[Marxism] The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States
Paula_cerni at msn.com
Thu Oct 4 00:18:07 MDT 2007
> Actually, your original question (or claim) was that Iran was
> imperialist. China was not part of the original statement.
John, my original claim goes back several months (perhaps you are not aware)
and concerns not China or Iran in particular, but, more generally, the
following question: can the economic, political and military rise of the
'South' over the last few decades be understood in terms of the classical
Marxist theory of imperialism? I tried to answer this question in an article
published about a year ago
My argument, simply put, is that economic development in the imperialist
epoch is turning nations that were once part of the 'periphery' into
emerging empires. The article contains a specific case study of China, the
clearest example. But there is no reason, in principle, why this argument
may not apply to others too - Russia, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Turkey,
Now, I don't know as much about Iran as I do about China, but what I do know
leads me to believe that Iran also is an emerging imperialist nation, though
obviously on a smaller scale.
> The alleged assistance Iran gives to Islamic
> militants and Palestinian groups does not qualify. If simply providing
> military aid to sympathetic groups was *in itself* sufficient, we would
> have to accuse Cuba of imperialism in Angola in the struggle against
> Apartheid. Clearly this would be a sorry distortion of the term
I agree that it is not sufficient. But remember that imperialist powers
sometimes support progressive nationalist forces for their own purposes (eg,
the Eisenhower administration backed Nasser against Britain and France). So,
that kind of assistance *could* qualify.
In any case, Iran assists foreign groups that don't seem to have anything
progressive about them. Here is what this article in today's Asia Times
Online says about the Revolutionary Guards Corps (full text at
"in both Bosnia-Herzegovina during the early and mid-1990s and more recently
in Afghanistan after September 11, 2001, the US military and the IRGC
interacted positively. In Bosnia, invited by the Bosnian government under
siege, the IRGC trained and armed Bosnian fighters, with the tacit blessing
of the White House. They continued to provide humanitarian support even
after their military role ended shortly after the signing of the Dayton
Peace Agreement, which called for the exit of foreign forces.
"Similarly, in Afghanistan, where the IRGC played a prominent role in
supporting the anti-Taliban and anti-al-Qaeda Northern Alliance led by the
late Ahmad Shah Masoud long before the US cavalry arrived in 2001, US and
IRGC commanders met repeatedly both before and after Kabul's fall into the
hands of the Northern Alliance".
> If Iranian support successfully brought about pro-Iranian
> regimes in say Iraq, Lebanon or Palestine, and then Iranian companies
> moved into those countries, we might then say that Iran was becoming an
> imperialist country. Until something like that happens, I think any such
> claims are on shaky ground.
A few months ago I mentioned this article detailing Iranian economic
influence in Afghanistan, ie, the country where the IRGC 'played a prominent
role' in supporting the Northern Alliance:
So, perhaps nurturing sympathetic regimes in foreign countries where its
firms do business is something that Iran is already doing (it would be very
interesting to know how much of this is going on in Iraq). And perhaps that
is why the US has this contradictory policy, whereby on the one hand it has
to adapt to growing Iranian economic, political and military influence, and
on the other it very much resents it (to put it mildly).
I hope this helps answer J's question of a few days ago. I realize this
evidence is by no means conclusive and that a lot more investigation needs
to be done. I will send in more information as and when I find it.
More information about the Marxism