[Statement by Socialist Action National Committee, January 5, 2021]
President Trump’s waning months at the White House saw him cloistered with his top National Security team of warmakers considering whether to launch yet another round of deadly missile strikes against Iran. In the same timeframe, the ongoing U.S. imperial war against Syria saw multiple U.S.-Israeli-orchestrated missile strikes across Syria ranging from its border areas adjacent to the Israel-occupied Palestinian Golan Heights to the outskirts of Damascus. Simultaneously, Trump and Co. feigned a U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan aimed at casting his departing image as a “man of peace” while Democrats denounced the move.
As we go to press Trump’s team has virtually disintegrated. His top generals past and present as well as his Defense Secretary and National Security Adviser have resigned or disassociated themselves from a president who two months before his scheduled departure fatally believed that he could game the system and retain office against the real decision makers – the U.S. ruling class. The latter, whether its titular heads are Republicans or Democrats, are wedded to the U.S. war machine, capitalism’s chief guarantor of the extraction of profits from poor and oppressed nations everywhere. No doubt, Joseph Biden and his Democrats will slip into Trump’s imperial clothing without missing a beat, minus or plus a few rhetorical flourishes.
Imperialism’s endless war on Iran
Trump, and before him, the Obama Administration, – and no doubt Biden tomorrow – with zero evidence that Iran is enriching nuclear material in order to produce a nuclear weapon that would/could be launched against the U.S., will press Iran for endless concessions aimed at keeping its competitive high quality oil off the world marketplace.
Four months ago the U.S. and Israeli governments barely concealed their role in the July 2 massive bombing of Iran’s nuclear research facilities at Natanz. A New York Times article entitled “Long-Planned and Bigger Than Thought: Strike on Iran’s Nuclear Program,” authored by veteran staff writer David E. Sanger, was explicit:
“As Iran’s center for advanced nuclear centrifuges lies in charred ruins after an explosion, apparently engineered by Israel, the long-simmering conflict between the United States and Tehran appears to be escalating into a potentially dangerous phase.”
A decade earlier, the U.S.-abetted cyberwar attack on Iran obliterated nearly 1,000 operating centrifuges at Natanz – near the site of the July 2020 explosion and fire.
Sanger concluded, “In some ways it feels a bit like a decade ago, when the George W. Bush administration handed off the cyber operations to the Obama administration – part of a broad covert effort to cripple Iran’s nuclear program. At the same time, the Israelis were killing Iranian scientists.”
Yet again, the U.S. imperial war machine contemplates death and destruction in the Middle East based on the corporate media promoted myth that “civilized leaders,” the likes of Biden, Trump, Obama, Clinton and Bush, are the purveyors of justice, freedom and the world’s “national security” defenders. Those who disagree are branded as terrorists, religious zealots or “weapons of mass destruction” threatening tyrants.
The periodic U.S. wars against Iran have nothing to do with “humanitarian” concerns of world security and everything to do with the continued imperial U.S. military and economic domination of the Middle East. The 1953 CIA coup in Iran removed the democratically-elected government of Mohammed Mossadegh and replaced it with the quarter century dictatorship of the U.S.-imposed Shah Reza Pahlavi. That war was conducted by the Republican Dwight Eisenhower, the president who ominously first warned against the danger of the rise to dominance of the a “military-industrial complex,” the post WWII permanent war machine that came to dominate world politics. When the Iranian Revolution of 1979 drove the U.S.-imposed Shah dictator from power, the U.S. retaliated by orchestrating and financing 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War that took the lives of a million Iranians and 800,000 Iraqis. [The still ongoing U.S. war and conquest of Iran’s neighbor and ally Iraq, begun in 2003 and again in 2013 until this day, took the lives of 1.5 million Iraqis.]
On July 14, 2015, by virtue of a crippling U.S.-led European sanctions campaign, Iran was compelled to sign the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a nuclear accord with six major world powers – U.S., Russia, U.K., China, Germany, and France. Aimed at substantially reducing Iran’s known nuclear capabilities, but with zero proof of Iranian intentions to build nuclear weapons, the accords provided for the dismantling of thousands of uranium-enriching centrifuges, shipping tons of low-enriched uranium to Russia, destroying the core of a heavy water reactor capable of producing plutonium, and agreeing to reconfigure Iran’s reactor so as to produce less plutonium. In exchange, the signers agreed to substantially lift the deadly U.S. and European sanctions imposed on Iran that had reduced the economy and currency of the world’s fourth leading oil producer and region’s most viable state to catastrophic levels.
The U.S. war against Syria continues
Repeatedly launched in the name of thwarting Syria’s seeking aid from Iran and other nations to challenge the U.S./NATO/Gulf State monarchy’s regime change war on Syria, the U.S. imperialist “coalition” war cost the lives of 500,000 Syrians. It destroyed much of Syria’s infrastructure. The U.S./NATO-backed jihadist forces – at one point occupying some two-thirds, if not three-quarters of Syria – have been largely defeated, with the bully Trump administration forced to partially withdraw U.S. troops, nevertheless proclaiming, as the remaining U.S. troops stood perched on Syria’s fossil fuel northeastern region, “We got the oil.” Biden’s Democrats opposed Trump’s partial withdrawal from Syria – a fake “withdrawal” that simply transferred U.S. troops to nearby U.S. military bases.
Afghanistan: U.S. Out Now!
After 19 years and $2 trillion in Pentagon spending, after deploying more than 120,000 U.S. troops at the highpoint of the war, – half of them U.S.-financed via Blackwater and other privatized mercenary and war crimes committing forces accountable to no one – after more than 460,000 direct and indirect civilians killed and 2,400 U.S. troops dead and another 20,660 wounded – the war continues. The above figures, except for the 360,000 indirectly killed due to the U.S. war, are the official tallies of the U.S. Defense Department. They omit the estimated 55,000 dead among the U.S.-trained and financed Afghan Army forces as well as the dead and wounded among the U.S.-orchestrated “coalition” of a dozen nations brought on board to lend the appearance of an “international” war on terror. We add to this bi-partisan horror the dead and wounded in neighboring Pakistan where the U.S. has been drone bombing with impunity for much of the war’s duration. After 19 years, with the Pentagon’s “experimenting” with obliterating the Taliban’s underground bunkers with the largest non-nuclear weapons ever and with drones ever in hunt for prey in remote regions, some tens of thousands of U.S. troops remain, usually half of them mercenaries and “contractors” organized by enterprising U.S. corporations in the business of death and destruction for profit.
Since our formation 40 years ago Socialist Action has helped to lead in the organization of broad, national, independent, united front-type antiwar coalitions aimed at bringing millions into the streets to challenge all U.S. wars. The immediate and total withdrawal of all U.S. forces from the Middle East and around the world has been our central objective. U.S. Out Now!
We support the right of all poor and oppressed nations to self-determination. This includes their unconditional right to seek and accept aid from other nations to defend themselves. It also includes their right to sign agreements with other nations that they deem necessary to defend their sovereignty.
We stand 100 percent opposed to all U.S. and imperialist sanctions. Sanctions are acts of war!
We are 100 percent opposed to all nuclear weapons and call for the total disarmament of all nuclear nations beginning with the U.S., the world’s greatest nuclear power and the only nation ever to launch nuclear weapons.
We oppose all U.S. wars against working people at home and abroad. Billions for human needs, not a penny for U.S. wars! Close all U.S. military bases!
We support the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. End all U.S. aid, military, economic and political, to apartheid Israel! For a democratic secular Palestine with the right of all Palestinians to return to their homeland.