Assad warns of new war danger in the Middle East

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SYRIAN President Bashar al-Assad warned yesterday that the Israeli attack on the Gaza humanitarian aid flotilla in international waters, in which nine Turkish citizens were killed, had ‘definitely’ increased the chance of war in the region.

In an interview he described the Zionist regime of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as a ‘pyromaniac government’. He said that ‘you cannot achieve peace with such a government’, because of ‘their intentions towards peace, their intentions towards Palestinians, their intentions to kill Palestinians’.

ssad’s comments are significant because his country is under intense diplomatic pressure at present from United States President Barack Obama to engage in the so-called ‘Middle East Peace Process’.

The US is desperate to entrench Israel in the region by imposing a Zionist-inspired plan to end resistance and set up a Bantustan-style Palestinian state on scraps of occupied Palestine.

The US has also promised huge economic incentives by offering to drop the five-year-long sanctions against Syria in exchange for it breaking its alliance with Iran.

The Syrian President was speaking as the Israeli regime unveiled new tactics yesterday to overcome being an international pariah after its murderous attack on the Gaza flotilla.

Netanyahu’s office said Israel would ‘liberalise the system by which civilian goods enter Gaza . . .

expand the inflow of materials for civilian projects that are under international supervision’ and ‘continue existing security procedures to prevent the inflow of weapons and war materials’. The Israeli naval blockade will remain in place.

A spokesman for the Hamas Palestinian resistance movement in Gaza responded by saying that some goods which would be allowed in were ‘trivial and secondary’. He declared: ‘What is needed is a complete lifting of the blockade.’

The US also revealed on Wednesday the escalation of its offensive against Iran with the publication of new sanctions against Tehran. Obama’s Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said: ‘We will continue to target Iran’s support for terrorist organisations, we will continue to focus on Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, and we will continue to expose Iran’s efforts to evade international sanctions.’

The US move followed the United Nations Security Council vote to escalate sanctions a week ago, which Brazil and Turkey opposed.

Everyone knows that Iran and the Palestinian resistance movements have never invaded other countries. It is the US and Israel that do this with unfailing regularity.

Despite Obama’s ‘green’ rhetoric, the White House moratorium on drilling for oil off the US coast, after the BP disaster, plus the failure of military occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan, make US imperialism’s drive to control the world’s main reserves of cheap oil, in the Middle East, frantic and more desperate.

The US has got Iran in its sights and is driving towards ‘the continuation of politics by different means’, that is war (Clausewitz). Israel is America’s proxy base, with warplanes, missiles and nuclear bombs.

Assad’s warning of new imperialist wars in the Middle East, spearheaded by the Israeli Zionist regime, is timely. It must be acted upon by the Arab people and their countries, Afghans, Iranians and the working class in the US and Europe.

Now is the time to lift the siege of Gaza. The Arab states, particularly the Egyptian government, must be made to do so immediately and completely.

The working class in the US and Europe, organised in powerful trade unions, must take action, like the dockers in Sweden and Norway who have refused to handle goods traded to and from Israel.

An economic, financial and cultural boycott of Israel must be clamped in place until the siege of Gaza is lifted completely and the Zionist occupation of the Palestinian territories ended, opening the way to the founding of a Palestinian state with its capital in Jerusalem.

In Washington, Brussels and London the trade unions must raise the banner: ‘Hands off Iran!’ Every tax dollar spent on imperialist wars is a dollar taken from healthcare and schools.

Trade unionists must organise marches, rallies and mass strikes, and kick out the government if necessary, to block the war drive against Iran by Obama, Netanyahu and their imperialist allies.