A few thoughts on these events from afar.
Afscme Local 444, retired
The manic obsession
with democratic rights in the Ukraine, Ukraine’s sovereignty and all the
bluster on the part of the US imperialism’s mouthpieces in Washington and the
Pentagon vomited out through the mass media, is further evidence as to why
working-class people have drawn the incorrect conclusion that all politics and
politicians are inherently rotten. This so true of workers in the US and as one guy put it to me, "They're all rotten but better our rotten one than theirs". Some choice.
Bahrain 2011 Freed political prisoners: Source NYT
In 2011 as part of the Arab Spring there was a social movement in Bahrain against the repressive and archaic rule of a monarchial family in this small country in the Persian Gulf. The British dominated Bahrain for a large part of the 20th century until the country became independent of Britain in 1971. It is ruled by a Sunni family, many of whom in the past were installed by British colonial power. With the decline of British colonialism on the world stage the US stepped in. Shia Muslims are the majority in Bahrain. In Iraq as well, the British installed a minority in power (Sunni over a majority Shia population. Think Northern Ireland on this one.
The discovery of oil changed everything in this region.
There are, or were up until recently, some 15,000 US troops stationed in Bahrain to protect US and western oil interests in the region. For some strange reason, Persia, a once powerful empire of antiquity and one of the largest (and oldest) countries in the region, believes the Persian Gulf has a greater connection to Persia than London or Washington.
The uprising in 2011
demanded equal rights, an end to religious discrimination and other social
reforms as the ruling family being a monarchy and a religious authority held
sway. The protests went on for a long time and were widely supported. The
repression was brutal. (Search for Bahrain in this blog).
Folks might remember that even doctors and medical personnel helping wounded protesters, overwhelmingly peaceful protestors by the way, were attacked and/or arrested and punished.
In the midst of all this sat 15,000 US troops.
Naturally, the US as a beacon of democracy with tremendous respect for a nations right to govern itself, never intervened in these events. The troops sat idle, stayed at home. But we know they certainly would have intervened had their friends in the royal palaces been threatened by a democratic secular regime that wanted US imperial power out of their lives.
Go back and refresh your memory of the brutality that occurred due to this repressive regime’s response to an uprising that demanded social reforms that we in the US hold so dear and that are also being undermined on a daily basis.
And then ask yourself whether the US mass media’s obsession with democracy in the Ukraine and the constant reminders that we are on the brink of war all for democratic rights is genuine or not. We know it isn’t. We just don’t know what can be done about it. The European working class is who will suffer if a conflict does break out and it is the European working class united that can stop it. Many of the European workers originate in the Middle East as competition for the loot between major powers forces mass migration north.
The leaders of the workers’ movement and the so-called workers’ parties refused to take this path—an all European response----when the Greek workers voted “no” to Tsipras and Syriza’s referendum opening up a potential united front against the Troika. In the absence of a national and international working-class movement and organization that can offer us an alternative explanation and solution to this unraveling of capitalism we are faced with further conflict and hardship.
The UK’s bluster is
too comical to bother detailing but the US sending a few hundred troops to the
Ukraine is a joke. The latest swathe of lethal weapons would not halt a Russian
invasion, something that I do not believe will occur anyway. One thing is
certain, the US working class will not be willing to send their children to die
defending Ukraine or Taiwan and if conflict did break out, it could be the
spark that united the European working class in a way the so-called working class leaders won't.