Where to Now?

It is hard to predict what effect Donald Trump's election will have for US policy on the Middle East. He is being lobbied intensively, not least by President Obama. But from Trump's open expression of hatred toward Muslims and Syrian refugees, it's safe to say that contempt for the people of the Middle East will continue to play the central role it has had for all US rulers.

Hate crimes against Muslims have gone up sharply after Trump winning the election. It is increasingly alarming that there have been multiple incidents reported at colleges and schools. Trump is going to do to the Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews. As Trump’s policies are basically Islamophobic, Middle East is likely to witness more genocides and medieval barbarism in the coming days.

President Barack Obama placed his highest-stakes bet against the revolutionary "farmers and dentists" of Syria, and he lost miserably. He preferred to deal with counter-revolutionary state powers to bring "stability". What he found was that at every stage of the Syrian revolution the masses in motion rose to the challenge—from attacks by Assad's fascist regime, to Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah intervention, to ISIS and the counter-revolution from within the revolution.

It is only with the last year of Russian imperialism's genocidal bombing of schools hospitals, civil defenders, markets, bakeries, mosques, and refugee camps that Assad has been able to regain a minimum of scorched ground. His own army has essentially ceased to exist, and even with Iran's occupying troops he can't retake all of Syria.

This is at the cost of over 400,000 dead, including 15,000 children, over 6 million internally displaced people, and over 4.8 million refugees—almost half Syria's total population rendered homeless and in desperate need. The world's acceptance of this has once again revealed the infinite degradation in which humanity exists. President Obama's bet against the people of Syria contributed to the flourishing of reactionary politics.

It is a bitter irony to see so many of the destabilised region's contending militaries armed with US weapons. Today, the US-supplied Iraqi forces battle ISIS forces in Mosul who are armed to the teeth with US weapons taken from those same Iraqi forces. ISIS battles the US-supplied Kurds in Raqqa, and the Kurdish PYD faces off with the (meagrely) US-supplied Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Turkish forces in Aleppo, while the FSA fights Hizbollah mercenaries who are well-supplied with US weapons through the Lebanese Army—bought and paid for by the Saudis, who also supply Egypt's brutal dictator Sisi, who in turn sends military supplies to Assad. Stability?

For years there was a kind of rhetorical Cold War waged by Israel, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Much of it was for internal political posturing. But, as Assad's repression mounted, this became a hot war of regional imperialism in which the people of Syria and Yemen especially are being subjected to unbelievable atrocities.

Yemen is one of the world’s poorest contries, and faces an acute water shortage. The cynical and cruel war has further led to shortages of food (with 10 million underfed), medicine and electricity. Over 10,000 Yemenis have died.

In a world of coldly calculating viciously repressive rulers, Trump has risen to state power as a representative of counter-revolution. In fact, Trump isn’t an ‘outsider’, as his critics say day in and day out, to reactionary anti-people politics, he is its perfect representative.


Vol. 49, No.28, Jan 15 - 21, 2017