ThereAreNoSunglasses

American Resistance To Empire

Milliband’s “Truth-Bomb”

[SEE: Latest Med “Boat People” Tragedy Resulting From Anti-Libyan U.N. Sec. Council Res. 1973 ; The Obscenity of Humanitarian Warfare]

Nigel Farage: David Cameron ‘directly caused’ Libyan migrant crisis

“Ukip leader says Britain should offer refuge to Christians from Libya, as up to 700 die in latest disaster at sea.”

Cameron hits back after Labour suggests he is responsible for migrant deaths

“Prime minister says Miliband’s comments about failures of post-conflict plans in Libya are ill-judged, as Labour says Tories have manufactured the row.”

branded“shameful and absolutely unacceptable” by Number 10.

Miliband riles Tories with ‘bombing Libya led to migrant crisis’ claim

Russia-Today


Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband arrives at a campaign event in Ipswich, eastern England April 22, 2015 (Reuters / Darren Staples)

Britain’s opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband arrives at a campaign event in Ipswich, eastern England April 22, 2015 (Reuters / Darren Staples)

Ed Miliband’s claims that David Cameron and other European leaders failed Libya and in part contributed to the migrant boat catastrophe in which 800 people drowned were branded “shameful and absolutely unacceptable” by Number 10.

The Labour leader, who has not yet given the speech, plans to say world leaders have not supported Libya in the wake of coalition airstrikes, which contributed to the downfall of Colonel Gaddafi, leading to growing numbers of migrants dying in the Mediterranean.

Despite having voted in favor of military action against Libya, Miliband will say there were “failures in post-conflict planning.” He will say the refugee situation could have been anticipated.

“In Libya, Labour supported military action to avoid the slaughter Gaddafi threatened in Benghazi,” Miliband will say.

“But since the action, the failure of post-conflict planning has become obvious. David Cameron was wrong to assume that Libya’s political culture and institutions could be left to evolve and transform on their own.”

“The tragedy is that this could have been anticipated. It should have been avoided. And Britain could have played its part in ensuring the international community stood by the people of Libya in practice rather than standing behind the unfounded hopes of potential progress only in principle.”

His comments echo those of UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who said on Monday that EU leaders were responsible for the deaths of the migrants, suggesting airstrikes had de-stabilized the country and forced more migrants to flee.

The airstrikes carried out in 2011 by a UN-authorized coalition of France, the UK and the US saw Colonel Gaddafi’s regime collapse. The country has since been plagued by political insecurity, with no single functioning government.

Since the toppling of Gaddafi, a civil war between tribal militias throughout the country has ensued.

The Conservatives responded with anger, with Environment Secretary Liz Truss saying the remarks should be withdrawn. She said Miliband’s comments were not the way current affairs should be discussed.

Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander, however, said the speech was not intended to create public argument, blaming Number 10 for fabricating the row.

Alexander insisted “the state of Libya is a failure for postwar conflict-planning for which the international community faces responsibility.

“I don’t think anyone disputes that we are witnessing a situation where Libya is perilously close to becoming a completely failed state on the southern shores of the Mediterranean. That is not a matter of dispute; that is simply a matter of fact,” he said.

Miliband will make a rare foray into foreign affairs in a speech at Chatham House on Friday, which is unusual for any politician during election campaign season.

He is expected to say that Cameron’s discourse on an EU referendum has given the world the impression the UK is slowly isolating itself from international affairs.

Using Yemeni Battle Ground To Settle “Schism” Within Islam

[Saudi “Decisive Storm” is a religious “ethnic cleansing” operation, meant to either eliminate the troublesome Shia minority on the Arabian Peninsula, or to excommunicate all Shiites from the House of Islam.  There is extreme danger that the Saudi coalition has bigger plans than just housecleaning in Yemen, going way beyond the political contest with Iran. ultimately mutating into a Wahhabi holy war to eliminate the “schism” within Islam (by slaughtering all of the “kfirs/disbelievers”).  

A religious slaughter of this magnitude will automatically trigger the retaliatory the wrath of the “civilized world” (despite US efforts to profit from this jihad), in order to eliminate the danger to the oil fields of the Middle East, even though it will be called a “humanitarian effort.”  As the world becomes aware of the bloody truth about this Saudi power grab, the diplomatic pressure will build, forcing an end to this lunacy, or at least a pause in the bombing for the evacuation of trapped civilian populations and humanitarian relief to take place (SEE: Groups call for ‘pause’ in Yemen ; Iraqi leader decries Saudis on Yemen role).]

UN slams Saudi airstrikes’ violence on Yemeni civilians

miami herald

SANAA

The United Nations’ expert on internally displaced people accused Saudi Arabia on Wednesday of intentionally bombing a camp for people who’d fled Yemen’s violence last week and said airstrikes also had hit hospitals, schools and “other civilian buildings.”

Chaloka Beyani, the U.N.’s rapporteur for internally displaced persons, said at least 25 people had been killed when Saudi aircraft bombed the al Mazraq camp in northern Yemen on March 30, and that another 37, including 12 children, had been injured. He called the attack “a grave violation against some of the most vulnerable of the vulnerable civilians.”

Beyani’s denunciation of the Saudi air campaign, which began March 26, came on the same day that global humanitarian agencies, including the World Health Organization and the International Committee of the Red Cross, said they were preparing for a massive humanitarian crisis in Yemen. In Washington, a coalition of Arab-American groups said they would sue the Obama administration to force it to evacuate Americans trapped in Yemen.

A State Department official said the U.S. government, which is providing logistical support for the Saudi campaign, believes it is too dangerous to risk a military operation to rescue Americans. “There are no current U.S. government-sponsored plans to evacuate private U.S. citizens from Yemen,” the official said. “We encourage all U.S. citizens to shelter in a secure location until they are able to depart safely.”

The World Health Organization said Wednesday that between March 19 and Monday, 643 people had been killed in Yemen’s violence, including 74 children. WHO said another 2,226 people had been injured. Separately, Beyani said at least 311 civilians had been killed.

According to estimates from the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the capital, Sanaa, had the highest death toll, with 88 civilians killed. Eighty-five civilians died in Aden and 43 have been killed in al Dhale. The U.N. office estimated that of 37 public buildings bombed around the country, five were hospitals.

Beyani warned that “the picture on the ground is extremely bleak” as fighting intensifies between Houthi rebels and the government, whose president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, fled to Saudi Arabia two weeks ago.

“Humanitarian responses must be stepped up as a matter of urgency,” Beyani said, predicting that thousands more people are likely to flee their homes as the fighting worsens. Already, the U.N. estimates, 100,000 people have been displaced and 14 of Yemen’s 22 provinces have seen fighting or bombing raids.

Fighting is most intense in Aden, Sanaa, Sadah and Dhale, the U.N. said.

Sitara Jabeen, a spokeswoman for the International Committee of the Red Cross, told McClatchy that the agency has secured clearance from the Saudi-led coalition to fly in humanitarian supplies. Jabeen said that two flights, one carrying 16 tons of medical supplies from Amman, Jordan, and the other carrying 32 tons of water and sanitation and medical supplies from Liege, Belgium, had been cleared to arrive at Sanaa’s airport.

Separately, Jabeen said a Red Cross medical team of five arrived in Aden late Wednesday after a 12-hour journey by sea from Djibouti. She said the ICRC now has more than 250 national and international staff working in Yemen, she said.

Paul Garwood, a WHO spokesman, told McClatchy that the agency was providing health kits for 240,000 people throughout the country and enough trauma supplies for 400 operations at 18 hospitals throughout the country. The supplies included 11,000 bags of blood and intravenous fluids.

While the United States did not launch an evacuation of its citizens, other countries did, among them India, which rescued 232 people from 26 countries, including an unspecified number of Americans.

Hannah Allam in Washington contributed to this report.

Zarocostas is a McClatchy special correspondent.

Obama Clumsily Exposes Israeli/Jewish Control of American Govt, With Iranian Nuke Gambit

[SEE: Half of the US Senate Publicly Undermines and Embarasses the President of the United States]

[BREAKING—White House gives in to Congress on right to reject any Iran nuclear pact ; Israel happy at compromise deal on Iran between Congress-Obama: minister ]

[Here we have the Iranian President Rouhani asserting one fact–that the Iran nuke negotiations are with six nations, NOT JUST THE UNITED STATES–followed by the Congress demonstrating another fact–that the US Congress represents the Israeli government, NOT the American people, quickly followed by a third fact, that the American President is also a puppet of these wealthy foreign interests. 

The American govt. is pounding the US Constitution into a fine parchment powder right here for the whole world to see, as it answers its true masters, the International Jewish elite.]

In-Charge1 source

Iran leader: We are in talks with ‘the major powers,’ not the U.S. Congress

Washington_Post_Logo

 

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday that Tehran was negotiating a comprehensive nuclear deal with world powers, not the U.S. Congress, and called a Senate committee’s vote to give Congress the power to review any potential deal a domestic U.S. matter.

The Iranian leader, speaking in a televised speech in the northern Iranian city of Rasht, also repeated earlier statements that his country will not accept any comprehensive nuclear deal with world powers unless all sanctions imposed against it are lifted.

“We are in talks with the major powers and not with the Congress,” Rouhani said, Iranian state television reported. Rouhani said the U.S. Congress’ power to review a nuclear deal with Iran was a domestic U.S. matter, the Reuters news agency reported.

He said Iran wanted to end its isolation from the world by constructing “constructive interaction with the world and not confrontation.”

Rouhani’s comments came one day after a Senate committee voted unanimously to give Congress the power to review a potential Iran nuclear deal after a June 30 negotiating deadline, in a compromise with the White House that allows President Obama to avoid possible legislative disapproval of the pact before it can be completed.

Ukrainian Ambassador To US Fired (Scapegoated) Over Porky’s Push For Peace In Donbass

[Why would Porky fire his own ambassador for following the orders that he had given him?   Answer…He wouldn’t.  Therefore Porky was following the boss’ orders (Obama).  Ukraine is slated to become the 51st US State, no doubt.]

“Ukrainian President Poroshenko has once again called on the United Nations to deploy peacekeepers to eastern Ukraine – a repeated appeal that has previously been slammed as meaningless by analysts and seen as hopeless by the West.

But this time around, Poroshenko hinted, there is more support for the move – and it could be decisive in resolving the country’s ongoing conflict with pro-Russian separatists in the east.

A statement posted on the president’s website on April 4 suggested that progress had already been made on the matter, with foreign ministers of the so-called “Normandy 4″ said to have reacted positively to the idea after previously being skeptical in light of Russia’s reluctance and veto power in the UN Security Council.”–Kyiv Post

Motsyk_OlexanderOlexander Motsyk   

Ukrainian President Recalls Ambassador to US After Peacekeepers Request

Sputnik

Petro Poroshenko recalled Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United States after he called on Russia to support a resolution on peacekeepers in Donbass.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko recalled the country’s Ambassador to the United States Olexander Motsyk, according to the Ukrainian Presidency’s website.

Motsyk previously called on Russia to support a resolution which would deploy peacekeepers to the Donbass region.

Shell Oil Bows-Down Before the Gods of Predatory Capitalism, Then Buys BG

(SEE:  Obama Pushing the World To Embrace American Failure ;  Sermon from the Corporate Church)

ImageOfTheEnemy

Shell’s carpe diem a lesson for all

AFRI COM

Royal Dutch Shell’s $90 billion pitch at step-change growth is expected to trigger a tornado of consolidation across a wide landscape of global petroleum, with the Deepwater Horizon-blighted BP rated the next-most-likely landing point of acquisitive interest.

Indeed, while Shell’s interest in the British-based Mini Me that is BG Group has long been anticipated, there are some surprised by this acutely timed fulfilment, only because it was felt BP might be a more attractive target for the world’s second-biggest oil company.

The word is that Shell certainly took more than a sideways glance at the other British-born super major. But, in the end it plumped for BG, because it introduced more momentum in Shell’s transitional embrace of global gas markets as a core growth engine, would arrive in the original dual-listed giant carrying less uncertainty and reputational risk and was a deal more likely to be consummated reasonable quickly.

But there is some conviction that the mighty ExxonMobil might not feel as constrained by risk and that BP would deliver the world’s biggest listed petroleum house with massive reserve growth, at a serious discount to the cost of finding replacement barrels and with the potential of serious synergies, given the considerable geographic overlap of their resource bases.

The fact that the addition of BP would retain for any foreseeable future Exxon’s place as petroleum’s biggest listed operator might not hurt either. Given Shell is successful with the BG pitch, that title is likely to be a matter of some contention by about 2018, when the new combination’s production will outstrip that of the Exxon we see today.

Needless to say, the existing Exxon is the product of the same sort of targeted and ambitious opportunism that would be required to take on BP. It was at the depths of a slump in oil prices in 1998 that Exxon opened a campaign that ended with it paying $75 billion in paper to merge with Mobil. History says that deal was done at a discount to long-term value and generated far more in synergies than originally anticipated.

Whether Shell will extract more from BG than the $US2.5 billion ($3.25 billion) of annual savings targeted for 2018, time will tell. What is more certain though is that Shell is getting BG at a 50 per cent discount to its five-year average valuation and that more that justifies the similarly sized premium it has offered for ownership.

Well timed

Add to that the fact that Shell is using its own paper to cover 70 per cent of price and what you have is a deal as well timed as it is structured.

Interestingly enough, the man who led BG to this deal was chairman Andrew Gould. We know the former Schlumberger boss better as the lead independent director of Rio Tinto through a period that included the resistance of BHP Billiton’s attempt at mega-major consolidation in 2008.

To some degree, Gould’s readiness to accept a deal at BG highlights the polar opposite tacks being taken by mega petroleum and big mining during these days of cyclical retreat in their respective markets.

The oilmen are seizing their moment to drive tectonic change that delivers geographic diversification, with new reserves being acquired at a discount to their long-term value. Meanwhile the miners, with the notable exception of Glencore’s bellicose Ivan Glasenberg, seem content to live within the security of their known knowns.

Australia’s pair of dual-listed resource houses, for example, have been strident in their rejection of opportunistic, inorganic growth through this period of cyclical weakness across their suite of commodities. Instead both, publicly at least, are sticking resolutely to strategic rhetoric that focuses on driving growth through targeted brownfields expansions, cost management and productivity enhancement.

This focus on the known has been particularly laser-like at the world’s biggest diversified resources business, BHP Billiton. The only concession chief executive Andrew Mackenzie has made to counter-cyclical opportunism is in deep-water petroleum, where he has raised the potential of acquisitions as the most economically attractive way of filling an emerging medium-term production gap.

As we keep noting, Mackenzie’s management thesis stands unique in the resources business, because he expresses so little interest in the reserve replacement that sits central to big oil’s routine of consolidation through period of price retreat.

Eating itself

Despite throwing $35 billion annually at growth, Shell has recently been unable to find new resources at a rate fast enough to cover its production. Reserve replacement has been running at less than 80 per cent and that means Shell is eating itself.

Exxon, on the other hand, is under considerably less pressure to acquire reserves, given it has been replacing them at 101 per cent over the past three years. In other words, it has more reserves now than it did in 2012.

For all that, though, chief executive Rex Tillerson told the market in March that Exxon stood ready for a big transaction. Whether coincidence or not, there was a consensus formed that Tillerson had ambitions for BG and speculation abounds that Exxon might yet invited itself to Shell’s party.

Back at BHP, Mackenzie insists the Global Australian has its foot on all that it needs to sustain a compound production growth of 6 per cent and will, in turn, support the company’s progressive dividend strategy. Instead, the BHP strategy is aimed at maximising returns on every key measure, from operating margins to shareholder returns. Mackenzie insists, too, that being the biggest is not the point and has underlined that point by moving to release a fleet of sub-scale assets to shareholders in the form of South32.

But, given BHP’s pretty fine history of engineering growth through structural transition has enabled it to anticipate long-term shifts in commodities demand, this certainty in the sustainability of the existing BHP asset base sits just that little bit uncomfortably for some.

As one senior mining executive observed on Thursday: “To a degree, Shell is calling an end to the oil era and the transition to the gas era. But while Shell is moving to the future, to gas, the likes of BHP are committed to the past, to steel-related products and thermal coal.”

Now, while this is a pretty high-level view and one that does not account fully for intricacies of either the attributes of the Shell deal or to BHP’s portfolio investment strategy, it does effectively capture the divergence of approach to generating growth.

For a start, of course, Shell is buying a good deal more in BG than expanded exposure to export gas markets, the gas resources that sustains them and the massively expensive LNG chillers that facilitates them.

Oil prosects

BG will arrive with Brazilian oil prosects that are expected to be producing at 550,000 barrels a day by 2018 – equivalent to about 15 per cent of Shell’s current daily oil output – and that remains highly prospective exploration territory. It introduces upside too in the North Sea, Kazakhstan and Tanzania.

But the view that Shell’s BG play is an evolutionary investment holds. This is a deal driven by short-term expediency and long-term strategy and one that illuminates Shell’s view of the potential of gas as the transitional fuel for both advanced and emerging economies as they manufacture a reduction in the carbon intensity of their energy infrastructure.

The phrase “straw hats in winter” is embedded in BHP history. It was uttered in 1984 by BHP’s then chairman Sir James MacNeill to explain why he would countenance spending $US2.4 billion on a coal company during a price slump. That deal delivered two of the four pillars that support Mackenzie’s strategy – coal in the Bowen Basin coal and copper at Escondida.

And Shell’s shape-shifting approach on BG arguably offers a timely reminder that a bit of counter-cyclical carpe diem can go an awfully long way.

Guaranteed Financial Security Is A Fantasy

Guaranteed Financial Security Is A Fantasy

investing

Charles Hugh Smith Charles Hugh Smith

Guarantees based on extracting higher taxes, borrowing trillions of dollars and creating trillions more out of thin air only guarantee eventual systemic implosion.

It is difficult for those living through tectonic social and economic shifts to recognize the passing of one era and the emergence of a new era. We are clearly in such a tectonic shift, yet it is slow enough and uneven enough that those who hope the old era will somehow endure despite the erosion of its foundations can find evidence to support their beliefs.

One such cherished belief is the faith that financial security can be guaranteed. This faith has two components:

1. The faith that risk can be identified and managed to the point it cannot disrupt the payment of promised pensions, benefits, yields, etc.

2. The faith that the system can pay what has been promised by one means or another.

If tax revenues are inadequate, taxes can always be raised. If tax revenues fail to rise, then the money needed to pay the promised pensions, benefits, etc. can be borrowed. If the money cannot be borrowed, then it can simply be created out of thin air by central banks or printed by government treasuries.

Before the advent of high finance, lowering risk could only be achieved by spreading the risk over a large populace. To lower the risk to individuals that their house would burn down in an accidental fire, insurance was sold to 1,000 homes. If one or two of the 1,000 homes burned down each year, the insurance could pay the claims and still build up reserves for future claims.

But if a conflagration burns down all 1,000 homes, the insurance is overwhelmed; the guaranteed coverage is rendered worthless.

The creation of a volunteer (or tax-supported) fire brigade will also lower the risk that an accidental fire could spread. But once again, such a brigade can only mitigate very limited fires; a second fire or a windstorm would exceed the capacity of the brigade to extinguish multiple fires.

The faith in guaranteed security is actually a faith that there will be no consequences from borrowing or printing enormous sums of money, and no possible risk to the system that cannot be anticipated and mitigated with some fancy financial footwork.

Is this faith reality-based? We know that borrowing immense sums of money does have consequences: interest must be paid out of future income, reducing the income that can be consumed or invested, and dependence on borrowed money creates moral hazard: rather than make difficult trade-offs, the borrower just borrows more money.

Creating money out of thin air is also not consequence-free. Fancy financial footwork can mask the consequences of creating money to pay promised pensions, benefits, etc., but eventually the reality that creating money does not create wealth intrudes on the fantasy that if tax revenues are insufficient, and borrowing has limits, then we can guarantee incomes, pensions, benefits, etc. by creating money out of thin air.

Those dependent on the promises made in the previous era will support any policy that “extends and pretends” the illusion that financial security can be guaranteed, regardless of seismic shifts in the natural and financial economies.

The irony of “extend and pretend” is these policies only push the system to extremes that guarantee systemic collapse. The more we avoid facing the intrinsic insecurities generated by tectonic shifts, the more we hasten the sudden implosion of old systems pushed beyond their limits.

Real security arises from the constant volatility, friction and insecurity of experimentation, adaptation and dissent. Guarantees based on extracting higher taxes, borrowing trillions of dollars and creating trillions more out of thin air only guarantee eventual systemic implosion.

Put another way: spreading the risk of a house fire amongst the 1,000 homeowners does not actually lessen the risk of a conflagration burning down the entire town.

Pakistan and the Saudi Dominance

saudi-pakistanPakistan and the Saudi attack on Yemen

in defense of marxism

Written by Lal Khan 

The Pakistani masses have reacted very negatively to the prospects of becoming an accomplice in the Saudi Monarchy’s brutal aggression against Yemen. This response has shocked Pakistan’s ruling elite, the state’s bosses, the media and the intelligentsia. Even some in the media have dared to reveal the vicious character of the despotic Saudi regime and its atrocious treatment of more than 2.5 million Pakistani immigrant workers banished into slavery and drudgery by these tyrannical monarchs

The hesitation, lack of any confidence, and hypocrisy of the rulers is pathetic. An official Press report stated that, “Pakistan called upon the United Nations, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the international community to play a constructive role in finding a political solution to the crisis in Yemen. An official statement from the PM House (Prime Minister’s Office) had said the meeting concluded that Pakistan remains firmly committed to supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Saudi Arabia in accordance with the aspirations of the people of Pakistan. It was also emphasised in the meeting that Pakistan is committed to playing a meaningful role in resolving the deteriorating situation in the Middle East.”

What a laughable, pathetic and spineless response! What is said about consulting the ‘parliament’ and informing the people is a reeking cynical farce. These rulers themselves are mere timid puppets. Usually they are only informed about military operations and crucial foreign policy decisions after the fact by the top bosses of the state and their imperialist masters. These are the real people calling the shots.

Saudi Arabia’s influence in Pakistan

The influence of Saudi Arabia in Pakistan should not be underestimated. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was granted amnesty under pressure from the Saudi Monarchs and spent his years in exile after Musharraf’s coup in 1999 in Saudi Arabia. During Sharif’s time in Saudi Arabia he was a guest of the Royal family who were also his business partners. His return to the country and his road to power was paved by the Saudi Royals. On his coming to power in 2013 he was doled out a gift of $1.5 billion by the Saudi government. Despite his frequent visits and business deals with China, Turkey and Qatar, and his bondage with his American masters, he is still most indebted to the Saudi monarchy. At the same time, Saudi Arabia regularly provides free oil for Pakistan’s military and other ‘gifts’ on regular basis. With tanks, fighter planes and naval ships running on Saudi oil, it is not an option for the Pakistani ruling class to disobey their masters orders. Pakistan’s Mullahs and religious parties from Wahhabi sects also regularly receive large donations to run their madrassas and terrorist outfits. Saudi Arabia was the first country in the whole world to recognize the Taliban government in Afghanistan back in 1996.

Saudi Arabia has always been a bossy key player in Pakistani politics for a long time. Along with doling out large sums of money for the Army and the clerics, they have been instrumental in toppling unwanted governments and bringing their favourites to power. All of this was being done in cooperation with US Imperialism. But since the US-Saudi alliance has begun to crack, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the Pakistani ruling class to serve two masters at the same time.

For the working masses, this Saudi patronage for the right wing parties and the ruling class of Pakistan has always been presented as a kindness from their religious brothers in the “holy land”. But those Pakistanis who work in this “holy land” know the disgusting truth; that for the Saudi rulers they are merely considered slaves and untouchables. They can never attain a Saudi nationality and always need a Saudi citizen’s approval to live or do any business in the country. The Saudi regime’s contemptuous attitude towards Pakistanis is laid bare by the fact that no Pakistani under the age of 40 is allowed to perform Umra – a form of pilgrimage of the holy Kaaba – in all other months than the the month of the Hajj. Only Pakistani Muslims are subjected to this prohibition.  Millions of Pakistanis, mainly from the petit bourgeoisie, visit Mecca and Medina for Hajj every year. This is a huge source of income for the Saudi regime.

Why is Saudi Arabia attacking Yemen?

On the other hand the Saudi Army, which is the fourth most costly in the world, has never gone to war. When the Saudis moved to crush the revolution in Bahrain in 2011, they relied heavily on Pakistani soldiers and mercenaries. The Saudis have also, allegedly, recently called for the Pakistani army to deploy 30,000 troops on the border between Saudi Arabia and Iraq and Syria to defend the House of Saud against an impending attack by the ISIL. It is clear that the kingdom does not trust its own forces that could just as well turn their expensive arms against the Royalty itself.  It shows the intrinsic weakness of this despotic regime and the fears of the ruling elite.

sanaa yemen rebels rallySaudi Arabian fighter aircraft have been ferociously bombing targets across Yemen, killing hundreds if not thousands of civilians, including children. It is clear that this figure will dramatically rise as the targets of the attack are moving into the civilian populated areas in Sana’a and in the northern Houthi villages which are expected to be heavily bombed.  Refugee camps, factories and congested populated civilian areas are being bombed. The infrastructure, whole towns and cities are being destroyed and turned into ruins.  Along with the ‘holy’ alliance of the Arab states, Israel has also supported the bombings. This reveals the decline of the system. These events are now exposing the farce of Saudi foreign policy towards Israel, the disingenuous anti-Israel rhetoric, and the hollow slogans of Palestinian freedom. It shows the class unity of the rulers of repressive regimes and why workers from all religions and nationalities should come together and fight against this cruel system.

Yet again, Yemen, which is the poorest Arab country, has become a target for savage attacks by the Saudi regime and its Arab and non-Arab allies.

The burgeoning domestic crisis, Saudi Arabia’s waning hegemony in the region and the rising desperation of the reactionary Al Saud family, with its growing internal conflicts, has brought desperation to the present clique that came to power along with the new King, Salman. His thirty-year-old son, Mohammad, who has been appointed the new defence minister, is a bully gone berserk. In reality they are trying to protect the Saudi ruling class and its imperialist designs in the Middle East. The Saudis could not accept the disintegration of Yemen and it falling into the hands of Iranian backed forces on its southern borders. Since the Iraq war, Iran and to a minor extent Qatar have developed into the biggest threat to the supremacy of Saudi Arabia in the region. Turkey is also expanding its influence by supporting IS in Iraq and Syria and other proxies in the region.

This conflict has exacerbated tensions and bloody conflicts between Saudi and Iranian proxies in the region in which sectarian hatred is being imposed by the warring mercenaries. The Iranian regime has not only been supporting clerics and sectarian terrorist outfits in Pakistan, but in many other countries in the region as well. Reactionary Shia clerics and religious parties are heavily funded across the Middle East by the Iranian regime. The Iranian regime also attempted to divert the revolutionary movement in Bahrain on sectarian lines. This movement was a threat to both Saudi and Iranian interests, and both regimes tried to crush it in their own way. Similarly, the Iranian regime tried to intervene in other movements of the Arab revolution and impose their own narrow agenda. The collapse of Mubarak in Egypt and the temporary retreat of the Arab revolutionary upheaval provided them with an opportunity to step up their intervention in the region. Because of the internal crisis of the Iranian State and decaying economy, they use the threat of external enemies to prop up their rule at home.

In these circumstances, the Iranian mullah regime used the rise of the IS to rally sectarian support. Similarly, Saudi aggression in Yemen will provide them with more excuses for spreading their influence. The regional proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran has been used by both regimes for this purpose. But the sectarianism they have spawned has not been able to find fertile ground to spread on a mass scale. In fact, the masses are becoming wary of the situation of which they are the victims. Although the Arab revolution has receded without achieving its ultimate goals, the possibility of sharp swings in public opinion is implicit in the situation.

The Pakistani army for hire

The intervention of Pakistan’s military in the Middle East is not a new phenomenon. They have been used as mercenaries by the reactionary and despotic regimes of the Middle East for decades. One of the most gruesome episodes was the massacre of the Palestinians in Jordan in 1970 to protect the monarchy there. From 1967 to 1970, Brigadier Muhammad Zia ul Haq was stationed in Jordan in Official Military Capacity to protect the Hashemite Kingdom. On September 15, 1970, King Hussein declared martial law in Jordan to crush a revolutionary uprising of the Palestinians. The next day, Jordanian tanks of the 60th Armoured Brigade attacked the headquarters of Palestinian organizations in Amman while the army also attacked camps in Irbid, Salt, Sweileh, Baq’aa, Wehdat and Zarqa. Then the head of the Pakistani training mission to Jordan, Brigadier Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq (later Chief of Army Staff and President of Pakistan), took command of the 2nd division. King Hussain took this extraordinary step because he was terrified that the Jordanian generals would refuse to massacre fellow Palestinians and could turn their guns against him. The American backed Jordanian army shelled the PLO headquarters in Amman and battled with Palestinian guerrillas in the narrow streets of the capital. Yasir Arafat had later claimed that the Jordanian and Pakistani troops killed between 10,000 and 25,000 Palestinians.

The intensity of the bloodletting by Zia ul Haq and King Hussain was such that one of the founder fathers of Israel, Moshe Dayan, cynically remarked:“King Hussein, with help from Zia-ul-Haq of the Pakistani army, sent in his Bedouin army on 27 September to clear out the Palestinian bases in Jordan. Hussein killed more Palestinians in eleven days than Israel could kill in twenty years.” Also, a year later, they participated in the bloody civil war and massacres in East Bengal. Again, in the 1980’s, Zia ul Haq, who was now the head of state, rented the Pakistani military institutions to American Imperialism and forged the “dollar jihad” to overthrow the Afghan revolution of 1978.

A state of crisis

However, any direct intervention of the Pakistani troops in this Saudi aggression against Yemen will be much more dangerous. This intervention would come back to bite the ruling classes and the state. It could severely harm Pakistan’s relationship with Iran and incite protest by the masses. The indecisiveness of the ruling elite exposes their fear and cowardice. Currently, the Pakistani State is quite different to what it was in the 1970s or 1980s. It is now at war with itself. A cruel operation is being carried out in Baluchistan on a vast scale in which hundreds of Baluchi militants have been killed and their mutilated bodies thrown in streets. Helicopter gunships are used to annihilate whole villages and towns in which women and children are mercilessly killed.

A so called operation against the Taliban is also being carried out in tribal regions along the Afghan border. In this fake operation, many ordinary Pashtoons are killed on the pretext of killing Taliban while real terrorists are protected by the State and its army. In Karachi, the Army is also involved in a mutually destructive conflict between the neo-fascist MQM, and Taliban terrorists and other reactionary forces.

On the eastern border, skirmishes with the Indian army are a regular occurrence. Continuous attempts are made to smuggle terrorists into Indian held Kashmir and other parts of India. The ruling class on both sides never wants to give anything up. They whip up hatred against each other in order to continue their oppressive rule at home and to justify the buildup of expensive nuclear arsenals at the expense of endless poverty and misery.

Suicide bombs, lynching by mobs and other terrorist activities in which the warring factions of the Pakistani state is involved have become a normality. The Pakistani State always relies on sectarian hatred to continue its oppression of the working masses. Saudi and Iranian Riyals for clerics and terrorist outfits are considered as donations from holy lands by the ruling class. This sectarian hatred found fertile ground amongst some layers of the middle-class in the 1980s after the defeat of the revolution. The Neo-fascist MQM in Karachi was also built in those times to divide the proletarians of Karachi on communal lines. But now, it is becoming increasingly difficult for reactionary outfits to appeal to these layers and find mass following. All attempts to organize mass marches by religious alliances, supported by secret agencies and the bourgeois media, end up as a gathering of a few hundred people. Most of these people are paid to attend or are promised benefits and perks.

The state, the army and the various secret agencies are all in a state of crisis, and the different factions within them are in open war with each other. The army has its hands in everything from real estate development to the drug trade. The distribution of heroin and other drugs from Afghanistan’s opium fields to the Arabian Sea and from there to parts of Europe and Africa is making an estimated 100 billion dollars per year. This is the main source of income for many in the ruling circles including Parliamentarians, Generals, Judges and top bureaucrats.

All of this leads to is more bloodletting as the warring factions of the state clash. At the same time, sectarianism is destabilising the army itself. If Pakistan is thrown into the Yemeni conflict this problem will get worse. A sectarian conflict can have a devastating effect on the already decaying and demoralised army. It could lead to the destabilisation of the state itself.

Pakistani society is at an impasse. Unemployment exists on a massive scale. Street crimes, prostitution, drug addiction and general decay is on the rise. All of this provides breeding ground for reactionary and terrorist outfits. Although reactionary state sponsored groups have not been able to gain mass support, lynch mobs killing people on religious grounds are normal occurrences. A conflict in Yemen could lead to further disintegration and chaos.

Class struggle

However, the Pakistani working class has a long history of struggle. Pakistani workers also have a strong bond to Yemeni workers and workers in other gulf states. However much the ruling class tries to divide the working class, class solidarity will always emerge eventually.

In the past, Baluchi student leaders defied the attempts by the Pakistani state to send Baluchis to Oman and Bahrain as mercenaries. Those student leaders had to pay for this with their lives. The reactionary acts of ruling classes of the Middle East and Pakistan can lead to a revolutionary response from the working class and revolutionary youth. Class solidarity is the only way out of this mayhem.

From the shores of the Mediterranean to the Arabian Peninsula, the Middle East is descending into bloody chaos and barbarism. This is the only outcome under capitalism. However, the Arab revolution proved that once the masses move all the reactionaries can be easily swept aside. Without the overthrow of the reactionary regimes, from the Israeli Zionists to the Saudi despotic monarchy, and from the Mullahcracy in Iran to the rotten Pakistani ruling elite, no way out is possible. Without a socialist revolution, the crisis in the middle east will not be resolved. Such is the intensity of the capitalist crisis that a revolutionary transformation in any one country can, and must, quickly spread throughout the entire region.

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