October 3, 2012

Debate and discussion: imperialism and the war on Iran.

As peace and anti-war activists build for the October 6th rally against war on Syria or Iran, Rebel Youth is providing the following article and commentary for discussion about the looming military threat on Iran. A lot of critical analysis is being given to this danger, and as youth and student activists we need to make the link with the day-to-day fight for peace in our communities, campuses, workplaces, unions, and other organizations. 

What is a good approach?

The main article below presents one way of approaching this question. The article is by the website Global Research published by the Canadian-based Centre for Research on Globalization. To get discussion started we are also presenting a commentary reply, by a writer for People's Voice newspaper on international issues. You can read more about the protest events against the war here and we provide some more links at the end of this article.

From Global Research:

According to U.S. officials, Israel is training and supporting Iranian terrorists who are trying to topple the Iranian government. Those Israeli-funded terrorists have faked documents to falsely indicate that Iran is building a nuclear bomb.

Israel has admitted to previous use of false flag attacks to justify war against Middle Eastern nations.

For example,   Israel admits that an Israeli terrorist cell operating in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including U.S. diplomatic facilities, then left behind “evidence” implicating the Arabs as the culprits (one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to identify the bombers, and several of the Israelis later confessed).

Please read the rest of the article on Global Research, which presents a series of facts to support this claim.

Commentary reply:

The article "Will Israel Launch a False Flag Against Iran to Start War?" (Global Research, Sept. 28h 2012) presents an interesting speculation, but really, why would Israeli Prime Minister B. Netanyahu think he needs a "false flag" incident?  He and other warmongers in the Israeli leadership, and the most belligerent sections of the U.S. ruling class, have argued that they have all the evidence they need to launch pre-emptive strikes against Iran.

In a region overflowing with deadly weapons and conflicting interests, there are constant clashes and military confrontations. Any such incident could be seized upon by the war hawks to attack Iran. Could the constant chatter about "false flags" divert people from the difficult but necessary task of mobilizing against the drive to militarism and war?

That's a problem some anti-war activists have with those who are often predicting "false flags" at any moment. Just in the past couple of months, this included failed predictions about the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, the closing ceremonies, the 9-11 anniversary, and various others. We cannot become mesmerised by trying to guess which date will see some type of provocation, or else we will become immobilized observers.

Yes, there are conspiracies at the highest levels of the ruling class, and always have been. But this is not what drives imperialism. A meteor from space could hit the next Bilderberg meeting and the capitalist system would carry on as usual after the mess was cleaned up.

That said, the danger in the Middle East is very real. War could break out before the US Presidential election, but not necessarily. Will be too late to protest the day after it begins, considering the ability of Iran to strike back against the U.S. and Israel with unpredictable consequences? Clearly the answer is yes. That's why now is the time to do everything we can to mobilize in the streets for Oct. 6th.

For discussion:

1.  What did you think about the Global Research (GR) article? What is a "false flag" attack? What do you think of the main idea? What do you think of the sources and documentation? Have you ever read similar articles on the internet? Who is the intended audience and what does the author want to achieve in terms of action?

2. The "Commentary Reply" is written from a different point of view. How would you characterize the main argument? Unlike the GR article, the Reply does not site any sources -- do you think that weakens its argument? Who is the intended audience and what does the author want to achieve in terms of action?

2. What do you think? Both writers claim that conspiracy exists, but one author emphasizes that conspiracy does not "drive" imperialism. What is a conspiracy theory? How is it different from (or similar to) a class-based analysis of imperialism? What does drive imperialism?

3. Thinking more broadly from this concert example, how theory and analysis connected with action, strategy and tactics?

4.  In your community, is there a mobilization against the threat of war on Oct. 6th? How could you, a youth organization you are involved in, or your YCL club, help build for this mobilization? How does this connect with the YCL's strategic goal of fighting the Harper Conservative government and building unity behind a Charter of Youth Rights?

5.  What ways can we make the struggle against war and for peace stronger in the youth and student movement in Canada?

Read more: http://www.canadianpeacecongress.ca/

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