressed by the British-backed monarchy and butchered, Pinochet-style, by the Ba’ath coups of 1963 and 1968, they fought Saddam Hussein’s genocidal generals as guerrillas in the mountains of Kurdistan in the 1980s, and today they are targeted by terrorists and elements of the former regime. They have earned the right to call themselves the resistance and to be spoken of along with Italian anti-Fascist Partisans.

However, the SWP doesn’t call Iraqi trade unionists “the resistance”. The SWP supports Respect, a political party led by a man who calls Iraqi trade unionists “quislings” and “collaborators”. The SWP thinks that armed supporters of the cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, revanchist Ba’athists and Sunni mediaeval theocratic terrorists constitute “the Iraqi resistance”.

This isn’t history from below, it’s history in the gutter.

And not looking up at the stars.

Go read the whole piece.

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