National Sections of the L5I:

Middle-East

Iraq and Imperialism

The recent crisis in Iraq has revived a debate on where socialists should stand in the event of an armed conflict between the US/UK and Saddam’s regime. The answer lies in a clear understanding of Iraq’s status in the world capitalist order. Keith Harvey and Richard Brenner investigate the history of Iraq and explain its continued subordination to western imperialism. Read more...

A new superpower in the Middle East?

The end of March, Nowruz—Kurdish New Year, saw a massive upsurge in fighting between the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) and the Turkish army. Fighting centred around towns in the Kurdish areas of south east Turkey near the Iraqi and Syrian border. Read more...

Lessons of the Gulf War

On 2 August 1990 Iraq launched a lightning attack on Kuwait. In a few hours the Emir’s vastly outnumbered armed forces had surrendered. Less than four weeks later, Saddam Hussein re-baptised Kuwait “Saddamiyat” and annexed it as the 19th Iraqi province.

On 15 January 1991, after months of diplomacy and war preparations, the USA led a coalition of forces to remove Hussein in a bloody and reactionary war. In the first 100 hours the Allies captured or destroyed 42 Iraqi divisions (12,000 troops each) and took 175,000 prisoners. 3,009 Iraqi tanks and 2,140 pieces of artillery—55% and 61% respectively of Saddam’s arsenal—were captured or destroyed. Read more...

Working class action to defeat imperialism Victory to Iraq!

The massive bombing of Baghdad and hundreds of Iraqi “targets” has begun. Operation Desert Storm is at this very moment laying waste whole tracts of Iraq with tens of thousands of tonnes of bombs a night. This “surgical strike” will soon give way to bloody carnage as the land forces advance. Read more...

LRCI resolutions on the Gulf Crisis

Passed by the LRCI International Secretariat, August/September 1990

On the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait

The Iraqi attack on Kuwait was motivated by economic aggrandisement necessitated by the Iran/Iraq war and the expenses of maintaining the reactionary military Bonapartist regime of Saddam Hussein. Though this seizure of Kuwait has outraged the imperialist powers it is not a genuine blow against imperialism. Iraq seeks to become the dominant regional Arab power, a power that imperialism must work through and deal with. Its claim to be a liberator of the Kuwaiti people from their reactionary rulers is a fraud. As such we condemn the Iraqi invasion and call for the withdrawal of Iraqi troops. Read more...

Theses on Zionism, Israel, Palestine and Arab nationalism

Passed at the MRCI delegate conference, September 1988

Jews: race, nation or “people-class”?

1. The Jews are clearly not a race. The original Hebrew people and language belonged to the Semitic family but two and a half millenia of residence amongst non-Semitic peoples, widespread proselytism to Judaism in earlier periods and intermarriage has made these communities like most other peoples a “racial mixture”. Read more...

Theses on Zionism and Palestine: 1947

We reprint here an English translation of ‘Draft theses on the Jewish Question today’, first published in Fourth International in the January/February 1948 issue. They are dated January 1947 and the available evidence suggests that they were drafted by Ernest Mandel (‘Walter’) and first discussed by the International Secretariat in Paris at its 16 December 1946 meeting. Read more...

SWP: wrong positions on Iran and Iraq

‘The war is no longer just a conflict between two ruling classes fighting for domination of the region . . . The war now is one in which Iran faces the world’s mightiest imperial power (the USA—WP) and its European and Arab allies. Under these circumstances socialists are not neutral... We are with the Iranians—for the defeat of the whole coalition of forces, including Iraq, that is ranged against them.’
(Socialist Worker Review December 1987). Read more...

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