Reactionary political Islam and the Iraqi resistance
July/August 2005

MRZINE: There's a problem that's been posed again and again for opponents of the U.S. war on Iraq, even the best-intentioned ones. They are very frequently intimidated or silenced by the charge that supporting the Iraqi resistance means giving support to the most reactionary elements of political Islam. What advice would you give to opponents of the U.S. war on Iraq when they're faced with this contradiction?

SAMIR AMIN: Well, I believe just exactly the opposite. It is by not supporting the Iraqi resistance that one is giving more chance to the most reactionary elements, political Islam; because as long as the victims of the U.S. aggression and particularly the Iraqi ones, feel that they are alone, that is that they are not supported, strongly supported, by everybody in the world, including by the people of the United States, then that reinforces the reactionary tendencies within Iraq and elsewhere to say: "Look, they are always all against us. There is no chance of being understood and, therefore, we must fight on a radical cultural stand." I hear that every day in the Arab countries.

On the other hand, if the support to the Iraqi resistance, as it is, is complete unconditional support; that is condemning and asking the U.S. to go home, asking for the U.S. to leave the country, that would give more chance to the democratic forces which do exist in Iraq and elsewhere in the Arab world because they would say, look, we are not alone, people are understanding what we are demanding, etc.

So I think that one should not accept this intimidation, in fact it's the opposite...

Excerpted from an interview with Samir Amin, July 15, 2005, by Monthly Review Zine. Samir Amin is director of the Third World Forum in Dakar, Senegal. His recent books include Obsolescent Capitalism: Contemporary Politics and Global Disorder (Zed Books, 2004) and The Liberal Virus: Permanent War and the Americanization of the World (Monthly Review Press, 2004). The full interview is at:

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