|Clinton and Mubarak: Oh for the stability of the good old days|
So now Iran is responsible for the terrorist attacks. The judge ruled last year that the attacks were "caused by the support the defendants provided to al Qaeda" my local paper, the San Francisco Chronicle reports yesterday. Here in the US we live in a world of media spin unlike any other; it is the most controlled and censored mass media in the advanced capitalist economies.
I have no idea what al Qaeda is and for all I know it could be a creation of the CIA and was in its early stages no doubt. This doesn't mean there aren't many individuals and groups around the world that oppose US imperialism's intervention in their daily lives or Washington's support for ruthless murderers like Mubabrak and others and would willingly inflict harm on Americans no matter who they were. But you feel like you have no voice when you read this garbage.
Firstly, what I do know about the nebulous al Qaeda is that it is a Sunni dominated grouping and hated by the Iranians. Islamic fundamentalism and some of its most ardent fanatics had no influence in Saddam Hussein's Iraq. It was the US invasion and occupation that has brought them new found Iraqi fame. I was in Iraq in the 1070's and it was then a secular country, you could travel through it, women were in government and not all covered from head to toe.
So al Qaeda "supporters" owe the families of the victims of Sept 11th $6 billion. By definition that would surely include the US government as up until 1999 every Taliban official was on the payroll of the US payroll; women's rights be damned. The Taliban's abuse of women didn't simply begin after their friendship with Washington broke down. From what we understand from the US media, still today, many Taliban officials are former al Qaeda members that fought the Russians with arms supplied by the US government.
The US has been talking of making peace with the Taliban and Iran has just allowed them to open an office in one of its eastern cities. The Iranian theocracy has no love for the Taliban but the US has surrounded Iran with military bases including dozens in Afghanistan and the US and its proxy in the area, Israel, is determined not to allow Iran to develop its nuclear industry. It would seem logical that Iran might benefit from improving relations with the Taliban.
In today's Wall Street Journal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warns that Iran doesn't believe that the international community has "the will to stop its nuclear program." and that "things must change quickly because time to resolve this peacefully is running out." Iran has repeatedly denied it intends to build nuclear bombs but let's be honest, the US didn't invade North Korea. Even so, Israel has hundreds of nuclear warheads and is slowly expanding its occupied territory driving Arabs out. The settlers are among the most rabid racist, religious fanatics.
US defense secretary Leon Panetta assures the Zionists that "We will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon period" but what right does the US have to deny this to Iran? Panetta, under pressure from his Zionist allies has promised the world that the American people will be dragged once again in to a murderous assault on a people that will cause the Middle East and the world to erupt in a sea of anti-American feeling, increase terrorism against US facilities and civilians who travel and cost yet more billions of dollars that will be denied our schools, hospitals, productive investment and social infrastructure and services. The US has promised to bomb Iran on Israel's behalf even if Iran retaliates in defense against an Israeli attack. This is a disaster and would be another murderous assault on a nation by US imperialism.
What is even more laughable is Hilary Clinton traveling the area preaching about peace and civil rights. Clinton, Obama, all US administrations have supported the most ruthless dictators and murderers in the area including Saddam Hussein, and Hosni Mubarak who they called a true friend. The Obama administration is now allowing the funding of the Syrian opposition and openly calling for the overthrow of Assad. As we know the US taxpayer supplies Israel and the Saudi's with billions in military hardware (supplying both sides is a good deal for US arms manufacturers). The US hasn't called for the overthrow of the Saudi gang despite that society being far more oppressive than Syria. Just the opposite, the US had the Saudi's do their dirty work for them in Bahrain sending in troops to squash the reform movement there.
The US orchestrated the coup that overthrew the democratic government of Iran in 1953 and installed the Shah supplying him with massive amounts of military hardware. The Shah's rid himself of all opposition with the help of the CIA and his secret police, SAVAK and his torture techniques were well documented. The rise of the Mullahs and the present repressive regime in Iran is as much the product of US and British foreign policy as anything.
There is evidence arising of Islamic fundamentalist groups fighting against the secular regime of Assad and of the Syrian Christian minority taking up arms for the government fearing the possibility of a strengthened Islamist state if Assad falls. The US accepts religious states as long as the rights of capital (and Christians) are secured. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is very pro-market pro-privatization and Washington hopes they will become make strong allies with US capitalism if they maintain their prominence---look at Saudi Arabia.
The situation in Iraq is volatile with Turkey playing an increasing role both in Iraq and Syria. We have pointed out all along that the Turks will not permit an independent Kurdish state in Northern Iraq and there is also a Kurdish population in Syria. Turkey has some 15 to 20 million kurds and the Kurdish issue is not dead.
The Middle East has been transformed in the past 18 months and I certainly cannot say with any confidence where it will lead. My tendency is to think that the Egyptian masses that fought to topple Mubarak against the wishes of Obama and Hilary and co, are not going away and there have been major strikes there in the past period. As I write this I am thinking also of the Spanish miners strike where there has been a physical war between cops and miners trying to save their jobs and communities. The struggles of the world's workers against the offensive of capital are generally kept out of the US mass media.
The biggest threat to peace in the Middle East is Israel and the unconditional support that the US gives it in its occupation of Palestinian land and imprisonment of over one million Palestinians in Gaza. It is frustrating at times that we can read all this propaganda about Iran and Israel possibly striking that country first and there is not an outrage in the US. So many hate the government but feel there is simply nothing they can do. There's a real danger in the air as the US capitalist class and their thugs in the Pentagon can get a little overconfident throwing the whole world in to turmoil.
This is the consequence of the working class having no Independent organized national opposition movement in the US and most importantly globally. The leaders of organized labor in the US have no independent position on foreign policy. They support austerity at home and the interests of US corporations abroad. We are suffering for that.