The imperialist attack on Iraq is provoking a wave of anger across the whole of the Middle East and risks destabilising a whole series of reactionary Arab regimes. After only one week since the war started, the entire Arab world is in complete turmoil. The situation is clear: the masses are backing the people of Iraq, while most of the Arab governments are with the USA.
The Arab League is formally calling for an end to the war, but in reality what all the reactionary Arab rulers are praying for is a short war that leads to the downfall of Saddam Hussein, thus hoping the problem will go away. It is quite unlikely that either of these things are going to happen as quickly as they would want.
The Arab governments have a powerful tool in their hands, the oil reserves. If they really wanted to stop this war they could impose a blockade of the oil supplies to the western armies. But this is the last thing they are thinking of doing. In this way they are showing quite clearly to their own people that they are mere puppets in the hands of the imperialists.
In particular Egypt and Jordan, close allies of the US, have been shaken by huge protests. The slogans "Baghdad don't suffer, Baghdad don't surrender, God is great and will grant you victory," were blasted from loudspeakers and quickly taken up by some 12,000 students gathered on the campus of the Al Azhar Islamic University last Monday in Cairo (Egypt). The next day the students went even further and took up the chant of "Gamal (Mubarak’s son), you’d better warn your father because we hate him".
In Jordan a crowd of 20,000 people demonstrated in the capital Amman, chanting "Listen, listen, they sold Rawashid for one dollar". Rawashid is the military base where 6,000 American soldiers are stationed waiting to be deployed in Iraq.
On Tuesday, the capital of Syria, Damascus, witnessed a half a million strong demonstration against the US-UK attack. Anger against Bush is growing, especially after a missile hit a bus carrying a group of Syrian workers across the border with Iraq killing ten of them. The protesters are now demanding the closure of the US and British embassies.
The same demand was raised in the Sudan by the students' union that is organising daily protests against the war. Two days ago thousands of students rallied in front of the US embassy in Khartoum where the police opened fire and one student was shot dead.
In the Lebanon, Palestine and Oman daily protests involving thousands of people have also been reported. In little Bahrain in the Persian Gulf the mood is really expolsive. The US embassy has been closed and US citizens have been advised to stay indoors and not to go to bars or pubs. Yesterday in the Akhbar Al-Khalij (News from the Gulf), the main daily paper in Bahrain the following headline appeared: "The Administration of the United Gangs of America has challenged the world, preparing the decline and fall of every institution, like the UN, NATO and the EU." The situation is becoming rather dangerous for the "Allies", as Bahrain hosts the Fifth Fleet of the US!
Tomorrow, Friday, even bigger demonstrations are scheduled in most of the Arab countries. As the images of the Iraqi civilian casualties are broadcast all around the Middle East, the rage will certainly grow over the next few days. There is not one stable regime in this area of the world. It is not at all guaranteed that Saddam’s government will be the first to fall in the Middle East!