Editorial . . . The Middle East, tinderbox for wider imperialist wars

13 April 2024 924 hits

On April 1, Israel’s rulers struck Iran’s embassy compound in Damascus, Syria—equivalent to bombing Iran itself, according to the capitalists’ international law. They killed 11 workers and two Iranian generals tied to the country’s “shadow war” against Israel. The same day, Israel deliberately targeted and bombed three cars in Gaza that carried aid workers with World Central Kitchen(WCK), according to WCK founder Jose Andres. This was no isolated incident. With a blank check for arms and bombs from the U.S., Israel has murdered two hundred aid workers and more than 33,000 Palestinians, the great majority of them noncombatant women and children, according to U.S. “Defense” Secretary Lloyd Austin (, 3/1). The arms flow and atrocities continue despite Genocide Joe Biden’s phony call for a ceasefire as he slaps his defiant lapdog, Israeli president and mass murderer Benjamin Netanyahu, on the wrist.

Capitalist profits and racist genocide continue to sit at the heart of the one-sided slaughter of workers in Palestine. U.S. imperialists have long relied on Israel as its military proxy in the Middle East, a permanent “aircraft carrier group” for U.S. oil interests. But that arrangement is now under attack. A wider war looms in the Middle East, one that might escalate into an inter-imperialist World War Three. In an all-out global conflict, the devastation of the international working class will intensify exponentially. It is time for all workers to turn these attacks into anti-racist class war against all imperialists and capitalists under the leadership of the international communist Progressive Labor Party.

Many smaller capitalist gangs in the region have allied with imperialist Iran against the U.S. and Israel, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Palestine, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen, and an array of militias in Syria and Iraq. With funding and weapons from Iran, along with the capitalists’ ideological weapons of nationalism and religion, these groups have gained broad support among workers who are courageously fighting back against the Zionist war machine. But even if the groups’ misleaders succeed, they can offer nothing but more exploitation of the working class under the guise of anti-imperialism. Communism, not a new set of capitalist bosses, is what our class needs for liberation!

Iranian bosses’ leverage

The U.S. bosses have been trying and failing to topple Iran’s bosses since the Iranian “revolution” of 1979 overthrew their lackey, the Shah of Iran. What is stopping the U.S. imperialists and their junior criminal partners in Israel from launching genocidal attacks on Iran itself? Iran’s regional alliances and its deepening economic and political ties with the United States’ arch-rivals make it a more formidable foe than Hamas. Both the Chinese and Russian imperialists are ignoring international sanctions and buying large quantities of oil from Iran (Reuters, 11/10/23). 

Iran has military and geographic leverage, as well. About 17 million barrels of oil, around 20 percent of total global demand, pass through the Strait of Hormuz each day ( If Iran were to obstruct the strait, it would cause global economic chaos. Iran’s mountainous topography is a natural fortress against invading powers. Finally, Iran has tailored much of its navy to fend off the U.S. imperialists with an armada of speed boats equipped for naval guerilla warfare. 

Israel, racist pariah state

Workers worldwide are showing that they will not take the genocide of Gaza sitting down. Millions have protested against Israel, which has become a pariah state. On April 4, seven Arab workers from Israel and four Palestinians from the West Bank attempted to assassinate Ben Gvir, Israel’s fascist national security head. Unfortunately, Israel’s anti-war movement is still trapped in Zionist ideology and focuses on the hundred or so Israeli hostages in Gaza while largely ignoring the tens of thousands of Palestinian victims of Israel’s vicious ethnic cleansing. A recent call for elections, regardless of how it turns out, will not change Israel’s commitment to apartheid in the West Bank and mass open-air incarceration in Gaza.

The rise of global opposition to the U.S. may seem like a good thing. But we must beware of the motives of these opponents when they belong to the capitalist ruling class. As U.S. imperialism declines, China and Russian and their allies are seeking opportunities for inroads in the Middle East and elsewhere. No matter who comes out on top of the bosses’ next big conflict, workers will lose—unless they turn the guns around to wage class war against our oppressors. Only a united, multiracial working class led by a revolutionary communist party can end the cycle of imperialist wars to re-divide the world for profit. Workers have no dog in this fight! 

The Progressive Labor Party encourages all those outraged by the devastation of Gaza to build a base for communism and PLP among workers of the world. Only communist revolution can put capitalist exploitation, racism, imperialist war, and climate catastrophe in the dustbin of history. Only communism can enable the working class to write our own future! Join us!