Middle East: against this capitalist system, its wars and its crises!

15 January 2020

Contrary to the lie told by political leaders in Britain and in the US, the assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani by a US drone, in Iraq, on 3rd January, was not an act of "self-defence".  It was a blatant act of terrorism carried out by the world's richest and most powerful state.
    Nor was the Iranian dictatorship the only, or even the main target of this act of terrorism.  This attack was aimed at the region's entire population, as a demonstration of the western powers' overwhelming superior military might and their ability to strike wherever and whenever they want.
    Its only military purpose was to allow the US leaders to reassert their determination to remain the region's unquestionable overlords, against whom resistance is just not an option!

Politicking with people's blood

For Trump, of course, this assassination had another objective, which had nothing to do with Iran nor the Middle East, but everything to do with next November's US presidential election.  And, in his view, this political objective was at least as important, if not more important, than any other.
    Indeed, Trump's scores in opinion polls are at a record low.  He has spectacularly failed to deliver the "American jobs" that he had promised.  As to his "radical" economic policies, they have only made the fat cats even more obscenely fat and the poor even more scandalously poor.
    Having absolutely nothing to show for himself in the run-up to the coming election, Trump is desperately trying to give a new lease of life to the nationalist demagogy which seemed to have worked so well for him in the previous election campaign - in particular his MAGA ("Make America Great Again") branding.  
    Hence Trump's Rambo-style boasting of having "taken down" Qasem Soleimani:  this is how he hopes to re-energise his core MAGA voters and reboot an election campaign, which, so far, has been somewhat hampered by the impeachment proceedings he is now facing.
    And never mind the cost of rallying votes in the US with a "targeted killing" in the Middle East.  It seems that the panic it generated in the Iranian Air Force caused the downing of an Ukrainian passenger jet.  But Trump does not do "body counts":  for him, the 176 passengers who were killed on this occasion were just collateral damage!
    Predictably, Johnson endorsed Trump's crimes and all his fake justifications, even adding one of his own - that Soleimani had "the blood of British soldiers on his hands".  Johnson and Trump have a lot in common when it comes to lying and politicking in order to shore up their own careers!

The threat of a rotten system

From Trump's fake excuses to the poodle-like behaviour of Johnson and his ministers, rushing to offer their support to Trump - this looks very much like the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
    Will this build-up of lies eventually result in another war, as it did 17 years ago?  No-one can be sure.  The Iranian leaders certainly do not want a war, as their token "retaliation" showed.  And the US leaders probably do not want one either.  The fact that they confirmed the "accidental shooting" of the Ukrainian aircraft by Iran shows that they are not seeking a pretext to step up their military offensive - for the time being.
    But Trump's policy towards Iran is based on a combination of bluff, overbidding, sanctions, assassinations and military stunts.  Mixed with Trump's own political ambition, this is a poisonous combination which can acquire a logic of its own, get out of control and lead to open warfare.  Who can tell what it would take for this to happen?  And once a local war has started, what would it take for this war to gather enough momentum to engulf a whole region - if not the whole planet?
    By now, after half-a-century of permanent economic crisis worldwide, the global economy is chronically unstable and plagued by ruthless capitalist competition.  The capitalists themselves have no trust in their own system and they tend to panic in response to the smallest threat to their profits.  This could trigger a chain reaction and a crash - comparable to the 2008 crash, or worse.
    The world's economic instability is compounded by a growing political instability, caused by mass poverty.  The capitalist system is rotting on its feet and the more rotten it gets, the more it is littered with potentially explosive material.  The fact that Trump's personal ambitions happen to raise the possibility of a US war against Iran is, in and of itself, an illustration of how this rotten capitalist order could spawn more wars on any scale conceivable, while spawning more crises.
    Allowing this system to keep limping on from crisis to crisis and from war to war is just unaffordable.  It needs to be replaced!