Via a clever blog we are adding to our links (the King of Zembla), we came upon this article from Newsweek about the “Salvador option” in Iraq – train death squads, murder selectively and unselectively. In general, the plan, as Newsweek describes it – including the incursions into Syria – is to act like Americans have traditionally acted in Central America.

LI put it like this, back in November of last year:

“Given that the model in Iraq is the same model the U.S. has pursued in Central and South America, LI’s hope, floating somewhere in the distant future, is that Iraq will go through the furnace of the American occupation with its major industry and structure intact – a state owned petroleum company at the center of it – and resolutely and democratically break with the logic of neo-liberalism. It is a continuing astonishment to LI that Vietnam (or, on the right, WWII) have been the template comparisons for a black bag op that has all the indices of the usual slimy Latin American intervention, right down to Negroponte, the mollusk pulling the strings from the American embassy. In fact, we are pretty confident that the most successful American reconstruction project in Iraq will be the CIA’s cheerful attempt to get the torturers rolling again with its hands on aid to the Mukhabarat.”


This morning we read Nick Cohen’s usual romp n stomp against the Stop the War people for not denouncing the killing of one of Iraq’s major labor leaders. Of course, glancing around the Net we found a different story, best told by the U.S. Labor Against the War site, which, contra Cohen, condemns Hadi Salah’s murder even as it preserves Hadi Salah’s message, compassionately suppressed by Cohen.

“The ultimate source of violence in Iraq is the US occupation. The Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions calls for the end of the occupation and the US war. Salih's murder does not bring this end one step closer. Instead, it seeks to terrorize Iraq's labor movement, and other parts of its civil society, to keep them from seeking any peaceful means of gaining political power in the interest of its working people.

In the past three months, IFTU members and rank-and-file workers have been murdered and kidnapped as they tried to carry out normal union activity, or simply do their jobs. On November 3, four railroad workers were killed, and their bodies mutilated. On December 25, two other train drivers were kidnapped, and five other workers beaten. On the night of December 26, the building of the Transport and Communications Workers in central Baghdad was shelled. Together with the assassination of Hadi Salih, these horrifying crimes are making Iraq as dangerous a place for union activists as Colombia.”

It is interesting to watch the coalition between certain left intellectuals and the most reactionary elements in the U.S. and Britain. The intellectuals have zero power of leavening the reactionaries with progressive ideas; rather, the larger mass exerts its inevitable gravitational pull, and down the lefty spirals, in a serial surrender of one conviction after another, like a shot pigeon losing feathers.