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Another moment of truth approaches. While Washington finally joined talks with Tehran, Congress is still considering a resolution calling for an air, sea and land blockade of Iran, opening one path to war.
What is the relationship between U.S. imperialism and the Islamic Republic of Iran? Will the talks lead to an agreement or will the U.S. warships in the Gulf— or the Israeli military—unleash a massive air attack against the Iranian people? What is the stake for workers and the oppressed in the U.S.?
The U.S. is the wealthiest, most militarized imperialist state. The Pentagon’s role is to impose U.S. diplomatic and economic policy on the world, to control raw materials, to police worldwide ocean trading lanes, and to impose the power of the U.S.-based multinational corporations to super-exploit workers worldwide, including workers inside the U.S. Washington is the home office of world repression and exploitation. Israel is its branch office.
The Iranian state is the result of a popular revolution in 1979 that overthrew the shah, a monarchic dictator. A CIA-directed conspiracy had re-installed this shah in 1953, deposing an elected government. The shah, armed and backed by U.S. imperialism, had his military and police murder tens of thousands of people in his failed attempt to stop the 1979 revolution. This revolution stopped short of overturning capitalist social relations in Iran, but it broke the grip of the imperialist corporations and opened the door to social development in Iran.
There is no doubt a sovereign and independent Iran has the right to trade with whatever countries it chooses, to explore possible energy supplies, including nuclear energy, and even to prepare for self-defense with nuclear weapons. The U.S. possesses almost limitless nuclear weapons and Israel is suspected of possessing 200; these states are both declared enemies of Iran. Nearby India and Pakistan also possess at least some of these weapons, without U.S. hostility.
Washington has just signed a pact helping nuclear-armed India develop its civilian nuclear power, even though the U.S. excuse for threatening Iran is Tehran’s program for developing civilian nuclear power. Last December, 16 U.S. spy agencies reported that there is no evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. Prevention of nuclear proliferation is the U.S. cover story. Iran’s independence from imperialism, its sovereignty and its oil reserves are the real reasons why Washington has targeted the Islamic Republic.
The next question is—despite Bush’s weakened position as the most unpopular president since Richard Nixon in his final days in office, despite Bush’s isolation from not only the U.S. population but sectors of the Pentagon brass who fear the stress and strain on their ground troops after the setbacks in Iraq and Afghanistan, despite the potential for a disastrous explosion in the Middle East and the entire Muslim world, despite the possibility of a massive increase in the price of oil, despite all these dangers—will the Bush gang use what it believes is overwhelming U.S. air power to attack Iran, perhaps following an initial strike by Israel?
A look at the history of imperialist adventures in World Wars I and II, up to the assault on Iraq in 2003, shows that it would be foolish to rule out the possibility of a new adventure simply because that aggression might become another enormous setback for U.S. imperialism itself—not to mention a horror for 70 million Iranian people. The Bush gang, the oil monopolies and the military-industrial complex might be all too ready to back such a risky move. We cannot rule out that the deepening, unsolvable economic crisis might drive imperialism to another war.
For U.S. workers of all nationalities facing unemployment, foreclosures and evictions, not only would such a war be a distraction from their necessary struggle for economic justice, it would be an additional disaster, no matter the outcome. They must mobilize to stop this new war. It is the responsibility of the anti-war movement and the entire workers’ movement to take this danger seriously and organize the kind of independent struggle that can stop it.
USW Local 8751 – District 4
Boston School Bus Drivers’ Union
25 Colgate Rd. • Roslindale, MA 02131
Telephone (617) 524-7073 Fax (617) 524-1691
Dear Sisters and Brothers: If bombs start falling on Iran, a world calamity will surely result. Yet this is a distinct possibility since President Bush has not taken the "military option" off the table - the exact same language he used just before the senseless attack on Iraq, hundre4des of thousands of Iraq deaths, over 4100 U.S. military deaths and $562 billion ago. Organized labor has shown its willingness to intervene to stop senseless wars, during the contra war of the 1980's (Labor Coalition Against Intervention in El Salvador, led by then ACTWU and AFGE, and more recently, U.S. Labor Against the War The Stop the War on Iran campaign is a coalition that has come together to call for local and regional demonstrations from coast to coast on August 2nd. Union officers, executive boards and rank-and-file activists can play a critical role in endorsing this effort and bringing the power of labor to these demonstrations. Please consider endorsing and supporting this campaign anyway you can. You can go to our website (http://stopwaroniran.org) and endorse the August 2nd actions, organize one of your own, or join one of the many that are being held across the country. Together, we might help to prevent another catastrophe for the world. In Solidarity: Frantz Mendes,President, USW Local 8751 Boston School Bus Drivers' Union Steve Gillis, Vice-President, Steve Kirschbaum, Chair, Grievance Committee, USW Local 8751 Edward Childs Chief Steward Local 26 UNITE-HERE Boston, Ma. Martha Grevatt, Trustee, UAW Local 122* Twinsburg, Ohio Minnie Bruce Pratt, Susan E.Davis National WritersUnion, UAW Local 1981* Dave Sole, President UAW Local 2234, Detroit, Mi Dave Welsh, Delegate, San Francisco Labor Council NALC/AFL-CIO Mike Gimbel, Delegate, NYC Central Labor Council AFSCME 375* Reza Namdar, Unit Chairperson WBNG, TNG/CWA Local 32035 CWA* Greg Dunkel, PSC-AFT* Sue Kelly, Secty-Treasurer Local 334 OPEIU* * For Identification Purposes