[Marxism] Another report on Iran

mkaradjis . mkaradjis at gmail.com
Sun Dec 31 20:05:16 MST 2017

The demand to leave Syria is a manifestly internationalist slogan,  similar
to demands of the US antiwar movement for the US to leave Vietnam.

The sheer gravity of this issue knocks out any other potential negatives,
 such as the misunderstood reference to Gaza,  which I will comment on
below. For years,  the Tehran regime has filled the region with sectarian
militias that have slaughteted across Syria and Iraq and carried out a
Nakbah-style mass sectarian-cleansing campaign. Of course most success has
been in Syria where this campaign neatly dovetailed with Assad's genocidal
response to the Syrian revolution, thus the 5.5 million Syrians expelled
from their homeland (overwhelmingly Sunni) and a substantial proportion of
the 7 million internally uprooted are unlikely to return. Add to this the
horrific crimes that have been carried out against the Sunni population of
Iraq by US- and Iran-backed Shiite death squads,  essentially acting as a
Shiite version of ISIS.

In carrying out this region-wide Nakbah to advance an Iranian sub-imperial
project,  the mullah regime has mobilised its death squads on a sectarian
basis, from Afghanistan,Pakistan and Iraq, alongside thousands of regular
Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). In this context,  whatever Hezbollah's
ancient glories (drove the Israeli occupation out of southern Lebanon *18
years ago*), its 7 years of anti-Arab slaughter in Syria should by now be
long enough to ascertain that it is no longer anything but another part of
Iran's constellation of sectarian death squads. Sure, it can make
anti-Zionist noise as it slaughters Arabs for Assad, but while the
Israeli-Lebanese border has been stone-cold quiet since 2006, most Arabs
are unconvinced by the idea that the "road to Jerusalem " runs through
Homs, Hama,  Aleppo etc.

As such,  the Lebanon part of "Not Gaza,  not Lebanon" raised by some
protestors should not be considered any problem whatsoever.

Obviously of more convern is the Gaza part of the slogan. As Ken rightly
asks, " what has Iran ever done for Gaza? " (ie, nothing). But first let's
make a few more points.

First,  in a raw mass uprising of the millions,  which in both class terms
and political demands is already way beyond 2009, all kinds of
contradictory slogan will inevitably get raised. The raising of this
obscure slogan,  with little practical effect,  by some demonstrators is
far from evidence of any widespread anti-Palestinian sentiment among the
crowds (likewise far too much attention has been given to the odd pro-Shah
slogan apparently expressed by some demonstrator,  somewhere - the idea
that this is a movement to bring back the Shah can only be believed by some
western lefties really re-living their past).

Second,  this *exact same slogan*  was raised, even more often,  in the
2009 protests and led to the same discussion. Possibly more serious then
because at that time the Lebanon part of the slogan had a different context
to now.

Does Iran do anything for Gaza? In the distant past it sent Hamas some
rockets. However, from when Hamas bravely sided with the Syrian uprising
against Assad in 2012, Iran cut off its support. Defending Assad was more
impirtant than its cheap anti-Zionist noise.

The "conflict" between Iran and Israel is one based on rhetoric,  where for
both theocratic projects,  having an imaginary existential "enemy"  is
useful. This war of rhetoric is safely predicated on geographic distance.
While making this noise against each other,  it strangely always seems to
be the Arab populations living between them who get slaughteted by both. In
the context of the Saudi-Iranian geopolitical rivalry being largely fought
in sectarian terms across the region, the presence of one unifying
"Islamic" goal in Jerusalem is useful for the more distant (and it happens,
 non-Sunni and non-Arab) state in this rivalry,  giving the outlier a card
with which it can safely pose (Gaddafi's Libya used to do the same,
 "steadfastly" fighting "Zionism" from the middle of north Africa).

While I'm in no position to speak for the rising Iranian masses,  my guess
is that overall there is probably more political sophistication than what
we give them credit for,  and that even those raising this unsophisticated
slogan are aware enough that the mullah regime's noise about Gaza or
Jerusalem is nothing but empty rhetoric to justify tyranny at home and war
against Arab peoples abroad.

Having said all that, of course we should be aware of politically confused
slogans beingvraised by sections if the moment and warn against any
potential dangerous paths they could take the movement.  But my sense is
thst at this stagevsuch odd slogans are overwhelmed by the enormous
potential of this wonderful new people's uprising.

On 31/12/2017 3:19 PM, "Ken Hiebert via Marxism" <
marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

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"Not Gaza, not Lebanon, my soul is the redemption of Iran"
"Leave Syria and think about us”

The demonstrators could be cast as lacking in international solidarity.  I
wasn’t surprised to see the Palestinian flag carried in the pro-government
One might reasonably ask what Iran has ever done for Gaza.

                ken h
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