Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Is Iran Next for US Shock and Awe?
By Monica Hill
Freedom Socialist newspaper
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, February 27, 2011
Military families and friends fiercely embrace traumatized and
exhausted soldiers from Iraq. The White House victoriously announces the
war is over. Yet the press and politicians shout fear and danger — this
time against Iran.
How real is the threat of war? That revolves
around two powerful forces pitted against each other. One is worldwide
revulsion against war and poverty by workers and other determined
protesters. The other is an alarmed ruling class desperate to smother
dissent and salvage its rotting economic system.
A driving force
in this human drama is the global economic depression. Its miseries have
ignited massive opposition against dictators and presidents, the likes of
which today’s ruling class has never seen. Alas, the poor masters in Iran
and the United States have not only insoluble economic problems. They are
beset by militant political dissent!
Iran is a
major and historic power in the energy-rich Middle East and Central Asia,
not under any other country’s thumb. Oil is its primary resource — it
holds the world’s fourth-largest oil reserves and second-largest natural
gas reserves. Eighty percent of Iran’s exports are related to oil flowing
mostly to Europe, Russia, China and Japan.
U.S. capitalism has
long sought control of the region, which is the trade passageway between
the east and west. Significantly, Iran lies between Iraq and Afghanistan,
those decimated countries and peoples from the last two U.S. invasions.
Endless sanctions, trade blockades and austerity measures,
induced by the United States, have taken their toll on Iranians.
Unemployment has shot up to 34 percent. Inflation is raging near 40
percent, personal and political freedom is non-existent, political
dissidents languish in prisons and are often executed.
States could care less about democracy or women’s rights or separation of
church and state in the Islamic Republic of Iran. In competition with
China, Russia and the European Union, Empire America is hungry for
dominant military and economic power there. That’s why they’re all playing
some very scary war games.
The nuclear card.
pretext for making war on Iran is the unsubstantiated threat of nuclear
attack. Iran insists its nuclear program is for energy and cancer
treatment radioisotopes, not nuclear weaponry.
On the nuclear
question in general, no sane person supports nuclear proliferation. But it
is absurd for the U.S. to hype hysteria about nuclear attacks when it is
the only country to have ever used nuclear weapons against another nation.
For America to posture as the world’s protector against such weapons is
Not just saber-rattling.
States is already waging covert war on Iran. Five nuclear scientists have
been assassinated, the most recent in mid January, 2012. Joint U.S. and
Israeli efforts have bombed nuclear research facilities over the last
decade. Just recently they sabotaged Iranian nuclear facilities with a
Iran’s nuclear program was initiated with U.S.
help. But ever since the “hostage crisis” and counter-revolution in 1979,
the U.S. has demonized Iran and bullied businesses and banks in numerous
countries into blocking investments and financial transactions with Iran.
Determined to maintain its military primacy in the region, Israel is
delighted with the escalating sanctions and furiously fanning flames for
war. According to the Jerusalem Post, the White House will be deploying
several thousand troops to Israel to establish “joint task forces in the
event of a large-scale conflict in the Middle East.”
relentlessly harasses other countries to join in launching air attacks
against Iran, just as the U.S. grasps for a “coalition of the willing” to
share the blame and cost of its invasions. As in the United States,
Israeli rulers are beleaguered with popular protests and desperate to
of Iran rose up in June 2009 in the millions. They fought against vicious
repression and for democracy, jobs, and release of political prisoners.
That insurrection was crushed, but nobody forgot the lessons. As Yassamine
Mather, Iranian exile and organizer says, “The working class, student,
youth and women’s movements in Iran have not only Ahmadinejad in their
sights, and not only Khamenei. They want to see the defeat of the whole,
oppressive Islamic state.”
The movement is more broad-based than
in 2009. In southeast Iran, 6,000 petrochemical casual laborers went on
strike last September to win equal status and pay with permanent workers.
Six hundred expelled temporary teachers organized a sit-in at the
Steel workers spent three days at a
governor’s mansion demanding back benefits after their plant was
privatized and closed. Kurdish dam workers went on strike for six months
of back wages. In every case, the lowest-paid, most discriminated-against
workers are leading the charge. On May 15, 2011 students organized a
nationwide strike and closed down 30 university campuses.
Political repression never stops
protest. It provokes it — in Iran, the United States, Israel, and far
At this stage it is not likely that the U.S. will start a
conventional–weapon war against Iran, let alone press the nuclear key. But
it is clear they intend to keep feeding fear and trying to suppress
Standing in solidarity with Iranian workers and other
warriors for democracy, and organizing a sustained anti-war movement in
the U.S. is the urgent task. This reduces the threat of imperialist war
and adds to the building blocks of today’s global revolutionary movement.
Send feedback to Monica Hill at
Freedom Socialist newspaper, Vol. 33, No. 1,