Monthly Archives: May 2015

What might the US/ UK plans be for Syria and Iraq?

Thought experiment – if I was the CEO of an oil conglomerate or a US/ UK or French politician wanting to keep wealthy owners of the highly profitable armaments industry happy, what would I consider an acceptable solution in the Iraq/ Syria conflict?

I would think that the big mistake was to have allowed the ISIS/ Daesh genie out of the bottle. They are out of control and cannot be dealt with. If only we (US/UK imperialism) had allowed the Saudis a bigger role in sorting out Saddam back in 1992 and making concessions to the upstart at the time of Osama Bin Laden.SaudiArms

After all Saudi Arabia has long been an ally and the Saudi and Western wealthy have served each other well. Why not allow them a freer rein?

Let them pull back the forces of Al Qaida, Sunni tribesmen in fear of Iranian Shia sectarianism and even pull back some from the Daesh with the vision of a Wahhabist Sunni state with a subsidized/ oil-rich ruling class and sufficient sectarian terror to keep the religious fanatics happy.

With the new friends the US is making in Iran – they already have firm control of the Shia sectarians in Syria and Iraq – if the civil war continues, they could give birth to new uncontrollable sectarians – a sectarian mirror image and as out-of-control of a stable state as the Daesh are.

So why not push for a new partition of Iraq and Syria with a Sunni Wahhabist state and a Shia Iranian-client state?

The balance of terror resulting from a repartition of Iraq and Syria and the creation of 2 proxy states of Iran and Saudi will take some negotiation. Russia wouldn’t like losing Assad – but he is a spent force. But an enhanced ‘Cold War’ between Saudi Arabia and Iran and their proxy states would keep the Arab world divided as well as be good for both Russian and Western arms profits.

Iran is still a bit of a problem for the US. They could still blow up a Sunni-Shia repartition and cold war settlement –  Russia could easily see an advantage in doing that and currently the US has no direct influence over Iran. If I was a US imperialist, whilst wanting to keep nuclear arms out of Iran’s hands I would be throwing aid, trade, bribes and other means of influencing the Iranian leaders. I would have to explain why I am arming their rival, Saudi Arabia, to the teeth. But Iran will surely understand – it is just business.

However, the Kurdish parts of Syria and Iraq could not be gobbled up by either sectarian Islamist forces. But the KRG in Iraq has been well tested and can be trusted by the West. The problem is, of course, the Syrian Kurds – their fledgling democracy could influence the Iraq Kurds or have even wider influence in the area. And there’s the rub.

That is why Rojava – Kurdish Northern Syria must be kept weak.

This is not so much a thought experiment – a lot of this has already happened – especially on the Saudi side who have not only been able to launch a war in Yemen to assert their power but have also massively extended their power in Syria where huge funds and arms are now flowing from Saudi to re-organise the Sunni forces. The concessions to Iranian influence has already de facto been made in Iraq.

Of course, for a democrat – for a socialist this would be a horrific solution. It is why we need to talk with, work with and support secular workers across the Middle East urgently to start working for an alternative democratic solution – because the above plans are already well-advanced.

But for an oil billionaire or a US or UK imperialist – a democratic solution where the natural wealth of the Middle East would be fairly distributed amongst its people – that is what would be scary.

Call for Open Labour Movement Conference

Update/ This motion was passed by Broxtowe CLP on Thursday 28th May.
This motion was passed at Beeston North Labour Party meeting on May 11th 4 days after the election defeat. The meeting was attended by 31 members including 5 observers from neighbouring Beeston South Labour Party.

A similar motion has also been passed by a local RMT branch. If you are in the region please raise with in your union or party branch or CLP. We want this to be an inclusive conference of all socialists who want our unions and working class parties to fight back. Please get in contact if you want to support

Emergency Resolution

The election of a Tory government is a terrible defeat for our movement. Even more it is a defeat for the majority of working class people across the country.

The scale of the yet undeclared austerity of the Tories can only have devastating consequences – particularly for the weakest, the oldest, the poorest and the most vulnerable in our communities.

There will be renegotiation of membership and a referendum on the EU. In the course of this we will face a carnival of reactionary nationalist agitation.

The seeming anti-austerity politics of the SNP will take second place to their renewed nationalist agitation against Scottish union with England and Wales.

All of these create massive problems for us. But we cannot sit down and do nothing. We cannot allow these policies to happen merely waiting for another election. The millions of conversations had with working class people on the doorstep, streets and workplaces has meant thousands could join the Labour Party. We need to show them it can be a party that will prioritise anti-austerity policies and fight for our class. We need to act now.

  1. We need to support those fighting back against Tory austerity
    The Party leaderships silence on, indeed even opposition to, the pension strikes of 2011/2 in which millions of workers were involved; the equivocation on such things as the Doncaster Care Workers dispute only a year ago: these did us much damage in our relations with trade unions and public sector workers.
    We need to support all those fighting back.
  2. We need to oppose the demonisation of migrants and the nationalism of an anti-EU campaign
    The Tories will be a seriously divided party on Europe – the nationalist right will be encouraged by UKIP’s high vote and want to use it in the long term.
    We need to promote working class unity across Europe and advocate a humane acceptance of those fleeing persecution and war elsewhere.
    We need European pro-working class action against multinationals, racism and immigration controls.
  3. We need the maximum unity between Scottish workers and those in the rest of Britain as well as within the Scottish workers movement
    The brutal austerity of this Tory government should be met by united campaigns across Britain. Whilst further devolution is inevitable and should be recognised, a new campaign for separation of Scotland will undermine a fightback against the Tories. Agitation in Scotland for independence will only increase if a viciously pro-capitalist Tory government in London is unopposed.
    Labour committed a truly terrible error in the pre-election period by allying with the hated Tories in the Better Together campaign. Unity with Scottish workers can only be promoted by forces that actively fight against the attacks of this government on working class people.
  4. We need to overcome divisions on electoral strategies with socialists working against each other promoting competing candidates
    We believe that the labour movement urgently needs to redefine itself politically: extending our political connection with trade unions; unifying our campaigns against nationalism, racism and austerity; articulating a common programme for radical change that includes ensuring that the energy and transport industries are not run for profit but for the needs of our communities and a sustainable environment.
  5. We need a Labour leader who can unite our movement rather than divide it
    If the Blairites use their disproportionate influence in the Parliamentary Party to foist one of their own into leadership, agreeing with the Tory attacks upon us, it can only divide the Party and movement. Any leadership election should only follow a full debate in the movement about the Party’s future.

Such things will not be ‘declared’, they will be developed – through debate, discussion and common work. We need organisational objectives not just rallies.

To start this off this branch proposes an emergency local conference in Nottingham to which all Labour Party members, trade unionists and others are invited and which plans to act on each of the 5 points above.