By Yossi Schwartz, Internationalist Socialist League (RCIT Section in Israel / Occupied Palestine), 12.6.2017, http://www.the-isleague.com
During his election campaign, Trump proposed a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States, which he said would protect Americans from Jihadist attacks. His racist message was cheered by many of his supporters who opposed former President Barack Obama’s decision to increase the number of Syrian refugees admitted to the US.
While trying to block the entry of Arabs from Syria (refugees from Assad), Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen on grounds of public security, Trump went to Saudi Arabia, an Islamic theocracy of the extremist Wahhabi school. In Saudi Arabia religious minorities do not have the right to practice their religion. Non-Muslim religious texts are banned, and conversion from Islam to another religion is punishable by death.
So what is his business in Saudi Arabia? The Internationalist Socialist League (ISL) views US President Donald Trump visit to the Middle East as using the Sunni-Shiite conflict for a further militarization of the region and the creation of an arch-reactionary political and military block composed of Saudi Arabia, Egypt of Sisi, Jordan, Israel and possibly the Palestinian Authority.
The formation of such a bloc should help those reactionary powers to advance several goals:
a) The complete liquidation of the Arab Revolution (pacification of Syria and destroying the revolutionary forces, helping the Egypt dictatorship to smash al-Ikhwan and all forces of the resistance, etc.).
b) Allowing Israel to wage another war against the Palestinian people in Gaza with the goal to smash Hamas and all resistance organizations.
c) To create the condition for waging a war against Iran and Hezbollah.
It is unlikely that the US itself will go to war against Iran, as most Americans do not want to see the US engaged in new wars, but his policy will most likely escalate the conflict between Saudi Arabia and its partners against Iran and of Israel against Gaza or Hezbollah.
During his visit to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, before he came to Israel, Trump signed a joint “strategic vision” that includes $110 billion in American arms. The deal includes naval ships, tanks and sophisticated THAAD missile defense systems. (1) Of course he stated that it is all about peace and jobs.
There is a possibility that in a case of a conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the US will provide military aid from the air rather than sending large ground forces. The mass media observes that Trump’s policy for the Middle East may lead to new wars in the Middle East.
Thus, the British newspaper The Telegraph wrote in February: “There are now too many indicators that President Trump is preparing for a military confrontation with Iran to just write off as coincidental. Much media bandwidth has been taken up by the so-called “Muslim ban”, but was it really about countering terrorism? It seems that Trump’s main flaw is not that he doesn’t hide his foibles, but more that he can’t help telling pundits in advance exactly what his intentions are. This is particularly the case in the Middle East, where in recent days he, along with his defence chief James Mattis and his national security adviser Michael Flynn, are moving at breakneck speed to curtail Tehran’s power. They want to counteract President Obama’s Iran deal, which, according to Trump at least, effectively gave the country $150 billion and made it a regional superpower overnight.” (2)
In Yemen where Saudi Arabia is bombing the Houthi rebels (who are supported by Iran) the US is already involved: “Media reports on Yemen have largely focused on the disastrous raid – apparently ordered by Trump over dinner – in which a U.S. Navy Seal and a number of Yemeni civilians were killed. But U.S. involvement is expanding in other areas too: the president recently loosened the military’s rules of engagement in Yemen, and has dramatically increased airstrikes against al-Qaida. The new administration has also effectively doubled U.S. deployments to the campaign against the Islamic State group in Syria, adding 400 additional troops to the forces already deployed there. Like their counterparts in Iraq, these soldiers are tasked with providing support to local forces in northern Syria, but the mission has nonetheless resulted in the death of one marine, and the injuries of several others.” (3)
In Palestine after 40 days of fasting, approximately 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners announced the end of their hunger strike for basic rights in Israeli jails on Saturday without gaining any major concession from the Zionist state. Is it possible that the end of this strike that could lead to a new Intifada is connected to the Trump visit to the Middle East and his meeting with Abu Mazen?
According to The Guardian Trump’s so called peace plan is based on an old idea: “That plan was the Arab Peace Initiative (API), unveiled by the then Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah at a summit in Beirut in March 2002. Now the Saudis and their allies are reportedly offering incentives – dangling the prospect of access for Israeli companies, direct communications and over-flight rights in exchange for freezing West Bank settlements and easing the blockade on the Gaza Strip, controlled by Hamas. The ideas were outlined in a paper shared among Gulf countries, according to the Wall Street Journal. These ideas build on significant below-the-radar trade and cooperation between Israel and those states, including discreet intelligence and security links. Diplomats describe a winning combination of Israel’s technical capabilities with Arab human intelligence assets.” (4)
If The Guardian is right then what Trump is trying to do is to promise the PA some gains if it will support this plan that does not promise the Palestinians even a mini state and certainly not the right of return of the Palestinian refugees.
While we oppose imperialist Russia, Iran and Hezbollah policies in support of Assad regime against the Syrian revolution, in a war of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel backed by the US against Iran and Hezbollah, we see the defeat of the new American–Israeli imperialist war as the interest of the working and oppressed masses of the world.
(1) Washington Post May 20, 2017
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For the RCIT analysis of the Arab Revolution and the Palestinian liberation struggle, we refer readers to our numerous articles and documents accessed from the Africa and Middle East section of our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/. In particular we refer readers to the following documents:
ISL: Support the Demands of the Palestinian Freedom Fighters in Israeli Prisons! Free All Palestinian Political Prisoners! 21.4.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/palestinian-hunger-strike/
Michael Pröbsting: Qatar-Gulf Crisis: Another Offensive of the Arab Counter-Revolution, 10 June 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/qatar-gulf-crisis/
RCIT: Syria: Condemn the Reactionary Astana Deal! The so-called “De-Escalation Zones” are a First Step towards the Partition of Syria and a Conspiracy by the Great Powers to Defeat the Revolution, 7 May 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/astana-deal/
Michael Pröbsting: Is the Syrian Revolution at its End? Is Third Camp Abstentionism Justified? An essay on the organs of popular power in the liberated area of Syria, on the character of the different sectors of the Syrian rebels, and on the failure of those leftists who deserted the Syrian Revolution, 5 April 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/syrian-revolution-not-dead/
Yossi Schwartz: Raqqa: Defeat the US Imperialist Offensive! An assessment of the US/SDF/YPG war against Daesh, April 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/us-offensive-in-raqqa/
RCIT: Defeat the Imperialist Invasion in Syria – Victory to the Revolution! Down with the American and Russian interventions! No to the imperialist plan to divide Syria! Down with the butcher Assad and his imperialist allies! 13.03.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/imperialist-invasion-in-syria/
RCIT: For the Iranian Revolution! Down with the capitalist Mullah dictatorship! Down with Imperialism! For a working class revolution in Iran! February 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/iran-platform/
RCIT: World Perspectives 2017: The Struggle against the Reactionary Offensive in the Era of Trumpism, Theses on the World Situation, the Perspectives for Class Struggle and the Tasks of Revolutionaries, 18 December 2016, Chapter IV. The Middle East and the State of the Arab Revolution, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2017/part-4/
RCIT: Revolution and Counterrevolution in the Arab World: An Acid Test for Revolutionaries, 31 May 2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/theses-arab-revolution/
RCIT: Israel Starts Ground Offensive: Defend Gaza! Defeat Israel’s War! Support the Palestinian Resistance! For a Workers’ and Popular International Campaign to Boycott Israel! Down with the Regimes which Collaborate with Israel! For a Free, Red Palestine! 22.7.2014, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/joint-statement-defend-gaza/
RCIT: General Sisi – The Butcher of the Egyptian People – Sentences another 683 People to Death, 1.5.2014, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/egypt-mass-death-sentences/
Michael Pröbsting: The Coup d’État in Egypt and the Bankruptcy of the Left’s “Army Socialism”. A Balance Sheet of the coup and another Reply to our Critics (LCC, WIVP, SF/LCFI), 8.8.2013, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/egypt-and-left-army-socialism/
Yossi Schwartz: Israel’s War of 1948 and the Degeneration of the Fourth International, May 2013, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/israel-s-war-of-1948/