Revolution#135, July 13, 2008


From Revolution Editors:

This issue of Revolution includes an edited version of an article from the June 30 edition of A World To Win News Service, “U.S. Journalist Exposes Further American Moves Against Iran”, as well as coverage of the struggle in Iran against the persecution of women by the Islamic fundamentalist regime there.

The article on further U.S. moves against Iran notes the alarm sounded by U.S. journalist Seymour Hersh in an article “Preparing the Battlefield” in the July 7 issue of the New Yorker magazine. Hersh reports on the fact that there has been a major escalation of covert U.S. military operations inside Iran, including kidnapping of government officials, attacks on various sites, and backing of armed anti-government forces. Hersh talked with U.S. government and military officials who made clear that the Bush regime is definitely on a trajectory to provoke an incident which will give them “casus belli” (a Latin language term for justification for acts of war) for a military attack against Iran. Hersh and others have reported on significant elements of the U.S. military command structure who have expressed reservations or opposition to the Bush regime’s trajectory towards Iran (for example, Admiral William Fallon, who was forced out of his post in March of this year as overall commander of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan because of his opposition to the Bush regime’s trajectory). The present escalation of covert military actions by the U.S. inside Iran detailed by Hersh makes the danger of a larger military clash greater; these actions may be an effort by the U.S. to weaken the internal situation in Iran in advance of a larger military assault, as well as acting as a possible tripwire for “justifying” an attack on Iran.

 Hersh’s article shows that U.S. offers to negotiate with Iran’s rulers start with terms the Iranian regime cannot accept, a tactic designed to set up the Iranians as the ones “rejecting diplomacy.” These offers are part of a calculated public relations campaign to develop support for a military attack on Iran.

In his article, Hersh notes that the escalation of covert military operations was made known to the Democratic Party leadership in Congress. They could have challenged these operations, but instead they have not sounded an alarm about them, and authorized $400 million in funding for the program.

After September 11, 2001, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan and imposed a reactionary regime of Islamic fundamentalists and warlords, backed by a brutal occupation that continues today. The U.S. invaded and occupies Iraq resulting in a million deaths and four million more displaced—this to a country that had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. Today, the same kinds of pretexts used to justify the invasion of Iraq, including invoking “weapons of mass destruction,” are being used to justify U.S. pressure on Iran’s rulers and possible military attacks.

What are the real interests of U.S. imperialism in the region? To control the region’s oil as a source of superprofits, and to use its domination of the region as a strategic weapon to enforce the status of the U.S. as the world’s only superpower. Flowing from that, the U.S. imperialists need—from their interests and their point of view—to dominate and determine the politics of the region. For decades, this has led to rivers of oil flowing out of the Middle East—and rivers of blood flowing through it. The so-called “war on terror” was launched to further protect those interests—and specifically to recast the political and social terrain of the region in order to defeat challenges coming from both Islamic fundamentalist political trends and the U.S.’s imperialist rivals to those interests. These are not the fundamental interests of the majority of American people, let alone the interests of the people of the world—but they ARE the interests of the ruling imperialists who sit atop this system, and they are at the heart of the whole “American way of life.”

Any U.S. attack on Iran—no matter the scale and scope, no matter the pretext—would be criminal aggression and a war crime. The potential consequences for the people of Iran and the whole region are horrific. It’s urgent that there be massive resistance, especially inside the U.S. imperialist belly of the beast, to condemn and protest these threats and war preparations—now!

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