|A gift from the US. Just what the Iraqi people need---right?|
The Iraqi regime had held up plans to buy18 of the fighter planes but is now considering purchasing as many as 36 which, along with air defense systems and other related costs, will amount to billions of dollars. The US argues that this will help maintain “stability” in the region which means that US capitalism’s plunder of the region’s resources will continue unabated. US officials and lawmakers will most likely support the expanded deal but “tough questions will be asked first” says the Wall Street Journal. Questions like:
“Can we rely on you to protect US corporate interests in the area which means being willing to kill your own people?”
Naturally, the US's man in Baghdad, Iraqi PM Nouri al Maliki will reply in the affirmative. After all, hasn’t he already proved to his masters in Washington that he has no qualms about suppressing dissent in Iraq?
The US Congress has already signed off on the original 18 F16’s so there shouldn’t be a problem with another 18. Not only that, Oman, another Gulf state is interested in some weaponry in the light of the Arab Spring seeking 18 F16’s of its own at a cost of $3.5 billion.
William McHenry, the head of Lockheed’s F16 business development is naturally quite pleased at the windfall. The contracts were put on hold he says after the initial political instability “prompted both governments to rethink the timing”, the WSJ reports. According to US officials Maliki’s government “froze its deal and redirected the money to social programs.” How dare they! Still, one million dead Iraqi’s, a few thousand dead American youth and billions of US dollars directed from domestic spending to the creation of peace in Iraq is bringing results as the Baghdad puppet regime ups its collection of US weapons of mass destruction.
Another reason the deal will not likely be opposed by the US Congress is that a “…strong Iraq will serve regional stability and keep Tehran’s ambitions at bay.” Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal points out that the “complex intersection of US, Iraqi and Iranian interests” will be stabilized by this new strong, armed to the teeth Iraq. This was the reasoning behind arming their old pal Osama bin Laden------a strong Afghanistan and we know where that led. The US capitalist class is a most ruthless bunch, it is to be expected that they want a world in which only "their" ambitions are realized. The workers of the world, the vast majority of the world’s population, recognizes this and the sheer arrogance of it. When the US media talks of its allies in Bahrain, or India, or Vietnam, or anywhere, it is referring to that tiny section of the population in these countries that subjugate and exploit the rest of the population, usually with US weaponry like F16’s.
We must put ourselves in the shoes of the average worker in Iran. The “region” under discussion here borders Iran. The history of US and western interference in the area is indelibly imprinted in the consciousness of the Arab and Iranian working classes. British and US capitalism has been the major obstacle to the development of secular democratic governments in the region, supporting every ruthless dictator that was willing to do its bidding. As we have written repeatedly on this blog, we have a situation where the US is supporting an absolute monarchy on Bahrain against forces that are fighting and dying for democratic rights and a republic.
US capitalism is a declining empire. The American century is a very brief one indeed. But like any wounded animal, it can be dangerous and US capitalism has wreaked massive environmental destruction and death in its quest for “Full Spectrum Dominance” since the collapse of the Stalinist totalitarian regime. It is embroiled in wars it cannot win and that are draining its resources. It is waging a war at home against workers and the middle class as it dismantles social services, eliminates jobs and benefits that took a generation to win. The two capitalist parties are in negotiations over how best to make the working class pay for its foreign policy and an economic system of production that cannot provide the basic necessities of life in the most powerful economy in history.
Amid this, the US working class that built its organizations in the face of the most ruthless and brutal capitalist class in history is not simply in a slumber but is willingly cooperating in its own downward spiral; this is particularly so with regards to the organized sector. The unorganized are not asked for their cooperation as it is implied.
The main reason for a delay in an offensive is the leadership of the workers’ organizations. Their successful diverting of what could have been the beginning of a national mass movement against the capitalist offensive-----out of which a mass workers political party could have arisen-----in to a recall campaign to replace one representative of big business with another is yet another opportunity lost.
The US working class has great traditions. We must re-learn these traditions, come to understand our own history that will remind us that Merrill Lynch never built America. We can take the advice of Mary Elizabeth Lease, the woman’s suffrage campaigner, socialist and populist who, coining the phrase used by the Labor lecturer Ralph Beaumont advised Kansas farmers to:
"Raise less corn and more hell”
Sound advice indeed.