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Friday, July 28, 2006



Over these past three weeks the cold front on the southern Lebanese border has flared up again, shaking the Lebanese earth with what seems, in the obvious analysis, to be a surreal replay of the Lebanese civil war. As the munitions fly over the borders and the IDF heads deeper and deeper into Lebanese territory, it is worth taking a closer look at the situation as well as its critics.

If we can mark a 'starting point' in what is a continuous and uninterrupted process, the two recent summits between Israel, America and Hezbollah, Iran shed some light on what's happening. When Olmert and Bush met in Washington, the post-Iraqi collapse phase of American foreign policy had to be worked out with Olmert's post-Sharon convergence plan. When Hizbullah and the Iranian revolutionary guards met this April, their strategy revolved much more around strengthening the rejectionist wing of Palestinian politics, reviving Hezbollah's fortunes in Lebanon and therefore Iranian influence in the country. Despite this coordination however, the volume and ferocity of the Israeli response took Hizbullah and its regional patrons by surprise. What could the IDF's invasion of Lebanon mean? And why now?

Iraq begins to answer the question. Iraq has collapsed, not merely in the American promise for a bourgeois democracy, which was dead by the point when the CPA wouldn't answer Kanan Makiya's calls, but in unrelenting, savage attacks on basic tenets of human civilization. What became the Iraqi civil war developed out of the dissolution of the national capitalist bloc, which the Ba'ath government had held together. Once that framework was smashed by the American armed forces, who also could not control the consequences, the Iraqi elite found themselves shopping for patrons outside the Coalition Provisional Authority. This process of fracturization happened for several reasons. America and its allies had introduced austerities, such as the non-payment of soldiers, resulting in an unsatisfied working class which initially caused riots and then joined sectarian militias which promised some measure of collective defense. Further, America's coalition could not preserve security on Iraqi oil lines, adding constant trauma to the circulatory system of an economy in collapse. Finally, local capitalists and lawmakers who were willing to cooperate with the CPA were targeted and often killed. The militias grew stronger, and the breakdown of market order tore the Iraqi ruling class apart.

The initial resistance movements that exploded against the British and the Americans, such as the Mahdi Army of Moqtada Al Sadr in the south, were mainly Shi'a. At the same time that other militias were vying for power, the Shi'a ruling class sought to secure its own fortunes by enrolling Shiite workers and poor in its fight for shares of the state. Their strategy worked. Sadr's Mahdi Army was given access to power after the Americans fought them to a standstill in Najaf in summer 2004, although the American media would report differently. Together with the Badr brigades who were already powerful in the Iraqi government thanks to the influence of SCIRI (Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq) in the Iraqi exile community, the Iraqi state in its initial stages became a heavily sectarian body, and remained so. Talabani's government swung to the Kurdish/Shi'a axis in efforts to control Iraqi 'resistance' groups (largely Sunni and nationalist) who fought to regain influence in the oil ministry, as well as to extend their influence over key territories such as the "triangle of death" south of Baghdad.

Iran became an obvious patron of the Mahdi Army, though at a careful distance. Syria and Saudi Arabia focused on factional and inter-communal negotiations to prop up the Iraqi state against the threat of dissolution. Once the Imam Ali al-Hadi shiite shrine in Samara had been bombed, the open status of civil war between sectarian factions (masked clan and capitalist factions), was made obvious. For Saudi Arabia the threat of a Shi'a insurgency on its own soil was and is very real. Shiites live as second-class citizens in the kingdom, and the Shi'a belt stretching from Tehran to Basra is a newly insurgent religious and economic power (albeit fractured). Accordingly, as the Saudis made every effort to cooperate in the 'stabilization of Iraq', they looked the other way as Salafis crossed their borders to join the anti-Shiite death squads of the increasingly boiling civil war. Although its elites are reliant on America to restrain these pressures, the Saudis have significant influence on American military strategy in the region, as they are a key part of it. The tensions now erupting between Sunnis and Shiites throughout Iraq are discursive with the larger tensions between the regional powers Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran. This ridiculous sectarian divide, which had never existed in such a virulent form, became a pivot for the inter-imperialist conflict around Iraq, and one which America had no choice but to exploit in order to keep the failed Iraqi state from collapsing. America is now desperate to maintain even a military presence in Baghdad, as the city increasingly divides into territories administered by sectarian gangs and death squads.

The Iran and Saudi Arabia divide explains why the Arab League voted to support the government of Lebanon in the current melee, and not Hezbollah, the Shiite army which has proven its credentials as an Islamist guerilla organization after helping drive the IDF out of Lebanon in 2000, and holds (or held) the most powerful stockpile of weapons within Lebanon's borders. Bleeding the Iraqi working class in sectarian carnage had produced divisions too deep to allow the spotlight to fall on the Shiite Hezbollah, who were now described as 'adventurists'.

The new Lebanon "adventure" began in Gaza. 3,000 rockets had previously been launched into southern Israeli towns such as Sderot and Ashkelon in less than a year after Israel's disengagement from the strip. Within days of the IDF's withdrawal from Gaza, synagogues left behind, and settler businesses set aside for new Palestinian owners were burned to the ground as the strip became sovereign Palestinian territory. At the same time, the same rocket cells who had long taken aim at Gush Katif and other Israel settlements took new positions, much more to the north. Rocket barrages became continuous, most originating from Beit Hanoun, a town in northern Gaza. The attacks were organized in mobile launching squads staffed mainly by Islamic Jihad, and less often, Hamas militants. Sderot bore the brunt of the assault. Its residents were given a premonatory glimpse of the strategic priorities of Hezbollah and the Palestinian factions in the current war. Islamic Jihad could offer no greater propaganda to its patrons and supporters than attacking the Israelis from land they'd just abandoned. The rocket barrages made the nationalist fantasy of eradicating the Israelis and their nation more alive than any media could possibly achieve. Such an easy resentment allows the Jihad's anti-semitic populism to be perpetuated. On the level of political 'resistance', the rockets were justified with denunciations of the occupation, but Islamic Jihad's aim was (and is) to terrorize Sderot and the southern Kibbutzes by creating paranoia and constant dread.

To defend themselves from the rockets, Sderot and other southern Israeli cities implemented a Red Dawn early warning missile alert system to provide residents a 20 second advanced warning of rocket attacks. But the ranges grew longer. In March, Palestinian factions cooperating with Hezbollah managed to fire several long-range Katyusha missiles into Israel, reaching as far as Ashkelon.

The IDF carried out assasinations on rocket manufacturers and their workshops, as well as counter-attacks against mobile rocket cells, at times with overwhelming and indiscriminate force. Israeli counter-attacks against the Qassam cells led to the deaths of seven people on a beach in north Gaza near Beit Lahiya on June 9, which provided enough ammunition for Hamas to temporarily scuttle the prisoner document initiative led by Abbas and a group of Palestinian prisoners. This initiative would have meant de-facto recognition of Israel in its 1967 borders by all signatories. But to bury this document, Hamas needed a spectacular media moment, and took it in the abduction of corporal Gilad Shalit, who, Hamas proposed, would be exchanged for mainly female Palestinian prisoners. A different kind of prisoner's document.

By now, pressure by Israelis living in Sderot to end the Qassam assault had fallen on Amir Peretz, the new Labor defense minister. The IDF surrounded the northern border of the Gaza strip and began an incursion into the same land it had withdrawn from less than a year ago. Its mandate included not only retrieving Shalit, but also attacking munitions factories and the organization of rocket barrages. As they fought, the IDF pushed as south as Gaza city, destroying bridges and heavily damaging the Gaza power plant, under the pretense of retrieving Shalit. More than 90 civilians were killed in the offensive which failed to retrieve the prisoner and exercised an obvious collective punishment on the Gazan population. It was at this moment when Hezbollah saw an opportunity to open up a second front against Israel in the north, which would at the very least revive its declining fortunes in the post-withdrawal era and probably retrieve some Hizbollah prisoners, while again, empowering the Palestinian right. Guerillas strafed northern Israeli villages with rocket fire, injuring eight people as a ruse, which was used to raid a northern IDF position, killing an IDF soldier and kidnapping two.

Joschka Fischer, the former foreign minister of Germany (quite infamous in his own capacity) comments on Hezbollah's aims with the attack:

Conflict was sought for three reasons: first to ease pressure on Hamas from within the Palestinian community to recognize Israel; second to undermine democratization in Lebanon, which was marginalizing Syria; and third to lift attention from the emerging dispute over the Iranian nuclear program and demonstrate to the West the "tools" at its disposal in the case of a conflict.
Within hours of the abduction of the kidnapping of two IDF soldiers from the northern border, IDF tanks were making their way across the border to attack Hezbollah positions.

"[A] force of tanks and armored personnel carriers was immediately sent into Lebanon in hot pursuit. It was during this pursuit, at about 11:00 A.M. . . . [a] Merkava tank drove over a powerful bomb, containing an estimated 200 to 300 kilograms (440–660 Lb) of explosives, about 70 meters (230 ft) north of the border fence. The tank was almost completely destroyed, and all four crew members were killed instantly. Over the next several hours, IDF soldiers waged a fierce fight against Hezbollah gunmen . . . During the course of this battle, at about 3:00 P.M., another soldier was killed and two were lightly wounded."

(Map of Lebanon assault, click to enlarge)

In Gaza as Qassams rained down upon Sderot and other southern Israeli cities, Israeli Air Force jets strafed Beirut airport, destroying its main runway. Beirut was comprehensively bombed over several days concentrating on several suburbs south of the main city. Israel also effected a naval embargo on the country, attacked fuel supplies and bombed the Beirut/Damascus highway. Within days the IDF assault caused 400 Lebanese casualties and made over 500,000 people refugees. By now the dead stand at around 900, with apparently 2 billion dollars worth of damage to Lebanese infrastructure. The IDF's offensives seemed to be overwhelmingly destructive, with one obvious aim, the establishment of a buffer zone in south Lebanon entailing effective command over southern Lebanese villages (the same ones the IDF had occupied before they retreated from Lebanon) and the retaliatory levelling of a good deal of infrastructure, which together with the destruction wrought in the southern Beirut suburbs and elsewhere points perhaps to a second aim. Rebuilding funds for Lebanon have already been pledged on behalf of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Israel and the United States. It seems that the initial wave of destruction was wrought on behalf of friendly capital, not necessarily for a net profit, but for a share in the restructuring of the Lebanese state, and later, in a possible disarmament of Hezbollah. The Israeli government's rejection of a UN role in a future international force and Olmert's open welcome for (of all countries) Germany to police South Lebanon today seems to confirm this. Clearly then, the West and Syria and Iran want Lebanon as a bulwark in the increasingly bloody inter-imperialist competition. In a darker scenario, the country could be transformed into a battlefield between warring powers.

Hezbollah hit back hard at Israel after the initial Lebanon assault, with hundreds of rocket attacks carried out against civilian targets in the north. 1,000,000 Israelis evacuated to bomb shelters in both the north and south. The first major Israeli casualties of the war were felt when Hezbollah managed to hit Haifa with rockets. 9 Israelis were killed at a train station. Nasrallah would apologize shortly after for causing any injury to any Arabs living in the city. The rocket attacks and casualties continue.

(Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas rocket ranges into Israel)

In terms of its mandate, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon has not born much fruit. After Olmert claimed that Hezbollah's missile capacities in the south had been effectively knocked out, a record 210 rockets hit Israeli northern communities. Only the taking of the south Lebanese village of Tyre has had the effect this week of finally ending the rocket threat to Haifa (late edit: maybe not). An estimated 400 Hezbollah troops have been killed, while attempts to disrupt the broadcasts of the anti-semitic propaganda network Al-Manar have been mostly ineffectual for the time being.

Nasrallah and his army have different aims. While consolidating power in Lebanon is by now a priority, the rocket attacks on northern Israel are his only hope of stopping the Israeli population's support for the invasion, while also giving his troops the honor of striking at the "Zionists" directly. On July 16, Nasrallah gave a by-now infamous speech which Juan Cole translated from the Arabic and comments as follows:

I watched in horror as this maniacal speech unfolded in which Nasrallah actually threatened the Israelis with releasing chemical gas from local factories on civilians in Haifa. Despite fighting them for all those years, he clearly does not understand the Israelis' psyche or the trauma of the Holocaust. A threat like that. The Israelis don't like being caught in a quagmire any more than the next person, which is why Nasrallah could get them to leave southern Lebanon. But his victory appears to have given him megalomania, and he has now gone too far.

Hizbullah's attacks on Israeli civilians are war crimes. The killing of the civilians in Haifa at the train station was a war crime. And threatening to release chemicals from factories on civilian populations is probably a war crime in itself, much less the doing of it.

Obviously, I do not accept that Hizbullah's actions justify the wholesale indiscriminate destruction and slaughter in which the Israelis have been engaged against the Lebanese in general. But they do have every right to defend themselves against Nasrallah and his mad bombers.
Within that defense, the theme of collective punishment has obviously been important to both sides. On the IDF assault on Lebanon Israeli Colonel Gal Luft commented:
"Israel is attempting to create a rift between the Lebanese population and Hezbollah supporters by exacting a heavy price from the elite in Beirut. The message is: If you want your air conditioning to work and if you want to be able to fly to Paris for shopping, you must pull your head out of the sand and take action toward shutting down Hezbollah-land."
An Israeli Air Force officer also stated:
"Army chief of staff Dan Halutz has given the order to the air force to destroy 10 multi-storey buildings in the Dahaya district (of Beirut) in response to every rocket fired on Haifa."
A fever dream of the 1980s. But this time the IDF has no explicit allies, no Maronites waiting in the wings. At the outset, the fantasy held that collective punishment would 'teach them', when in fact now the opposite has proven true, that the resentment that was at a lull has grown, and that Siniora and his government look more and more likely to be overwhelmed by Hezbollah, Syria, Iran or all three.

And then we have Nasrallah and his anti-semitic army, which as soon as the invasion was in swing, were practicing their own forms of collective punishment, not only in Israel, which would conform with their mandate, but in south Lebanon:
Residents who have recently escaped from Mari tell of a dramatic, desperate situation in the village. The Druse residents, who have no affinity at all for Hizbullah, resisted Hizbullah's attempts to enter the village. The IAF apparently and unwittingly assisted in their resistance by bombing the roads leading into the village, cutting off the militia's ability to enter the town, at least temporarily. Hizbullah responded by cutting off the town's electricity and water supply, essentially laying seige to a town on its own side of the border, hoping that its residents would pack up and leave. Many of them have done so. My sources say that Hizbullah has been desperate to enter the village but has as of yet been unable to do so in large numbers. Residents also describe a growing humanitarian crisis in the village due to the lack of fresh water.
Hizbullah attempted to enter Mari not to defend it from attackers, but so they could fire rockets from the village toward Israel. Hizbullah's intention was to bring Israeli reprisals on the town, ostensibly to destroy or damage it significantly, and to cause greater civilian suffering. Hizbullah's MO and tactics are well-known in the south. However, Druse typically defend their own villages, and in the case of Mari (a place I have been to several times, many of whose residents I know personally), the residents have desperately tried to keep Hizbullah fighters out of their area.
When Hezbollah found 18 people they suspected of being spies, they were shot on the spot.

Hezbollah were not isolated for long. As they coped with the strikes against their offices in Beirut and southern Lebanon, allies in their struggle against Israel prepared themselves for intervention abroad. Who would come to help Hezbollah? Iraq had the answer. Moqtada Al Sadr's Mahdi Army sent 1500 troops to fight the IDF, in a total embarassment of American power. Sadr's moves make coherent a rising Shiite belt that now attempts to assert itself from Beirut to Tehran to Basra. Syria also seems to be making concessions to this new power:
"Obviously Iran and Syria have strengthened their relations over the last nine months," says Andrew Tabler, Damascus-based researcher and a fellow with the Institute of Current World Affairs. "And their ideological correspondence has come along with suitable iconography. So, before the Syria-Iran defense pact was about to be signed in mid-June, we started seeing these posters with Bashar, Nasrallah, and Ahmadinejad. You used to have to go to the Bekaa Valley or the south suburbs of Beirut to see posters of Iranian leaders. Now we get them in the middle of an Arab capital.

Thus the Iranians have started to invest heavily in what some are calling the Shiitization of Syria, a country with a roughly 70 percent Sunni majority. "There are reports of entire villages becoming Shia," says Tabler. "And we know for sure that they're fixing up Shia shrines and building Shia mosques, even in majority Sunni towns."
Other Iraqi elements may join the Mahdi Army and already another 60 Iranian volunteers have left for the Lebanon front. This is an international of sorts, but based on two false premises: negatively, in the assault on Israel, and positively, for the 'defense' of the Shi'a community. This 'defense' is in fact a desperate offense, to build a new capitalist unity along the Shi'a belt, so that the Iran-allied ruling classes of the middle East can maintain control over their working classes as the Iraqi economy discoheres and the Iranian military prepares for possible regional war.


Curiously, as the IDF's aircraft reached every corner of Lebanon, an exodus ensued.

The Danes got a test run in crisis management earlier this year when newspaper cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad triggered violent protests against Danish embassies in Muslim countries.

One of the Danish Muslims who spearheaded the rallies against the prophet drawings, Lebanese-born Ahmad Akkari, was among those evacuated from Beirut on Thursday.

"My impression is that the transportation has been safe and that no one has been suffering," Akkari told Denmark's TV2 channel as he boarded a Greek ferry chartered by Denmark.
Next, Omar Bakri, founder of al-Muhajiroun, tried to escape the Jihad that he'd called for, pleading for his 'right to safety'. The same man who printed posters denying Europe's holocaust had called for war to extermination against Israel with statements like:
"We are talking about a cancer in the heart of the Muslim world and that is Israel. It must be eradicated and removed."
For Bakri, it seems that others would have to perform the surgery. The warmongers of European Islamic fundamentalism stood quite revealed. But who would reveal the 'real' warmongers?

The left took on this role. Protests against the offensive developed in countries all over the world, with much more credibility than Bakri or Akkari. On July 22, demonstrations were held in
"Beirut, Barcelona, Basra, Chicago, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Geneva, London, Manchester, Mexico City, Montreal, Newcastle, New York, Paris, Rome, Sheffield, Stockholm, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Toronto, Warsaw,"
according to the Stop the War Coalition. More are planned as the conflict continues. Many demonstrations have been spontaneous and for the moment most come out of an elementary sympathy for the Lebanese who cannot escape the bombardments, along with an outrage at the IDF which has deliberately used collective punishment in its war aims. People are generally terrified at the prospect of a conflict any more destructive than what we have already witnessed.

Unsurprisingly, anti-imperialist, anti-Zionist and Islamist organizations, themselves part of the lineage of the anti-war movement and the anti-globalization movement, are most often the organizing nuclei of these demonstrations.

This is not so neutral. These organizations actively intervene to mediate outrage about the war in particular directions. Broadly they lead a coalition of non-critiques under a 'united front' which conveniently avoids any internal problematics that might arise with for instance, socialists allying themselves with Islamic fundamentalists. It is no surprise that with these compromises made, they've convinced themselves to have identified 'the culprits'. See for instance, this
London pro-Hezbollah march organized by the Socialist Worker Party's RESPECT coalition (no endorsement of the absurd source). Who else could the culprit be but Israel, the immediate target for these easy critiques and the one state in the middle east with virtually no oil and therefore minimal economic power. 1973's oil crisis proved this. Much of Israel's international diplomatic leverage evaporated in weeks as the raw weight of oil, on which every major world economy runs, allowed the Arab ruling classes to re-position themselves against the Jewish minority in their midst. Most states were as 'realist' then as they are now; the same holds for, apparently, the 'peace' movement.

On the internet there has been a rapid increase in average people taking up the rhetoric of crass anti-Zionism, conspiracy theories about the events of 9/11 and slowly and steadily, a denial of the Shoa. Nothing else seems to offer a quicker way out of the crisis for the disinclined. If the Iraq war was fought on false premises and erupted into a Rwanda, then every constituent motivation for its launch must be a lie. Similarly, if the IDF commits massacres in Beirut, then massacres in Israel should not be prevented. This is the inverting principle of the spectacle, which made paranoid cinema like"the Matrix" into mass events. Men and women trained to interpret and participate in spectacular history can now imagine themselves to be stripped of all illusions. The oppression of Iraqis by the Ba'ath party, which was once as upsetting as a darkly realized cut scene, is revealed as a distraction from the nefarious affairs of the hidden 'villain'. Plot discussions are held. The people want a surprise ending. By disabling their critical reasoning in refusing to analyze the economic system within which the massacres take place, they make the shortened critique of capital's profound crisis inevitable. If it is not the Arabs who deserve the blame than it must be the Jews.

(The Independent shows exactly what the peace movement stands for.)

Abstract negation finds itself a path of least resistance. Israel is the purloined state, birthed by a people without a home who could never have one. Adorno mentioned during his breakdown of classic European anti-semitism that, in direct contradiction to the anti-semetic paranoia that the world is run by Jews (which can be disproven by the mere existence of Haaretz), that the Jews could be criticized by anyone because although they were denied higher eschelons of power, they were at the same time suspended above the lowest professions by their historical economic role as merchants. If the roles are different now, the content of the paranoia has not changed much. Anti-semitism is more than the average pursuit of a scapegoat. It is always a populist phenomenon fueled by people denied their own power who imagine it returned to them in the destruction of something real. What better way to do this than by attacking those with no 'natural' place in the integrated landscape of capitalism. 2006 shows how little things have changed from 1936. The wolves in their cubicles howl for the 'guilty one'. Israel and it alone deserves to be abandoned, if not proactively 'wiped off the map'. Why, after all, protect people that don't contribute to the 'national interest'? (Let's deport the illegals too)

(The "Islamic Thinkers' Society" in New York City)

As long as a more radical critique, and attack, on the mediations of capitalism and the state is refused by its supposed gravediggers, the surface-level critique on offer from the anti-imperialist left will continue to surge in popularity, i.e. that the small refuge created for holocaust survivors and their descendants shoulders the blame for the genocidal armies that line up against it.

Strictly in this sense and apart from the class tensions the bourgeoisie has to manage in its push to war, the population of Israel face their own 'end of history', a lonely struggle against the sealing consensus around them, one co-signed by Ahmadinejad, Galloway, Mahler, Assad, Nasrallah, and other inversions of the intellectual, who have announced what 'everyone agrees on': that humanity is united not by universal history, but instead by a false negation of bourgeois democracy, which instrumentalizes ethnic cleansing for the sake of 'payback' .

Lebanon in the meantime is transformed into an entrenchment between the American and Iranian poles of capital. The IDF offensive, and its use of high-volume weapons in civilian population centers has made massacres like Qana inevitable. If things do not change, the Lebanese and Israeli populations will suffer much in the bloody competition of foreign powers.

After the bodies of children were cleared from the rubble of Qana, it was evident that the Israeli government had already made the worst move of the entire war. Just the previous day, Hezbollah had agreed to a seven-point peace plan proposed by Lebanese PM Siniora which would have deployed the Lebanese army in southern Lebanon. Now this is gone. Instead, after Qana, Siniora thanked Hezbollah for its brave resistance and re-legitimized Sayyid Nasrallah for Lebanese politics. This coup will only prolong the carnage and drive Lebanon north of the Letani river more and more into the hands of Syria (which may invade) and Iran.

Ultimately the Sunni/Shi'a split that the American side is trying to exacerbate may not prove effective, as we can see in the rejections of a fatwa condemning Hezbollah by the mainly Sunni Islamic Brotherhood. The only wildcard remaining is an IDF assault on Hezbollah's stronghold in the Bekaa valley, but given 'the story so far', it seems unlikely that this will damage Hezbollah sufficiently to end the war, not to mention the potential consequences of such an offensive in terms of civilian life and a wider conflict. Haaretz has pointed out that less than 400 Hezbollah men have been killed so far in the fighting , and relations between Beirut and Israel will most likely only get worse from here. Truly, the Israeli anti-war movement has a point when they label the offensive an 'American war' that has very little to do with the lives of Israelis.

And so we return to Kanan Makiya, whose reflections on Lebanon's two decades of war prove haunting.
"The Lebanese civil war broke out in 1975 between the so-called 'progressive' and 'reactionary' forces. That's how we tended to view it. There were those who were on the side of the class struggle and those who were against. But that form of classification was really at odds with the way the war was unfolding. Sectarian and communitarian tensions were at work in the so-called 'left' front of forces, which was really nationalist and radical-nationalist and sometimes capable of the same sorts of atrocities as the Christian forces, or 'reactionary' forces as we insisted on calling them."
The movement for a better world, communism, must do better than the ugly historical flashback that the ruling classes of the West and the Mid-East have planned for Lebanon. Illusions regarding the progressive character of either American or Iranian capital have to be dispelled at once. Communist analysis starts from the observation that the carnage developing in the mid-East today has its origin in the international economy and its pre-requisite: the surrender of the individual to a process that stands above her. In criticizing the alienation of this essential power, we too have the opportunity to seize history by the scruff of the neck.

The war will develop even if both sides reach a cease-fire, and entrenchment is to be expected. So are more massacres. These could be in Lebanon, Israel, or elsewhere as we can expect widespread and spectacular attacks upon Jewish targets and Jewish people.

In the west, as the war clouds mount and the working class remains silent, the destruction of Lebanon continues apace, while worried money counters watch their stock prices and re-assess the 'strategic viability' of Israel; for this reality the Israelis take every opportunity before it becomes impossible to strike against the rocket launchers that will be used against them tomorrow. Similarly, here and there idiot machines wonder 'what the world would be like without Israel', the 'obstacle' to peace, the 'reason' the whole world is at war, while they punch the time cards of the commodity economy, an economy which demands the same enormous energy output that ruling classes and powerful families of the middle east compete hand over fist to extract and supply every day. A process that cannot exist without the establishment of a 'common enemy' to distract the exploited, just as the scum of the west cannot keep their torture prisons and Iraqi dictatorship running without their own 'common enemy'. It is in this environment where the communist movement must declare its absolute opposition to the peace movement which develops everywhere, and instead its support for the class war which develops everywhere.

(He too wanted peace)


See also: The development of the class struggle is the only alternative to capitalism's tragic dead-end (ICC)

French Anarchists on Israel/Palestine

A Third Camp in the Middle East?

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