[Marxism] Marxist analysis of US/Israel offensives

DCQ deeseekyou at comcast.net
Thu Jul 27 11:25:58 MDT 2006

On Jul 27, 2006, at 2:08 AM, Jscotlive at aol.com wrote:

> In a message dated 27/07/2006 06:28:51 GMT Daylight Time,
> dwalters at marxists.org writes:
>> I don't think "Israel is losing". Why would anyone say this? Because 
>> they
>> are
>> meeting stiff opposition and lose 9 soldiers in a day?
> They are losing, but they haven't lost. The blow to Israeli prestige, 
> to the
> myth of Israel's military invincibility, has been significant in the 
> past
> couple of weeks. There's no doubt they would have gone into Lebanon by 
> now, to
> push Hizbullah back beyond the Litani River, but for the fact they've 
> been held.
> They are now conceding the possibility of an international zone to 
> establish
> this buffer zone instead. Reports from the BBC (and by the way, BBC 
> news
> coverage of this has been a disgrace, so bad it makes Sky News look 
> like Al Jazeera
> in comparison) reports from them yesterday revealed that Israeli 
> troops were
> saying how tough the battle had been to push cross the border.

This assumes a UN occupied buffer zone staffed by European powers would 
be a defeat for Israel. In fact, this would guarantee Israel's 
stability just as well (and possibly more so) than militarily wiping 
out Hizbullah. A mistake people (mostly in America) often make is 
assuming European powers are somehow more benign or "rational." In 
fact, they are junior partners of the US empire, semi-dependent (and 
therefore semi-independent...) with their own, though convergent, 

There are many ways for Israel to "win."

> The classic axiom of a guerilla army winning by not losing and an army 
> of
> occupation losing by not winning applies.

I agree with David here. Talk about Israel "losing" is stupid and 
insulting to the suffering of the Lebanese people. It sounds like some 
chatter about the US "losing" in Iraq, talk that is frankly little more 
than and exercise in wish-fulfillment. The US wanted to destroy a 
country standing in the way of US dominance of the middle east. It did 
this utterly and completely.

> I agree with Louis that there is an 'irrationality' at work here. Like 
> the
> irrationality of economic system which lies at the root of the present 
> crisis,
> the role of prestige is such that even in the face of defeat these 
> imperialists
> must proceed with their project to colonise the Middle East. The 
> danger is
> that seeing how tough the resistance has been on the ground thus far 
> they may
> opt to go nuclear, just as they did with Japan.
> JD

While I'm not exactly sure what a "marxist" analysis would be (other 
than a factual, material analysis of the history of the region and 
israel's role as a semi-autonomous outpost of the american empire), I 
am sure that  explaining the current war as somehow irrational and 
against the material interests of the Israeli ruling class is complete 
nonsense. It is irrational, to be sure. But there is no capitalist 
rationality. Reason don't enter in to it. There is only power. 
(Europeans use smart and eloquent diplomats because they don't have all 
that many tanks.) It is a vulgarization of the historical materialist 
method to assume that there is some baseline of action that 
bourgeoisies everywhere will employ in their own interests, and then 
assume that things that don't maximize profits is somehow against their 
interests. Capitalist "rationality" is whatever is in capitalists' 
heads in a particular place and time.

War is always a gamble, and some Israeli rulers (as well as american 
rulers) may be more nervous than others about the short-term stability 
of the system. But this does not mean that one group is more "rational" 
than another.

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