Trump’s America shows its muscles
(«Proletarian»; Nr. 14; Autumn - Winter 2017)
The world disorder that has emerged since the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1989-1991 and the ensuing series of local wars on which the various imperialist powers have sought to capitalize in order to defend their interests to the best of their ability, is now the normal state of the imperialism.
The contradictions of bourgeois society on all levels, economic, political, social, financial, cultural and naturally military, explode at closer and closer intervals, in time as in space. Imperialism, that is to say, the policy of pillage and brigandage carried out by all the most developed capitalist countries in order to capture or control market shares and «economic territories», cannot resolve these contradictions; it can only push them to the level of a global confrontation between the powers that have divided the planet into zones of influence and colonization. The two world wars have demonstrated this: they have been used by the imperialist powers to divide the world, but at the same time this new order established by military victory bore the seeds of a future world disorder. The bourgeoisie of a country constantly struggles against the competing bourgeoisies of other countries; the more the capitalist economy develops, the more avid and insatiable the bourgeoisie which personifies its interests, and from which it derives all its social, economic and political benefits and privileges. Economic and financial competition on the world market to some degree inevitably raises the level of confrontation; the most powerful, the most organized and the most aggressive competitors tend to share this market and areas of influence. However, the development of capitalism and its contradiction means that other actors eventually become competitors, even smaller in terms of economic and financial strength, but strategically important because of their natural resources, their geographical position or their political and military activity in their region.
From the middle of the nineteenth century to the early twentieth century, the international framework was characterized by the division of the world between the European colonial powers, dominated by Great Britain. This situation changed completely after the first and especially the Second World War. The old colonial powers in decline have given way to new imperialist powers: the United States and Russia, the great victors of the Second World War, have divided the world into great zones of influence: the Euro-American Occident of Western Europe, the African continent, Latin America, the Middle East and a large part of the Far East on the one hand, and the Euro-Russian Orient ( which Eastern Europe, China and a part of Indo-China), where the place of the former colonialist countries, mainly Great Britain and France, persisted. The boundaries of certain regions of the world have been historically delimited by action of these colonial powers for the sole purpose of satisfying their interests.
From the great capitalist crisis of 1973-75, which did not lead to a third world war because of a series of economic and politico-military factors which delayed its maturation, the international situation was more demarked by the weak points of the great imperialist powers than their strengths. On the American side: the defeat in Vietnam, the endless series of national liberation wars in Africa and the Far East, the Middle East countries (of strategic importance especially for oil) constantly shaken by local and intestine wars, and Japan becoming a formidable economic competitor while constituting vital markets for US goods; On the Russian side, a capitalist development which still needed a monopoly exploitation of its satellites and which did not in any way push for a military confrontation with them; The «balance of terror» which sanctioned the sharing of the world being also guarantor of the status quo. A demonstration that not all international crises, even serious ones (such as Korea in 1950 or Iraq in 1991) do not lead to world conflict; but any crisis, regional or global, accumulates increasingly serious and insoluble factors of confrontation even if not by overt military force.
After this so-called period of the «balance of terror, where for decades the world was in some ways a Russian-American condominium, we have entered a new era where no imperialist power can dictate the world agenda of relations between capitalist states. This is one of the reasons why the imperialist powers tend to conceal their interests behind the local interests of a given country — which does not prevent them from intervening directly, as in Libya, when this does not risk Inter-imperialist war.
And that’s what has been happening for more than 5 years in Syria, a country that should have seen the fall of Bashar El Assad under the diplomatic, economic and military pressure of the United States - which has not happened.
During these five years, the Syrian population has been subjected to violence, brutality and exactions of all kinds by all the belligerent forces: the regular army, the various rebel militias including ISIS, the bombing by the Russians, the Turks, the Americans and all their allies. There is no doubt that the Assad regime used the most brutal violence against its own people, but all other military forces acting on the terrain did the same.
Syria far more than Libya is a strategic country for the imperialist powers because of its air and port bases which provide opportunities for action throughout the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern area; For the European powers and, in the first place, France, which has an old tradition of bloody imperialist domination in this country and in the region; For the United States which cannot accept seeing Russia regain control of this country; For Iran, a new regional power, which has found support in Putin’s Russia, which cannot accept that Saudi Arabia and Israel will settle in the only Arab country that is its ally (including On religious affinity); For Turkey, at last, who cannot stay away from the clash.
The chemical attack on the inhabitants of Khan Sheikoun, a village controlled by the rebels, about fifty kilometers from the town of Idlib (Homs region), was launched on 4 April by the regime’s air force. Resulting in more than 80 dead it was the pretext used by Trump to fire missiles from the US aircraft carriers present in the area: 159 Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched against the Shayrat air base from which the attack was launched (Only 23 actually reached their target). The damage was minor and the next day Syrian aviation resumed its attacks from this base. The «serious American response» that was triggered, as Trump said hypocritically, was because « Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children (...).Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack. No child of God should ever suffer such horror», had only a propaganda effect since the base had been preemptively evacuated, the Americans having warned the Russians, knowing full well that they would warn the Syrians...
Faced with the countless massacres suffered by the Syrian population, what is the use of this bombardment? That same day, in meeting with him, did Trump want to make Chinese President Xi Jinping understand that America «does not joke» and warn him about North Korea? Did he want to intimidate Russia, the first support of the Syrian regime and deter it from bombing the rebels backed by the United States? Did he want to warn Turkey which it is trying to get closer to Russia, reminding it that it is a member of NATO and should not play a double game? Did he want to tell his own soldiers that the American aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean are not only there to observe but to strike? Did he want to tell his constituents that the new president is not just interested in the coal mines and Obama’s health reform?
Probably all the above at the same time, even if it is evident to all the chancelleries of the world that the United States cannot get out of the impasse where they are in Syria (and not only there, but also in Iraq and Libya) and that Trump has no policy other than that followed by Obama, which is dictated to him, each time, by the various dominant lobbies.
In any case, there is no doubt that if the United States shows their muscles, it is obviously to defend their national interests!
Syria has become a place where the biggest imperialist powers and the regional capitalist powers play their own part with the aim of seizing part of the booty constituted by its territory (and, if possible, also get their hands on yet another part of Iraq – already divided according to confessional lines and where, intervening against ISIS while continuing to smack down the proletarians, yet, with different objectives, we find Western, Iranian and Turkish influences). Russians, Iranians and Turks are negotiating to reach an agreement to share «zones of influence» in Syria, and the Americans are trying to curb this initiative so as not to be left out of their fair share of a living corpse...
If the Syrian masses have nothing good to expect from the bloody regime of Bashar al-Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies, they also have nothing to hope for from the US coalition and the rebel militias supported by it, nor from the Militias of the «Islamic State». In this war they are the sacrificial victims, massacred in their country and hideously mistreated in flight. Tragically astoundingly, they cannot rely on an organized labor movement capable of carrying out a struggle, even if it is elementary, independently and against all belligerents: for years these capitalist palimpsests of unions have been oriented, in particular by Stalinist forces, towards nationalism and confessionalism , and the result so far has been that their spontaneous revolt could not go beyond mere democratic aspirations.
What will give the Syrian proletarians hope for the future will be the encounter in the emigration with proletarians oriented to revolutionary class positions, firmly linked to class traditions, not of antifascist national and syndical resistance, entirely interclassist and bourgeois, but of the struggles of the Russian, Serbian, German, Italian, French, Dutch and above all Russian proletarians who, during and after the First World War, fought against all imperialist brigands and for the socialist, anti-capitalist and anti-bourgeois revolution.
International Communist Party