It’s Memorial Day: a day to ponder the effects of the virally exceptionalist form of Imperialism the USA unleashes daily on the international working class. In a nutshell, the US basically believes that they are the exception to every rule in their pursuit of profit at the world’s expense and to crush their rivals, it is really the working class that suffers. Take Syria for example: exactly what is the US failed strategy in the Levant against Islamic State? At first, if one were to listen to the bourgeoisie’s media, one would think that the US and its allies are against Islamic State. But, that is appearance vs. essence. The internal aspect of a contradiction is its primary focus.
The internal motor of world history right now is Interimperialist rivalry. In the context of the Levant, it is between Iranian hegemony vs. US, EU, Saudi, Turkish, and Israeli imperialist and hegemonic designs. The vast amount of natural gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean are now virtually monopolized by Israel – except for the Alawite Coast of Syria. As discussed in earlier blogs, Lebanon basically absconded their rights to this natural gas, but Syria did not. Saudi Arabia and Turkey, though in a bit of a contradiction themselves as to who will be the real regional Islamic power, the loosey goosey liberal Islam of Erdogan’s ruling AKP Party or the Feudal Wahhabism of Saudi Arabia, both want to dominate the oil and geostrategically rich Middle East. So, this leaves the beleaguered fascists, the Assad government and his Hezbollah Allies, to fight against the fascists in Al-Qaida, Islamic State, and an alphabet soup of other Jihadist groups all hell bent on worshiping their god of death, destruction, bigotry, and misogyny. It’s fascist vs. fascist and hundreds of thousands of our working class brothers and sisters are dead while millions have lost their homes and are displaced.
So, how does the US tie into all of this? Simple really: ISIS and Al-Qaida are being treated like a US asset against the Assad regime while a terrorist threat in the rest of the world. Qatar’s, an ally of the US, Al Jazeera, a news source many are turning to since they know they can’t trust the Western Media, supports Jabhat al Nusra, the Al Qaiada franchise in Syria. When groups like Al Qaiada are in Syria, Al Jazeera and the rest of the bosses’ media apparatus refer to them as “rebels”, yet when they are anywhere else in the world, they are referred to as “terrorists”. The levels of hypocrisy go even deeper. The extravagant press campain about the fall of Palmyra may be the preparation of public opinion for a true military engagement against Dash (ISIS). Public opinion has already begun to shift towards a military operation against Islamic State; they are being seen as something worth fighting against, and this shift will be useful to the US imperialists who need troops on the ground in the Middle East. The campaign can echo what happened in Nigeria where Boko Haram went from being a massive threat to virtually extinct once the military commander was elected president. How fast can the US and allies wipe up the ISIS mess? Or, will the Frankenstein monster of Jihadism return like it has in Afghanistan? Or, is Jihadism currently in Afghanistan in order to justify the US troops still in that geographically important pipeline transit route?
The failed US campaign in Iraq against ISIS is due to the fact that they only want to fight them in Iraq. They want ISIS to topple the mostly secular fascist Assad regime, and so consider them much like an asset in Syria. They bomb them in Iraq and target infrastructure and depots in Syria. Like a good attack dog on a leash, Israel doesn’t open fire on Al Qaiada footsteps away from their borders, but bombs Hezbollah miles away. They claim it is to keep them from getting missiles. Regardless, of how the excuses of the imperialists and their regional thugs, the US and Israel respectively, the point is that ISIS has virtual free reign in Syria to heal up, reinforce, and resupply. Basically, ISIS isn’t playing nice. If they had just caused havoc and destruction in Syria, then it is doubtful any bombs would have actually fallen on them.
In a further show of completely murderous hypocrisy, and never letting a good failed strategy completely fail, “… in a move that could mark an expansion of U.S. involvement in the conflict, Turkey said it and the United States had agreed in principle to give air support to some forces from Syria’s mainstream opposition.” This paragraph, buried in the article, brings up two questions: 1.) what “mainstream opposition” and 2.) who are they going to bomb?
There is no “mainstream opposition” in Syria, that’s as much of a myth as democracy. This is such propagandistic language: mainstream means the majority or middle. The mainstream opposition in Syria is composed of a bunch of fascists bent on terrorism. The group with a democratic aspiration was defeated and basically used as an arms depot by ISIS. They really existed only on paper and in the imagination of the bosses, because “no such ‘moderate’ rebel movement ever existed – at least not in any significant numbers – that reality is ignored by all the ‘smart people’ of Washington. It is simply too good a talking point (to be read as absolute lie constantly pushed by the lying bosses’ media) to surrender. The truth is that Obama was right when he told New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman in August 2014 that the notion of a “moderate” rebel force that could achieve much was ‘always … a fantasy.'”
Turkey and Saudi Arabia both want a staunchly Sunni regime in Syria to stop Iranian Shia hegemony. So on top of the everyday physical violence of any dictatorship or government under capitalism, the working class in the Levant will also have to suffer under the particularly oppressive brain-deadening violence of the false consciousness of religion. And, while the bosses’ media weeps crocodile tears for the ruins of Palmyra and the soon to be extinct Northern Bald Ibis, hundreds of women, children, and men were just execution style murdered in the streets by ISIS and had their bodies left out as a warning Michael Brown style. Again, these fascists are only a problem when they get in the way of where the bosses would like to spend their vacations touring or impeding their oilfields, pipelines, and acquisition of profit.
Secondly, whom are they going to bomb? Is this a declaration of war against the tottering Assad regime? Will Iran and Russia watch their client state get smashed by this consortium? Will China let this occur when they have so much at stake? When Libya was overrun by fascists, they were forced out, and this will happen again if a US client state takes over. China may be downplaying this in the current press, but they are not going to be happy to lose access to pipelines, natural gas reserves, and oil. Russia will not peacefully surrender their base at Tartus; it’s too important to them. Russia has designs on that area of the world as well, and their side of this Syrian mess of a contradiction needs to be examined as well.
To the north of Turkey, in the Black Sea, Russia wants to begin construction on the Turkish Stream pipeline. Though this is a geographically different area, it is still intertwined with the interimperialist proxy war occurring in the Levant.
The key to reading this map of the Turkish stream pipeline is recognizing the importance of Crimea. Bulgaria and Russia have been playing nice, even though Romania has been leaning towards the US, EU, UK axis. The fact that Russia is beginning this project alone is the bribe to Turkey. If Turkey wants the vast natural gas that it hungers for, it can throw in the investment that they promised and “wet their beaks” in the profit. If they don’t cough up the cash, then Russia can build the pipeline in the waters off of the recently annexed Crimea and directly into the very small nodal point, bordering Romania, Turkey, and Bulgaria, so that it ends up in its final destination of Bulgaria. The amount of profit that this pipeline will create, as it will provide gas to Europe and knock out Ukraine as a transit state as well as cutting it off from trillions of dollars that it otherwise would have gotten from owning Crimea, clearly functions as a pretty sweet bribe to Turkey.
Turkey may bite. If they do, what will Russia ask of them vis a vis Assad’s regime in Syria? Will it come with a base or some military agreements? Either way, this pipeline is a direct confrontation to the designs of US and European imperialism: Politically, Turkish Stream is highly unpopular in Europe. The Europeans are making every effort possible to develop alternatives, such as the Trans-Anatolian, Trans-Adriatic and Trans-Caspian pipelines, which could transport natural gas from Turkmenistan to Europe. Companies in Europe are throwing their support and finances behind some of these other projects.
This Memorial Day, a phony bosses’ holiday celebrating their conquests and recognizing the militarism that drives their machine of exploitation abroad alongside intensifying racist oppression within their own borders, let’s remember why the bosses sent our working class children to die for profit. Let’s watch these “Masters of war who build to destroy” and remember why it is that we fight for Communism. Let’s steel ourselves for the long struggle ahead in this darkest of dark ages of human history and know that a Communist revolution, a dawn, will happen. The Progressive Labor Party is the organization that will lead the working class to Communist Revolution so that we will have world that meets our needs, not one whose vision of death and destruction in the name of profit is murdering us.