The vast region of the world known as the Middle East and around in West Asia and North Africa was the land of quite a number of Arabian tribes, now divided into a number of Arab countries. It is a land of great tradition that housed the cradle of some of the highly developed early human civilizations. It has also been a land of continuous strife and bloodshed among the warring tribes. In the contemporary world, the region continues for decades to remain a hot bed of intrigue, aggression, material devastation, human disaster and all the other accompanying maladies. Obviously, it is the hapless common people, from the old to the newborn who have been suffering through years miserably as the victim. Here in this write-up we, based on recent incidents and latest developments, intend to focus on the nature of the crisis; why it has cropped up, who is the culprit and how it may end.
Local and partial wars generated by imperialist forces headed by US imperialism
A large and influential section of the media present the ongoing conflicts as either civil or sectarian war involving different religious or ethnic communities. But a careful look would unfailingly reveal that all these wars are cruel onslaughts on humanity brought about by the power-crazy, profit-hungry, unscrupulous deadliest enemy of the mankind, the imperialist powers, that happen to be brandishing their sword of military might weaving every possible ploy to precipitate fratricidal feuds, ethnic conflicts, violence planted to destabilize regimes refusing to submit to their dictates, all these virtually unopposed. The local and partial wars as well as other subversive activities are planned, programmed, engineered, sponsored and fuelled with money, arms, mercenaries including their training for military or subversive activities, all done by the imperialists headed by the greatest war-monger of the day, the US imperialism, with a view to extending or maintaining their respective spheres of economic-political influence- dominance exercising military might, establishing their hegemony. Of late, a design is glaringly manifest. Whenever there is an opposition or any regime of any country refuses to oblige the US rulers and chose to go their own way, the imperialists, aided and abetted by their subservient section of media, the allies and lackeys with or without the help of local agents, immediately raise hue and cry and move to overthrow that ‘non-pliable enemy’ under any false or fraudulent pretext, be it for possessing and using WMD or weapons of mass destruction or for violating human rights. So much so that, as the Iranian leader once remarked in 2014: “The US aims to bring its own blind followers to power”. Then for the purpose, there is a war, the so-called civil or sectarian war of the imperialist-controlled media- brand, that lingers for years to follow.
Unpardonable crime on humanity
Those wars annihilate or uproot lakhs of innocent lives, destroy properties, ravage the country, inflict immense hardship on its people. And then, the imperialist forces directly aggressive or generating worst forms of lie, devour upon the victims and the ravaged land with ruinous neo-colonialist exploitation agenda on the plea of restoring democracy and order, and reconstruction. In course of these wars, the imperialists and their pliant media raise fingers at the forces they pick up to, for perpetrating war crimes; however, they themselves, more particularly the US imperialists, assuming the role of judge, jury and executioner, that is the sole monarch of the imperialist brigand in this unipolar world, remain permanently exempted from answering for their crimes against humanity. A rough calculation shows that from these onslaughts of imperialists, more so the US imperialists in the last two decades, death toll of innocent citizens including women and children has crossed 5 lakhs, in course of wars of occupation against Iraq, military assault on Libya, civil war in Afghanistan, plotted rebellion against Assad rule in Syria, murderous attack of US-backed Zionist Israel on Lebanon, Israel’s prolonged armed hostility against Palestine people, US sponsored ethnic war and eventual division of Sudan, bombing of US-backed Saudi Arabia on Yemen and uprising in Tunisia. Many parts of these targeted trouble-torn countries have virtually been razed into rubbles. Invading US military did not spare hospitals, orphanages, schools and places of religious prayers while resorting to indiscriminate aerial bombing and using lethal weapons including poisonous gas like orangeB and radioactive explosives. As a sequel to such devastating armed attacks, millions of innocent people having lost their home and hearth, properties and even near relatives, have been fleeing their lands and desperately seeking safety as migrants in other countries. According to a Western journalist, these hapless migrants look like a herd of sheep running helter skelter in fear of being pounded over by a pack of salivating wolves. This is the extent of crime that the US imperialists have perpetrated so far in West Asia just for grabbing oil fields and other natural resources, creating their spheres of influence, establishing their hegemony over the entire region by flaunting military might and thereby buttressing their heinous imperialist agenda. Yet they shamelessly boast of being the ‘largest democracy’ having arrogated to themselves the sole authority to decide who should survive in this world and who should perish.
In this procession of destruction- death- eviction from homeland and suffering, several countries figure out most strikingly. The miserable plight of Palestinians set in as far back as the close of the second world war when the state of Israel was set up by the imperialists and a Zionist regime was established there. Since then the list went on to become longer with virtually all countries of the region being affected by the handiwork of the imperialists. The carnage and devastation tended to get worse and ghastly with days-months-years. And in that process the world became familiar with the names of Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen and others that came out in the most recent past of a few decades, as the most affected countries.
Iraq occupation on fraudulent charges
Of these, Iraq was twice ravaged by imperialist onslaughts, in the eighties of the last century and with the advent of the new millennium. As usual with other cases, the pliant media played a vital role in catering sponsored or monitored news to build up a world opinion in favour and justification of the most dastardly of the US aggression upon this country. In the second onslaught, the US imperialist brigand aided particularly by their faithful counterpart from the United Kingdom, devastated Iraq ruthlessly with the heartless pounding of the land with most lethal arsenals and bombs, with the cruel witch-hunting of the President of a sovereign country, Saddam Hussain, staging a fake trial of him with the help of their agents inside the country and finally murdering Saddam on charges of possessing and using WMD that is, the weapons of mass destruction for chemical and biological warfare. It was subsequently proved and the proof made open to the world that the entire charge of WMD was utterly false. Even a former UN human rights chief in Iraq and a UN secretary general special representative for Iraq could not but make it clear that ‘the war in Iraq was illegal’, the invasion initiated by the Bush administration of the USA was in breach of international law with its aim at ‘disarming Iraq of weapons of mass destruction’ that were never to be found. The British Premier who had written personally to Bush on July 28, 2002 to be ‘with you, whatever,’ and had lied to his Parliament, later in 2004 shifted his position, to tell the House of Commons that notwithstanding absence of ‘actually deployable weapons’, Saddam ‘retained the intent and capability’. And what did this war on deliberate false premise bring to Iraq? The US brigand indiscriminately bombed the country destroying their infrastructure including hospitals, schools, bridges etc. and butchering more than 2 million people including old, infirm, children and womenfolk, and maiming still more, which act the invaders termed as ‘collateral damage’. The US imperialists planted governments under their control which could never earn people’s support; the victors, the US soldiers freely looted the invaluable museum specimens and artifacts of the great Mesopotamian civilization as war souvenirs; the US rulers plundered the natural resources of the country, mainly oil and to do it smoothly maintained military presence.
US imperialism gave birth to inhuman fundamentalist-terrorist outfits
To ensure their grip, they sowed seeds of disunity among the hitherto essentially secular Iraqi people, by inciting communal hatred and strife between the religious communities and sects, like the Shias and the Sunnis; fanned up fundamentalist forces from which emerged the dreaded fundamentalist outfit, Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) standing on the shoulders of similar fundamentalist forces like the Talibanis, Al-Qaeda and Al-Nusra Front.
This IS, Daesh being its Arabic acronym, swept through northern Iraq and held a swathe of Syria, to declare in 2014 to have established a new cross-border caliphate based horribly on the fundamentalist tenets. In 2014 Zeid, a former U.N. ambassador of Jordan and a Jordanian prince characterized the IS rule as ‘a harsh, mean-spirited, house of blood, where no shade would be offered, nor shelter given, to any non-Takfiri in their midst’. The Takfiri mind, as found in Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Kenya, Somalia, Mali, Libya, Syria and Iraq, does not indulge in love of neighbour; it harbours the mindset promoting only annihilation to those who believe differently to them. So the IS beheaded journalists- critics, brought down inhuman torture to their suspects and particularly to women and children of different belief, mindlessly destroyed hundreds of invaluable sites of ancient civilization ( for example, the Assyrian city of Nimrud in Iraq), to mention only a few of their ‘versatile’ brutality.
This IS, presently the most dangerous and hated fundamentalist outfit that has extended its network in many countries of Middle East, South Asia, West and North Africa and elsewhere, was however, a fond baby of the imperialist designs. The IS ‘grew out of our invasion’ in Iraq, admitted the US President Obama at long last to the media and ‘ there would be no Islamic State if there were no Iraq war’ told Blair, the former British Premier in a CNN interview. And they could make inroad in Syria too, courtesy the US imperialists and their allies.
The devastating ravage of Iraq and pathetic bloodbath of Iraqi people was thus based entirely on fraudulence and fabrication of charges that ultimately told miserably upon the country and its people. The US imperialism would thus find its place in human history as a deceitful cruel war-monger with insatiable greed for hegemony and profit-hunt.
Criminal war of aggression on Libya
If fraudulence, cruelty and greed had marked the Iraq invasion of the US imperialists, their ‘Libya gamble’ as their own media (New York Times, 28-29 February 2016) termed it, was characterized as one more instance of arrogance and recklessness of US policy that is inseparable from militarism and aggression. The Libya war of the US brigands and that accomplices in NATO was launched with the purpose of establishing a puppet regime in that country ousting the Muammar Gaddafi-led Libyan government known for its vigourous anti-US stand. And all this with a view to smoothening satiation of imperialist greed for the rich oil reserve of the country. Libya under Gaddafi had grown into one of Africa’s most developed ones, with just six million people, no sectarian divide and plenty of oil. So the ouster of Gaddafi was only aimed at imposing a US-controlled puppet regime there and to assert unfettered control over Africa’s largest oil reserves in the bargain.
The US-NATO war on Libya, a blatantly criminal war of aggression that laid waste to an entire country was preceded by rejection by the war-monger US imperialist rulers of all proposals for negotiation for a peaceful settlement; on the contrary arms were supplied to the so-called rebel militias which were nothing short of branded Islamist fundamentalist groups, with direct ties to Al Qaeda, ISIS or Boko Haram. In October 2011 Muammar Gaddafi, President of a sovereign country, along with his son (who had been warmly welcomed to the US State Department just two years earlier) were viciously murdered by a lynch-mob of the US-backed fundamentalist rebels. The murder was welcomed by the then US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton with exclamation “We came, we saw, he died!” , as she watched the lynching in a video. Arms seized from Libyan government stockpiles were funneled, along with Libyan Islamist fighters, into Syria, under the supervision of the CIA, which established a secret station in Benghazi along with another in southern Turkey.
The entire operation flagrantly violating international, constitutional and US statute laws turned the once prosperous country into a cauldron of endless violence, instability, turmoil and unspeakable human suffering involving tens of thousands of noncombatant men, women, children, the elderly and infirm. In aftermath of the war, the country turned into one with no central authority and various armed militias roaming the streets and competing for control. Nearly a third of the country’s population fled across the border to Tunisia. Others headed for Europe, there treated with disdain and internment under concentration camp conditions on arrival. (Global Research 04-08-16) The situation came to such a pass in September 2012 that the US facilities in Benghazi were attacked and the US ambassador and three security personnel killed. The Libyan War, though marked as a US-NATO war on Libya, really stood out in human history as another mark of ‘a consummate expression of the degraded character of the US rulers and its political system as a whole’ (worldsocialistwebsite.)
The US rulers could occupy Iraq, devastate Libya , apparently as they wished for. But they could not prevent fast rise of world people’s opinion, including their own, against them and their policies. The US imperialists then set out to try some other means afresh in another country, Syria.
Heinous plot to install puppet regime in Syria
In Syria, the US imperialism and its allies and lackeys like Israel and the monarchies of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates desired a “regime change’, that is ousting of President Bashar-al- Assad from power. With this avowed programme they raised, sponsored, financed, armed and trained anti- Assad rebel groups and a conglomerate of so-called Free Syrian Army. These forces could never attain the goal of their master, as Assad, though maintaining a dictatorial, undemocratic regime could garner, to a significant extent, his people’s support against the US design. The rebels could only succeed in creating turmoil and strife within the country and thus making the ground soft for fundamentalist forces to raise their heads. The IS could make inroad into Syria under these conditions. As an anti-Assad force it was also blessed by the US imperialists in all kinds and materials. Both the IS and the Syrian rebel groups backed by the U.S. and its allies ‘have committed serious violations of international humanitarian law, including abductions, torture and summary killings,’ according to Amnesty International. The Amnesty report also shows how rebel groups have targeted ethnic and religious minorities. The Amnesty has further asked the International Syria Support Group, that is the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, the U.K. and France — to ‘immediately cease the transfer of arms, munitions and other military equipment, including logistical and financial support, to armed groups implicated in committing war crimes and other serious human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law.’ On the other hand, presently the Syrian government forces with air cover from the Russian forces are bringing down severe attacks on the IS and other rebel held areas of the country. As with these attacks, the IS or even the other US backed rebels are losing their territories, the US imperialists and their allies are frantically trying to prevent those on the pretext of violation of human rights. Thus the world now sees the USA and Russia engaged in mutual bickering , violent in cases, to ensure their respective hegemony over this land, which is again oil-rich and strategically placed.
As a result, the severe and prolonged war has killed Syrian people in hundreds of thousands (300,000 by some report, but some other reports fix it at nearly 1 million) and uprooted several millions from their homestead. In fact, these refugees from Syria and Iraq, victims of imperialist engineered war, have found no alternative but to flee their land even making dangerous attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea in boats. In fact this vast mass of innocent people have contributed to the enormous mass of hapless human beings who are bracketed by the imperialists and their subservient media as generating the unprecedented recent migrant problem of Europe. They hold the respective countries, Iraq and Syria responsible and pose benevolent saviours only to crawl out of their disgraceful deeds. What an audacious travesty of truth!
A few more words on Syria!
The war against Syria that virtually defines war in the current phase of imperialist buccaneering is a war led by the U.S., CIA, imperialist proxies and their so-called allies. It may be pertinent to mention that the imperialist powers headed by US imperialism began the process of redrawing the Middle East and Northern Africa on the basis of a secret Sykes-Picot 2.0. [The original Sykes-Picot was a secret 1916 agreement between Great Britain and France (the Tsarist Russian Empire also agreed to it) that defined mutually agreed spheres of influence and control in South-Western Asia.] Its aim was to destabilize independent states and halt any force from gaining any semblance of independence. Moreover, the war against Syria would have been impossible without the destruction of Iraq, the continued occupation of Afghanistan and the total devastation of Libya. The reactionary death squads in Syria are committing genocide against Kurds, Christians, Druze, Shia and Sunnis who will not submit! More than just US escalations in Syria, Turkey, NATO’s Middle Eastern nuclear weapons base, has also been playing a large role in the war against Syria. Turkey is tottering down a path of civil war on its own streets while simultaneously furthering its imperial ambitions in Syria and Iraq. It is almost a certainty that Turkey will be utilized to expand the NATO role in Syria, widening the scope of the war.
Brute onslaught on poor Yemeni people
In the most impoverished country of the Middle East, Yemen on the Red Sea coast, another act of destruction and death is being enacted. Here the US-brand regime change drama is being unfolded in a reverse mode. The present president Rabbu Mansour Hadi was driven into exile by the Yemeni people in late 2014. Despite enjoying a small support base, he is installed in power with the backing and blessings of the monarchies of Saudi Arabia, a faithful US ally and the US imperialism itself. It gives him the audacity to even reject UN peace proposals with the Saudi monarchy sabotaging the moves and the US State Department standing in tacit support of them. In a desperate bid to reclaim and establish Hadi’s control firmly on Yemen and thereby ensure the economic and political interests of Riyadh and other allies of the USA, a Saudi-led coalition is carrying out air-strikes since March 2015 against the Shi’ite rebels known as Houthis and their allies including supporters of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. The US imperialism, the mentor –master, is providing the aggressors with logistic support and refueling advantages, among other facilities. Enriched and emboldened with those, the air strikes of the Saudi and allied aggressors have deliberately destroyed power stations and water supply lines of this poor country, as well as much of its medical facilities and other vital civilian infrastructure. It has caused immense carnage and devastation which even led to virulent outbreak of cholera. In a recent reprehensible act, in early October this year, a 500lb laser-guided US-made bomb was dropped on a funeral procession by the US-sponsored Saudi-led coalition. This bomb killed more than 140 people mostly civilians who were already mourning the loss of loved ones and wounded more than 525 people. The incident has been called ‘an apparent war crime’ by the Human Rights Watch group (Guardian-15-10-16). In protest Houthi rebels fired missiles from their Soviet-era stockpiles which fell harmlessly into the water. In retaliation, the US navy stationed in the Red Sea, some thousands of kilometers from their land, launched cruise missiles from their destroyer to destroy radar sites in Houthi-rebel controlled territory. A Pentagon press secretary justified the action as “ … limited self-defense strikes … to protect our personnel, our ships and our freedom of navigation in this important maritime passageway”. Shameless admission by a rogue of its own crime!
US people vigorously questioning war policies of their own rulers
In this list of Middle East countries and around, that have fallen into the vortex of US-engineered turmoil there are more names like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Egypt, Iran and others. They have either been victims of ruthless aggression from the US as in Afghanistan or has fallen prey to the fundamentalist activities that have been generated and fomented by the US imperialists, be it the Saudi-born Al- Qaeda or Afghanistan born Talibans or the recent IS. The US intervention- aggression has reached such a magnitude that the top leader of Iran, once a deadly foe of Iraq, could comment: “We strongly oppose the intervention of the US and others in the domestic affairs of Iraq,…. The US aims to bring its own blind followers to power.’’
The monopolists-imperialists-controlled media have worked out every ways and means to paint the picture rosy, to portray the belligerent aggressors as saviours of democracy and human rights which, as they paint, are being violated by this or that ruler of the target countries. But even from the monitored, censored even falsified reports, truths have come out and are coming out in a steady course. It is now clearly known to anybody with a minimal sense, from irrefutable evidences and documents that the allegations against Iraq for holding and using WMD were utterly false, the murder of Gaddafi and wreaking havoc on Libya were criminal, desperate attempt for installation of a puppet regime in Syria was nothing but a design to weed out one of the last major oppositions to the US imperialists in the Middle East. Even the people of USA have been raising questions, much more and much precisely than what they raised during the Vietnam War of US imperialism. In addition to their powerful protests against their own regime as expressed in the Occupy Wall Street movement, they are holding massive rallies against war and for peace. They are questioning what for the USA people are laying down their lives thousands of kilometers away in the deserts of the Middle East or Africa. With capitalism fleecing them on their own soil, with unemployment, homelessness, poverty rising rampant, the US people are questioning the huge financial loss being incurred in the wars away from home, for causes not their own.
Question is also coming up as to if the U.S. is really fighting the Islamic State group or al-Qaida in Syria. Otherwise how is that despite the imperialists claimed on assault on the terrorists for over 15-years, war on terrorism; yet this terrorism has become a thousand times stronger, a thousand times fiercer? Available facts and objective analysis corroborate that the reactionary terrorist groups are direct proxies of the imperialist powers. The imperialists have consistently given their proxies material support and continue to share their aims across the entire region.
Power- and profit-hungry imperialist sharks live on human blood, survive on war
In such a situation we need some recapitulation, reiteration of some truth to get at the truth for the present. It is no longer just an irrefutable Marxist- Leninist understanding. It has now come out as the stark reality, a day-to-day experience for people in this so-called unipolar world. Even with no socialist camp existing, the capitalist-imperialist world does not refrain from generating wars. Because, capitalism inevitably generates war for its survival. Over and above the ruthless capitalist exploitation, it takes resort to another atrocious measure of militarization of economy. It exploits people, pauperizes them and thus generates market crisis, industrial recession. Unable to get over such recession inevitable in dying capitalism, they go for extensive militarization of economy. The bourgeois government usurps people’s money to provide to the capitalists-monopolists hefty financial assistance, doles and freebies, and even magnanimous bail-out packages to somehow stave off the insolvable market crisis they are sunk in. In absence of market for industrial production because of rapidly dwindling purchasing power of the common people, the capitalists-monopolists seek to maximize profit and thereby stimulate the market artificially through large scale manufacturing of military hardware. The government which provides finance to this arms production by the monopolists and MNCs from public exchequer often by slashing subsidies and cutting cost towards public welfare, itself becomes buyers of this weaponry again by drawing on the public exchequer, sells them in an ever-running arms market across the world to clear out stockpiles of older arms to keep the arms industries moving. The bourgeois government thus becomes a partner in production as well as sale of arms –ammunitions. But to sustain production of arms through increased militarization of economy, it is imperative to find a route for consumption of the arms. That is impossible unless there is precipitation as well as perpetuity of wars, be it local or regional, communal or fundamentalist. Wars keep their industries moving when otherwise they are bogged in dire straits. So there are wars one after another, stoked up, fomented, launched by the war-mongers, imperialists led by the most belligerent US imperialists. And to keep the process on and nurture the militarized economy, capitalism-imperialism further needs war-psychosis, frenzy and enmity posing to jump into war any time. So it needs relentless trade and business in arms and associated ancillaries, campaign in favour of pouncing upon an enemy of democracy or human rights, be it there or not. Imperialist powers produce arms in profusion. They sell them liberally to less powerful states. The ruling capitalist class of the buyer countries are also exploiting their own people without relent and are thus giving birth to ever-rising resentment in them. They need to stifle their people’s resentment, thwart people’s resistance, if any, channelize their wrath against the existing rule into some other course. So the rulers of capitalist countries, big or small, powerful or not, need to create bogies before their people, create war tension on this or that pretext and convince people about the necessities to prepare for war. So they spurt up defence or military expenses manifold. Thus, even the smaller or less powerful capitalist countries play into the hands of the bigger imperialist powers and get to become partners in their war games. Along with their powerful counterparts they also join the bandwagon for creating war psychosis. All this to reap the maximum benefit possible for the ruling class from the prevailing situation at any moment.
The brief outline above presents this same scenario being enacted in the turmoil — rather war-ravaged Middle East and countries around. And this imperialist design has simply been giving way to death and maiming without number, to incessant stream of innocent people, tired of seeing- feeling and suffering from war for no fault of theirs, and driven to the extreme where they take recourse to flee their homestead in search of safer land, but taking the gravest possible risks of crossing a sea on over-crowded boats. The powerful countries including their monopoly-controlled media enthusiastically make threadbare analysis of whether it is justified to indulge entry of migrants in a foreign country and exploit their cheap labour power, or not. The UN, supposedly the conscience-keeper for the world, now turned watchdog of the imperialists, more so of the US imperialists, sit tight, unperturbed in sessions after sessions only not to find any way out. The entire humanity stand bewildered. How could such dastardly acts go on with impunity? How could the perpetrators of these worst crimes go unpunished, even not facing minimum criticism?
Absence of correct leadership causes people to suffer against imperialist design
But this is one part of the tragic issue. It may be recalled that even though there were spurts of communist movements in some of the countries of the Middle East, revolutionary movement on Marxism- Leninism could not develop adequately in those. Now when gripped under modern revisionism, the world communist movement has become considerably weaker, even a militant peace movement, a genuine anti-imperialist movement which is direly needed is difficult to generate. And in the Middle East countries, the parties with the banner of communism have virtually turned into powerless entities.
In such a situation even though people of the Middle East and around are facing inhuman sufferings, there is no leadership to organize and lead them against unjust interventions- aggressions, to help them fight against the war-monger imperialists and save them from their sufferings. The imperialist onslaughts thus could not be thwarted; the imperialists could not be prevented from giving shape to their designs unopposed with impunity. Whereas it was the need of the hour that a militant anti-imperialist movement with the communists at the core and ideologically-culturally equipped for sustained and organized struggle spread across the world be developed immediately.
And here lies the importance of the third vital aspect of the issue. People of the world, more so of the Middle East and around must address the problems keenly and meticulously, must face the stark reality without prejudice. It needs to be recognized that things cannot be let to go on the way they are going. Not for ever, not even for long. There is no question of giving up. And so people must be equipped with the ideological-organizational- ethical strength to stand up to resist. They must find out the correct way, build up their own leadership which will equip them in all respects. It would not end in one movement or two, but will carry on sustained till the goal is attained. The goal to fix it right now is to resolve that the blood-thirsty, profit-hungry, cruel and deceitful imperialists, led by the US imperialism, cannot be allowed to carry on their barbaric adventures with impunity for long. There must be a stop. Conscientious people of the world should step out to raise this voice and help people of the Middle East to create powerful centres of resistance.