Monday, October 20, 2014

US Middle East policy in shambles as US relies on "terrorists" to do their fighting for them.

By Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

I recall in my years as a union steward in the workplace how tough the bosses’ would be on workers who transgressed.  “You need to be proud of your work, ensure that you are productive and that the job is done right” one management person told a worker who received 3 days suspension for his sins. “We have to get their attention” was the justification for the bosses’ actions and this was in a public sector workplace where the climate is much more favorable to the worker. Some were fired, had their livelihood taken from them. Hey, you have to show people that poor workmanship will not be tolerated.

The same rules don’t apply to the bosses of course, particularly those in the highest places, those who make the decisions that result in destruction and death.  Leaving aside the disastrous Vietnam War that left some three million of them dead along with almost 70,000 Americans, the years of meddling and violence in the Middle East by US imperialism and the British before them has led to one disaster after another and the present crisis.

The nation states created by the European colonial powers are disintegrating.  The Pentagon’s former pals, bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and others, have been disposed of but other old allies are waging a vicious war to drive western influence out of the region.

Kurdish fighters confronting the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) on the ground, and who are fighting ISIS on the Turkish-Syrian border, are pleading with the US to send them heavy weaponry.  The Turkish government, an ally of the US is opposed.  There are some 15 million Kurds in Turkey and two of the main Kurdish organizations, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have been classified as terrorist organizations by the US and Turkey. The Turks consider the PYD the Syrian arm of the PKK.

The invasion and long running war the US has waged in Iraq has been a disaster with the possibility of the breakup in to three states being suggested in some circles as the only solution, A Shiite state in the South, a Sunni center and Kurdish north.

But the Turks will not succumb easily to the idea of a Kurdish state on its southern border and a strengthened Kurdish presence in Syria. The problem is that the Kurds are doing most of the ground fighting against the dreaded ISIS.  The criminals at the Pentagon do not relish the idea of US troops dying in any war especially these forays as they are not popular at home.  The media propaganda about threats to our way of life at home is used to overcome some of this opposition.

The whole situation is a disaster.   Trillions of dollars have been wasted and millions of people killed or displaced thanks to what can only be described as US foreign policy gone haywire.  No one will be punished for these decisions. Paul Wolfowitz, remember that creature? His buddy was Scooter Libby and Cheney was their superior.  Wolfowitz, as Bush’s Undersecretary of Defense was responsible for what was covertly known as the Wolfowitz Doctrine, a defense guide for the US that outlined the US’s right to preemptively bomb or invade any nation that appeared to be a rising superpower threat. (Like Grenada perhaps).  Even a staunch representative of US capitalism like Edward Kennedy thought the plan a little to truthful describing it as "a call for 21st century American imperialism that no other nation can or should accept.".  This doctrine was executed by Bush of course and has been taken up by Obama.

Bush, Rumsfeld, Obama, and the entire US Congress, millionaires all, are responsible for the endless imperialist wars in the Middle East that have caused such massive environmental destruction and human suffering, including thousands of young US workers in the military killed and many more maimed.  Islamic fanatics and the general rise of Islamic terror groups are the product of this disastrous US foreign policy and its massive cost is the reason the war against workers at home has intensified.  The first day of the Syrian strikes in early September, US warships lobbed 47 Tomahawk missiles in to the area.  These missiles cost about $1.4 million each.  Heroic act isn’t it, lobbing laser guided WMD’s at people from ships out in the ocean.  Terrorism perfected.  In an earlier contribution I commented on the attacks on the teachers and their union in Philadelphia.  The Wall Street Journal also had an editorialabout it savaging the teachers and their union. It talked of an $8 million deficit this school year, about ---six Tomahawk missiles.  This journal of the 1% attacked the teachers for refusing to "   bargain in good faith." giving up a "...mere $2 million up in concessions"  The deadline to take an offensive of our own to where the money is has long passed; there is no need for concessions. Yet in the upcoming elections, even the left liberals in the Democratic Party will be demanding new taxes and “shared sacrifice” as band-aids for a crumbling empire’s social structure.

But it’s not all bad news as Robert Fisk points out in the Independent UK.  Last month…”. the paper’s long time Middle East correspondent writes, “….American warships fired $65.8m worth of Tomahawk missiles within just 24 hours of each other.”  Referring to the 47 missiles.

This has been wonderful news for US arms manufacturers whose share prices are “soaring”.
The open-ended air war against the Islamic State group will mean billions in sales for bombs and missiles, spare parts for warplanes and a stronger case for funding sophisticated aircraft, including fighter jets, spy planes and refueling tankers…..” Dan De Luce writes at the Middle East Online website.

Over the last three months as the Standard and Poor’s index declined 2.2%, “…shares for Lockheed Martin are up 9.3 percent, shares for Raytheon rose 3.8 percent, Northrup Grumman's shares are up 3.8 percent and General Dynamic's share price jumped 4.3 percent..  De Luce adds.

Isn’t the market swell?  How many of you reading this have significant investments in the defense industry?

The crisis in the Middle East cannot be solved on the basis of capitalism.  All ethnic groups in the region have the right to self-determination and control over their natural resources.  But this is not possible on a capitalist basis. Only a united working class and the struggle for a federation of democratic socialist states can stop the never ending capitalist wars.  These wars and US supported dictators have seriously weakened the region’s working class and its organizations.  The US orchestrated the coup that overthrew Iran’s secular democratic government in 1953---punishment for nationalizing their oil industry to get it out of the hands of the British. They installed the murderous Shah that led to the rule of the Mullahs. The CIA was instrumental in helping Saddam Hussein wipe out the Iraqi Communist Party and weaken the trade union movement. US taxpayer’s money has propped up all the dictators and opponents of democratic rights in the region and set back the workers movement in the area decades.

It is not a pretty picture and the setbacks have been severe, but the Arab and Iranian working class have a rich militant history against imperialist intervention.  A future of peace and progress is impossible under capitalism, it is not guaranteed it is possible at all, but there is hope that the working class in the region and throughout the world will rise to the task history has prepared for it.  There’s no other way out.

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