[Marxism] The Obama Effect? Are Iran/ Saudi-and-GCC no longer on a war footing? | Informed Comment

Michael Karadjis mkaradjis at gmail.com
Wed May 21 07:53:15 MDT 2014

-----Original Message----- 
From: Louis Proyect

"All our brilliant "anti-imperialist" analysts from Pepe Escobar to
Robert Fisk were predicting WWIII in MENA with Obama and the Sunni
states taking on the Shiites aligned with Russia. It turns out that this
was pure bullshit. That's to be expected from people who never developed
a class analysis. If there's anything that the Iranian bourgeoisie
shares with their counterparts in Saudi Arabia, it is a fear of the 

Yeh, funny thing, that about class. You even had a journalist of Fisk's 
(former) calibre penning articles about how the war in Syria is part of 
a Sunni-Shia conflict going back 1300 years. Yeh, he actually wrote 
that, and leftists actually posted it to discussion lists.

Facts: when the Syrian uprising broke up, the later emerged alleged 
"Sunni anti-Assad bloc" - Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey - all spoke out 
strongly in support of the "Alawi" Syrian regime against the "attempts 
at destabilisation." In fact, Qatar and Turkey had been Syria's closes 
allies in the region. The Assad, Erdogan and al-Thani families used to 
have Black Sea holidays together. The Saudis had had a spat with Assad 
around 2005-7 over Lebanon, but had patched it all up with the new 
Saudi-Syrian initiative in 2009 - the "anti-Shia" Saudis were so gung-ho 
about this they pressured the Hariris to give Hezbollah all the posts 
that Assad asked for. This after all was just the renewal of the 
Saudi-Syrian joint-communalist-oligarchic agreement that ran Lebanon 
1991-2005. All about class, precisely.

After about 6 months of sensational slaughter in Syria, of a largely 
Sunni populace by an Alawi-dominated regime, which had radicalised the 
Sunni population of the entire region (both in a supportable form of 
natural solidarity and inevitably in a sectarian form) did these regimes 
finally start denouncing Assad, his Qatari and Turkish friends first by 
July (and even in July the Saudis gave Assad a multi-million dollar 
loan) and then SA in August - dragged in by the movement which 
threatened to go beyond them by galvanising these Sunni regimes' Sunni 
opponents, including al-Qaida etc. So they began to support the movement 
in order to try to contain, coopt etc, just as they try to do with the 
Palestinian movement etc, nothing odd here.

All the rest, as Louis says, is pure bullshit.

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