Like so many world Communist and Socialist organizations since the downfall of the old Soviet Union, Iraq's small Communist Party has seen its power dramatically decline in more recent years. But this small party was once an influential leftist force against the government of Saddam Hussein, and united the secular left of Iraq, and once boasted as many as 25,000 members back in 1959 shortly after the rebellion that ended the British occupation of Iraq that lasted from 1922-1958.
Unknown to most Americans, the Iraqi Communist Party was even invited by the American occupation forces to become a junior member of the Interim Iraqi Governing Council after the 2003 war because the party was seen as a relatively moderate and trustworthy partner in the new government. The party's Secretary, Hamid Majid Mousa, an economist, took this position as representative on this governing council.
In 2005, the Communists joined with Socialists and moderate Shiites and Sunni parties on the moderate National List coalition of Ayad Allawi, whose more secular and forward looking agenda was crushed at the polls by the much more extremist Shiite and Sunni religious parties who were heavily aligned with militia organizations in Iraq such as the Badr and Wolf Brigades or the huge 100,000 member Kurdish Peshmerga Militia.
The country became much more unglued as Shiite and Sunni extremists advanced their secular warfare against each other and to jockey for ultimate political and religious control of Iraq, taking it far from the more secular vision of Ayad Allawi and his National List partners.
It's funny how the Iraqi Communist Party now seems like a very mainstream and moderate political force in Iraq compared to the religious or militia extremists who are now in commanding control of both the Parliament and government of Iraq. In a recent interview on the Iraqi Communist Party website, one of the top party leaders, Salam Ali strongly condemned the cycle of sectarian violence and the serious lack of security in the nation. Despite this, the party did manage to hold a small recent party conference in Baghdad.
But the overall future for this party is bleak, like most other world Communist organizations who have lost favor worldwide from a peak strength rooted in the past, and by support for a political and economic system that has been largely discredited worldwide as a political dinosaur and now only has strong support in just a few nations such as China, Vietnam, North Korea or Cuba. Of these nations, there is a strong trend towards capitalism in China and Vietnam, as the reality of becoming a viable world community member seems contingent on this reality and purely Socialist economic models are a fast fading phenomenon.
The political circumstances in Iraq may be far different, but the Communists are not likely to ever regain a standing as an important uniting force for the left in Iraq, as religious extremism is so dominant today. The Communist's role is effectively over in Iraq.
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