Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Manifesto of the Third Camp against US Militarism and Islamic Terrorism

The present conflict between the Western governments and the Islamic Republic of Iran can have disastrous human, political and social consequences. The terrible experience of Iraq has shown to all the catastrophes that can result from economic sanctions and a military attack. Deterioration of living conditions, economic plight, death, destruction and displacement of people, and increased repression by the Islamic regime, would be some of the immediate consequences of economic sanctions or a military attack on Iran. This policy would unleash Islamic terrorism on a regional scale and escalate it internationally.

We must stand up with all our power to the US government’s and its allies’ bullying. We must put an end to the crimes of the opposite pole, i.e. Islamic terrorism. We must help the people of Islam-stricken countries to get rid of the menace of Islamic terrorist states and forces. American militarism and Islamic terrorism have brutalised the world. Neither of them has a solution to the present crisis and its resulting problems. Rather, they are themselves the cause of this crisis and its aggravation. Civilised humanity must rise up against both these poles and the suffering that they have imposed on the world. The human and genuine solution to the problem of nuclear weapons, to Islamic terrorism and its horrific crimes against the people of the world, and to the militaristic bullying of the US and Western governments lies in the hands of us people.

Amid all this, the struggle of the people of Iran for freedom holds a prominent and critical place. For years there has been a mass social movement in Iran against the Islamic regime and for liberty and equality. The triumph of this movement over the Islamic Republic of Iran would be a decisive blow to political Islam and Islamic terrorism throughout the world. It would also be a powerful response to the US government’s political-military interventionism aimed at regime change, in the name of “exporting democracy”, and imposition of reactionary puppet regimes on other societies. The victory of the Iranian people would be a giant step forward and a turning point in the struggle against militarist and Islamic terrorism and in defence of liberty, civilisation and universal rights for all throughout the world.

We, the undersigned, declare:

1- No to war, No to economic sanctions

Economic sanctions and a military strike on Iran will have catastrophic human, political and social consequences. What happened in Iraq should not be repeated in Iran. These threats must stop immediately.

2- No to US militarism, No to political Islam

In the conflict between the state terrorism of the West and Islamic terrorism, the civilised world is not represented. Both sides of this conflict are reactionary and inhuman. They must be driven back.

3- Nuclear disarmament of all states

Neither Iran, nor the USA, nor any other state should have nuclear weapons. The Iranian regime’s nuclear project must stop immediately. However, states which have the largest stockpiles of nuclear weapons themselves are not competent authorities to judge on the nuclear capability of other states. Halting the Islamic Republic of Iran's nuclear project is the task of the freedom-loving people of the world, in particular the people of Iran - just as the nuclear disarmament of all states and liberation from the global nuclear nightmare can only be achieved by the struggle of the people of the world.

4- Attacks on civil liberties in the West in the name of ‘war on terror’ must stop

The governments in the West are violating or restricting civil rights and liberties in the name of fighting the terrorist threat and safeguarding security. Increased surveillance and control of citizens, curtailing freedom of expression and movement and denying the rights of immigrants are some of the commonest forms that this attack on people’s rights is taking. This must be stopped. No excuse for an attack on civil rights and liberties is acceptable.

5- We actively support the struggle of the people of Iran against a military attack and against the Islamic Republic of Iran

For 27 years the people of Iran have been fighting against repression, violation of women’s rights, sexual apartheid, stoning, torture, execution of political prisoners and poverty and economic deprivation. The people of Iran want to and can determine their own political destiny. Support for the struggle of the Iranian people for freedom, the victory of this struggle against the Islamic Republic and the establishment of people’s own direct rule will be a crucial step in standing up to the US government’s bullying and a decisive blow to Islamic terrorism in the Middle East and the world.

6- The Islamic Republic must be expelled from the international community

The Islamic regime in Iran must be kicked out of the international community, just like the racist South African regime, for 27 years of crimes against humanity, for the brutal suppression of the rightful struggles of the people, for the execution of over one hundred thousand political prisoners, for establishing a sexual apartheid in Iran and for promoting Islamic terrorism in the Middle East and throughout the world. We call for the non-recognition of the Islamic Republic as the representative of the Iranian people, for the ending of diplomatic ties with it and the closure of its embassies everywhere. We call for the expulsion of the regime from international institutions.

We invite all humanitarian, secular, anti-war and freedom-loving organisations, forces, parties and individuals in the world to sign this Manifesto and join the Third Camp to confront both poles of terrorism.

Initial list of signatories:

Mina Ahadi, Coordinator, International Committee against Stoning, Germany (including organisation).

Homa Arjomand, International Campaign against the Sharia Court in Canada and Director of Children First Now, Canada (including organisation).

Ophelia Benson, editor of Butterflies and Wheels, deputy editor of The Philosophers' Magazine, and co-author of 'Why Truth Matters', USA.

Nazanin Boroumand, Coordinator, Never Forget Hatun Campaign, Germany (including organisation).

Denis Cobell, President of the National Secular Society, Chair of Right to Refuse to Kill, and former Asst. Editor of Hyde Park Socialist, UK.

Deeyah, singer and composer, USA.

Caroline Fourest, writer, editor in chief of Prochoix, and author of several books, France.

Mersedeh Ghaedi, political prisoner in Iran for 8 years, Norway.

Tommy Gorman, writer, Ireland.

Hakeem Hasan, Secretary of the Health Care Workers' Council in Nasiriyah, Iraq (including organisation).

Reinhard Hascha, Historian, Germany.

Farshad Husseini, Deputy Director, International Federation of Iranian Refugees, the Netherlands (including organisation).

Khayal Ibrahim, Head of Women's Liberation of Iraq, Germany (including organisation).

Parvin Kaboli, Spokesperson of the International Campaign for Defence of Women's Rights in Iran, Sweden (including organisation).

Hartmut Krauss, editor of 'Hintergrund', Germany.

Terry Liddle, Chair of Lewisham Humanist Group, UK.

Azar Majedi, Chair of the Organisation of Women's Liberation, UK (including organisation).

Manochehr Masouri, webmaster of the International Committee against Executions, Sweden (including organisation).

Sean MacAughey, journalist, Ireland.

Reza Moradi, activist of the Young Communists' Organisation (including organisation), UK.

Anthony McIntyre, writer, former Republican prisoner and H-Blocks blanket protester in Maze prison in the 70s and 80s, Ireland.

Kevin McQuillan, former chairperson of the Irish Republican Socialist Party, Ireland.

Maryam Namazie, Writer, Director of the Worker-communist Party of Iran's International Relations, and 2005 winner of the National Secular Society's Secularist of the Year award, UK.

Richard O'Rawe, author of Blanketmen, Ireland.

Liam O Ruairc, Communications Worker, Ireland.

Fariborz Pooya, Director Iranian Secular Society, UK (including organisation).

Mohammad Reza Pooya, editor of Secular, the Netherlands (including publication).

Terry Sanderson, veteran of secular and gay activism, author of nine books with a journalistic career spanning 30 years and vice president of The National Secular Society, UK.

Michael Schmidt-Salomon, Giordano Bruno Foundation, Germany.

Antoine Sfeir, director of Les cahiers de l’Orient, and author of several books such as Les réseaux d’Allah (2001) et Liberté, égalité, Islam: la République face au communautarisme (2005), France.

Jalil Shahbaz, representative of the Defence of Secularism and Civil Rights in Iraq, Germany (including organisation).

Issam Shukri, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Left Worker-communist Party of Iraq, Iraq (including organisation).

Bahram Soroush, Public Relations of the International Labour Solidarity Committee of the Worker-communist Party of Iran, UK (including organisation).

Hamid Taqvaee, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Worker-communist Party of Iran, (including organisation).

To add your signature to the Manifesto, email thirdcampmanifesto@ukonline.co.uk. Moreover, please feel free to publish it.

For more information, the press can contact any of the signatories or Maryam Namazie at thirdcampmanifesto@ukonline.co.uk, telephone: +44 (0) 7719166731.
Maryam Namazie


celticfire said...

Looks like a good program to me.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the manifesto, except that if Iran is to be kicked out of the International community, so should Israel. You can almost replace all the spots where it says Iran with the word Israel and it would still hold weight.

Replacing Iran with Israel:

(Israel) must be kicked out of the international community, just like the racist South African regime, for (58) years of crimes against humanity, for the brutal suppression of the rightful struggles of the people, for the execution of over one hundred thousand (Palestinians), for establishing a (racial) apartheid in Israel and for promoting (Mossad death squads) in the Middle East and throughout the world....

sappho said...

Just put up a link to you from my site! Returning the favor, thanks again!

sonia said...

if Iran is to be kicked out of the International community, so should Israel

Iran and Israel are both democratic. If any country is to be kicked out, we should rather start with Syria, Libya, Cuba, North Korea, Burma, Saudi Arabia or Red China - all countries where there are no elections at all (even fraudulent ones)...

Btw, Ren, your blogroll is so damn long, you might consider putting it in alphabetical order, otherwise it's impossible to find any blog...

brian said...

Looks good to me too... these are both pretty big threats to humanity

beatroot said...

I completly support the sentiments in this and I would sign it.

The problem is this: what can people do to stop US militarism and support human rights in Iran?

This is where the left and rightwing neo-cons have got one over on us. They are - or think they are - doing something about it. What can we do apart from wringing our hands and writing posts about it?

Sonia: Just as a point of accuracy: Israel is close to what we consider a democracy (as long as you are Jewish) but Iran is only half democracy, half theocracy.

beatroot said...

one more thing inderectly related: Iraqi prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, said last week that he expected coalition troops to leave 16 of Iraq's 18 provinces by the end of the year (including Basra where the British are based).

Then Tony Blair turns up in Baghdad and says that Iraq would not be 'remotely ready for troop withdrawl by the end of the year'.

So even though an elected leader of Iraq says one thing, imperialist UK says another and ignores his statements.

So let's have no more illusions of this being anything more than what it is: an occupation.

The middle east will not become democractic until they get rid of western occupiers and start changing their own society themselves.

David Broder said...

I agree with the basic politics behind this - but point 6 is not "third camp". It relies on the agency of bourgeois governments in the West to hurt the Iranian regime, an alliance I don't think we can make.

Furthermore, I think that if it were excluded from international institutions, it would be tantamount to economic sanctions - if the Islamic Republic were not diplomatically recognised, it would be impossible to trade with it, or for it to take part in OPEC. The example you give - South Africa - experienced significant sanctions and disinvestment.

International condemnation/isolation might just bolster conservative forces in Iran - making the regime a pariah could give it the cloak of "victimhood".

So, I'm not sure if isolation from the international community can be productive - it will just look like another foreign threat.

ramo said...

Idealistic idea! Only rich people have such type of fantasies. Iranian govt is popular in Iran. Like Hamas is in Palestine. People in west always have this idea that democracy is panacea for all evil. It is not! It is the people of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi, Iran, central-asia etc that hate west. Most of the time Govts. actually love west.

And about Islamic terrorism, most people in west know nothing and 9/11 terrorises them to a state of paranoia. Try living in Israel, you will know what is terror. I don't agree with Israel's repressive measures, but atleast you can talk against it or protest against US, but imagine a world where Islamics are super power. The day any third camp opens mouth, their heads will be with swords of allah.

There is no peace. Always a lull before the next war. Prepare or perish.

David Broder said...

"Only rich people have such type of fantasies. Iranian govt is popular in Iran"

If the mullahs are so popular, why don't they allow elections to prove it?

People would also have different views if the government didn't use censorship to control what they think...

And the trade unions going on strike, the people who get locked up for criticising the regime, and gay people who are subjected to public executions - do they like the government? No. And we support them against it.

ramo said...

I understand you are trying to say. But that doesn't change the fact that Iranian revolution was a popular revolution. It is so even now. They elected Ahmedinejad and removed that liberal Khatami. Democracy is about majority. More people criticise regimes in Saudi(US friend) than in Iran. And gay people are minority in most societies. Most common people in islamic societies would love public execution of them. Western liberals always think that once they remove the regime and bring democracy, it would be heaven. See what US is doing in Pakistan. If you do proper election there, General Musharaf will be hanging on a lamp post and a mullah will be president.

It is very easy to romanticize liberal thoughts and equality and love while staying behind the strong borders of Europe/US and with no problem of security of any kind.

? said...

Maryam Namazie must be applauded for her far reaching thought provoking humanitarian writings contained in the third camp manifesto.

Undoubtedly the call for international nuclear disarmament must be taken very seriously since it is undoubtedly the wish of the majority and not international superpowers, who would like to be top dog, and whom ironically may have the biggest nuclear armoury in the world, and who may wish to retain their own programmes. What lessons have been learned from the assault on Iraq?

If the people of Iran want to be free of the present Islamic regime then their wishes must be supported, as should the wishes of people caught up in other repressive regimes across the world. In any event, any disestablishment of the slamic regime will inevitably include halting Iran’s nuclear project.

But the answer cannot lie in economic sanctions or full scale attack on Iran since the ongoing effects of the Western attack on Iraq will resound throughout the world for many more years before the death, destruction and chaos that has resulted comes finally to an end. Such an attack may do no more than repeat the mistakes made in Iraq.

Just as the people of Iraq may have wished to control their own destiny, Iran must be allowed the same freedom, mistakes that have been made have halted progress on social political and humanitarian ground as this manifesto clearly states.

There is a urgent need to unite for freedom, justice and progress and support the innocents bid for freedom.

John Brown said...

The problem I have with documents like these - and by 'these' I mean a manifesto that tries to strike a balance between Uncle Sam and the Other (whomever it happens to be) - is that they ignore the fact that Uncle Sam is the aggressor. Despite being a total fiction in the real world 'Islamic Terrorism' - covering for false flag PsyOps - has become the pretext the justification for the entire 'War on Terror'.

And it's a total sham. Any attack on Iran will not attack Islamic terrorism. It will be an attack on the people of Iran.

If we want to discuss the possibility of working class rule in Iran, that's another story altogether.

But this document strikes me as an academic effort to confuse issues.

John Brown said...

I do totally agree with the idea that Apartheid Israel belongs on there ahead of Iran.

David Broder said...

John - precisely the point is that it is not about "striking a balance" between the USA and other powers. It shows consistent opposition to both forces - they are both opponents of the working-class.

The fact that it opposes the Iranian regime in no way qualifies its opposition to war on Iran and its opposition to imperialism.

Exactly what it is doing is defending the people of Iran, by standing in solidarity with them against both the Islamic Republic and the USA.

I think you should substantiate your claim that there is no real Islamist terrorism. I have heard such views, and they seem to be based on the false view that the US government is the world's only aggressor, rather than just the most important of a panoply of ruling-class, oppressive groups.

I disagree with your characterisation of the racist Israeli government as an "apartheid state". Whites in South Africa exclusively had roots in Europe, were a small minority of the population, and were a ruling class exploiting black labour.

Israelis/Jews represent a majority in much of the area they control, have historic links and cultural heritage in the region, and largely do not employ Palestinians. Many Israelis are working class.

I therefore do not agree with a characterisation which implies the South African solution - unlike in that case, I think we can meaningfully call for self-determination for both peoples. Although opposing the actions of the Israeli government to cement and extend its occupation of Palestinian land, I see nothing inherently exploitative in the existence of a state which represents self-determination for Jews, as well as a Palestinian one.

Frank Partisan said...

I'm looking for a way to alphabetize the links. People have been linking to me, from blogs I never read or commented on before. That is lucky. I get new links almost every day.

One thing the right can teach is; when they campaign, they don't dilute issues. When they are protesting gay marriage, they don't mention abortion in the same breath. This is about Iran, Islamism and imperialism. Zionism is for another manifesto.

This document is written by Iranian communists. It is not written by rich Westerners.

I disagree that imperialism, is the only enemy that revolutionaries must confront. The Islamists only see you as secular, and don't care about your critical support.

I have problems with point six, and will discuss it with Maryam.

roman said...

I have a real problem with #4.
"Attacks on civil liberties in the West in the name of ‘war on terror’ must stop"
What attacks? There has not been one documented civil liberties citizen complaint anywhere. The only outcry has been politically motivated complaints and media inspired frenzy.
When your enemy invades your homeland and kills your neighbors and friends indiscriminately and without cause, should we not try to defend against another such attack? The Islamist terrorists have destroyed those innocent pre 9/11 freedoms we took for granted. They will not "stop" so why should we?
This manifesto item is a unilateral requirement for the West to blindly revert to pre 9/11 status and basically forget that it ever happened. This mindset will never be acceptable to rational thinking human beings who value their lives.
"Fool me once, shame on you.. fool me twice, shame on me."

Graeme said...

I agree with the list, with the same worries that other have expressed about no. 6.

Also, the US and Israel foreign policies of militant action against the terrorists is counterproductive to say the least. This is the most important issue in my opinion. We have to stop pushing people to extremism. I have no problem supporting rational people, even if they are Muslims

beatroot said...

David Broder said The example you give - South Africa - experienced significant sanctions and disinvestment.

And actually, those sanctions did have the effect of shortening the life of that regime.

But where South Africa was different to Iran today was that the majority of the people in that country (black/'coloureds') were calling, through the ANC, for sanctions against the regime.

In Iran there no such support for sanctions, so they just would not work. They would cement support for the regime and harm ordinary people (like the half a million children the UN killed with its sanctions against Iraq).

sonia said...


like the half a million children the UN killed with its sanctions against Iraq

Make that, half a million children Saddam Hussein killed by refusing to comply with UN resolutions, defrauding the Food-for-Oil program and building his palaces...


I hope #6 will be taken down...

The right can teach you many other things as well - like 'send a poor naive bozo to the forefront so that your enemies will spend all their energy trying to take him down, and have no strength left to overthrow the actual system'...

John Brown said...

David Broder wrote:
Precisely the point is that it is not about "striking a balance" between the USA and other powers. It shows consistent opposition to both forces - they are both opponents of the working-class.

While I agree with your conclusion, I dispute the premise. The very existence of the manifesto (instead of a 'HANDS OFF IRAN' campaign, for example) demonstrates that somebody, somewhere believes that the two should be compared alongside each other.

The fact that it opposes the Iranian regime in no way qualifies its opposition to war on Iran and its opposition to imperialism.

The job of overthrowing the Iranian bourgeoisie is the job of the Iranian people. Our role as revolutoinaries elsewhere is to intensify the struggle. Insofar as that includes supporting strikes or women's rights campaigns there initiated by the Iranian people and not the NED, I support this.

But in terms of the struggle against imperialism, this manifesto goes to great lengths to equate 'Islamic Terrorism' with the real Terrorism of Guantanamo, Haditha, Depleted Uranium, Fallujah.

By equating 'Islamic Terrorism' with 'Iranian Terrorism', the manifesto commits a logical error that doubles as a racist lie. Further equating the crimes of 'Islamic Terror' with Uncle Sam's terror exacerbates the lie.

DB: I think you should substantiate your claim that there is no real Islamist terrorism.

alCIAda started as a CIA-front in the 1980s. As yet, I've seen no independent corroboration - other than frame-up show trials - which demonstrate the existance of any organized, unified, global Islamic Terrorist network.

DB: I disagree with your characterisation of the racist Israeli government as an "apartheid state".

In addition to obvious flouting of all national and international law with their ongoing campaign of ethnic cleansing from Palestine, the illegal settlements on Palestinian land, the Jewish-only road, Jewish-only schools, Jewish-only water, etc. contributes to a system of Apartheid that both Nelson Mandella and Bishop Tutu - two people who know something of Apartheid - have likened to that of South Africa.

DB: Israelis/Jews represent a majority in much of the area they control.

Don't forget that this land was obtained through an imperialist mandate at the UN and then expanded first through a series
of expansionist wars and later with the ongoing policy of settlement-building.

DB: Many Israelis are working class.

Those who run the Apartheid government and order the assassination of Palestinians are not. And, if they are, I don't care.

DB: I think we can meaningfully call for self-determination for both peoples.

Of course we can - through a free, democratic, secular Palestine.

John Brown said...


Check out my blog for round two of my interview with right-winger Florian Guerrero.

Please, by all means, take a swing in the comments, too.

Anonymous said...

Its a great programme. I have publicised previous stuff by maryam on Irish Left & Indymedia.ie.

BTW Iran is not a democracy, you can only stand for parliament or the Presidency if you are approved by a council of clerics.

No to US/UK Imperialism & No to Islamofascism! For a Secular Democratic Iran!

pat c

Agnes said...

Ren, the blogrolling "alphabetizes" that for you.
My posts don't show up here and on Beatroot's blog. Must have been dc in the moment of posting them.

Frank Partisan said...

Redwine: Your last post worked. With Blogrolling I have to type up URLs. I found a free device that alphabetizes, only can't handle the number of links I have. I've been googling, trying to find some HTML or something.

John Brown said...


Those sanctions on Iraq were imposed after a criminal war. The 'no fly' zones were a complete legal fabrication.

Why are you defending the imperialist regime that forced so many people to die?

? said...

My signature has been added to the Manifesto, there is no moral justification to begin another bloody chapter in history wherein innocents lose their lives in the pursuit of political power and control. There must no more wars, how can a reportedly civilized nation not learn from the terrible mistakes that have been made and continue to be made in Iraq. War has destroyed everything most importantly its people.

Sangroncito said...

Neither the Iranian Regime nor the Bush Regime...I like that option!

sonia said...

John Brown,

Why are you defending the imperialist regime that forced so many people to die?

You've got the wrong person. I never defended Saddam Hussein and his imperialist invasions of Iran and Kuwait...

Frank Partisan said...

I used Blogrolling to alphabetize links.

I think debating Iraq and Israel, is off topic. I think discussing Iran, mullah's, Iran's role in the world, Islamism; is within the topic.

beatroot said...

Ren: half a million children Saddam Hussein killed by refusing to comply with UN resolutions, defrauding the Food-for-Oil program and building his palaces...

But he didn't comply with the sanctions. And since it was a dictatorship the people of Iraq - who were being killed by them - couldn't do a thing about it.

So the blame has to be with the UN which was in a position to end the sanctions... The west killed those children.

sonia said...


The west killed those children

Of course, and Roosevelt killed European Jews, because he declared war against Nazi Germany...

? said...

Ren, your links look much better.

John Brown said...


How is Apartheid Israel off limits in a discussion about disarming Iran and removing them from the international community?

After all, when Uncle Sam's bloody war on Iran starts, it's likely that Apartheid Israel will be the tip-of-the-spear.

And it is they - not Iran - who has imposed a brutal military dictatorship on the people of the occupied West Bank and Gaza.

And while Iran has not committed a terrorist act in decades, Apartheid Israel just murdered a political leader in Lebanon.

If the word 'terrorism' is going to be used, let's keep it real.

Frank Partisan said...

If you have ever seen a big demonstration, outside a conference or convention, and the signs all have different messages, and no specific demands are made?

Non partisan (don't endorse candidates), single issue coalitions, based around unequivocal single demands, form the foundation, for revolutionary change.

I never heard as David B said, the demand for self determination for Jews. Jewish people are a multinational, religious and cultural group. I was surprised Trotsky reluctantly had such a position. After all the education the German working class had about solidarity, they allowed the Nazi oppression of Jews. Trotsky was against Zionism, but reasoned if something like that could happen, the arguments have some merit. Trotsky didn't see what the Jewish state would become. I think Palestinian self determination is an issue, not Jewish. Historically Zionists thought of Uganda, as the ideal location, for a Jewish state.

I don't like point six of the manifesto. Neither Israel or Iran will be isolated in this lifetime. Iran wants to be, the first Islamic superpower.

Frank Partisan said...

I wrote a note to Maryam explaining the discussion.

sonia said...


Good point about keeping focused.

Historically Zionists thought of Uganda, as the ideal location, for a Jewish state

Are you kidding ? I think it's a joke. Besides, why bothering Ugandans instead of Palestinians ?

I don't like point six of the manifesto


Frank Partisan said...

Google Zionism + Uganda.

Agnes said...

That is right, and if my memory doesn't fail me, Argentina was mentioned as an alternative.

As for embargos and isolation, they never work. In Iran's case I doubt they would precipitate a regime change - they result in an impoverished population.

No said...

Love your blog..I might have to actually think..for a change...might take me more than a couple of minutes to read..

troutsky said...

"saying no to political Islam" may be a counter-productive ban on a very wide ranging category.Islamism manifests itself in many forms, and may include a true working class conciousness.

It also seems to me we must realistically analyze this "international community" from which the Islamic Republic must be "expelled". Is this a political category or a form of advanced capitalism, a part of the hegemonic structure designed to maintain control and order.

maps said...

Unfortunately this is a call for capitalist governments, including the imperialist governments of the First World, to wage economic war on Iran, a poor semi-colonial country which has already suffered too much from imperialism.

It is also an Islamophobic document, because it presents Islamic fundamentalism as an equal evil to imperialism, when in fact Islamism is only a reactionary response to imperialism.

As an analogy, imagine if a group of US liberals put out a statement condemning the Ku Klux Klan and the Nation of Islam equally. While the second organisation does hold reactionary views, it is clearly the movement of an oppressed people looking to defend itself. The same can be said for Islamist movements like Hamas. A certain subtlety is necessary here.

There is no comparison from Iran to South Africa or Israel, which were/are both effectively armed bases of imperialism, US beach heads in the hotsile settings of the Arab world and then-revolutionary southern Africa respectively.

There is no chance that the US and its allies like Israel will ever dispose of their nuclear weapons unless their societies are fundamentally reorganised by social revolutions. Such a prospect is obviously not on the horizon, so in practice the demand for nuke disarmament only effects vulnerable enemies of the US like Iran and North Korea. Iran has already offered to stop its nuclear programme if Israel disarms and the US promises not to attack it; the US blocked Iran's offer from being debated at the UN. Iran has every right now to pursue a nuke weapons programme in self-defence.

Leftists should support the struggles of Iranian workers and oppressed groups against the mullahs' government, but also support the right of the Iranians to defend themselves from US aggression. Shortly after the invasion of Iraq I attended a rally of exiled Iraqis which featured the chant 'Down with Saddam, victory to Iraq, death to the Americans'. The exiles wanted to get rid of Saddam, but also wanted to beat the US. They didn't see any contradiction between those two goals. Nor did the great Marxist thinkers. Writing in the 30s, Trotsky said that in the event of a hypothetical war between democratic imperialist England and fascist Brazil, he would back fascist Brazil, without giving political support to the government of that country.

For a leaflet I wrote defending Iran's right to nukes, see:

voltaires_priest said...

I'd like to know what's left wing about it? It's all very well, but it's a program that any liberal could write - or endorse.

voltaires_priest said...

That was a reference to the Manifesto, not the previous poster's leaflet, BTW. Ahem.

roman said...

The rally chant you quoted; "Down with Saddam, victory to Iraq, death to the Americans"
You comment that the chanters did not see any contradiction but do you? Are you an American?
The reason I ask is that most bloggers would like to know what the actual writer/blogger thinks and not just a nuetral and sanitized event report. Can you please enlighten us?

Frank Partisan said...

Even if Nation of Islam, is just a reactionary response to imperialism, they were the murderers of Malcolm X, along with government agents, so couldn't be ignored. The Black Panthers had gun fights with Ron Karenga's supporters.

Iran has two significant problems, attack from without from imperialism, and reaction within from Islamism. Even if Islamism is a reaction to the secular government overthrown by US/UK in 1953, it still is an enemy to be dealt with by Iranian revolutionaries.

I signed the manifesto, although I disagree with point six. I wrote to Maryam, asking her to explain it better.

Roman: Reading is not United Statesian, as Canadians say. Sorting out tendencies in Iraq is not easy. Now that secularism has been set back Sharia courts are back. People are assasinated for wearing short pants.

Islamophobic no, secular yes.

I think Iran aspires to be the first Islamic superpower. That is why it wants nukes. Reading look closer at what it says about nukes. It doesn't support US or Israel having nukes, or their efforts against Iran.

John Brown said...


Spot on in your analysis. I totally agree.


I agree with you about the NoI and Malcolm. However, in the immediate aftermath of Katrina only they were able to bring Black people together. They did so as the driving force behind the Million More Movement and in spite of a campaign of vilification and demonization by Zionists.

And Farrakhan's rhetoric - while not perfect - demonstrates an internationalist consciousness and an interest in bringing oppressed people together in Unity. While not without problems, they can be worked out in the course of struggle. For now, however, he's an ally.

Frank Partisan said...

The Nation of Islam is hostile to organizing along a class basis. They are not active like they used to be. Believe me they are anticommunist.

Frank Partisan said...

Hamas was supported financially by Israel, as foil against early leftist Fatah. Fatah is still secular.

If US/UK invaded Iran, the signers of the manifesto, would very critically support Iran. No question what is more important. Islamists still have to defeated in the long run.

Pete said...


I'm again seeking to comment on your blog and say something positive.

But the sheer student like idealism of this manifesto is breathtaking.

It defies the ways countries "think" which is national self interest. See my blog post on this.

In Iran, as in the Philippines, people power is a tool of powerful factions including the Church/Islam and the military.

I have to agree with the Roman and (even) Sonia in backing pragmatism and the an awareness of the threat to the West from terrorism over an idealistic view of some type of Westernised democracy in Iran.


Anonymous said...

Simple minded drippy rhetoric with no value. Other than that, it wasn't bad.

? said...


Is there really, absolutely no sense in any single point of the 3rd camp manifesto to it???? Or are you just in a bad mood!

Some very valid points have arisen from this post but I am just curious to know why anything that aims to support humanitarian sentiments should attract generalised sweeping statements that sum it up as “Simple minded drippy rhetoric with no value” which is in itself of limited value. Was Che Guvaras’ pursuit of the empancipation of the poor based on “Simple minded drippy rhetoric with no value”

Maryam Namazie and others writing about humanitarian issues must be applauded.

If everyone is as pessimistic as this, there is definitely going to be no more of the likes of Che Guvara

If the proposed war on Iran goes ahead, the sentiments of right wing parties would be satisfied.

Craig Bardo said...


To rail against supposed Western Imperialism and to call for the mullahs to stop pursuing nukes is vapid and pointless. You must accept the former without evidence and the latter is wishful thinking...hope is not a strategy.

I do support the young people of Iran who strive for a free and as Ren might suggest cleric-free voice. However, even the young Iranians support nuclear development, not from a sinister bias as the clerics hold, but out of a sense of nationalism.

It is not that I don't support a peaceful solution, it just hasn't presented itself. The rest is common (and yes simple-minded) worker's unite rhetoric. But thanks for asking!

Frank Partisan said...

Just a Note: Blogrolling.com is down today, so my blog links disappeared.

Obukun: CB is almost to the right of Atilla the Hun, that is not a criticism, just a description.

? said...


What about telepathic communication? Perhaps something will present itself there. Nothing can progress unless somebody says something. Certainly an opporutnity will never present itslef without it. :)


? said...

You could be right!

Pete said...


I agree with you completely in dismissing this manifesto (however much you are denigrated by idealistic romantics of a cosy leftist Latin American dream (that never exissted)).

Nationalism and personal greed drive history as I discovered at the "sharp end".


John Brown said...

CB, of course, has no problem with Uncle Sam laying siege to Iraq - slaughtering hundreds of thousands of innocent people including pregnant women and the handicapped.

Nor does he take much issue with Apartheid Israel's 200-or-so nukes always-already on standby so that any lunatic Zionist can vaporize the entire region.

He calls such trivialities like the threat to world survival posed by Apartheid Israel and Uncle Sam "supposed Western imperialism".

But when Iran - a democratic nation who doesn't occupy other people's land - wants to develop nuclear energy, the line is drawn.

I mean, one has to have limits. God, I love hypocrisy.

John Brown said...


On your point about NoI being hostile to class organization, I agree to an extent.

So does United for Peace and Justice. That doesn't mean we shouldn't work with them.

The problems with NoI's lack of class consciousness is easily overcome by the reality on the ground. When they hold huge events like the Million More March, the bulk of participants are not themselves NoI but they generally are very much of the working class.

Workign with NoI doesn't mean agreeing with every one of their positions. It means recognizing that they have a different type of support - working class Black people - than most Socialist organizations do. And the class dynamics of Black people living on Uncle Sam's Plantation demand that we collaborate whenever possible. If that means working with the NoI to do so, so be it.

After all, their politics on questions like Venezuela, Darfur, Cuba, and Palestine are a lot better than UFPJ.

Frank Partisan said...

I could imagine working with NoI, in a single issue coalition. I would even work with Democratic Party operatives in a situation like that.

Anonymous said...