Tag Archives: Levant

Turkey Plays a Dangerous Game

Russia has sent in military hardware to Syria to consolidate its presence in the Levant. The “Carter Doctrine, the imperialist stance codified by former President Jimmy Carter in 1979: that any threat to U.S. oil interests in the Middle East would be met with a military response. Followed by every U.S. president since, this policy has cost millions of working class lives.”  The Carter Doctrine means that any threat to the US’s hold over Middle East (ME) oil is a threat to the US itself. Russia is doubling down on their base in Tartus and expanding into at least one bigger air base in Latakia. The US asked Greece to not allow Russia to use its air space to supply its forces. Russia was borrowing the same excuse of humanitarian imperialism that the US uses of fighting terror, but Greece had no problem defying the US and letting Russia use its airspace.

The simple reason why Greece was able to defy the US comes down to Russia’s TurkStream pipeline. This pipeline provides the potential of vast profit to the Greek ruling class that has been under the iron heel of the US dominated Troika(the EU, IMF, and ECB). As these wars in the Levant and the rest of the ME, like Yemen, continue to escalate, they are indicative of a more and more desperate class of international imperialists that has less and less room to maneuver and are now actively participating in the wars that they were at first fighting by proxy. This is a step towards all out inter-imperialist world war.

The TurkStream pipeline will help to alleviate the reliance on Ukraine as an oil transit route. This is a direct slap in the face of the US and its Nazi servants that overthrew the democratically elected Russian aligned government in the name of democracy. “The outbreak of the Ukraine crisis in November 2013 marked the beginning of the end for the South Stream project. Western countries responded to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in early 2014 with a series of sanctions that targeted a number of Russian officials. The subsequent crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 after being shot down over Ukraine in July 2014 led to the sanctions’ expansion, this time against the Russian banks that were financing South Stream.” The members of the working class that were killed in the plane crash became an excuse for the US led West to push its political agenda against Russia. Regardless of who was responsible for the crash, a Ukrainian fighter jet or Separatist missile, the imperialist agenda was all that mattered to the ruling capitalist class.

The danger with Turkey moving closer to Russia is that it “would be able to remove itself from reliance on Ukraine-transited gas”. Turkey is playing a dangerous game because this means that Turkey would not have to rely on US dominated sectors for its natural gas needs. This illustrates a contradiction within the contradiction, since Turkey is a NATO member, it is ostensibly an ally of the US, but Turkey has its own expansionist designs in the Levant as it is hearing echoes of its Ottoman past. So, though in the long term it may, paralleling history, rival Russia for control of the Levant, it can easily pad its coffers now at the expense of being tied to the US leash of power and control. Maximum profits today can mean much more than loyalty and will be able to provide Turkey with the financing necessary for it to carry out its expansionist designs in the Levant through a continuance of financing to the death cult Islamists that it outright supports, the useful enemies of ISIS it allegedly covertly supports, and the vast amount of economic resources that its army needs in order to secure its outright expansionism.

The imperialist proxy war in Ukraine is now in an apparent ceasefire due to the fact that Russia is doing its best to isolate Ukraine from the world’s pipeline chess board. The US and its EU allies were hoping to have the Nabucco pipeline flow natural gas through Turkey, but that project is on hold. “In fact, Russia has the opportunity to export its gas via TAP from the Turkish Stream toward Europe, without Gazprom’s presence in the TAP Consortium and without breaching the TEP rules.” These pipeline wars in the Levant, Syria and Iraq, have caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of workers, displaced over 10 million workers, and have caused the migration of millions more workers looking for shelter and safety after imperialist financed jihadists and mercenary armies have destroyed their homes.

Another intensification of the inter-imperialist rivalry is between Russia and Israel since Russia is doubling down on the coast of the Eastern Mediterranean it now has access to all of the natural gas that is there. This natural gas is a valuable asset to sell to the EU. Israel is worried since it can no longer bomb Hezbollah at will due to the anti-aircraft missiles which have already shot down at least one Israeli fighter and the interceptor aircraft that Russia has given to Syria.  Israel won’t be able to bomb Syria’s forces or Hezbollah at will if it will begin having its planes continually shot down by AA missiles and intercepter jet fighters.   Israel is now going to be meeting with Russia to discuss what is going to be done about Hezbollah, a valuable Assad ally.

Regardless of how things intensify, it will be the working class that will continue to suffer as millions of refugees continue to lose their homes due to imperialist proxy wars to dominate geostrategic resources. Capitalism needs to be smashed by Communist revolution, and only the Progressive Labor Party can lead this revolution. Our line, our analysis, our international vision of a world based on meeting the needs of the whole of humanity regardless of race or gender is the shining beacon of hope in this run up to open imperialist war. Just as at the dawn of the last world war, two roads are open to humanity, the road of barbarism or the road of Communism. The capitalists want to march us to their parasitical barbarism again and again, but PLP knows that we will be able to organize a Communist revolution to flush capitalism down the toilet of history.

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Capitalism Creates the Refugee Catastrophe

The capitalists constantly create the conditions that brutalize the working class and then consistently blame the victims for the very same conditions that capitalism creates. The bosses’ media is blaring about the “migrant crisis” that is affecting Europe now. This is the height of hypocrisy. How many migrants would there be if the US and its allies had not bombed the snot out of Iraq, overthrown Gadhafi in Libya, armed and funded fascists in Syria to fight the fascist regime, or facilitated the war in Yemen? This crisis is primarily the consequences of the inter-imperialist rivalry that has been ongoing since “the end of history” and the rise of a new American century after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Libya has two governments that are both squabbling over billions of dollars in international funds while religious death cult fascists brutalize the working class, with their rage primarily falling upon women and gays. As gay men are thrown off of buildings and young teenage and younger girls are sold into sex slavery or given as prizes to fascist death cultists, the US drops bombs on more and more cities. Turkey has begun a bombing campaign against the only force that was actually stopping the death cultists because they considered them a useful enemy.

A drowned 3 year old boy on a beach has clarified the cost that the working class has been paying for the imperialist’s wars. It is a rich man’s war for oil routes, but it is being paid for with the blood of workers in Syria and Iraq. The false consciousness of religion is being used to create the quasi-national identities that are now dissolving the borders of the post-WWI Sykes-Picot agreement. Workers desperate for a better world or just sick of the degeneration of capitalism’s decay, are now being led to die in a death cult that wants to impose a brutal feudalistic social structure on the whole world.

Russia continues to play chess as the US plays checkers. They have now upped the ante by playing a card from the US’s deck of bringing in more weapons in troops “to fight terrorism.” This causes quite the conundrum for the US and its allies as Russia has more of a legal right to be in Syria than they do since Assad’s brutal regime is technically the legitimate government. Russia is also pointing out the obvious fact that Syria’s army is the only force on the ground actually fighting the Saudi and Turkey backed death cults of al-Qaeda as well ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria). This gigantic cluster fuck of death is the choice that capitalism gives to the working class: the brutal fascists of Assad and Hezbollah or the brutal fascists in the death cults of al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al Nusrah et al and ISIS.

So, what does the working class do – stay and die or flee? If they flee, then they are a catastrophe for the European leaders who want to fling bombs and now worry about the consequences. If they stay, then they are being constantly attacked by one side or the other. The hypocritical racists in Hungary and elsewhere point out that the influx of refugees to their respective nations might change their culture since they are a “Christian Nation”.   The irony that they are turning their back on Christian charity is lost on them. Religion is an effective tool for the ruling class as it consistently gets good people to do horrible things to other people in the name of some deity. Communism will eventually flush religion down the toilet of history.

Workers in the Levant and North Africa need to build the PLP there so that we can have real choice, not between thugs, butchers, dictators, death cults, or the lies of democracy. Watching the re-alignment that is now occurring as Egypt is rebuilding ties with Syria’s embattled Russian aligned regime in order to get help to battle ISIS in the Sinai and Islamic unrest has spread to Tajikistan, Greece may move closer to the Russian sphere of influence, and Turkey is impaled on the horns of a dilemma clearly illustrates the need for communist revolution to ensure that the capitalists are unable to keep brutalizing the working class. What is Israel going to do if they can’t wantonly bomb Syria at their leisure due to Russian interceptors? Russia will not surrender a valuable pipeline transit point that their base at Tartus protects.

Each intensification of the conflict in the Levant keeps sending more and more workers running. Each worker that flees Assad’s barrel bombs, Islamic State’s chemical warfare or brutality, or US bombs is now considered part of a crisis. Each time that national identity is intoned to protect a population in one geographic location from those fleeing another location due to war, famine, or any other violence that can be directly attributed to imperialism, the working class is further divided. Our enemy is not the families fleeing imperialism’s murderous geopolitical machinations; it is the capitalist class. We need to destroy them and all of their borders with communist revolution.

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It’s Memorial Day!

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.
Proposed Turkish and South Stream Pipelines

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.

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Oil and Natural Gas are The Real Reasons Behind Syria and Sexism Continues in India

The fact that Obama has to get Congress to support the bombing of Syria illustrates the lack of actual evidence that the US has about the gas attack in Syria. It’s going to take more than a hundred YouTube videos and a Mossad phone tap to bomb Syria into smithereens this time.  He may be banking on the patriotic jingoism the bosses whip up about the terrorist attacks on 9/11/01 to help ram this through Congress. Apparently, now the US doesn’t mind acting as al Qaeda’s Air Force.  The hypocrisy of Obama standing and making a speech as a Nobel Peace prize winner while banging the drum to war and saying that he’s fighting terrorism while arming, funding, and now doing the work of taking out the air support that’s killing them is unbelievable.  Only a pathological sociopath, also called a bosses’ politician, could do that.

Inter-imperialist rivalry is the primary contradiction driving world events right now. The contradiction within the contradiction of this is capitalist vs capitalist, in other words, the capitalists of one group of nation states align with other capitalists in other nation states against their rival capitalists. The most powerful group of capitalists is still in the US. The recent move by Obama to ask Congress for support will now intensify the internecine capitalist struggle in the US.

Challenge has pointed out time and again that the ruling class is not a monolithic whole devoid of contradiction, but is made up of blocs that have their own interests and agenda. The old money liberal finance capital bloc that pulls Obama’s strings is not all-powerful.  The Isolationist minded new money capitalists may block him.  The Koch brothers and their ilk may oppose the main wing of US capital, but that does not mean that we support the fascists.  The Progressive Labor Party, unlike the misguided “leftists” in The Occupy Movement, does not support Left-Right unity.  We point to history as our guide to illustrate the fact that the Right will wipe us out the first chance they get – from the Kuomintang to Sukarto, fascists and nationalists kill Communists when they get the chance.  We know that the enemy of our enemy is our future rival, not a friend. 

 

The imperialist rivalry between the US and Russia also stems from the US’s desire to enter into the natural gas market.  Russia already has a stranglehold on Europe’s natural gas markets, and the US would like to loosen their grasp.  There are Image1.7 billion barrels of recoverable oil and a mean of 122 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas” the Levant oil basin. 

Unsurprisingly, 1.) Syria’s coast is part of the economic zone that would have the privilege of exploiting this gas and oil bonanza 2.) Israel is already exploiting this bonanza 3.) none of the bosses’ media has reported this find at all.  The Israel, US, France, Saudi, Turkey, and Qatari axis is feening to dominate this field.  Russia has no interest in letting this field fall into the hands of the US, thereby allowing their rival to weaken their influence in Europe.  Lebanon does not want to outright challenge Israel, and so is using their state apparatus to “protect the peace” in Lebanon, while actually de facto supporting Hezbollah’s backing of Assad.  If Assad is preserved, then they will have a better chance at renegotiating their rights to the oil and getting a bigger slice of the natural gas bonanza.  If Israel wins, then they can still negotiate since it was a proxy force doing the fighting. 

Once again, it is oil that is the driving motive for the US to get ready to start a war and murder members of the working class.  The Progressive Labor Party does not support the butcher Assad nor his fascist hetero-sexist puppet master Putin.  We know that neither despot is a friend to the working class and will do all that we can to foment Communist Revolution and class struggle in their countries.  The USSR and Syria were once beacons and havens for Communists from all over the world.  We know that as PLP grows in the Levant, we will bring Communism back to the forefront. 

Israel is now saying that they are willing to go alone if the US does not do the strikes that they threatened.  The al Qaeda saturated rebels are now feeling that the US will not attack.  The US had already given them battle plans for what to do after the strike. Now, due to the fact that workers all over the world refuse to support the bosses’ lies and support the war-mongering charlatan Obama, the bombing of Syria has been put off.  This is not to say that Communist Revolution is immanent or that these reforms have stopped the US from starting a war, it has just exposed how weak and impotent the US is becoming in a world where they have to dominate in order to protect their profits and empire.

Illustrating the extreme sexism in India, the first conviction handed out in the gang rape and murder of a young woman in New Delhi was for only 3 years.  The victim’s brother tried to kill the guy, too bad he didn’t.  On the exact same day that this conviction was handed down, another gang rape occurred and two of the rapists were cops.  Sexism affects women all over the world is a fundamental necessity of capitalism.  The Progressive Labor Party and its friends in India will continue to condemn these sexist acts of aggression against women.  We also condemn the millions of phony Communists in India who do not militantly struggle against sexism.  They should be ashamed of themselves.   

 

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