THE US has launched its naval coalition of anti-Iranian forces seeking to police the Persian Gulf. The anti-Iran coalition includes Australia, Bahrain, the UK, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Israel.
The coalition is to ‘deploy warships to protect shipping routes’ in the strategic Strait of Hormuz. The security of the Strait of Hormuz is organised by Iran and this move by the US is a desperate provocation towards Iran.
The Strait is in some parts less than 21 nautical miles wide, yet a third of the world’s liquefied natural gas and almost 25% of total global oil consumption passes through it, giving it extreme strategic importance.
In fact, the state that controls the Strait of Hormuz has a throat-hold on international trade. No wonder the imperialist forces and their lackeys are so desperate to get their hands on it.
The US has now officially opened its command centre for the naval operation at its military base in Bahrain. Commander of the US Naval Forces in the Middle East, Vice Admiral Jim Malloy, said: ‘We employ capable warships on patrol, but there is no offensive line of effort in this construct, other than a commitment to defend each other if attacked.’
It was the UK rulers who made the first move towards war. On Thursday July 4, in what the Iranians correctly called ‘an act of piracy’, British Royal Marines swooped in on an Iranian tanker, boarded it and impounded it. The Spanish Foreign Ministry confirmed that the act of piracy was made at the request of the US – doing the dirty work for US imperialism. In retaliation, the Iranians seized a British-flagged tanker as collateral, until the British released theirs.
The UK announced that it wanted to set up a coalition of the willing to police the Gulf, but could not get support at home or amongst EU states. After the failure of the UK-led coalition, the US moved to set up its anti-Iran coalition. In order to ‘justify’ setting up ‘The International Maritime Security Construct’, or IMSC, a series of provocations were staged.
A series of mysterious explosions targeting vessels in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman took place earlier this year. The US and Saudi Arabia were quick to blame Iran for the incidents without providing conclusive evidence. The US then announced a deployment of 1,000 additional troops in the region following the attacks.
The US is desperate to seize control of the Strait of Hormuz, and is preparing to go to war with Iran to grab its oil. However this comes not from a position of strength of US imperialism, but from its desperate weakness.
The US is facing a serious economic crisis. It is actually a bankrupt state. Its debt is greater than the wealth it creates. The US debt mountain is over $22 trillion dollars. This is bigger than the total wealth that the US produces. The US Gross Domestic Product to national debt ratio is 108% – anything over 100% is state bankruptcy.
The US has become a net importer rather than exporter. It is from this crisis that US President Trump’s ‘America First’ stance emerged: it is a defensive position. The US is desperate for oil, it is capitalism’s life blood. It is desperate to control the Strait of Hormuz!
When Trump pulled the US out of the agreement with Iran called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and then piled sanctions on Iran, it did so while moving the US military into position.
However, US imperialism has bitten off more than it can chew. The Iranians are defiant, and with them stand all the peoples of the Middle East and indeed workers in every country in the world who are standing up to imperialism.
This is why workers of the US and the UK must lead the way. Rising up in both the UK and the US, they must organise to overthrow ‘the enemy at home’ the US and UK capitalist ruling classes.
The biggest weapon the working class immediately has in its hands is the general strike. When everyone comes out on strike the entire country grinds to a halt. It is then that the working class must take the power.
To do this it needs revolutionary leadership. Now is the time to build sections of the Fourth International all over the world to give that leadership to put an end to capitalism and bring in socialism.