Sunday, June 7, 2015

US Imperialism's Middle East wars are a catastrophe of historic proportions

By Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

The mentality of a warmonger is exposed clearly in Kevin Carroll’s Op Ed piece in the Wall Street Journal May 26th.  The Journal is of course the mouthpiece of Wall Street and the US 1% so there is no surprise that its pages represent the interests of those who profit from war and imperial conquest as opposed to the ones who actually do the fighting.

Carroll offers some advice to his patrons, the bankers, investors and other parasites responsible for the savage assault on the living standards of US workers over the past period.  In “How to Prevent the Fall of Baghdad” Carroll details what must be done to protect “American Strategic Interests” in the region.  The working class reader should be reminded that the “American” in this case is not you or your families and community.  Regardless of what happens re ISIS and Iraq, your living standards will continue to fall; the future for your children will remain bleak. It is not that Carroll, as a spokesperson for US capitalism, wants to protect the American worker’s material well being as ISIS, crazy as the group is, nor any form of resistance to foreign invasions is not threatening it.

There is no doubt that the US invasions in Iraq have been a tragic failure.  US presence in the region has brought nothing but misery and death to the Iraqi’s. This was so even under the rule of Washington’s former pal, Saddam Hussein, though this secular regime was far more stable and at least provided basic needs like water and electricity; Islamic fanaticism was no threat.  The imbecile George W Bush called on Islamic fighters from around the world to come fight in Iraq and they did.  US imperialism has lost the battle in Iraq.  The majority of Americans oppose these wars and do not want American lives to be lost fighting for Halliburton and Chevron in the Middle East, but a weakened albeit heavily armed US imperialism cannot retreat, the consequences are too dire.

Carroll says that if ISIS takes Baghdad it would harm US interests as much as the “fall of Saigon did in 1975.” and that the damage of ISIS’s “ flag rising over an evacuated US Embassy would be incalculable.”  Carroll is right of course-------from the US 1%’s perspective.  But the fall of Saigon did no harm to the US working class. After some 67,000 deaths it saved many more American lives ending a war in which the US worker had no interest whatsoever.  The Vietnamese, who never threatened the American people in any way, were not so lucky but could not be defeated in the conventional way despite US imperialism dropping more bombs on this small country (7 million tons) than it did throughout World War 11 (2 million tons). The war criminals in that venture even sprayed the Vietnamese and their food supply with Dioxin, unfortunately covering their own troops with the poison as well.  But as the English king, Edward 1st (Longshanks) said in the battle against the Scots in the movie Braveheart when warned that the entry of the yeomen with the bows in to the battle would mean they’d hit their own men,  “It’s alright, we’ve got more.”

The world is moving increasingly to a serious possibility of major carnage and nuclear warfare of some sort. Nuclear weapons and the potential for global annihilation have held back the possibility of a major war between armed nations.  Instead, we have seen never ending regional wars and on the part of US imperialism, conflicts dominated by superior air and sea power. If there was a draft in the US the movement against the present wars would have arisen with much more ferocity; the brunt of these corporate wars falls on the shoulders of a small section of US families.

Carroll wants to escalate the onslaught against the population of the Middle East in order to protect the oil companies and their profits. In addition there is the need to protect western flunkies in the region like the Jordanian regime, the Zionists, the Saudis and other ruthless undemocratic regimes in Bahrain, Qatar etc. The US and European bourgeois have do problem dealing with theocratic or undemocratic regimes as long as their ability to loot the resources of the region is maintained.

Carroll’s advice to the US ruling class is clear. He advocates bombing the crap out of them. He is no fan of selective targets or trying to avoid “collateral damage” if there is such a thing.  He takes the Obama Administration to task for being too soft. “ISIS held a parade in broad daylight in Rutba, Iraq, last week.“ Carroll writes, adding that “This is the kind of target our aviators dream of.”  Who reading this dreams of having a nice heavily populated, defenseless parade to rain bombs on? Our poor aviators need help.

The British also bombed Rutba and in fact launched numerous murderous strikes against the Iraqi people in order to maintain control of the country and its resources. Rutba has a population of about 25,000.  Carroll’s plan would easily outpace ISIS’s beheadings program. Carroll also wants more US troops on the ground, another disaster but there won’t be too many family members of the 1% on the front line we can be certain of that..

Carroll’s other suggestion is more torture, “A robust program of capturing and roughly interrogating terrorists abroad should resume, first focused on the whereabouts of ISIS operatives in and around Baghdad.”  Carroll lauds torture as it produces results according to him, especially if its conducted as it was in the good old days at the battlefield “… the smoke is cleared.”,  “Interrogators (torturers) acted within the bounds of decency against evil men who deserved no quarter.”, Carroll adds.  That there are evil men is without doubt. But Carroll and his masters have never had problems dealing with evil men, they have been very profitable allies.

It is sickening really to read anything written by this warmonger.  He wants more US youth sent to Iraq. Of the Iraqi fighters he has nothing but contempt, “Its commanders have shamefully thrown down their weapons, discarded their uniforms, and abandoned their men and posts when ISIS threatens.”

“The Iraqi army needs a backbone transplant”, writes Carroll.

What a disgusting animal this individual is. No doubt he would say the same thing about the US youth that fought in Vietnam, a major defeat for US imperialism, they didn’t fight hard enough. One of the reasons along with the heroic struggle of the Vietnamese people for self-determination, was the demoralization in the US military. It’s hard to wage war  and kill people that are no real threat to you.  The illegal US invasion of Cambodia took some 600,000 lives and those responsible have never been punished, Kissinger, one of the world’s leading mass murderers, is alive and well and very rich.

The Iraqi’s have been bombed and occupied by US imperialism for the last 25 years. The country is a mess, Iraqi children are being born deformed as the Vietnamese still are, due to chemical weapons the US used---depleted uranium and white phosphorous. The baby’s born in the city of Fallujah that was attacked after US mercenaries were killed by residents are often born deformed. The US/UN imposed sanctions against Washington’s old friend Saddam Hussein took 500,000 lives, mostly women and children. Islamic fanatics like ISIS are the product of imperialism and US foreign policy. Believe me, the Iraqi’s have shed some blood defending their tiny country from imperialist aggression, an invader armed to the teeth, the most powerful military force in history. To refer to them in the way Carroll does disgusts me. My father never said that of the Japanese soldier despite suffering himself. He knew that people like him don’t start wars they are just victims of them.

There is no solution to the crisis in the Middle East on the basis of capitalism. In a sense, the ruling class and its strategists like Carroll have no choice; they cannot retreat. Carroll is absolutely correct that the ISIS flag over Baghdad will empower all forces, whether gathered around religious fanatics like ISIS or not, it will show that the mighty giant is not infallible; it will threaten the corporate oil interests.  But the War on terror is the modern war, the never-ending war for the domination of world markets and profits.  The rise of China as US global influence declines increases the chance of a global conflagration and the eventual use of nuclear weapons. 

From US imperialism’s point of view there is no turning back. One of the last British colonial wars was against the Mao Mao in Kenya. The British knew it was not winnable, that the end of the British Empire was unavoidable, but it was carried out with the most extreme violence by a waning world power that, like an injured animal was intent on punishing those that dared demand their rights and some control over their own destiny. And like the US spin doctors today referring to any person or grouping that resists imperial domination as terrorists, enemy combatants, insurgents as opposed to a resistance movement or a rebellion, the British refused to refer to the Mao Mao as a rebellion, they too were terrorists in their own country.

Prior to the rise of Islamic fanaticism and other groups based on religious ideology, the resistance to imperialist aggression in the Middle East was strongly associated with political ideology.  The Iraqi Communist Party was a powerful force that the US helped Hussein eliminate, the same with leftist groupings in Iran and Yemen. The Iranian workers in the oil industry were unionized.  Throughout the former colonial world US imperialism has supported undemocratic and ruthless, regimes that broke the backs of the workers’ movement. US corporations like Coca Cola in Latin America, and Freeport McMoran in Indonesia are complicit in the murder and oppression of trade union leaders and political opponents that stood up to them.

US foreign policy, orchestrated by people like Kevin Carroll, is a disaster. It has been a catastrophe for its victims in the former colonial world, many of them, subjects of regimes led by friends of the CIA and its operatives like Carroll-----Saddam Hussein, Bin Laden, Mubarak and many more.  It has also been a disaster for the American people and for the US workers who fund this foreign policy and whose children die advancing it.

It would be easy to apply the term insane to this foreign policy and its adherents like Carroll, and mad it certainly is.  But it is not driven by insanity; it is the direct result of the capitalist system and the so-called free market. The US capitalist class, as the Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky once wrote of capitalists in 1938 at the onset of the Second World War, are "tobogganing towards disaster with their eyes closed".

The same solution that could have prevented that human catastrophe applies today, the working class must enter the stage of history, must take up the task history has handed it.  Trotsky wrote back then that the choice the international working class was faced with was socialism or barbarism. 

We are back at the same place as the 1% are on their toboggan run to disaster yet again, but the choices this time are socialism or total annihilation, socialism or catastrophe; the end of life as we know it on this planet.

Here is some information I found on Mr. Carroll:
Prior to joining the firm, Kevin worked as senior counsel to the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security.  Kevin previously practiced in New York as a litigation associate at another prominent law firm, and a law clerk to a United States District Judge.  Kevin’s experience also includes service as a CIA case officer in the Middle East, and as an Army officer with Special Operations Command in Iraq and Afghanistan, on the Joint Staff, and in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. - 8058250835

I found this piece of information regarding the efficiency of slaughter brought about through military technology and advances:

NOTE: A US B-17 Flying Fortress over Germany in WW2 carried about 10 airmen and possibly 17 bombs. A US B-52 Stratofortess flying over North Vietnam carried 6 crewmen and could carry 108 750 pound bombs. ONE Vietnam War B-52 was equal to about SIX WW2 B-17s. One F-4 Phantom jet fighter bomber, manned by two crewmen, could carry as many bombs as a WW2 B-17 bomber (with a 10 man crew).

1 comment:

Sean said...

Thank you for this brilliant article Richard. It clearly states the alternatives that lie ahead for society. The international working class must take power, end capitalism and build an international socialist world.We must build a revolutionary mass alternative leadership. Working people must take their heads out of the sand. If they want themselves and their children to have a future they must act. Otherwise capitalism will destroy life on earth as we know it. Sean