It's looking like half of all Iraqis went out and cast their vote yesterday. This despite the people killed just for voting, the people killed just for making voting possible. And what of the killers? Allawi and Bush call them 'terrorists', the BBC calls them 'insurgents', the anti-war movement calls it 'the resistance'. Iraq Resistance, for example, issue a Call For Solidarity With The Struggle Of The Iraqi People They say:

Now, the reality shows us that there are two tendencies in competition in Iraq. On one side, the Iraqi people is resisting against the occupation of its country, using very diversified means of struggle, based on pluralistic opinions. This resistance of the Iraqi people can come in very different forms of struggle and is organized by very different patriotical political tendencies. On the other side, US imperialism is trying to control the country with the help of a local dependent government made of collaborators reminding us other moments of the world history, such as the situation existing during the nazi occupation.

This manichean, with-us-or-against-us logic exemplifies the thinking of the mainstream of the anti-war movement: despite the mention of diverse means of struggle, there is no real conception of the multiple perspectives that might exist on the ground in Iraq, some emancipatory, some reactionary, just one single 'the Iraqi people'. The Leninist left is so entranced by the nineteenth century logic of the nation-state that supposedly internationalist revolutionaries priase the 'patriotism' of this monolithic people. The violence against those involved in the micro-machinery of the ballot is justified - these Iraqi citizens are apparently like the collaborators in Nazi-occupied Europe.

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