Jun 24, 2019
President Trump said he authorized, then called off, military bombings on Iran. Supposedly, the U.S. was retaliating for Iran shooting down a surveillance drone in the Strait of Hormuz, just off the coast of Iran. The Iranian government says it was in Iranian territory, while the U.S. says it was in international waters – but in any case, there is no doubt that the drone was flying very close to Iran, and that its purpose was to spy on Iran.
Trump said he called off the bombings because they would be “not proportionate.”
No shit, it was not proportionate! Neither was sending 2,500 troops and a fleet including an aircraft carrier, B-52 bombers, and missiles into the Persian Gulf and parking it off the Iranian coast!
Imagine if Iran had flown a surveillance drone off the coast of New York City or Washington, D.C. – is there any question that the U.S. would shoot it down? Even IF it were in international waters? Yet the U.S. doesn’t think twice about sending its troops and fleets halfway around the world and camping out just outside of another country, with the sole intent of threatening that country and its people! But Iran’s SMALL defense of its own borders, in shooting down an unmanned drone, is called a provocation and an act of aggression!
No – the U.S. is the aggressor in the Gulf, just as it is around the world.
THEY destroy the Iranian economy with their trade embargoes. THEY threaten any other countries, including their allies, who want to continue to trade with Iran. And THEY are the ones who have sent a fleet and threaten to attack and invade.
The U.S. has provoked Iran’s actions, not the other way around.
Democrats have focused on the mess that Trump has made of relations with Iran, pulling out of the nuclear deal and raising threats and trade embargoes against the country. And there is no question that Trump has added a certain volatility and chaos to the situation, as he does in so many situations.
But the Democrats do not disagree fundamentally with Trump’s overall aims. The purpose of the nuclear deal was to “contain” and “control” Iran, to help support certain “moderate” elements in Iranian politics – in other words, politicians more cooperative with U.S. imperialism.
Democrats and Republicans completely agree with the perspective that Iran is the “danger” to be controlled, one way or another. And why? Not because the rulers are dictatorial, or because they are religious fundamentalists, or because they are aggressive toward their neighboring countries. Every one of those qualities describe the rulers of Saudi Arabia, which is one of the U.S.’s staunchest allies in the region. The U.S. continues to support Saudi Arabia in the bloodbath it has inflicted on Yemen, its murder of political dissidents like Jamal Khashoggi, as well as its imprisoning and executing women as part of its fundamentalism and terrorism. They disregard these crimes because what is important to the U.S. ruling class is Saudi Arabian support for U.S. corporate oil interests in the region.
That is what U.S. foreign policy is about, whether headed by Republicans or Democrats, Trump or Obama: supporting U.S. imperialism, U.S. corporate profits, around the world.
U.S. imperialism straddles the world. But in seeking to control the world for its own profits, the U.S. ruling class has created powderkegs all over the world. They invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, and those conflicts have destabilized the entire region. Even now, through both Democratic and Republican administrations, they continue to occupy those countries.
Trump may have backed away from this most recent bombing threat, but the situation is still a powderkeg. The U.S. fleet is still in the Gulf. Iran is still desperate to open lines of trade for its oil. A shouting war can turn into a shooting war very quickly.
And if war does break out, who will pay the price? Who always pays the price? Not only the population of the country the U.S. attacks, but the working class right here, sent to fight and die as the footsoldiers for U.S. imperialism.
Workers here have no interest in supporting U.S. attacks on other countries. Our biggest enemy is right here at home.