The military escalation in the Middle East and those responsible

Lutte Ouvrière workplace newsletter
April 15, 2024

Everyone in the Middle East is anxious to know what the Israeli government’s military response will be to Iran’s drone attack and what the consequences will be.

The Israeli army claims that 99% of the drones and missiles sent by Iran were intercepted and no one was killed. The attack was the expected response to the Israeli bombing of the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria in early April. The attack killed eleven people, seven of whom were Iranian military, including a senior general.

If there is a military escalation, the responsibility will lie with Israel and its sponsors: the government of the U.S. with those of France, Great Britain and Germany behind it. There may have been some perfunctory criticism of Netanyahu and the massacre of the Palestinian population of Gaza from these powers but it has given way to new unwavering support.

Since the beginning of the military invasion of Gaza and with absolutely no proof, the Israel government continually said that Iran helped Hamas to prepare its terrorist action on October 7. In reality, Iran is being targeted for reasons that go much further back.

Since the overthrow of the Shah's dictatorship in 1979, American imperialism has constantly sought to bring the mullahs' regime to heel. Not because it was a ferocious religious dictatorship over its own population, but because it refused to submit to the major powers and above all to their oil trusts, which, before 1979, considered Iran’s resources as theirs. As a relay for U.S. policy in the region, Israel now has its sights on Iran.

Today, among the Israeli generals and far-right leaders there are warhawks who believe that the time has come to settle the score with Iran. Until now, the attitude of the U.S. has been to try to prevent unrest in the region, while giving the Israeli army a free hand to wage its unlimited war on Gaza. Two American fleets with aircraft carriers have been sent to the Mediterranean to show that Israel’s U.S. sponsor is covering up the Israeli army’s exactions and that the states in the region should keep a low profile.

The U.S. government still appears not to want escalation. Despite their open rivalry, the Israeli and Iranian leaders have managed to coexist until now, each contributing to maintaining the imperialist order in the region by repressing the Palestinians in the case of the former, and their own people in the case of the latter, as the Iranian regime did in the autumn of 2022.

By provoking Iran, Netanyahu has forced the hand of the imperialist leaders by obliging them to reaffirm their total solidarity with Israel, whatever reservations they may have about its policy in Gaza. But at the end of the day, the major powers will decide. They are the ones who will accept, or even provoke, the regional extension of the conflict if they consider it necessary for their domination.

The rising tension in this region reflects what is happening on a global scale. All the major powers are preparing for war and have increased their military budget.

This goes beyond the conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine. The entire world economic order is based on the plundering of raw materials and the exploitation of populations for the benefit of the major Western corporations. It is made up of countless rivalries that threaten to tip over into war.

This is of the utmost concern to us because leaders act in our name. As workers, we must denounce this domination, this pillaging and these wars that further the interests of the capitalist groups that exploit us. And we can be sure that our government wants to prepare us also to be cannon fodder, just as the workers of Ukraine, Russia, Israel, Palestine and many other countries already are.

We must reject this future. It’s a fight that is the same as the one we have to wage against our exploiters for our economic survival. The capitalist class that exploits us is also the one that will send us into battle.

Nathalie Arthaud