The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

What Kind of Conflagration?

Oct 30, 2023

This article is translated from the October 27 issue, #2882 of Lutte Ouvrière (Workers Struggle), the paper of the revolutionary workers group of that name active in France.

With Gaza under bombardment, and Gazans lacking everything, with the Israeli army preparing to send its armor and infantry into the ruined city—with the backing of all the imperialist countries; with hundreds of thousands of demonstrators in the streets of all the Arab capitals crying out their anger, Western commentators ponder whether the situation might flare up.

Demonstrators numbered in the tens of thousands in Rabat on October 15, in Algiers on the 19th, in Cairo on the 20th, and in Tunis on several consecutive days, including in front of the French embassy [these are the capitals of Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, and Tunisia]. How much more clear could it be that this inferno, which imperialism has stoked for decades and which is once again consuming Gaza and its population, can spread? The rulers of imperialism are obviously aware of this, as they are of the fact that these explosions of anger can result in the growing instability of the powers that be, particularly those that are friends and clients of the Western powers.

This is why, after years of silence, diplomats, governments, and the U.N. are once again talking about a negotiated solution or even a two-state solution. Of course, as was the case thirty years ago, this is nothing more than idle talk based on the idea that to calm the population, we must always maintain the vague hope of a political solution hanging in the air. At the same time, the major powers are giving Israel and its army free rein to intervene. The United States is even renewing its military and financial aid.

The armies that the United States and others move to the region, the bases they maintain, are there for a purpose. Without going back too far, the United States intervened in Iraq and Afghanistan for no reason other than a show of strength. France did the same in Libya. Each time, the result was untold destruction. It’s all still fresh in people’s memories, and the destruction of Gaza has just been added to an already long list of exactions. If there is a conflagration, it is above all due to the constant intervention of the imperialist powers.

Biden and his staff know perfectly well that their policies, whether direct or through Israel, can only provoke hatred and, ultimately, widespread revolt. They know they can only respond with terror, and that’s why they support the ongoing Israeli bombardments. So, what they want to avoid is not a conflagration—which is already here—but a generalization of the immediate conflict that they didn’t initiate.

The United States has already sent two aircraft carriers and an entire fleet to the region. The pretext is to dissuade the Lebanese Hezbollah party and Iran from intervening. So far, the latter have been content with rhetoric and clearly have no desire to get involved in a war. But the imperialist leaders want to designate them in advance as the enemy to be destroyed, just as the Israeli leaders claim that their bombardments are aimed at “destroying Hamas,” when, in fact, they are crushing the civilian population. Behind a few sweet words, they threaten the populations of the entire Middle East with their guns before perhaps using them.