What a nasty , evil man the Socialist Workers Party's Chris Harman is .
I have just been reading his latest column in Socialist Review and what rot and bilge there still exists in the minds of some in the Left .
In a eulogy to the Iraqi Resistance , Harman harps on about the past and the consequences of the Vietnam War . No doubt to escape from any guilt of his own support for a murderous , ruthless Stalinist regime he has the audacity to say it was all worth it . At a cost of 3 million dead !! And all for what ? He says it himself :-
"...those who rose to power out of the liberation struggle now welcome not just the mass murderer Bush, but also the multinational exploiters of which he is the political representative...."
And no weasel words that the Left of the 60s and 70s fell into a trap of viewing the leaders of the resistance in Vietnam through rose-tinted glasses. There were those who were stripping Ho Chi Minh of his socialist credentials and exposing the Emperor as naked . But the "Theory of National Liberation" , which was in many ways simply a proxy war between super-powers on the dividing-up of the world , had its supporters and the International Socialists ( SWP) were one such vociferous organisation .
It is astounding that Harman endeavours to justify support for the future ruling elite of Vietnam by claiming that it contributed to the advancement of the cause of the black and women's and the workers' movements . Opposition to the war certainly may have been an important part of the politicalisation of those people , but the support offered to the state-capitalist dictatorship by the likes of Harman and his ilk hampered understanding and hindered those movements .
Harman states there could not be any progress in Vietnam until US imperialism was defeated . Can I counter this assumption of his by asking if there has been no progress in the working class of South Korea where US imperialism prevailed ? Does not the working class in that country possess a trade union movement that actively resists the onslaughts of multi-national capitalist exploitation as effectively as any other .
Advocating the political independence of the working class is very different from promoting national independence. And Harman now repeats this tragedy .
His references to the Vietnam War was not out of historic curiousity but to call upon the workers of Iraq to lay their lives down yet again , not for their own interests , but for the "national resistance".
Again it is claimed , through Harman , that a defeat for American imperialism and the victory of the "Iraqi Resistance" will somehow have an effect on stopping the exploitation of the victims of the US capitalism "in the barrios of Caracas and the sweatshops of the Philippines, those suffering under the dictates of the IMF and those toiling for poverty wages to pay off the debts to Barclays and Citibank, those rotting in the prisons of Saudi Arabia or going hungry in sub-Saharan Africa."
As if all the other imperialist nations , from Paris to Peking , will not leap in and replace American Big Business .
By tying the USA down in an Iraqi war , the Iraqi Resistance " indirectly aids all those who would be next in line if the US were not bogged down in Iraq. This includes forces such as Hizbollah in Lebanon, and also those in Venezuela and Bolivia " - Well , Harman , lets take that to its logical conclusion ...A call for no victory to either side and instead the demand for a never-ending continuous war would be your most desired policy , would it not ?
And just how mealy - mouthed for an apologist is Harman with his pretence of regrets :-
"[ Support should be offered to the Iraqi resistance ] ...despite the attitude to women of some of the resistance groups and those whose religious bigotry leads them to direct their fire against other Iraqis as much as against the occupying troops."
I'll rephrase that in words that we all can clearly comprehend :-
" I'll drive away the thieves from your home but the price you will pay is that I rape your wife and daughters and murder your neighbours and friends and then for the rest of your remaining life you do as exactly as I tell you "
How sick can Chris Harman be .
P.S. To understand the cynicism of Chris Harman , it is helpful to understand the opportunism of the SWP and a brief history of them can be found here