Revolutions In North Africa And Mid East: What The U.S. Wants

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[Commentary: Revolutions in North Africa and Middle East]

As we try to bring and have some level of understanding of the mass dynamics of the protest that has engulfed North Africa and the Middle East, we must be aware of some very important distinction, before we can support the politics of these mass protests, and we must come to these events with an understanding of the political forces that has inspired them.

Case in point the genesis of what has happened in Egypt and what is going on in Iran. One of the cornerstones in understanding US imperialist policy is in understanding the uselessness of long-standing and aged political harlots who have outlived their usefulness, thus as the US State Department tries to bring an Opah Winfrey make-over from the stench of these social and political harlots and parasites.

As we have seen over thousands of people in Tehran have taken to the streets in mass protest and also gathered in other Iranian cities, since earlier last week on Monday, in response to a call from the former Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi and fellow opposition
leader Mehdi Karroubi for demonstrations. These demonstrations were allegedly and seemingly in solidarity with the recent mass uprising in Egypt and Tunisia that topple Honsi Mubarak and Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia.

At this point the protests—directed against the Iranian government and, in particular, Supreme Guardian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, perhaps the most powerful clerical figure within the Iranian government—had been banned. They had to face up to rapid repression by the police and the members of the Basji militia. Official sources in Tehran acknowledged that two men were killed in the protest. While dozens of people were reported wounded and reports of numbers arrested ranging from hundred to 15,000.

Whether the protests were merely a continuation of the right-wing demonstration unleashed with US support in response to Mousavi’s defeat in the 2009 presidential election, or they reflected the broader development of the kind of social discontent now sweeping the Middle East, is not yet clear at this point. Last Monday foreign journalists were not allowed to cover the mass demonstrations by the Iranian government.

Most of the Western media have based its reporting on the accounts given by people in the so-called Green Movement led by Mr. Mousavi and Karroubi who are colored by Washington hostility toward the Iranian government.

At this point it seem clear that the heavy-handed repression carried out by the Iranian government reflects its concerns that, as in Tunisia and in Egypt, the protests have the potential to tap into mass and popular discontent and anger that has been created by rising prices, unemployment and social inequality.

The Iranian government has denounced the demonstrations for undermining its attempts to use the Egyptian revolution to advance its own strategic and political interests. The group of some 233 pro-government members of parliaments in a statement said: “While the lofty message of
the Islamic revolution after 32 years is now inspiring people in Tunisia and Egypt undermining the pillars of global hegemony, Mousavi and Karroubi invited people to come to streets in support of people in Egypt but in fact they have served the agenda of the US and Zionist regime.”

The revolution in Iran back in 1979, which overthrew the most hated dictatorship of the Shah, was, like the revolution that had brought down the US-back government of Hosni Mubarak of Egypt--a largely secular uprising dominated by the working people of Iran and the oppressed. For as we look back in Iranian history we would see the betrayals of the Tudeh Party which allowed Ayatollah Khomeini and the Shia clergy to assume
control and repress the most militant layers of the secular working masses and subordinate them and the revolution to the interests of the Iranian bourgeoisie.

Now, it seems that the present Iranian government fears that the potential for the Iranian masses could be driven by their class material interests in a similar way as the mass movements in Egypt, for at this point the present government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is in the mist of implementing the most sweeping “free market reforms” that the government has dared to attempt since 1979.

Thus, being backed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the ruling elite of Iran, the “reforms” had began last December with the initiation of a program to scrap Iran’s $100 billion price subsidy program. The immediate effect had been the quadrupling of gasoline prices and the drastic increases in food prices, increase water fees, increase cost in electricity, and the increase in the overall cost of basic necessities.

However, it must be noted that the Green Movement, has been far from being an opponent of these measures, and has criticized the government for not carrying out these measure earlier and more aggressively. Thus, reflecting the interests of a more privileged stratum of the Iranian population, for the Green Movement had denounced Ahmadinejad as a “populist” for “squandering” resources on welfare programs for the poorer
section of the society.

The Green Movement had first instigated demonstrations back in 2009, which was centered on the allegation by Mousavi and his supporters that the last election was more than fraudulent, and that Ahmadinejad and his supporters had rigged the results of the election. However, there was no credible evidence to back these claims, and polling by both Iranian and Western groups largely confirmed the Iranian vote. The Greens’ belief in Mousavi’s victory was largely fueled by his lead in the most affluent areas of Tehran, from which the so-called “Green Revolution” had emerged.

The development of a mass revolutionary movement of Iranian workers and oppressed would come into conflict not only with the government, but also with this right-wing bourgeois opposition, whose social interests are entirely opposed to those of the working masses.

At this point, we can see that young Iranians will be doubtless inspired by the revolutionary events in Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere in the region.
The decisive issue in developing a genuinely revolutionary movement for democratic rights and social equality, on the other hand, what is needed is a political break from the movements organized by sections of the ruling elite themselves, who oppose the government from the right, desiring only to accelerate its free-market program and forge friendlier relations to US imperialism.

Democratic rights, social equality and genuine independence from imperialism cannot and will not be achieved as part of a common front with right-wing bourgeois politicians like Mousavi and the remnants of Pahlavi dynasty. The political forces with a sense of  independence can only be achieve with an internationalist radical position and a commitment to redistribution of wealth to eliminate poverty and bring real development and this would come under a socialist mass program, and this could only come into being with a advance national leadership, that has mobilized its people under this program.

To the extent that the protests remain politically controlled by the Green Movement, however, they serve social reaction not only in Iran
but internationally, as grist for the mill of US imperialist propaganda. At this point in time Washington has sought to seize on the Iranian
demonstrations to advance its own strategy of “regime change” in Iran and to divert world opinion from the debacle suffered by US policy in Egypt and Tunisia—above all, its criminal responsibility for propping up the Egyptian dictatorship of Mubarak and of Tunisia's Ben Ali.

President Barak Obama has said that it's "ironic that the Iranian regime is pretending to celebrate what happened in Egypt," when in fact the regime's own actions "acted in direct contrast to what happened in Egypt”--by utilizing suppression and cruelty against the protestors. That several hundred Egyptians were killed in the uprising against Mubarak and thousands more wounded, imprisoned and tortured has been excised from the official US account of the Egyptian “Democracy Movement.”

In the same comments, Obama gives praise to the US-financed Egyptian military, which has taken control of the state and is attempting subdue and disperse continuing strikes and protests in the country.

Recently US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denounced Iran for repressing the demonstrations, accusing Tehran of “hypocrisy’ in backing protests in Egypt while barring them in Iran. Mrs. Clinton spoke of the “universal human rights of the Iranian people.”

However, what is noticeably absent from her public statements was any mention of what rights Washington believes should be established for the people rising up against the remaining US-backed puppet states in the region; Bahrain, Jordan, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia.

While the overthrow of the Iranian government of the Shah was a good thing, it has to be noted that its replacement government that was directly subordinate to US imperialist interests remains a strategy of the US.

Washington would view the actual emergence of a genuinely revolutionary movement of the Iranian working masses—that is, a challenge from the left rather than the right—with the same hostility it holds toward the independent struggles of the working masses in Tunisia, Yemen, Gabon, Morocco that continues through the rest of the region.

Without this perspective and understanding, we would still give support to the enemies of human history and progress. For history is on our side, but, not time…..

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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