US Secretary of State Rice’s visit to the Middle East is to organise the conditions for US attacks on both Iran and Syria, actions which Bush believes will be decisive for putting right the disastrous situation of the US forces in Iraq.
Bush and Rice do not believe that resolving the Palestinian-Israeli issue is the ‘key for peace’ throughout the Middle East.
On the contrary they believe that cutting Iran and Syria down to size by military actions, will not only enable them to defeat the Iraqi insurgency but will create the conditions for forcing the Palestinians to accept what little Israel is prepared to offer.
However, for the benefit of Fatah’s President Abbas she has started remembering past words and is repeating them about the ‘roadmap for peace’. This is despite the fact that this was buried more than a year ago, when the Israelis unilaterally quit Gaza and began erecting their new border with the Palestinian territories in the West Bank, the massive Security Wall.
Her message for President Abbas is that the US will give him full support if he calls elections and brings down the Hamas government that was democratically elected by the Palestinian masses.
In the event of a Palestinian civil war, the US has already taken steps to see to it that the anti-Hamas forces are well armed and equipped.
The pledge is that if Hamas is removed, there will be a deal with Israel.
Before she left the US, Rice was already threatening Iran and Syria with consequences for the alleged backing of insurgent movements in Iraq. Already the Bush memorandum to the US forces to take action against ‘Iranian agents’ in Iraq is being acted on.
The compound of the Shi’ite leader Al Hakim, who recently met with Bush in Washington, and is the leader of the SCIRI (Supreme Council for the Islamic Movement in Iraq) has been raided, and Iranians on the site arrested by US forces. The Iranian consulate in Irbil has also been raided and a number of diplomats arrested.
The US intention to deal with Iranian agents in Iraq is however not the whole story.
Al Sadr and his Shi’ite mass movement is an Iraqi nationalist movement that has already taken part in two uprisings against the US army. The US still has an arrest warrant out for him.
Bush has given Maliki, his puppet Iraqi premier, three months to get the job done of dealing with the Al Sadr movement and taming Sadr City in Baghdad. There are to be Fallujah-style attacks on the Al Sadr stronghold, led by Kurdish sections of the puppet Iraqi army, with the US army in hot and massive support. Maliki has pledged in advance not to weaken in the course of the struggle.
The prospect is that he will be unable to carry out his pledges. The US will then use the forces that it has organised to overthrow the Maliki government, whose writ only runs in the Green Zone, and install a chosen section of the Iraqi military as the new government.
It is interesting to note that the new Secretary of Defence, Robert Gates has assured Congress that even if the new Bush policy did not work, US forces would not be able to leave Iraq.
The reason why Rice is to meet the Saudi and Egyptian leaderships, and also the Gulf rulers, is to drum up support for this perspective. This will be summed up as the drive to put the Iranian genie back into the bottle, before it threatens to bring down the Saudi royal family and the emirs of the Gulf.
Meanwhile, the Israelis are practising their bombing runs to destroy Iran’s nuclear potential using tactical nuclear weapons, a preparation that the US is encouraging.
Rice’s visit to the Middle East is to foment wars and civil wars. It will however touch off new revolutions and bigger defeats for imperialism.
Workers in Britain must make sure that the British government does not support US policy. The only way to do this is to bring down the Blair government to go forward to a workers’ government that will carry out socialist policies.