Communist Party of Spain M-L (PCE M-L)

Borders, alliances, imperialist contradictions... it is the people who suffer

Raul Marco

Because of the war in Ukraine, in which Putin is actively supporting the insurrection under the pretext of defending the Russian population of that country against the reactionary government imposed by a coup d’état, in which a Nazi organization* played a decisive role (an organization that fought together with Hitler’s troops against the Red Army of the USSR during World War II), and against the maneuvers of the EU of Ms. Merkel, the U.S. government, through its President Obama, bragged that it would not allow Putin to draw or erase borders at the stroke of a pen. These statements, coming from the mouth of any imperialist government, and particularly from that of the U.S., sound like sarcasm, a shameless cynicism, a blatant obscenity. This does not justify the aspirations of becoming a great imperialist power by Putin and his team.

* In the 1990s, the former Soviet republics, Eastern Europe and the Balkans became NATO military outposts; the Ukrainian fascists, the heirs of the Nazi movement in Ukraine, who were responsible for the deaths of thousands of Jews, Poles and Russians during the Nazi invasion of the USSR, were rehabilitated and their “new wave” was acclaimed as “nationalists.” In 2014, the Obama government used $5,000 million dollars in a coup d’état against the legitimately elected government of Ukraine. Its shock troops were neo-Nazis known as the movement Svoboda, which had demanded the purging of the “Moscow-Jewish mafia... and other scum including gays, feminists, etc.” (J. Pilger: “Why the Rise of Fascism Is Again the Issue.”)

On this question of making and erasing borders, in 1999 I wrote an article* from which I will quote a few paragraphs that I think are relevant today:

* “Globalization, National States and Borders. Unequal Development”

“According to the Yankee conception of the world, this would be perfect under a new order made up of small states, separated ethnically and racially, small nationalist states, with their contradictions and clashes with one another, and where the U.S. would impose its order and dominate unhindered. Logically, the U.S. found resistance, even among its allies, but this did not stop it from trying to implement such a world in which not only would borders NOT disappear, but they would multiply or not as depending on the needs of imperialism...”

Let us look at some cases that illustrate this. For example the former Yugoslavia, where U.S. imperialism, with the active involvement of Germany and underhandedly, as usual, of the Vatican, chopped that country into pieces. It is true that the country was composed of communities of different ethnicities and religions, but for almost half a century they had lived together in harmony, with the exception of Kosovo, mainly of Albanian majority, as also in Macedonia and Montenegro, where the revolts for self-determination were stifled by repression.

The decisive imperialist intervention dismembered Yugoslavia and other states were formed such as Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia and finally the protectorate (because that is what it is) of Kosovo, with an “independence” of ethnic Albanians who celebrated in the streets waving little flags with stars and stripes [the U.S. flag – translator’s note]...

“Under the pretext of defending the Albanian Kosovar minority, they viciously bombed Serbia and Kosovo (...), crushed a sovereign country and imposed their imperial will and created a new border. Thus, the borders are erased or created, respected or trampled on, as they please, depending on their interests.” (Ibid.)

Not as dramatic as what happened in Yugoslavia was the division of Czechoslovakia into two republics, Czech and Slovak. It is also a matter of creating new borders promoted by the imperialist powers as a preventive measure against a possible “rebirth” of the Russian Empire.

The pretexts launched by the U.S., Britain and other countries, among which was Spain (under Aznar and the Bourbon) to attack Iraq, destroy that country and throw it back to the Middle Ages, were the big lie of “weapons of mass destruction” that Saddam Hussein maintained. Both the Yankee president, as well as the British Prime Minister Blair and others had to recognize that these allegations were false, except for our great little man Aznar and his servant and sidekick Rajoy, who never corrected their grotesque statements about the evidence they had. The real reason for the aggression against Iraq was to prevent Saddam Hussein from regaining Kuwait, a state created by British colonialism in World War I taking advantage of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Kuwait was never an independent state, throughout the centuries it was always part of what is (one could almost say “was”) now Iraq. But of course, very rich deposits of oil were found there... It was then that this fabricated border became untouchable, that the great powers intervened (militarily if necessary) everywhere in the most cynical manner and presented themselves as the defenders of the rights of the peoples, the arbiter of freedom, etc., etc. They act as if these borders are untouchable, sacred... for others, not for themselves who want them open without obstacles or barriers.” (Ibid)

That is, no obstacles or barriers to their businesses; for example, “the U.S. assumes the right to impose on the countries of the European Union the consumption of its meat (from the U.S.) treated with hormones, contrary to the legislation adopted by the EU. It says that such legislation is an attack on freedom of trade (...). But at the same time they prohibit the import of Belgian chickens because they are treated with dioxin.” Different standards according to the interests of the dominant powers.

These interests produce contradictions among the powers, they sharpen the contradictions, exacerbate them as can be seen in Africa, the Near and Middle East, Europe, Latin America, etc. For the time being those contradictions have not been expressed in open clashes between the powers, but through proxies.

These contradictions lead to the search for allies, for pacts and agreements between powers, lesser powers and vassals. The Middle East is currently the theater of surprising changes of alliances. Iran and Iraq fought a war that lasted eight years. Iraq, at that time ruled by Saddam Hussein, was openly supported by the U.S. in its fight against Iran, which had overthrown the Shah and was facing attempts by the U.S. to control the country.

Iran has been attacked in various ways by the imperialist powers, and it is living under the threat of an attack by Israel, which sees that country as a dangerous enemy due to its military strength and its influence in certain Arab countries, particularly the Lebanese pro- Palestinian force Hezbollah. The campaign against Iran for its efforts to develop its nuclear industry has been ongoing, orchestrated by Washington and supported by the UN. Now things are changing and the enemies of yesterday are looked at differently. What is the basis of this attitude of Obama and his hangers-on? What is this dance of alliances due to?

To the existence of the so-called Islamic State, IS, or Daesh (Arabic acronym for the Islamic State), whose activity is a real threat by those fanatics to the governments in the area. Paradoxically, the IS is the result of the brutal imperialist interventions in Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, etc. Do not forget that Bin Laden, who was killed by a Yankee commando, was the creature of the CIA against the former USSR and its presence in Afghanistan. History repeats itself and these jihadists, utilized and encouraged by the U.S., have turned against them. Their savage brutality and fanaticism, hard to understand, is attracting thousands of supporters, not only from the Arab countries, but also from Europe, from France, Britain, Spain, etc.

Iran is supporting the military offensive against IS (Daesh) in Iraq, the U.S. is remaining on the sidelines? An article in El Pais, sent from Dubai, quoted a high Iraqi official, which confirms that “There has been a tacit agreement with the Iraqis that in areas where Iranian advisers are present, neither the U.S. nor the coalition will be there, and this has been the case in the provinces of Babylon, Diyala and Saladin.”* Elite Iranian troops are intervening in Iraq, and for example, a few days ago they took the strategic city of Tikrit, just 180 km from Baghdad. These are forces of some 30,000 men who also have the support of the Quds (Jerusalem Force for foreign interventions of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, the “Pasdaran”. That force is commanded by General Qasem Soleimani, who a few years ago led a deadly campaign against the United States. (Ibid.)

* El Pais, March 7, 2015

The “passivity” of the U.S. (as well as many obvious contradictions of the U.S. government) towards the Iranian intervention in Iraq against the Islamic State or Daesh has provoked an angry reaction from the Nazi- Zionist Netanyahu and from Saudi Arabia, who were not satisfied with the statement from Washington that the U.S. will continue “trying to limit the influence of the other (that is, Iran) in Iraq and the rest of the Middle East.” These are the incoherencies of the U.S., the contradictions in the strategy to be followed, particularly in Iraq but also in Syria, which places Obama on the ropes and subject to all kinds of pressures. As Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group and Professor at New York University, clearly states:

“The Obama administration is at a crossroads. If its primary message is that allies need to do far more of the heavy lifting (the American intention when the bombing started), the administration needs to send the clearest possible signals that American efforts will have sharp constraints. If it’s that the United States will be out in front in an aggressive and accelerated campaign against ISIS, then it needs to show that all options are on the table. That could include more reliance on American enemies who have common cause against ISIS—even if those enemies are reviled by key Sunni partners.”

This is corroborated by the current situation in Syria, where the attacks against the regime of Bashar al-Assad, the war promoted and financed by the U.S., Great Britain, France, etc. has not been able to defeat that government, the government that replied with a well-trained army that had beaten back all the offensives to topple Assad, and carried out a tremendous repression (there is talk of more than 200,000 dead and two million refugees). It is true that Assad had counted on the declared support of Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, against the Islamist offensive, which had counted on the support of imperialist powers, not openly, since they were very careful not to intervene on the ground because they were more than justifiably afraid of great human losses. But the appearance of Daesh, which represents a danger to the already shaky stability in the area, could lead to the defeat of the Syrian army:

“...this would have incalculable geopolitical consequences. Faced with this danger, there was a surprising upset of international alliances, since such bitter enemies as Iran and Saudi Arabia and even Egypt became objective allies in the fight against Daesh. Hence, from the U.S. to Europe one can see everywhere an awareness of this new reality, based on a simple observation: Assad can help eliminate Daesh; otherwise the terrorist organization will continue to devastate the Middle East.” (Sami Nair)

The issue is complex, very complex, but understandable given the eternal attitude of the U.S. General Wesley Clark, the former chief of the U.S. European Command, and later Supreme Allied Commander in Europe (SACEUR), who had the NATO forces under his command from 1997 to 2001, that is, a person knowledgeable of the military intrigues of his government, said in an interview with the U.S. television chain CNN, that the terrorist organization “ISIS got started through funding from our friends and allies.... who will fight to the death against Hezbollah. “

These statements confirm the Iranian, Iraqi and Syrian accusations. For a better understanding of this mess, we must bear in mind that this same Clark stated that the creation of Daesh was aimed at protecting Israel against Hezbollah. The large amount of weapons and ammunition dropped by U.S. planes to Daesh when it was confronting the Iraqi army was not an error nor a mistake. All these maneuvers and schemes explain why bitter enemies are now united against Daesh and in support of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, when previously they were trying to do away with him, to physically eliminate him, as they had done with Hussein and Gaddafi. And suddenly, because of the shuffling alliances, unthinkable a short time before, the Sunnis and Shiites are united...

I just wrote these lines on March 14. When our journal Unity and Struggle appears, what will have happened given the fickleness of the big shots in Washington and their temporary allies, particularly in the Middle East? In any case, in all cases, let us not forget what the sinister Brzezinski, the U.S. National Security under Carter, stated in his book “The Grand Chessboard”:

“For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia. (...) which concentrates most of the world’s physical wealth (...)America’s global primacy is directly dependent on how long and how effectively its preponderance on the Eurasian continent is sustained;] the priority must be to manage the rise of other regional powers in ways that do not threaten America’s global primacy. To put it in a terminology that hearkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together.” (My emphasis)

One could say it louder but not clearer: the U.S. is the empire (now with difficulties and contradictions with other imperialist powers) and the governments that do not submit are the barbarians who must be kept under the control of the empire.

This, let us say, political philosophy is what it is trying to implement in Europe (Ukraine, for example), in the Near East and the Middle East. What is happening is that now this is creating inevitable contradictions; there is a growing opposition among some powers; the Yankee Penelope is weaving and unweaving alliances. But Odysseus is no longer the hope: only the people will one day make use of the bow that Telemachus has been guarding...

We are in the 21st century and the peoples, despite their unworthy governments and other patriotic saviors, are rising up, they are fighting against the States that follow and apply measures imposed by these nameless financial powers; this does not invalidate, but on the contrary, supports Lenin’s sharp assertion: “... they plunder the world, they fight each other and arm one against the other.” And this, of course, in the name of freedom, democracy and human rights, pretty words that they are trampling on, violating and destroying.

Clearly, since Lenin wrote Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, years have passed in which tremendous scientific advances have been made that could not be foreseen, such as computers. But if we only see quantitative changes without seeing their qualitative development, and vice versa, we will err in our analysis. Changes and leaps, scientific discoveries and advances, do not change the nature of imperialism.

March 2015

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