Middle East


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When the coalition forces marched into Baghdad in March 2003, the imperialists were full of confidence. The things they were going to do! Intoxicated by the power of their military machine, they predicted a glowing future for Iraq and the Middle East. How different things are now!

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Five years after the invasion of Iraq all the lies cooked up by Blair and Bush at the time have been exposed for what they were. They cannot hide the terrible suffering and destruction they have inflicted on the people of Iraq. And to make things worse they have even failed in their avowed aim of establishing what they define as a "democracy".

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The magnificent wave of industrial action in Egypt, which started over a year ago, is continuing. And it continues to be ignored by the media. Price rises are the central focus of protest. But in a very important development, at the Ghazl al Mahalla textile company have raised political demands for the first time.

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The Israeli siege of Gaza and imperialist pressure to retaliate on the Gaza population in order to isolate Hamas has provoked a major crisis that is shaking the Middle East. Once again the direct intervention of the masses has changed the whole scenario, putting into jeopardy the stability of the most important point of support of US imperialism in the Arab world: Egypt.

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Despite an international conspiracy of silence, as we have reported over the past year Egypt has seen a major upturn in the class struggle. Workers have shown fantastic bravery and made enormous sacrifices. The working class, especially the massive Egyptian workers movement, is the key to the future of the Middle East, not the so-called war on terror or the blind alley of Islamism.

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Despite the heavy presence of the Iranian regime’s security forces at Tehran University today’s Students’ Day commemoration went ahead as planned. Around 500 students and left-wing activists took part in the event - with just 24 being arrested.

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Four student activists have been arrested and there whereabouts are unknown. Please add your organisation or name to the list of solidarity groups supporting the campaign.

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The Turkish parliament has voted massively in favour of granting its army permission to carry out widespread military operations inside Iraq. Diplomatic pressure has been mounting to pull Turkey back from the brink, but the Turkish army continues to amass troops on its southeastern border. From being the most stable region of Iraq, the Kurdish area may become its most unstable and bloody.

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In previous articles we have looked at the explosion of the class struggle in Egypt. The regime has been defeated time and time again in the last period. Recently, the Mahalla workers launched a magnificent struggle and were able to achieve a remarkable victory.

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Since the first Gulf War the US and UK have been using Depleted Uranium (DU) weaponry. DU has a half-life of 1.5 billion years, can result in cancerous tumors and genetic mutations, and pass from mother to unborn child, resulting in birth defects. This reveals not only the depths of imperialist barabarity, mocking the idea of 'the rules of war', but demonstrates with painful acuteness capitalism's inability to regard the environment.

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Continuing with his analysis of the world situation, Alan Woods looks at the growing crisis in the Middle East. Explaining the interdependence of everything on a world scale, he points out how the war in Iraq affects the United States and other countries, and how this affects the developing revolution in Latin America.

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Rob Walsh reviews new book by Andreas Malm and Shora Esmailian (Published by Pluto Press, www.plutobooks.com). The book looks at the role played by the Iranian working class in past movements and the role they are playing today. A compelling read.

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At the end April Turkey was thrown into a constitutional crisis as the ruling AK Party’s presidential candidate failed to gain the support of two thirds of parliament. The Republican People’s Party (CHP) challenged the result through the Constitutional Court. Now Turkey faces early elections. Behind all this is the ongoing conflict between the AKP, which has the backing of big capital in Turkey and imperialism, and the old Kemalist military state apparatus.

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There were around five to six thousand workers at the Shiroodi sports stadium near Tehran. The Labour House, however, again used its own rotten old method for dispersing the workers.

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Egypt is entering a crisis. The working class is standing up, as strike after strike shakes the country. The government has decided to hit back, attempting to close the Centre for Trade Union and Workers’ Services.

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For the last three years Egypt has experienced a wave of strikes, mainly in order to fight against a new wave of privatisation of state owned companies promoted by the Mubarak government. The movement started amongst textile workers but has now spread to other sectors, encouraged by the fact that most of the strikes have ended up in victories

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The real question to be asked is not whether the British sailors were in Iranian or Iraqi waters. The real question is who benefits from this "provocation". The incident would seem to fit in well with the plans that imperialism has to strike at Iran's nuclear development plan.

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The Pentagon is continuing intensive planning for a possible bombing attack on Iran. These preparations began already last year, by order of the President. In other words, the decision has already been arrived at. All that Bush is waiting for is a suitable opportunity to put it into practice.

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The Pentagon is continuing intensive planning for a possible bombing attack on Iran. These preparations began already last year, by order of the President. In other words, the decision has already been arrived at. All that Bush is waiting for is a suitable opportunity to put it into practice.

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In the same way that the revolutionary movement depends at critical moments on the quality of the leadership, so the outcome of a war, such as the war in Iraq, can be decisively influenced by the political and military leadership of the bourgeoisie. Bush is now acting against the interests of the class he is supposed to represent.

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Chinese military strategist Sun-Tzu, wrote his famous treatise, The Art of War 2500 years ago. The basic postulates laid down in this classical work are as valid today as they were when they were first written. Today, on the fourth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, Alan Woods points out that Bush has made every possible mistake in the book.

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An interview with Darrell Anderson, an Iraq War veteran, on his experiences in the Iraq War. He discusses the "insurgency," the attitudes of average Iraqis toward the US military, and the attitude of average US soldiers toward the war.

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A new book on Iran has recently come out, Iran on the brink,which is based on interviews with workers in Iran and which gives a unique glimpse into the struggles and aspirations of the Iranian working class. On March 6 at 6.30pm it will be launched at Housmans Bookshop in London.

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Instead of listening to the advice of Baker and the Iraq Study Group to seek an exit strategy, Bush prefers to up the stakes, increasing the number of troops in Iraq and threatening both Syria and Iran. He is coming into conflict with the ruling class he is supposed to represent. Herein lies a potential political crisis of major proportions in the USA.

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Instead of listening to the advice of Baker and the Iraq Study Group to seek an exit strategy, Bush prefers to up the stakes, increasing the number of troops in Iraq and threatening both Syria and Iran. He is coming into conflict with the ruling class he is supposed to represent. Herein lies a potential political crisis of major proportions in the USA.

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George W. Bush last night announced his “new strategy” for Iraq. His speech consisted of the usual rhetoric about “establishing democracy” and “defeating the terrorists” but particularly a lot of wishful thinking. Like an about to be defeated poker player, US imperialism faces the problem every gambler has when he is losing: if he leaves the table, he won’t be able to win back his losses. But a final bet can prove fatal too.

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The execution of Saddam Hussein could not have been a more cynically calculated PR event if a banner proclaiming "mission accomplished" had been placed above the gallows. His hanging will not provide a day of relief from the misery, humiliation, and violence the Iraqi people are enduring under the occupation, or absolve imperialism of its role in Saddam's rise to power and decades of brutal rule.

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What started off as a show of strength on the part of US imperialism is now turning into its opposite. The war in Iraq is bringing to the surface all the contradictions of present-day capitalism. Defeat is staring the imperialists in the face. This will have far-reaching consequences well beyond the borders of Iraq.

The war in Iraq has been an unmitigated disaster. Far from “promoting democracy” what the imperialists have done is to plunge Iraq into the depths of barbarism. Even from a purely military point of view they are losing their grip on the country. Now the talk is about an “exit strategy”. We say the troops must leave now. Let the people of Iraq decide their own fate.

In spite of the claims of Israeli government ministers and top army generals, Israel did not win the recent war in Lebanon. It is Hezbollah that has emerged enormously strengthened, as the 800,000 strong rally the other amply proved. All this is forcing the imperialists to rethink their strategy in the region.


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On June 25, 600 worker brothers and sisters from various factories, neighbourhoods and towns in Turkey turned out for the launch meeting of the UID-DER (Association of International Workers’ Solidarity – Turkey) determined to make it a success and offer a genuine class alternative to the Turkish workers.

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We have just received this Press Release from Naftana, the UK Support Committee for the General Union of Oil Employees Iraq. It confirms that the Iraqi government has frozen the funds of the Iraqi Oil Workers' Union, the reason being the union’s opposition to privatisation.

On the morning of November 19, 2005 US Marines killed 24 civilians, including women, children and even infants in Haditha, Iraq. The massacre was covered up until January, when evidence of the massacre could no longer be denied. The US government has announced that the Marines involved will stand trial for murder. The full impact of Haditha is yet to be revealed, but similar to the My Lai massacre in the Vietnam War, it could represent the beginning of the end for the US occupation of Iraq

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With slogans such as "Employment, employment, is our obvious right; job security is our main demand" and "Unity, unity, workers, unity" Iranian workers came on the streets of Tehran on May Day. The workers from Qom were walking at the front of the rally and carried a large placard with "Temporary contracts must be revoked" and "End slavery" written on it.

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After being labelled a “butcher” by the British press following last week's bad election results for the Labour Party and the subsequent Cabinet reshuffle, Tony Blair suffered another blow, this time not at home but abroad. In Basra the British army lost five soldiers, including the first female casualty, as their helicopter crashed and British soldiers came under attack.

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This year’s May Day rally in Istanbul was somewhat smaller than last year’s. However, there are growing tensions in Turkish society over such issues as cuts in welfare and pensions and rising unemployment.

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On the eve of the Iranian New Year [21 March] the job classification system, one of the workers' demands in this company, was officially implemented. Its coming into effect raises the company's workers' wages by about 10 percent. We congratulate the workers of Iran Khodro on this victory.

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We received this brief report by the Workers' Action Committee (Iran) on a recent strike at the Iran Khodro car plant in Tehran. The production line in most halls came to a halt and, with the slogan "Going on strike is the only way to act", the strike took over the whole plant.

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Sectarian violence has plagued Iraq since the February 22 destruction of the sacred Shia al-Askariya shrine in As Samarra, pushing the country dangerously close to civil war. As the US army in Iraq faces the prospect of being dragged into such a war, opinion polls in the United States show that support for the Bush administration is at an all time low. The conditions are being laid for an all out explosion both in Iraq and in the United States.

The constant stream of news, combined with photographic and video evidence, about maltreatment of Iraqis at the hands of occupying troops is having a traumatic impact on the Iraqi people. It is also affecting the outlook of soldiers, both British and American, and on the population in Britain and in the US. This will serve to strengthen resistance to the occupation inside Iraq and to increase pressure in Britain and America for withdrawal of the troops.


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The President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has made several anti-Semitic statements in the recent period, the latest being a denial that the Holocaust ever took place. Why has he come out with such incredible statements? Are his threats to attack Israel real? Or do they reflect the need to divert attention away from the real problems faced by the Iranian masses?

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A minority voted for the new Iraqi constitution. Fighting has now erupted on the Iraqi-Syrian border. The resistance is being strengthened, not weakened. And now we have the revelations about the use of chemical weapons by the US army. The Pax Americana is wallowing in blood. This article was originally published in the Italian Marxist journal, FalceMartello.

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Shocking images have confirmed that white phosphorous bombs were used during the US Army attack on Fallujah last year, aimed at people directly, burning many of them alive, including civilians, women and children. If anyone doubted the real nature of the occupation of Iraq, now they have no excuse.

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The UN, under US pressure, has passed a resolution on Syria. The implications are that Syrian officials were involved in the assassination of former Lebanese Premier, Rafiq Hariri. But Syria has gained nothing from his assassination. And there are clear indications that much of the so-called evidence may have been fabricated, in order to pressurise the Syrian regime.

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Tomorrow the Iraqi people are being called to vote on the new Constitution. This piece of paper is full of contradictions that mean that in practice most of it cannot be applied, but the main thing for the US (and British) occupying powers is that it establishes clearly the right to private property and market relations. All the rest is a mere showpiece.

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Iraq is in flames like never before. The iconic scenes which we saw in Basra last week reminded us once more of the dreadful state of affairs in Iraq. Now the south is in a mess too. Imperialist troops cannot bring peace. Pull them out now!

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The recent elections in Egypt were in no way democratic. What they reflect is the pressure of imperialism that wishes somehow to stop the unstoppable, that is the inevitable movement of the masses from below. But the change is only cosmetic and the masses can see through this.

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On Wednesday August 17, a US-style campaign began for the upcoming elections in Egypt. 32 million Egyptians are eligible to vote on September 7, but how many will vote is a big question.

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Roza Javan is a young Iranian activist. She discovered the ideas of Socialism, of Marxism and has never looked back since. She comes from a humble working class family, and suffers the double oppression of being both working class and a young woman. She is determined to change all this and believes that the only way out is a socialist revolution. She has taken her pseudonym Roza Javan from Rosa Luxemburg. “Javan” means young: therefore she is the “the young Rosa”.

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