On Saturday 11 January 2020 Workers' Liberty hosted a meeting in London on the conflicts in the Middle East following the USA's 3 January assassination of Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian state's "Quds Force".
The chair was Maisie Sanders, and the speakers were Morad Shirin (Iranian Revolutionary Marxists' Tendency), Noori Bashir (Worker-communist Party of Kurdistan), Azar Majedi (Worker-communist Party of Iran Hekmatist), and Muayad Ahmed (Organisation of the Communist Alternative in Iraq).
Below is Noori Bashir's speech at the meeting. Thanks to Noori for sending us the text.
The whole current situation between US and Iran is to suppress the rising masses and to pass the revolutionary situation in the region
Noori Bashir’s Speech in London:
Dear Everyone, Good afternoon.
First, thanks for organizing this panel by Worker Liberty’s comrades.
I believe we are all of the opinion that Qasim Sulaymani’s assassination is the beginning of a great change in the situation in the region in general and the previous conflict between the US and Iran.
But we might not have the same analysis for the new situation, and every one or party may have different views and prediction and put forward a different policy accordingly. Hereby I am sharing with you a summary of my perspective of the situation:
As you all know the Middle East has become a battle field and confrontation between imperialist and regional forces and activation of several local bourgeois trends. Amidst these conditions, few global political, economic and military poles emerged which followed by regional states and bourgeois movements that complicated the equation.
The present situation formed on the basis of a global economic crisis. The global and regional forces in the ugliest way and bloodiest methods working on dividing the world again and getting hold of more areas and labour and capital’s market. The global capitalism is suffering from the lack of prospects in rebuilding the multi-polar world and lack of alternatives in fundamental issues such as governmental crisis in the East, and the prospect of development of the capital, how to suppress the new social protests that emerged from the Arab Spring revolutions and uprisings.
American politics and strategy as a major force in the region in the midst of all of this are on continuous decline and defeat. The emergence of Russia and China as two military and economic poles versus the United States in one hand and gradual departure of European Union from the US even the emergence of Turkey and Iran as two regional powers on the other hand are signs of the US global superiority defeat.
In Iraq, the US fell in a political marriage with Iran in order to run the country in a political and military balance and to stop the governmental crisis in Iraq. However, the marriage didn’t last long and changed to a major confrontation between the US and Iran especially after America’s withdrawal from Iran’s nuclear agreement and after the war against ISIS ended and the withdrawal from Syria and resorting to the policy of militarization and mobilization in the Gulf region. Once again, Iraq has become an important subject in the US politics and it has become again a field for the US to show its global supremacy versus its opponents. The emergence of the popular uprisings in the Middle East (Lebanon, Iraq and Iran) and the emersion of a revolutionary era, against all the economic system in those countries, placed the workers and toilers against bourgeoisie in a class struggle. This was not only a class appearance of workers and toilers but also a key factor in the transformation of the political equation between the bourgeois forces in the region. So it is not only the conflict between the imperialist powers which currently performing but also the emergence of the working class and toilers and their revolutionary appearance which put the bourgeoisie in danger and is about to smell the workers’ revolution, despite all its conflicts, they have put it in front of them. To an extent, the bourgeoisie (capitalism) cannot take a step towards its projects and policies to reorganize the political and economic system in the East without suppressing and preventing the uprising of the people.
Therefore, I believe that any analysis of the situation and taking any position around it without taking the mass uprising as a main axis in these analyzes will not be more than a journalistic and non-interventionist analysis.
It is correct that Qasim Sulaymani’s assassination will lead to the growth of militarism and terrorism in the region and will lead to another cycle of conflict, mass killing, destruction, proxy wars and possibly economic sanction. And this situation will pave the way for more clashes between militia bands, religious and national groups in one hand and civilian citizens on the other hand.
It is correct too that in the present time, the US and Iran as two poles of state terrorism, are following their own regional and strategic objectives, but the whole current situation is to suppress the rising masses and to pass the revolutionary situation in the cycle of terrorism and militarism.
The mass uprising and revolutionary situation have put the power of bourgeoisie under its influence and terrified Iraqi, Lebanese and Iranian governments. Hasan Nasrullah who was humiliated before the people of Lebanon till yesterday but now he rants about the US and Israel and has kept the atmosphere of terror and anxiety of revenge in the demonstrations. The current circumstances led to the cohesion of the Shiites parties and gathered under the banner of anti-America and consequently they started cracking down on demonstrators and removing the tents in Basrah and Nasryyah. And in Iran at the funeral of Suleimani, hundreds of thousands of people were brought to the streets in the cities of Iran with anti American banners and taking revenge replaced the protesters. All these are primary products of suppressing the rising masses in this revolutionary situation. Obviously, the atmosphere and conditions are getting tenser and tighter for the masses after the launch of each missile by these two parties, Iran and the US. The conditions will not be in favor of the rising masses and consequently they want the protesters to surrender and go home. This is the core issue and main goal of the current conflict between the US and Iran after Qasim Sulaymani’s assassination.
In my opinion, defending the rising masses in the region should be in the core of any communist and worker policy and currently the struggle against prevailing military atmosphere is to remove the barriers against the movement’s progress.
Supporting the uprising and its demands is the same requirement that the American and Iranian and other forces have to leave, the demand of bringing down the regime and the whole rule of bourgeoisie. And it is also to dismantle the armed groups belong to the political parties. And also handing over the fate of Iraq to the hands of the vast masses. In one word, defending the uprising of the masses to seek safety and protecting the foundations of civil society. In my perspective, the communists and freedom loving people in the world and in the region have to perform their local and international duties each according to their own circumstances. This is Marx’s permanent revolution’s message. Therefore, we shouldn’t allow the present suppression to take place. The uprising and the masses’ struggle in the East, calling upon the working class and international communism to take the worker’s revolution strategy in the heart of the global capitalist crisis.
The last point I want to refer to:
Is there any possibility for the Gulf War 3? Is the current situation leading towards a direct war against Iran?
It seems that the US has come to a conclusion that pursuing economic sanction against Iran is not enough and the pressure should be increased through intensifying the atmosphere of militarism and terrorism. This is to reduce the role of the Europe in Iran and to restrict the regional role of Iran. However, the possibility of turning these conditions into a war between Iran and the US is unlikely because neither Iran wants the war to take place on its soil nor the US’s declared policy is war against each other.
On the other hand, as I indicated earlier the increased tension and conflicts between Iran and the US at the present time is to suppress the uprising and the revolutionary situation in the area and to support the reactionary defeated bourgeoisie which is under the influence of a shaky defeatist movement.