[Marxism] Bolton: Israel 'will attack Iran' before new USpresident in office, especially if it's Obama

Marvin Gandall marvgandall at videotron.ca
Fri Jun 27 07:57:47 MDT 2008

Fred writes:

> Marvin Gandall wrote:
> BTW, I continue to patiently wait for you to identify and quote
> representatives of the "significant" faction which is calling for war with
> Iran. We seem to be stuck at Cheney.
> Fred comments:
> You are waiting patiently because you refuse to count the roughly 250
> members of the House and Senate who are calling for a US -- not UN --
> naval
> blockade of Iran. These people, in your view, have no relationship at all
> to
> the US ruling class.
> This measure is currently sailing toward approval in both the House and
> Senate in short order. That is what will happen if some significant sector
> of the ruling class does not put its foot down.

I took note of the HR resolution in my exchanges with Artesian as follows:

"The House motion on Iran, despicable as it is, doesn't "pass out another
carte blanche to Bush". The resolution on Iraq "authorize(d) the President
to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be
necessary and appropriate" to enforce the UN resolutions. The Iran
resolution self-conciously and pointedly states that "nothing in this
resolution shall be construed as an authorization of the use of force
against Iran" and calls instead for Bush to impose additional economic and
travel sanctions and to "initiate an international effort" to step up the
"economic, political, and diplomatic pressure" , including, if necessary, by
means of a naval blockade. The US has been imposing unilateral sanctions and
making these pleas to its allies and the Security Council for years with
only limited success. Rather than a corroboration of your view that the
House resolution represents a "significant OR obvious (slippery move here)
support for an attack on Iran", it appears to me to be another election year
capitulation by the Democrats cowering from Republican attacks that they are
"soft on terror".

> What about John McCain? Do you seriously believe he is just a mad
> right-winger with no relationship to the US ruling class?

Not at all. He is not a mad right-winger, and is much more in tune with
ruling class sentiment than the Republican right led by Bush-Cheney. His
refrain of "bomb-bomb-bomb-Iran" is designed to play in this election year
to the conservative Republican base which supports Bush-Cheney, and does not
originate from or resonate particularly well within the foreign policy
establishment. Despite his bellicose campaign rhetoric and the efforts of
the Democrats to paint him as a third term Bush, I think in office he'd be
forced to act, like Obama (or even President Feldman), in accordance with
the bipartisan foreign policy consensus of the ruling class which sees the
need at the present time to repair the damage done to American interests by
the Bush administration. This presupposes an emphasis on multilateral
diplomacy and a measure of accomodation with America's enemies and allies
rather than unilateral military action. I guess I am having difficulty
communicating my views clearly to you and Artesian, because I have been
banging on this drum for a long time. Or maybe you both find it hard by
conviction to accept that this might be a period of strategic retreat by the
US in order to advance further later, that it always and everywhere must
advance it's interests by military means, and that everything else is

> And do you seriously believe that Barack Obama will not back a naval
> blockade if it is launched before or after the election?

It's clear from the above that I believe any President and the Congress
would unilaterally (or under the fig leaf of a "coalition of the willing")
implement a naval blockade if that is what the foreign policy apparatus of
the ruling class determines to be in its interests. The issue, to repeat, is
whether we agree that it how it currently defines its interests. You
apparantly think so, and view the Congress resolution as a disguised
declaration of a war against Iran which has already been decided upon and
only awaits implementation. Well, you are entitled to your opinion, which is
only that - an opinion. Just like mine, which is that a war has not yet
likely been decided upon, and that the resolution by the DP-controlled
Congress is one part electioneering and one part designed to support the
administration policy of ratcheting up the pressure on the Iranians and the
middle powers negotiating with them to agree to international restraints on
its nuclear program.

> You believe your calculations -- which may or may not prove accurately
> predictive -- weigh more than what is actually happening now. This is
> NOTHING but preaching complacency.
> Frankly, the relationship of forces is like God. It helps those who help
> themselves. The idea that your calculation of the relationship of forces
> can
> prevent war is idealism. War is partly about changing the relationship of
> forces. It does not simply reflect it at a given moment.
> Again, your approach to the relationship of forcees is passive,
> complacent.

Now, now, let's not get personal. You wouldn't like it if I accused you and
Artesian of a tendency towards hysteria or of selectively believing what you
want to believe from the election year statements of politicians and
rejecting what apparently contradicts those as "lies", would you?
> Personally I am glad that there is an antiwar conference this weekend in
> Cleveland. It's narrow but as big as all outdoors compared to what usually
> takes place in election years. The class struggle is not decided by the
> relationship of forces but most fundamentally by the class struggle, which
> on either side can modify the relationship of forces.

I'm also glad there are efforts being made to put antiwar sentiment in the
US on a more organized footing. I wouldn't attempt to get into a debate to
determine which of class struggle or the relationship of class forces is
more important. Like religious controversies, these abstract discussions are
inconclusive and rarely alter anyone's convictions.

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