To: Iraqi Communist Party - Central Information Bureau
From: Reuven Kaminer*
I have received, and have every reason to consider authentic, your recent statement on the recently adopted draft constitution. Over the years, I have heard and learned of many brave chapters written by your party. The Iraqi CP was known for its intense internationalism, for its struggle against imperialist machinations to ‘divide and rule’ your country, and for your courageous opposition to the brutal and cruel Baathist regime of Saadam Hussein. I know also that you have paid for your principles with the blood and suffering of your finest people.
I also appreciate that there are many complexities in the given situation in Iraq. There is a wide array of forces aligned against the occupation, and I can appreciate that many of them are motivated by questionable objectives. This being said, it is my duty to tell you that I was concerned and saddened to read your recent declaration – a copy of which I am enclosing below.
International public opinion and almost all serious commentators on the situation in Iraq are clear about the main purpose of the draft constitution.
The adoption of this draft is a clear component in the campaign of the Bush government to prove that the main purpose of the occupation of Iraq is to bring democracy to your country. Therefore, I was pained and concerned to read that you believe:
“The declaration of this document, and the forthcoming referendum, constitute an important development in the on-going political process in the direction of consolidating democracy and its institutions, completing the transitional period, restoring security and normal conditions, and achieving our country’s full sovereignty and independence. “ (My underlining – RK).
This is manifestly untrue in two essential aspects. First of all, according to all reliable reports, the draft does not enjoy any serious support among the Sunnis in the country. There are also signs that large segments of the Shihite community oppose the constitution. How can you speak about ‘consolidating democracy’ when all objective observers express anxiety that the draft constitution is deepening the divisions in the country and creating a danger of civil war?
Second of all, you refuse to relate to the role of the U.S. occupation in manipulating each and every significant development concerning the draft constitution. How can a document ‘made in the U.S.A.’ be the harbinger of democracy in Iraq, and how can you separate the analysis of any development in Iraq from the demand for an immediate withdrawal of the U.S. forces and an end to the occupation? Unfortunately, this seems to be a consistent approach on your part. In the past, I tended to ascribe your ‘welcoming’ position to the U.S. invasion to your understandable shock and relief over the end of the long night of horrific Baathist repression.
Today, your equivocal position regarding the U.S. occupation (and this is an understatement) is unacceptable in every sense. You must be aware that in addition to its inherent contradictions and lack of logic, your position can only be of help to the chief enemies of peace and the Iraqi people. It is painful to see you make every effort to ignore the U.S. occupation. You write:
“The draft constitution has emerged out of a protracted process, due to the fact that it has taken place under difficult conditions in our country, on political, security and socio-economic levels, as well as a balance of forces that has developed out of abnormal and exceptional circumstances. It is the outcome of a struggle between different visions and opinions with regard to the future of Iraq.” (My underlining – RK)
Here we have the most distressing and saddening example of this intentional disregard. We have here ‘protracted process’…’difficult conditions’…’abnormal and exceptional circumstances’, but we do not have a clear and unequivocal denunciation of the occupation.
Here in Israel, the first principle of progressive politics is the priority we grant to ending the occupation of the Palestinian territories, a thirty seven year old occupation, which would be impossible without the support and the connivance of the United States. Our experience has proven the importance of acknowledging the real role of U.S. interests and imperial motivation.
I write with the fervent hope that not too much time will lapse before the Iraqi Communists take their rightful place in the world-wide movement for peace and against the U.S. occupation of Iraq. This is also the key to democracy and independence in Iraq.
Yours / Reuven Kaminer
Iraqi Communist Party - Central Information Bureau
29 August 2005
Statement About Draft Constitution
The text of the adopted draft constitution of the republic of Iraq, which will be put to a public referendum in mid October 2005, was read out yesterday in the National Assembly in Baghdad.
The declaration of this document, and the forthcoming referendum, constitute an important development in the on-going political process in the direction of consolidating democracy and its institutions, completing the transitional period, restoring security and normal conditions, and achieving our country’s full sovereignty and independence.
The draft constitution has emerged out of a protracted process, due to the fact that it has taken place under difficult conditions in our country, on political, security and socio-economic levels, as well as a balance of forces that has developed out of abnormal and exceptional circumstances. It is the outcome of a struggle between different visions and opinions with regard to the future of Iraq.
All this had its direct and deep impact on the process of drafting the constitution that we had wanted, and strived for, to be one that enjoys consensus among the various constituents of our people: ethnic, religious, confessional and political, and also express a spirit of equal citizenship for Iraqis.
While viewing positively the draft constitution in its general context, we stress at the same time our reservation regarding many of its articles, especially those that, in some of their clauses and formulation, encroach upon the desired civil-democratic character of the constitution, and those that restrict women rights and do not allow them to achieve equality with men.
Finally, we had hoped that the process of writing the constitution, presenting it to the people and for referendum, would take place in a more transparent manner and in more conformity with the need for respecting parliamentary traditions and norms.
Iraqi CP, Statement On Draft Constitution 29-8-2005
Tuesday, September 6, 2005
To: Iraqi Communist Party - Central Information Bureau