Archive article from The Socialist Issue 448
Israeli regime’s air-war threatens regional warStop the bombings!
No to war !
THE ISRAELI government is in the process of implementing its threat to bomb the Lebanon back twenty years. Airports, roads, buildings and, not least, hundreds of human lives have already been destroyed. Workers and young people around the world were already sickened by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) attacks on Gaza, but what has taken place in the last few days is a massive escalation of the nightmarish crisis in the Middle East.
Spiralling towards all-out war
The situation is spiralling towards all-out war; with the danger of a conflagration across the Middle East. If this process isn’t halted it will be the working-class and poor, from every nationality and ethnic and religious grouping, that will pay a terrible price - as the last few days have so graphically demonstrated. While it is Lebanese and Palestinians workers and poor who have suffered the greatest loss of life over recent days, ordinary Israelis have also been victims, like the railway workers killed by a rocket in Haifa.
The IDF’s attacks were initially in response to a surprise military attack across the Lebanese border by Hezbollah. In the clashes which followed, eight Israeli soldiers were killed and two were captured by Hezbollah who took them back across the border. This was a big blow to the prestige of the Israeli regime. Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, reacted by calling it an "act of war" and threatened reprisals which would be "very, very, very painful". Now the pain, in the form of a major bombing campaign, has begun.
Blair wagging his tail behind
The Bush regime, with Blair wagging his tail behind, has already been responsible for massively destabilising the Middle East via the war and occupation of Iraq for oil. Now Bush and Blair have responded to the Israeli onslaught on Lebanon by laying the blame at the foot of the ‘terrorist’ Hezbollah and turning a blind eye to the crimes of the IDF. In other words they have given the Israeli regime a green light to continue stepping up the bloodshed.
In reality the current brutal assault, even if the IDF pull back before provoking all-out war, will only increase support for Hezbollah and also Hamas. However, neither of these groups will be able to solve the basic problems of the masses on the basis of what would be, if they had their way, capitalist religious regimes.
Capitalism offers no way forward for the peoples of the Middle East. In addition to the brutal suppression of national and religious rights; workers in the region have also suffered relentless attacks on their living standards over the last decade. The Arab regimes are corrupt, undemocratic, and brutal. Both the Arab and Israeli regimes are the willing agents of imperialist inspired, massive attacks on the living standards of the working class and poor peasantry in the region.
The working class
The working class of the region, drawing along with it the poor peasantry, are the only force capable of defeating the warmongers - imperialism, capitalism and the corrupt Arab elites - and fulfilling the desire of the Palestinians for their social and national liberation.
We have already seen working class struggles against privatisation and attacks on workers living standards in countries like Iran, Egypt and Israel. The huge anger that exists against the pernicious role of imperialism needs to be channelled in the direction of building new working class movements and parties, based on the ideas of a socialist confederation of the Middle East, the removal of all imperialist armed forces, and the overthrow of capitalism and feudalism in the region.
However, socialists and activists cannot simply sit back and wait for these developments in the future. Worldwide we need to immediately build a movement against war and for an end to the bombings.
However, we have to go beyond that. War, terrorism, conflict and instability are all increasingly the norm in a capitalist system that is riven by crisis. To permanently end the threat of war and terror we have to fight for the end of capitalism and for the establishment of a democratic socialist world run in the interests of the billions instead of for the profits of the billionaires. We appeal to you to join the Socialist Party.