Ottawa’s decision to cut diplomatic ties with Iran is a desperate political move to try to sustain a reactionary and unpopular policy. Nothing to do with any Iranian threat to global peace and security, it is designed to counter the nearly total isolation of Israel and US policy in the Middle East.
Clearly, Iran has the right to defend itself by any means necessary from the imperial predator states, especially the USA which engineered the overthrow of the democratically-elected government in Iran in 1953, fueled the cruel Reza Shah Pahlavi dictatorship for decades, and sponsored a devastating war against Iran (1980 – 1988). The lack of evidence that Iran is nuclear-weapons capable does not deter Washington and Tel Aviv from making accusations and threats, just as George W. Bush did in 2003 to rationalize his invasion of Iraq, resulting in the death or displacement of millions of Iraqis. Self-defense is for victims, not victimizers.
Whether Iran has ‘the bomb’ or not, the major threat of nuclear annihilation stems from the USA and its attack dog in the Middle East, the apartheid Zionist state. Washington has by far the world’s largest stockpile of nuclear weapons, and it is the only state to use the barbaric weapon (twice against Japan in 1945). American presidents have repeatedly threatened to deploy ‘the bomb’, chiefly in pursuit of their corporate interests in the Middle East and Asia, but as seen in the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962, not exclusively so. Israel’s nuclear arsenal is the only one in the vast Arab region, signalling the ultimate price the Zionist establishment puts on terminating its illegal occupation of Palestine.
What is so galling for the White House and the Pentagon is the public relations coup Tehran scored by hosting the conference of the Non-Aligned Movement, in late August, attended by representatives of 120 countries (two-thirds of the United Nations Assembly). Could Washington and Tel Aviv attract that kind of solidarity without coercion?
Stephen Harper’s hard-boiled Minister of External Affairs John Baird cites the repressive character of the Ahmadinejad regime. He accuses it of using diplomatic personnel to promote its interests and to intimidate Iranians living in Canada. To be sure, the Islamic Republic is deeply undemocratic and repressive. So is the Saudi regime which extended its repressive force into Bahrain to quell an Arab Spring uprising. Recall also that the Harper Conservatives intervened in the 2006 election in Venezuela by funnelling money to the right wing opposition.
Socialist Action / Ligue pour l’Action socialiste condemns all forms of oppression and exploitation. At the same time, we defend the right of oppressed nations to national self-determination. We believe it is the task of the workers and farmers of Iran to settle accounts with their ruling class, to replace the tyranny with a vibrant, pluralist, socialist democracy.
Canada’s rulers could not be less interested in facilitating grass roots democracy in Iran. Their interventions in Afghanistan and Haiti attest to that. NATO bombing of Libya, in which Canadian Forces played a despicable leading role, resulted in U.S.-engineered regime change. But it did not prevent the murder of the U.S. ambassador in Benghazi on September 11. Should Washington and Ottawa now break relations with the government they helped to install in Libya? Do they have a similar political ‘make-over’ in mind for Syria? Protests this week across the Muslim world show what is in store for the western powers if they continue to bomb, invade and occupy foreign lands.
Socialist revolution from within, not imperialist intervention, is the road to genuine democracy and social justice. NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair is wrong to pause, wrong to invite Harper to further explain his reactionary diplomatic move. International working class solidarity starts with opposition to the schemes of our own ruling class and their state, and by clearly opposing the war drive of the western powers. A crucial task in this regard is to strengthen the broad, united front, action-oriented anti-war movement, and to appeal to the Iranian community to be a prominent part of it. Demonstrate the opposition of immigrants, workers, youths, women, seniors, NDPers and the entire labour movement to the impending blood bath.
Hands Off Iran! Restore diplomatic relations now! Canada Out of NATO! NATO out of Afghanistan! Disarm the war makers, starting at home! Money for public health, education, housing and good jobs, not for war! Workers to power, from Iran to Egypt, and beyond!
Statement issued September 15, 2012 by:
Socialist Action / Ligue pour l’Action socialiste (Canadian state)
(This article is drawn from information at www.taxjustice.net, compiled and edited by Barry Weisleder.)
SA/LAS solidarity message to rally at South African Consulate in Toronto following the police massacre of striking mine workers at Marikina Platinum Mine:
On Saturday afternoon, August 25, over one hundred people, including many representatives of labour, socialist, Latin American and Black community organizations, gathered in north Toronto outside the office of the South African Consulate to protest the police killing of more than forty mine workers at the Marikina Platinum Mine earlier that week. The following is the text of the statement presented to the gathering by Socialist Action.
On behalf of Socialist Action / Ligue pour l’Action socialiste, I join in condemnation of the massacre of striking mineworkers and stand with you in solidarity with South African workers’ movement. The August 16 police offensive against thousands of striking workers from the Marikina Platinum Mine is an outrage in the eyes of the worldwide labour movement. The shooting and killing of more than 43 workers, and the wounding and arrest of hundreds more is an act of barbarity in the eyes of humanity.
The mine is owned by U.K.-based Lonmin Corporation, the world’s third biggest platinum producer. It accounts for 12% of the world’s output of platinum. The working conditions of the mineworkers and the standard of living in their communities are horrid, which is why they went on strike.
There are several things we need to keep in mind in this situation. First of all, do not forget that the Canadian business class, particularly giant mining bosses like Barrick Gold and Goldcorp are among the worst offenders when it comes to despoiling the environment, exploiting mine workers and suppressing unions.
The Harper government is complicit with obscene Canadian mining practices in Latin America, Asia and Latin America. Harper is the advance man of the nature exploiters and union busters in this dirty business.
The massacre of the Marikina miners also helps to place in context the crimes of Lonmin Corporation. Where the profits are highest, life is cheap on the balance sheet of the owners. This reinforces our demand that the mines and mills globally should be nationalized and operated under workers’ control, if they should be operated at all.
But what about the government of South Africa. This is an African National Congress government, which campaigned against Apartheid. Together with the ANC in the Tripartite Alliance is the South African Communist Party. And yet, nearly 20 years after the 1993 transition that let the former white racist rulers off scot-free, the majority of South Africans suffer economic apartheid.
The ANC pledged to implement its Freedom Charter. The Freedom Charter promised to nationalize the natural resources of the country. But what is the reality? The workers own nothing, and the mine bosses own the police! The state is the servant of the super-rich. Its goons in uniform shoot and kill strikers. ANC politicians issue apologies to the families of the stricken – after ensuring that the interests of the owners are secure.
Many of us have been partisans of the anti-apartheid struggle for decades. Marching for human rights, demanding divestment, sanctions, and the boycott of S.African wines and other products. Here is another bitter lesson for the ages. This is what happens when a revolution stops half-way to victory. This is what happens when workers are betrayed by parties that purport to represent them. The fruits of their labour are hoarded in private vaults, and their best fighters are massacred by the cops of economic apartheid.
So, we need to re-double our efforts for solidarity with the South African workers’ movement. We need to re-double our efforts to win justice for mine workers in South Africa, Asia and Latin America. We need to support the nationalization measures taken recently in Venezuela and Bolivia. We should understand that economic apartheid will end only through socialist revolution.
Victory to the mine workers of South Africa. Solidarity forever. Workers to power!
SA/LAS Canadian state