Of course we have to oppose Trump's war measures against Iran. Trump is a perfect hypocrite. If he wanted to help Iranians he would allow Iranians into the U.S. He would not be levying sanctions that harm everyday Iranians. He just want Iran's ruin.
On the other hand we offer no sympathy or apology to the Iranian regime. Iran is a theocratic tyranny. It executes hundreds each year and laws have the death penalty for things like "waging war against God". In this way it's just like reactionary Saudi Arabia. The Iranian regime smashed the Left in 1979 and massacred those in its prisons ten years later. There are no labor rights. Arabs in Iran are sorely mistreated. Ahvaz, an Arab majority town in Iran, is a militarized zone and it may be the most air-polluted city on earth.
People are smart enough to oppose two things at once. Only opposing Trump and Netanyahu and ignoring regime repression of Iranians in the name of clarity or of criticizing only those things close to home would properly expose us as hypocrites.
War Resisters League Statement January 8
Dan Fischer in PeaceNews "No War with Iran. No Tears for Soleimani"
The Anarchist Era Collective, based in Iran and Afghanistan, "Statement on the Assassination of an Iranian State Terrorist"
The Worker Communist Party of Iran, "Qasem Soleimani, hated commander of the Islamic Republic's Quds Force has been killed"
"Iraqi protesters denounce twin occupiers US and Iran", Yahoo News
"Iranian-American Organizer Sina Moravej Discusses Current U.S.-Iranian Political Climate"
Black Rose/Rosa Negra Anarchist Federation (U.S.-based), "The Greatest Purveyor of Violence"
Jan. 5, 2020
A Kurdish feminist writes:
" You can cheer the end of Sulaimani and still be anti-war. You can condemn the way Sulaimani was executed but still be relieved that he is no longer around to terrorize people. You can be anti-US imperialism and anti-Iranian dictatorship and brutality."
Sina Zekavat (Iranian in Germany) On Facebook:
To assume that all Shias in Iraq are mourning the death of Suleimani is not only false but is simply racist and orientalist, because you assume they are a block of people without diversity of thought and agency.
Let's go back a couple of months, you know where the popular Iraq protests were most brutalized and killed? southern/central Iraq, Najaf and Karbala, holy Shia cities predominantly working class. So let's review again, Qasem Suleimani was a commander of Iran backed sectarian militia in Iraq (and Syria), who ordered and master minded the violent repression and shooting of Shia and non-Shia young protesters in Iraq. would you mourn the death of the killer of your loved ones? I doubt you would, you would celebrate it, regardless of the grand geopolitical games of the situation.
Alliance of Middle East Socialists 1/3/2020
"The most worrisome aspect of these developments is that they might lead to catastrophic consequences and full-scale war. That would in turn overshadow the wave of uprisings that have broken out in the Middle East and North Africa region in 2019, from Sudan and..."
Oppose U.S. and Iran War by Showing Solidarity with Uprisings in the MENA Region
"We socialists must stand against U.S. diplomatic, economic, and military pressures or attacks on Iran...Within Iran, we stand on the side of the movement for democracy, for political pluralism, for civil rights, for freedom"
Adam Shatz in the London Review of Books "Trump Declares War" Jan 3
From Stanley Heller
Danger of a major war? First, there’s no “danger of a major war”. There’s already been major war in the Middle East for years. Syrians have been bleeding in immense numbers since 2011 and Gen. Suleimani has been a major sponsor of the killing. There is a major danger that “white” people of the West will be dying in a war starting in the Middle East. Be honest, that’s what a lot of the concern is about in the U.S.
A steady creep to World War III is possible, but more likely is that the brave movements in both Iraq and Iran that have stood up to incompetent and corrupt leadership at a cost of perhaps 2,000 lives will be forced into the shadows by sectarian state-sponsored “defend the homeland” movements.
Obviously Trump is no liberator. Remember all the "anti-imperialist" claptrap about him being an "isolationist" and secret "anti-war" figure. The Democrats are no better. Their leadership folded over Yemen and Iran in the last months NDAA negotiations. They put no limits on Trump's warmongering at all in exchange for a few Family Leave benefits. They even allowed billions for Trump's wall. We need protest, but not the same old dumb "anti-imperialism" that glorifies Middle East tyrants not the the good graces of the U.S.
Little mention is being made of jolly old Israel. For years Netanyahu has been demanding war on Iran. He's not a puppet-master, but Israel is hugely important in U.S. politics.
Remove Sanctions on Iran, "yes", but a One Word Answer Doesn't Settle the Manner
Shiyam Nabila Ghalyoun of the War Resisters League and
Sina Zekavat (A War Resisters League video)
Oppose War Measures, Solidarity with the Iranian People
Criticism of the Prashad/Ting/Wolff Panel on China of 9/20/21
By Stanley Heller
These words were never mentioned by anyone in their remarks: Uighur, Hong Kong, labor unions, billionaires, coal plants, exploitation, Taiwan.
The tone of the talk was that everything about the China was wonderful and that only the US government was doing bad things.
1. The moderator introduced Vijay Prashad elaborately, but did not mention that Prashad is senior non-resident fellow at Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China. I would point out Chinese universities are not well known for their academic freedom.
Prashad was the first speaker. I didn’t find anything objectionable in the first ten minutes or so of his talk. The Biden pivot for a Cold War with China isalarming. Now around 13 minutes in, Prashad strayed for a while to talk about Russia. Prashad talked about how the US provoked Russia and how Russia then went to defend its only two major warm water ports, Sevastopol (he doesn't mention the word Ukraine) and Tartous in Syria. He doesn't deign to mention that Syria is a separate country. But Tartous is a Russian warm water port, according to Prashad. He claims that the U.S. “provoked” Russia to intervene in Syria. That they were doing this to prop up their allied tyrant Assad against an apparent successful Syrian revolution is not mentioned. No, it’s all about defending “their port”. With the real background of horrific warfare by Putin and Assad forces against mostly civilian Syrians I find Prashad’s statement repulsive
Prashad is all about geopolitics, but he did not mention any of China’s de facto alliances with authoritarians around the world and its use of “techno-authoritarianism”.
2. The second speaker was Tings Chak, “a Shanghai based researcher” and along with Prashad is part of the Tricontinental Institute for Social Research. She talked about the Chinese government raising people out of poverty and mentioned a whole host of social programs and a program where what sounds like the equivalent of Chinese social workers live in Chinese poor villages to help people. She mentioned programs that were making repairs to China environmental misdeeds which she said were large. She wasn’t specific, but I got the sense she was talking about things like destroying villages with dams. She did not mention China’s overall environmental policy (see below).
3. The third speaker was US economist Richard Wolff who marveled at Chinese leaps in GDP which far outstripped that of the US. He criticized capitalist economists who never mentioned it or explained it away flippantly. Why use this GDP as the be-all-and-end-all of economic progress? Wolff did not talk about what the overall plan of the Chinese communist party which includes a rapid industrialization based on creating coal-burning power plants at a rate higher than anywhere else in the world. Image what this is doing to the world’s climate and to the health of Chinese people (2017 estimate, one million Chinese deaths per year). The world is approaching tipping points in 2030 and China is not only the leading builder of coal plants, but is the leading producer of automobiles (more than double US production). China is the world’s leading emitter of greenhouse gases in absolute terms, twice that of the US. (yes, I realize China has a much large population and the US is #1 in historical terms, but that’s not going to mean anything if climates collapse).
Wolff claimed China doesn’t want to compete with the US militarily, but wants to compete “where its strength lies” in “eradicating poverty and decreasing as a matter of policy inequality…which the Common Prosperity and the other programs, attacking the tech giants, moving wealth from the profit category and moving it to the wage category”… “one of the greatest innovations in great power competition”. I’m not qualified to comment on the last assertions. I never heard about the Common Prosperity program. I do know that supposedly socialist China has more billionaires that the USA.
4. A fourth speaker was Grayson Lanza’s of the DSA International Committee. He talked about Biden/Pelosi legislation concerning China which no doubt is bad.
I’m not saying everything in the presentations was bad. Certainly, the point that China has lost 4,000 to COVID while the US has lost 700,000 needs to be mentioned again and again. And AUKUS should be condemned. But those points are obvious to anyone on the Left.
The event was sponsored by the DSA International Committee. I'm a DSA member.