Summary: Statement by the International Marxist Humanist Organization against war and imperialist sanctions. While the attack, attributed to Iran, on the Saudi oil processing plant shows the vulnerability of US allies in the region, the new financial sanctions the US is using against Iran — and also Venezuela — constitute an unprecedented type of imperialist intervention, in addition to threats of outright war — Editors
On September 14, 2019, a major Saudi oil processing plant in Abqaiq was attacked by drones or missiles linked to Iran, a major blow to the reactionary kingdom and its economy. The United States government, which has been an ally of the Saudi royal family, is now sending hundreds more troops to guard the Saudis and pressure is building in some quarters for another US war in the Middle East. Any such war would be an utter tragedy for the region and the world.
The Iran-linked attack on Saudi Arabia, which took both the US and the Saudis by surprise, shows that the grand illusion held by them and their Israeli allies of total hegemony in the Middle East is built on sand. For it turns out that a subimperialist power, Iran, still has enough weight to threaten and undermine them, not least because a war with Iran would disrupt global oil supplies. This is due to the fragility of the retrograde Saudi kingdom and to the revulsion against another war in the Middle East on the part of the US populace. It is also a marker, beneath the Trump bluster — as in his cancellation of the Iran nuclear deal — of the decline of the US as a superpower, weakened by endless wars and economic malaise. Russia and especially China are waiting in the wings.
At the same time, the US and its allies continue to wield tremendous destructive power. For four years, the Saudis have continued their horrific bombing of impoverished Yemen, while the US is actually escalating its punishing sanctions on Iran, exacerbated by its cancellation last year of the Iran nuclear agreement. The sanctions, which constitute a powerful new type of financial warfare that can choke off a country from global trade, are driving the Iranian economy over the brink. They amount to an unprecedented type of imperial power that can be exercised without firing a shot.
But at the same time, these new sanctions and US military threats are giving Iran’s reactionary theocracy an alibi and a political lifeline in the face of simmering revolt over corruption, oppression of women, ecological crisis, and exploitation of working people. The US is making similar moves against the authoritarian Maduro government in Venezuela, with similar results. When even the United States Congress could not bear the cries of men, women, and yes, children ringing out of Yemen, the warmongers in the Trump administration continued US weapons sales. Whether in the case of an utterly reactionary regime like Iran’s, or an authoritarian one that retains a few aspects of leftwing populism like Venezuela’s, or the Saudis’ Yemen war, we need to above all say NO to US intervention, NO to US economic strangulation.
At a time when, to take the US as an example, some 27 million Americans are without health insurance, wages are stagnant, climate change is destroying the future of our youth, and budget cuts threaten the security of our elderly, parts of the ruling class in Washington, DC want to continue strangling Iran with sanctions and have even spoken of sending Americans to die for the oil of rich, pampered old men in Saudi Arabia.
After the hundreds of thousands of human beings killed and trillions of dollars’ worth of workers’ wealth wasted in the War on Terror due to the pride of corporate-owned politicians who wanted to look tough with other people’s blood and tears, we say HELL NO to a war on Iran for Saudi Arabia. The Saudi regime, which beheads and stones women for “witchcraft” in the 21st century and which murders and dismembers journalists, is a US ally only because of oil, money, and geography.
As socialists and humanists, we hold to the basic truth, controversial in corporate boardrooms and air-conditioned government offices, that human life is more valuable than the limitless accumulation of capital. We want a world with a postcapitalist, democratic economy and democratic workplace that will never again experience a war on behalf of capital while working people choose suicide, not due to painful illness, but because of their medical bills. Let us show solidarity with working people everywhere and support the freedom and liberation of Arabia, Iran, and the world — over the money and pride of warmongering capitalists by saying NO to a war for the Saudi monarchy.
–Approved by a vote of the membership of the International Marxist-Humanist Organization, on October 4, 2019