Thursday, February 23, 2012

Only a completely disarmed and compliant Iran will do.

I am not a supporter of the Iranian regime.  Trade Union activity and political expression are not popular with the religious dictatorship not to mention their brutal suppression of women's rights. I do not think this blog would last too long in Iran. 

But I get sick of hearing about the "tensions" with Iran that are "destabilizing" the Middle East and, of course, driving up the cost of gas. The serious journals of capitalism have articles daily about the threat Iran poses to the world due to its nuclear ambitions.  This is particularly so here in the US where the bunker mentality is national policy. The fact that the Iranians have repeatedly asserted that their nuclear efforts are for peaceful purposes and that the Obama administration has no real evidence to the contrary matters not.

Maybe the Iranians are lying, I certainly wouldn't put it past them.  Ruling elites dressing themselves up in 7th century robes (check out the anti-woman newly promoted Cardinal Tim Dolan of NYC outlining a cross on a woman's forehead with ashes in today's WSJ) and talking about god doesn't convince me that they are people of honorable character. 

Whenever you read about this issue in the bourgeois press you will read that the Iranians repeatedly claim peaceful intentions, which tends to confirm that there is no hard evidence to the contrary. We are supposed to believe that the Iranian Theocracy is lying and the thugs in the Pentagon and their Zionist proxy's are not.  Imagine how this double standard infuriates the thinking workers and youth of the former colonial world, especially in the Middle East and those who are Muslim.  Imagine if you are a worker in Lebanon or Jordan, Iraq or any other country in the region and you read today that the UN is considering officially accusing Syria's Assad of "Crimes Against Humanity".

Assad may well be guilty of such crimes but we know what this means when the UN starts down this road. Taking Assad's head and the bombing bombing of Syria by NATO forces will be declared a liberating act.  Such a declaration by the UN has no credibility among most workers of the world outside the US. Many of us will accept it as the media here is the most censored and controlled of the industrial economies. The US media machine convinced most Americans that Iraq was responsible for the September 11 2001 attacks, and most Americans would not be able to point to Syria on a map. Even if workers don't accept it, most will feel there's nothing that can be done and better the devil you know than the devil you don't. 

How can such a declaration from the UN have any credibility?  Donald Rumsfeld has not been accused by the UN of crimes against humanity. Nor has Paul Wolfowitz, Condoleeza Rice, George Bush or the king of them all, Henry Kissinger. What about Obama or Hilary Clinton? Oh, I almost forgot Madeline Albright, the former US Secretary of State who said on the US program 60 minutes in May1996 that the death of almost 600,000 Iraqi children due to US imposed sanctions on that country,  "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price--we think the price is worth it." This makes Assad look downright genteel.

Yes Madeline, Iraq's in great shape now.

US capitalism is in talks with the dreaded Taleban right now and kept Mubarak of Egypt and Saleh of Yemen among others, in power until the popular uprisings removed them.  US capitalism has not intervened to prevent the slaughter of innocent protesters in Bahrain either and is supporting an absolute monarchy suppressing democratic reforms and a movement by some towards a republic.

No, the problem with Iran has nothing to do with its lack of democratic rights or its misogynist leaders.  We all know it's about control of resources, of control of one of the world's most crucial commodities---oil.  The western energy corporations and the bankers who profit from the plunder of the region's resources with the assistance of the likes of the Saudi regime and others know that if Iran gets the bomb it removes the ability of the US or its proxy Israel to attack the nation. The Iranians weren't asleep when the US invaded their next door neighbor and noticed that of George Bush's three members of the Axis of Evil, the one with a nuclear bomb seems the most unlikely to take a hit.  The US doesn't threaten to attack North Korea.

The Wall Street Journal is forced to recognize that there is more going on here. It writes today:  "Five Iranian nuclear scientists have been killed in the past two years, a period in which Israel has intensified covert actions against Tehran's nuclear program, according to U.S. officials. Incidents including computer viruses and explosions have afflicted Iran's nuclear program and security infrastructure."  Might this cause some tension I wonder?  Might this make it difficult for the Iranians to let UN observers visit its military facilities? And reports on these attempts to destabilize Iran are not frequent or discussed in depth generally. 

I am going to set aside the issue of the US orchestrated coup in 1953 that overthrew the democratically elected government of Iran and installed the murderous Shah. I have referred to it many times.  But the elephant in the room here is Israel.  Israel, with US support, is believed to possess hundreds of nuclear weapons. It neither admits or denies this, again, with US support. Israel is a blatantly racist state, an apartheid state much like South Africa was.  It's treatment of Palestinians and theft of their land is a major stumbling block to any serious negotiations between the parties in the area.

Representatives of the Atomic Energy Agency, the UN's nuclear "watchdog"was just in Iran checking out some facilities but was denied access to one of them. According to the WSJ, "Iran denied the inspectors access to a military site south of Tehran, Parchin, the International Atomic Energy Agency said, and refused to discuss research that the IAEA believes could be related to a weapons program. Iran has denied it is developing nuclear weapons." Let's look at this from the point of view of many workers in the region.  Is Israel being asked to allow UN observers to visit its military and/or nuclear facilities? Of course not and if it was it would refuse.  Can we imagine the US allowing it?  No way. Bush basically told the UN to go "F#$*k itself when the issue of war with Iraq arose, "You're either with us or 'agin us". The US was found guilty of illegally mining Nicaragua's harbor-----"so what", it said to the world.

Some workers have argued to me that they don't disagree but oil is a crucial commodity and we have to ensure its production is not halted and we can't be held hostage by the Mullahs. Firstly, negotiations over these issues take place not between workers but between the ruling classes of nation states. The Mullahs are not opposed to capitalism. they, like their US or European antagonists equally detest any inkling of workers' power and have worked hand in hand in slaughtering trade Unionists socialists and any independent workers' movement.

So we in the US have a task ahead of us, the building of our own independent movement and political party that can speak with a different voice and reach out to the working class of Iran and other countries so that we can build a global movement that can oppose capitalism and create a world federation of democratic socialist states.  In this way, the world's resources and our extraction and use of them can be determined in a planned and rational way.

"But they'd blackmail us and jack up the price of oil" one friend tells me.   But there would be no reason for this.  What are they going to do with their oil?  They can't eat it. There would be no need for such chicanery in negotiations between equals. Even in the present situation with Iran ruled by clerics with a 7th century mentality, they still need to sell it.  The problem is that the imperialist countries have for a century or more stolen this raw material through violence and brute force just like they have plundered other parts of the former colonial world for centuries including the kidnapping of human beings. The US is interfering in their region of the world, not them ours. If Iran had invaded Mexico what do we think the US bourgeois would do?

The danger I see is a that a strike by the Israeli's is all the more likely as it will become almost impossible if Iran does develop the bomb. Obama has made it quite clear that if Israel attacks Iran first, what they call a "preemptive" strike which are all the rage these days, and Iran fights back, the US will retaliate in support of Israel. In other words, Iran must do nothing if Israel attacks it. Obama and the US is in a bind because they are damned if they do and damned if they don't.  The wall Street Journal editorial on Tuesday this week slammed the Obama administration for urging Israel not to attack Iran, which, as the right wing Republican presidential candidate, Ron Paul correctly says would be a catastrophe.

The thought of war on another front given the mood in the US does not appeal to the more astute theoreticians of capital.  The US dragging its allies in to yet another conflict will also weaken these ties and social unrest will be exacerbated ion these countries.  But the WSJ  editorial takes the position that there's no choice that Obama's urging gives the Iranian regime the green light. "Weakness invites war.." says the Journal. If they don't stop them now, "..the costs of deterring Iran go up exponentially." The WSJ advises the Obama administration that the US should publicly declare that, "..if Iran escalates (fights back) in response to an Israeli attack, the US would have no choice but to intervene on behalf of its ally."   Only a completely disarmed Iran would please the US capitalism.

There is no disputing that we live in extremely volatile and dangerous times. The "tensions" that never really go away are a direct result of the private ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange and the existence of separate nation states within a global economy. These factors are at the heart of the struggle for control of the world's resources and markets.  If we change that situation we remove the tensions.

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