By Yossi Schwartz, International Socialist League (Section of the RCIT in Israel / Occupied Palestine), 27.08.2021
This is the time to examine the ramification of the defeat of Western imperialism in the Middle East. One of the most important historical laws is that the defeat of the imperialists in a war leads to the encouragement of the struggles of the working class and the popular classes of oppressed nations to fight the imperialists and their local servants.
Trotsky referred to this law when he wrote: “I will take the most simple and obvious example. In Brazil there now reins a semi-fascist regime that every revolutionary can only view with hatred. Let us assume, however, that on the morrow England enters into a military conflict with Brazil. I ask you on whose side of the conflict will the working class be? I will answer for myself—in this case I will be on the side of “fascist” Brazil against “democratic” Great Britain. Why? Because in the conflict between them it will not be a question of democracy or fascism. If England should be victorious, she will put another fascist in Rio de Janeiro and will place double chains on Brazil. If Brazil on the contrary should be victorious, it will give a mighty impulse to the national and democratic consciousness of the country and will lead to the overthrow of the Vargas dictatorship. The defeat of England will at the same time deliver a blow to British imperialism and will give an impulse to the revolutionary movement of the British proletariat. Truly, one must have an empty head to reduce world antagonisms and military conflicts to the struggle between fascism and democracy. Under all masks, one must know how to distinguish exploiters, slave-owners, and robbers.” (1)
He also wrote: “War often brings about revolution. This is not so much because the war was unsuccessful in a state sense, as because the war did not satisfy all expectations.” (2)
Verification of the Marxist Thesis
If Trotsky was right then the Palestinians, the Houthi movement in Yemen and Lebanon’s Hezbollah are encouraged to fight the imperialists. Even the regimes that have historically served U.S. imperialism are leaving like rats the sinking American ship searching in despair to serve other imperialist masters like Russia and China.
On August 18 Reuters wrote: “While the Taliban’s ability to retake ground from foreign forces was welcomed by anti-Western factions, the group’s advance has also triggered concerns that the country could once more become a haven for Arab militants….” Western policy and military interventions have sparked resistance movements for decades in the Middle East, and some welcomed the retreat of foreign forces. The Houthi movement in Yemen and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, both aligned with Iran, made statements drawing attention to what they called U.S. failure and humiliation… Hezbollah said the American withdrawal should serve as a lesson to U.S.-aligned groups in Lebanon not to depend on Washington as an ally. “In order not to fight on behalf of anyone, he (U.S. President Joe Biden) accepted bearing a historic and humiliating defeat in Afghanistan,” Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said during a Tuesday night sermon. Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that controls the Gaza Strip, congratulated the Taliban and the Afghan people. Gazans were pleased about the Taliban’s advance, which offered encouragement to Palestinians living under Israeli occupation, said Mohamed Dadar, a 28-year-old in Gaza City.” (3)
“In the Middle East, where the United States has long been the dominant outside power although its involvement has receded since it drew down forces in Iraq, events in Afghanistan could prompt states to forge new or parallel alliances, analysts said. What happened in Afghanistan reinforces the conviction of numerous Arab regimes that the U.S. role in the Arab and Islamic world … is regressing,” said Mohammad Abu Rumman, a Jordanian analyst and former minister.” It is time to reduce dependence on Washington in the strategic realm,” Emirati analyst Abdulkhaleq Abdulla wrote in The National .Sheikh Ahmed Bin Hamad al-Khalili, the Grand Mufti of the Gulf State of Oman, which has a longstanding policy of neutrality, welcomed the victory over “aggressor invaders.” (4)
A few days ago, King Abdullah II of Jordan, one of the oldest vassals of British and American imperialism met the Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday. They discussed the situation in Syria and Afghanistan, according to Russian media reports. “Putin stressed that despite the coronavirus pandemic relations between Russia and Jordan are developing in all areas, including trade and economic ties and political dialogue… The Russian leader and the king of Jordan examined military hardware during a walk after the meeting. “The Russian president explained that these weapons are both supplied to the Russian army and exported. In his words, direct contacts with colleagues from the armed forces of foreign countries help build up trust.”” (5)
“The Saudi Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it “stands with the Afghan people and the choices they made on their own without interference”…”Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh made a phone call with Mullah Abdul-Ghani Barader, head of the Taliban’s political bureau, to congratulate him on “the end of the American occupation of Afghanistan”, saying their demise in Afghanistan is a ‘prelude to the demise of the Israeli occupation of Palestine….” In a televised speech on Tuesday, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said the scene of the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan was “very big” in which Washington failed and was “defeated and humiliated.” (6)
In Iraq, the servants of the USA are shaking in their boots. “Having watched the US fail to evacuate wartime allies in Afghanistan, Iraqis who worked with the Americans are now more worried than ever a similar fate awaits them.” (7) “A wind of panic is blowing over the entire region. Arab countries, who all have nationals involved in the various jihadist movements, are petrified.” (8)
The Hysterical and Draconian Measures of Israel and the PA
The Palestinians in Gaza and in the West Bank are demonstrating against Israel and the PA’s collaboration with Israel. Both Israel and the PA in the West bank hysterically use draconian measures to repress the militant movement.
On Saturday the Zionists shot and injured 41 Palestinians among them 10 children and killed at least one boy. They are prepared to kill many more Gazans after Bennett returns from his visit to the USA. On Wednesday Israel injured another 20 Gazans. At the same time the PA repressed demonstrations in Ramallah.
“Demonstrators in the West Bank have demanded justice since the June death of Nizar Banat — an outspoken critic of the Palestinian Authority and its 86-year-old President Mahmoud Abbas. Banat died in custody after security forces stormed his home in the flashpoint city of Hebron and dragged him away. The security forces had arrested 23 people in Ramallah on Saturday on the grounds that “they were holding a public protest.” (9)
Down with the Zionist apartheid!
Down with the PA traitors!
Break the siege on Gaza!
For a red and free Palestine from the river to the sea!
For a socialist federation of the Middle East!
1) Leon Trotsky Anti-Imperialist Struggle Is Key to Liberation An Interview with Mateo Fossa (September 1938)
2) L. Trotskii, Voina i Revolyutsiya, Vol. 1, Petrograd, 1922, p 48 in Ian Dennis Thatcher Leon: Trotsky and World War One: August 1914-March 1917, http://theses.gla.ac.uk/75681/1/13833808.pdf
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We refer readers to statements of the RCIT on the imperialist defeat in Afghanistan:
Afghanistan: The Rats Are Fleeing! The fall of Kabul is a historic defeat for Western imperialism and a victory for the oppressed peoples! 17 August 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/afghanistan-the-rats-are-fleeing/
Afghanistan: The Meaning of the Anti-Imperialist Victory and the Perspectives Ahead. Questions and Answers from a Marxist Point of View, 24 August 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/afghanistan-meaning-of-anti-imperialist-victory-and-perspectives-ahead/
We have compiled a number of RCIT articles on this issue on a special sub-page on our webiste: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/collection-of-articles-on-us-defeat-in-afghanistan/
Other RCIT materials on the situation of the Palestinians and the mass movement in the Middle East:
ISL: Gaza: Israel Injured 41 Palestinians Demonstrating Against the Ongoing Criminal Siege, 24.08.2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/gaza-israel-injured-41-palestinians-demonstrating-against-the-ongoing-criminal-siege/
Yossi Schwartz: Israel: The Real Face of the Left-Wing Zionists, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/israel-the-real-face-of-the-left-wing-zionists
ISL: The new right-wing government has the same politics as the former one! 21.06.2021, http://the-isleague.comhttps://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/israel-the-new-right-wing-government