October 2012        

Obama at the United Nations

In late September, President Obama addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York. He used the occasion to bang the drums for war against Iran and to pledge military support for Israel. He stated that “a nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained. It would threaten the elimination of Israel. And that is why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”
     Iran has a nuclear programme; it claims it is for energy purposes. However, it is possible that it may also be trying to develop nuclear weapons. Whether or not people believe Iran has a right to pursue a nuclear programme, the hypocrisy of Obama is outrageous.
     The United States has the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, and it is the only country ever to use nuclear weapons against civilians.
     In the last decade the United States has invaded and occupied two different countries and bombed several others as well as conducting a proxy war in Syria.
     Iran may feel that the only way to guarantee itself against a US invasion is to have a nuclear deterrent, just as Cuba felt it needed a nuclear deterrent after the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961.
     The United States is a superpower in decline. Its own working class can barely be exploited any more. Many already work impossibly long hours for low pay to prop up the dead weight of financial parasites.
     This is why American finance capital must constantly look abroad for increased profits. One area where it has a clear advantage over other powers is militarily.
     The United States spends $600 billion annually on “defence.” While the American bourgeoisie call for huge reductions in social spending, they insist that military spending is ring-fenced. This is because the American military are the protectors of American capital and act as a tin-opener for cracking open new resources and markets for exploitation. This is precisely what we saw happen in Iraq.
     As socialists we do not support Ahmadinejad and his reactionary regime in Iran. However, the intervention of US imperialism in Iran can only bring death and destruction. American war hawks will claim that an attack on Iran is for defensive purposes, but this is ridiculous, considering that the United States has the world’s largest military and has already surrounded Iran with bases and is crippling its economy with sanctions.
     Liberals like Obama will try and make the case for “humanitarian intervention” to free the people of Iran from theocracy, but we can see from the support of the United States for appalling regimes like those of Saudi Arabia and Qatar that this line of argument is just a smokescreen for the advancement of imperialism and theft of resources.
     Only the Iranian people can liberate themselves and develop their resources for their own benefit. The workers of the world, and all peace-loving people, must demand that imperialism does not start a new war in the Middle East and that the United States stops meddling in the internal affairs of other countries in attempts to destabilise them for imperialist gain.

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