Middle East

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.

Many tears have been shed over the fall of Gaza under Hamas control. In reality what has happened is that the carefully prepared plans of imperialism have exploded in their face. They had bought off and corrupted the leaders of Fatah in order to get them to police the Palestinians for them. Because of this the Palestinian masses turned away from Fatah and embraced Hamas. So where do we go from here?

We are republishing this article by Yossi Schwartz on the War of 1967 to provide some background information to the recent events taking place in Gaza and the West Bank. Read the full article: Israel: The 1967 War

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.

In the recent period the idea of boycotting Israeli academic institutions has been raised as a way of helping the struggle to defend the rights of the Palestinians. Comparisons have been made with the boycott of the old South African Apartheid regime. In South Africa it was the mass movement that brought down that regime, not the boycott. The same is true today as it was then.

The policy of imperialism is to provoke civil war among the Palestinians, hoping that Fatah can crush Hamas, but it is clear that Fatah is losing as it is seen as more and more a stooge of imperialism. That explains also why Israel is now intervening directly. These events serve to highlight once again that on the basis of capitalism there is no way out.

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.

The crisis of the Israeli state is deepening. The rats have begun to abandon the sinking ship and are calling for the heads of Olmert and Peretz. Keen to save face and remain in power without having to face fresh elections, the ruling clique are prepared to sacrifice the current administration in order to form a new war cabinet.

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.

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.

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

War in Iraq has solved nothing for US imperialism. Equally Israel’s attempt to invade Lebanon last year also failed miserably. Every time imperialism tries to use the jackboot it merely serves to destabilise even further this already extremely unstable region. Now they are preparing for more wars…

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.

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.

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.

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.

Today another general strike of the public sector has started. The last one was called off after the courts issued an injunction. Now the pressure is piling up once more. The workers of Israel are making it clear where they stand. They deserve a leadership that is prepared to go all the way.

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.

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.

We publish a summarised version of an introductory speech on the Middle East given by Fred Weston at a recent meeting of the International Marxist Tendency. In answering some of the pessimists on the left he points out how imperialism is facing defeat in the region and highlights the enormous potential for class struggle.

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.

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.

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.

The recent internecine fighting between different factions in Gaza has temporarily calmed down after an agreement was patched together to form a government of national unity. This will eventually break down as none of the pressing problems of the Palestinian people will be solved.

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.

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.

The recent opening of archive material clearly demonstrates that Israel used biological weapons against the Palestinian population back in 1948. Israel to this day does not abide by internationally recognised agreements on the use of such weapons. The US imperialists turn a blind eye to all this, as they have their own “weapons of mass destruction”.

A major strike took place in Israel yesterday, called by the Histadrut, over the issue of unpaid wages and siphoning off of workers' pension funds. The strike affected 200,000 public sector workers, uniting secular Jews, religious Jews, and Muslim and Christian Arabs all striking together against their exploiters. As the Marxists have always explained, the class struggle cuts across ethnic division, and offers the only path to a real solution of the problem.

After the humiliating exit from south Lebanon, the Israeli generals have turned on the lesser-armed Palestinians of Gaza. Their bombing solves nothing. It only exacerbates an already extremely unstable situation. The situation highlights the fact that this rotten Israeli ruling class can offer no solutions, but only create more problems.

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.

In spite of our exhaustive response to the leaders of the Argentinean Partido Obrero some time ago, they periodically repeat the same distortions of our ideas. Earlier this year they concentrated their efforts on our analysis and proposals concerning the situation in Israel/Palestine. Here our Israeli comrades set the record straight.

Over the past couple of days 24 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza. This follows a further shift to the right on the part of the Olmert government after the ultra-racist party of Lieberman joined the coalition. With these renewed attacks they are trying to distract the attention of the Israeli masses as it become abundantly clear that the country is in an impasse.

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.

The whole of the Middle East has entered a crisis. Country after country is rocked by political, economic and military crises. The shockwaves of the recent war in Lebanon are still being felt. Imperialism seeks to manoeuvre in this situation to defend its strategic interests, but every step they take simply exacerbates the situation.

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 day amply proved. All this is forcing the imperialists to rethink their strategy in the region.

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.

Instead of emerging strengthened from the recent war in Lebanon, the Israeli ruling class been enormously weakened. It failed in all its objectives. Now we are witnessing an unprecedented level of distrust in all the institutions of the state. What is being prepared is a backlash on the part of the Israeli workers.

The Israeli government and military failed in their declared objectives in the recent conflict in Lebanon. Israeli society is under shock as a result. Now while they say a new war needs to prepared, the government is preparing vicious attacks on social spending. This will inevitably prepare class conflict at some stage. Meanwhile on the Arab street the desire for a genuine left alternative is becoming evident.

The Israeli aggression against Lebanon ended in defeat. None of the objectives set by the Israeli Government were attained. The position of the Israeli ruling class has been weakened at home and abroad. The result of the conflict is also a setback for American Imperialism – as well as for French Imperialism – and has strengthened the position of the Hezbollah, Iran and Syria.

Immediately following the ceasefire the government of Israel attempted to convince the Israeli population, and its friends abroad, that Israel had ‘won the war'. Now they are forced to beat a hasty retreat from such declarations, as no-one in Israel is stupid enough to swallow them.

The imperialists have been trying to force Lebanon to accept a diplomatic victory for Israel precisely because Israel cannot win this war by military means. The Israeli war cabinet on Wednesday gave approval in principle to the generals' plan for an expanded ground operation, but delayed its implementation in order to give a chance to the UN Security Council to draft a resolution that fits the rulers of Israel as a condition to end the crisis.

Lebanon has a long history, being one of the cradles of early civilisation, but it has been occupied by many different powers, the last being Isreal and Syria. Last time Israel occupied it it was eventually defeated and forced to leave because of the guerrilla war led by Hezbollah. It was Israel’s Vietnam. This is still a factor in understanding what is happening today.

On Wednesday serious land operations commenced in southern Lebanon. The Israeli army has met severe resistance from the Hezbollah guerrillas. The longer this drags out the greater will be the political consequences for the Israeli ruling class.

The idea that Israel is a class divided society like any other is not often discussed within the left in the Arab world. Here the Moroccan Marxists have interviewed an Israeli Marxist on the situation in Israel and the Occupied Territories, who explains the need for a socialist perspective and the struggle for internationalism and working class unity across borders.

The air strikes against Lebanon continue, as do the rockets being fired on Israel. The responsibility for the bloodshed and suffering of this new conflict lies first and foremost with the Israeli ruling class, who had clearly been preparing for such a scenario for some time.

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