PRESIDENT Bush’s decision to expand the US military is a direct attack on the masses of the Middle East and Iran, and on the US workers. After spending close to $600 billion on the Iraq war, Bush’s decision means that the US ruling class is going for broke and preparing for war with Iran, which the US workers will have to pay for.
The expansion of the US military is to be financed by fierce attacks on the wages, jobs, health care and pensions of up to a hundred million US workers.
Bush is expected to order the US army and Marine Corps to expand its forces by 70,000, with up to 50,000 more US troops to be sent to Iraq.
Meanwhile, US naval forces supporting aircraft carriers are moving closer to the Persian Gulf region.
Bush said on Wednesday: ‘The fundamental question is, will Republicans and Democrats be able to work with the administration to assure our military and the American people that we will position our military so that it is ready and able to stay engaged in a long war, and this ideological struggle?’
What he really means is that in moving closer to war with Iran he needs the support of all Republicans and Democrats because he is risking a major uprising of the US workers who are already sickened by the slaughter in Iraq.
Meanwhile, Bush’s chief cheer leader has been to the Middle East rallying the feudalists of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf for military action against Iran, which is a beacon of parliamentary democracy and women’s rights when compared to the autocrats of the Arabian peninsula.
Premier Blair’s rallying cry was: ‘We are at war with Iran’. He added that this war, at the moment, is not in the conventional sense, since the imperialist powers and Iran are currently jockeying for position throughout the area. That the stage of armed conflict is just a matter of time and timing, is crystal clear.
To that end, Blair worked to cement an anti-Iranian alliance between Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
The decision to bin Baker and his plan and prepare to attack Iran is part of a right wing turn to more war and more dictatorships throughout the Middle East.
In Iraq it means a US-UK turn away from the Shi’ite parties, back towards the Ba’ath party, which can be relied upon to be staunchly anti-Iranian.
In Palestine, as Blair made clear in Ramallah, the US-UK is supporting President Abbas by spending millions training the president’s security forces – for a civil war and coup against the elected Hamas government.
Any anti-Hamas government that emerges in this situation can only be a pro-US, pro-Israeli military dictatorship.
Meanwhile, the US has flung back Syria’s friendship overtures into the face of President Assad, by publicly backing Syrian opposition groups in a bid to destabilise the Syrian government.
State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the United States now supported Syrian civil society groups, in line with its global bid to foster democracy around the world.
The logic of this policy is to actively work inside Syria to overthrow the Syrian Ba’athist regime.
In Lebanon the same turn means supporting and re-arming the Phalangists, pro-Al-Qaeda forces and the Druze for an attack on Hezbollah.
Such a tactic also means organising Israel for a series of strikes at Iran’s nuclear power facilities. There is every sign that the US will seek to avoid more massive casualties in a new Asian land war by using tactical nuclear weaponry.
The price of this developing militarism is going to be economic disasters, with oil and gas prices surging upwards as the Middle East goes up in flames, and the spread of revolution, from Iraq and Palestine into Egypt, Jordan and the Lebanon, and at home into the metropolitan capitalist states of the US and the UK.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Blair announced to the imperialist world that he was for hire, and that after he is thrown out as Premier he wants a really substantial job to do, serving US imperialism no doubt in some capacity or other. He is in for a shock since the market for Bush poodles is collapsing along with their master. Nobody loves a failed US imperialist agent.
The British working class will be cheering his political demise, and hoping to see him behind bars.
It will also try to make sure that the rest of the Blair-Brown government shares a cell with him.
More than anything, British workers need to organise a socialist revolution to go forward to a workers’ government. This will expropriate the bourgeoisie at home and withdraw all British troops from the Gulf, Afghanistan and the Middle East, replacing imperialist banditry with solidarity and fraternal and equal relations.
This is the only way forward for the working class of the UK.