Below is a statement produced by Alison Weir, the American journalist and writer, and founder of the campaigning organisation If Americans Knew, which campaigns in defence of the Palestinian people against both Israeli oppression and ethnic cleansing, and against the very powerful Jewish/Zionist bourgeois layer that wields great power in US politics against anyone who criticises Zionism’s crimes.
Alison Weir is not a Marxist, indeed she appears to be driven by consistent liberal and civil libertarian principles in her defence of Palestinian rights. She is fearless in that she touches on questions that many proclaimed Marxists, even those who regard themselves as fervent opponents of Israel and the Zionist project, fear to address. Ms Weir’s work, meticulously researched and footnoted, particularly her important work ‘Against Our Better Judgement’ whose argument is summarised by her in the fascinating video also embedded in his article, documents important historical facts.
It should go without saying that the killing, apparently by militant Islamists, of the editors, journalists and cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, should be condemned by the working class movement. The people responsible are guilty of some pretty heinous crimes and obviously need to be caught and prosecuted. As humanists, communists are opposed to such wanton killing of unarmed people, with the suffering that it will undoubtedly cause to those close to them. That much and no more should the working class movement stand formally with the mainstream politicians who are loudly condemning these killings.
We must condemn this action, not because it ‘outrages’ the sensibilities of the French government or its imperialist allies regarding ‘free speech’ or the alleged sanctity of human life – they have no respect for these things themselves. But we condemn it not least because it will inevitably result in an increase in anti-Muslim bigotry and hatred, and will lead to the victimisation of Muslims in France and elsewhere. Those who took this action, who appear to have had military know-how and training, no doubt will welcome such a reaction as it tends to further drive angry and alienated young Arab and African people of Muslim background towards them.
Obama, Cameron and Hollande’s latest war, with the support of the elite oil-exploiting Arab monarchies such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE, is yet another act of barbarism against the mainly Arab and Muslim peoples of the Middle East. Indeed, the recent neocon-inspired wars have led to barbarism on top of barbarism, with the demolition of Iraq in 2003 leading straight to the effective collapse of the country.
The political weakness of the Arab Spring – a spontaneous upsurge beginning in 2011 against the degenerate nationalist dictatorships that dominate the region, with its lack of a coherent ideology or revolutionary centre, enabled its enemies to exploit its spontaneity and the illusions of the masses in forms of Islamic and pan-Islamic nationalism. They either cemented in place new dictatorships out of the failure of such movements, as in Egypt, or used their armed power to give a degree of self-serving support to the upsurges, manipulating them with the use of selective military intervention or the supply of arms to settle old scores with the more ‘radical’ dictators: Qadaafi and Assad. Not coincidentally, these were the only two Arab regimes left that, for all their own capitulations to imperialism, had not run up the white flag of open collaboration with Israel.
Such campaigns, which led to the collapse of Libya into chaos, and the funding of the same Al Qaeda-related forces in Syria via Saudi Arabia, in effect attempted to manipulate radicalised, angry young Muslims into doing the West’s bidding in Syria as they did in Libya. This has backfired spectacularly as the Syrian insurgency ultra-radicalised through the agency of the former Al Qaeda in Iraq – now Islamic State. This established sufficient synergy between the insurgencies in the two countries to overwhelm the crucial imperialist-created Sykes-Picot line. This was something the imperialist puppet-masters did not expect to happen. Oops – they fucked it up in a big way!