cropped-dokument-1-seite0016.jpgQatar-Gulf Crisis: Another Offensive of the Arab Counter-Revolution

By Michael Pröbsting, Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 10 June 2017, www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

On 5 June, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt severed all diplomatic ties with Qatar. These countries also closed all land, air, and sea traffic routes to the small peninsula which is home to 2.6 million people. In the days following this move, several other Arab countries – all dependent on Saudi funding – replicated it.

 

Concurrent with these developments, a cyber attack was launched against the global media outlet Al-Jazeera which is based in Doha, Qatar’s capital. Furthermore, the rulers of the UAE have threatened to impose an economic embargo against Qatar, while Bahrain has said “all options” (i.e., including military aggression) are on the table. According to Al-Arabiya, the United Arab Emirates has even banned persons within its borders from publishing expressions of sympathy towards Qatar and has threatened to punish offenders with a jail term of up to 15 years!

 

However, Qatar has not remained entirely isolated, as Iran and Turkey have already offered support to the besieged country.

 

The Saudi-led bloc justifies its unprecedented aggression against Qatar with the latter’s alleged support for “terrorism.” Coming as it does from a regime that promulgates an extremely reactionary sectarian Wahhabi ideology, this is a rather bizarre accusation, which stems from the residence in Qatar of several exiled bourgeois and petty-bourgeois leaders of Islamist organizations who play a prominent role in resistance to imperialist occupations and dictatorships. In particular, these organizations include: Egypt’s al-Ikhwan (the Muslim Brotherhood), an Islamist mass movement which faces rife persecution under the military dictatorship of General al-Sisi; Hamas, the strongest militant Palestinian force which successfully led the resistance in Gaza against three Israeli invasions in the last nine years; and the Afghan Taliban, the leading force fighting a guerrilla struggle against the Western imperialist occupation since 2001.

 

Furthermore, the Saudi monarchy is worried about Qatar’s less confrontational approach towards Iran – Riyad’s arch-enemy.

 

 

 

The Trump Factor

 

 

 

The timing of the current diplomatic war against Qatar is by no means accidental. Rather, it takes place only two weeks after US President Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia. The mad egomaniac used the visit to deliver a speech calling the Arab states to join the world’s biggest imperialist power in its struggle “against terrorism,” or to put it in the preadolescent language of the racist misogynist US leader: “This is a battle between good and evil.” Following more profane goals, Trump also signed a huge arms deal with the Saudi rulers worth more than $US 110 billion.

 

Trump’s visit was part of the new US administration’s efforts to create a bloc with the most reactionary dictatorships in the Arab world along with the Zionist apartheid state of Israel. The goals of this bloc are: to advance the counterrevolutionary efforts aimed at liquidating the Arab Spring which started in 2011; to kill off once and for good the Palestinian resistance; and to counter the rising influence of Iran (which has the backing of Russian and Chinese imperialism).

 

Unsurprisingly, Trump immediately welcomed the Saudi aggression against Qatar in one of his notorious tweets: “So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off. They said they would take a hard line on funding extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!

 

There can be no doubt about the reactionary nature of the Qatari state. It is a parasitic capitalist monarchy with a population that includes only 313,000 Qatari citizens and 2.3 million migrants.

 

 

 

Qatar’s Foreign Policy

 

 

 

However, the present crisis is not about the nature of the constitutional regime in any of these countries. Rather, since the 1990s, Qatar has tried to advance a foreign policy independent of Saudi-Arabia – the dominant power on the Arabian Peninsula – in the Persian Gulf region. Qatar created the global media outlet Al-Jazeera which gives more space to anti-imperialist and anti-dictatorial resistance movements than any other global mass media. As a result, Al-Jazeera bureaus and journalists have been repeatedly the target of assassination attempts and imprisonment by the Great Powers and various dictatorships – for example the Al-Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein has been held in an Egyptia prison for more than 170 days. Qatar’s offers of residence or political asylum to exiled leaders of Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Taliban are other examples of its independent foreign policy.

 

Qatar can stand behind its independent political positions because it possesses the world’s third largest reserves of natural gas and oil reserves, making it the country with the highest per capita income in the world.

 

Without harboring any illusions about the reactionary nature of the Qatari regime, socialists cannot ignore the fact that the present crisis is a direct result of the anti-Qatari offensive by the arch-reactionary Saudi monarchy. The latter regime has supported General al-Sisi since he took power in Egypt in a bloody military coup in on 3 July 2013. It has also been waging a brutal war in Yemen, the poorest country on the Arabian Peninsula and, as a matter of fact, in the Arab world, since having invaded it in 2015. It is by no means beyond the imaginable that, if Qatar does not capitulate to the Saudi-led bloc’s demands, Riyad may even invade the Qatari peninsula as it did with Bahrain in March 2011 when a popular mass uprising threatened to overthrow the reactionary monarchy following the outbreak of the Arab spring.

 

As socialists, we recognize the thoroughly counterrevolutionary nature of the Saudi-led aggression against Qatar. If the Qatari state is forced to expel representatives of resistance movements like Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Taliban residing there, and/or if Al-Jazeera would be forced to change its editorial policy to appease Trump, the Saudi king and the Egyptian dictator, these would represent severe blows to the Qatari state. Therefore, socialists around the world must resolutely oppose this aggression without, at the same time, lending any political support to the Qatari monarchy.

 

Only the future will reveal what role the individual imperialist powers will play in the Qatari crisis. However, we can already see that Russia’s imperialist government is becoming increasingly nervous about the accelerating conflict, because Qatar holds a 19.5% stake in Russia’s state-owned Rosneft petroleum company, which could potentially be adversely affected by the crisis. If the rival imperialist Great Powers like the US, Russia, the EU or China should increase their intervention in the conflict, and thereby transform it from one between the Saudi-led bloc and Qatar into a proxy war between two or more of the Great Powers, socialists must lend no support to any side.

 

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

For the RCIT analysis of the Arab Revolution in general and the Syrian Revolution in particular, we refer readers to our numerous articles and documents accessed from the Africa and Middle East section of our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/. In particular we refer readers to the following documents:

 

RCIT: Syria: Condemn the Reactionary Astana Deal! The so-called “De-Escalation Zones” are a First Step towards the Partition of Syria and a Conspiracy by the Great Powers to Defeat the Revolution, 7 May 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/astana-deal/

 

Michael Pröbsting: Is the Syrian Revolution at its End? Is Third Camp Abstentionism Justified? An essay on the organs of popular power in the liberated area of Syria, on the character of the different sectors of the Syrian rebels, and on the failure of those leftists who deserted the Syrian Revolution, 5 April 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/syrian-revolution-not-dead/

 

Yossi Schwartz: Raqqa: Defeat the US Imperialist Offensive! An assessment of the US/SDF/YPG war against Daesh, April 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/us-offensive-in-raqqa/

 

RCIT: Defeat the Imperialist Invasion in Syria – Victory to the Revolution! Down with the American and Russian interventions! No to the imperialist plan to divide Syria! Down with the butcher Assad and his imperialist allies! 13.03.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/imperialist-invasion-in-syria/

 

RCIT: For the Iranian Revolution! Down with the capitalist Mullah dictatorship! Down with Imperialism! For a working class revolution in Iran! February 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/iran-platform/

 

RCIT: World Perspectives 2017: The Struggle against the Reactionary Offensive in the Era of Trumpism, Theses on the World Situation, the Perspectives for Class Struggle and the Tasks of Revolutionaries, 18 December 2016, Chapter IV. The Middle East and the State of the Arab Revolution, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2017/part-4/

 

RCIT: Revolution and Counterrevolution in the Arab World: An Acid Test for Revolutionaries, 31 May 2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/theses-arab-revolution/

 

RCIT: Yemen: The al-Hadi Puppet Government Calls for an Imperialist Invasion! Victory to Yemen! Defeat the Al-Saud Gang of Aggressors!, 8.5.2015, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/assault-on-yemen/

 

RCIT: Israel Starts Ground Offensive: Defend Gaza! Defeat Israel’s War! Support the Palestinian Resistance! For a Workers’ and Popular International Campaign to Boycott Israel! Down with the Regimes which Collaborate with Israel! For a Free, Red Palestine! 22.7.2014, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/joint-statement-defend-gaza/

 

RCIT: General Sisi – The Butcher of the Egyptian People – Sentences another 683 People to Death, 1.5.2014, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/egypt-mass-death-sentences/

 

Michael Pröbsting: The Coup d’État in Egypt and the Bankruptcy of the Left’s “Army Socialism”. A Balance Sheet of the coup and another Reply to our Critics (LCC, WIVP, SF/LCFI), 8.8.2013, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/egypt-and-left-army-socialism/

 

Yossi Schwartz: Israel’s War of 1948 and the Degeneration of the Fourth International, May 2013, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/israel-s-war-of-1948/

 

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About RCIT Britain

What the RCIT stands for Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT)is a revolutionary combat organisation fighting for the liberation of the working class and all oppressed. It has national sections in a number of countries. The working class is composed of all those (and their families) who are forced to sell their labor power as wage earners to the capitalists. The RCIT stands on the theory and practice of the revolutionary workers’ movement associated with the names of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Trotsky. Capitalism endangers our lives and the future of humanity. Unemployment, war, environmental disasters, hunger, and exploitation are all part of everyday life under capitalism as are the imperialistic oppression of nations, the national oppression of migrants, and the oppression of women, young people, and homosexuals. Therefore, we want to eliminate capitalism. The liberation of the working class and all oppressed is possible only in a classless society without exploitation and oppression. Such a society can only be established internationally. Therefore, the RCIT is fighting for a socialist revolution at home and around the world. This revolution must be carried out and lead by the working class, for only this class has the collective power to bring down the ruling class and build a socialist society. The revolution cannot proceed peacefully because a ruling class never has nor ever will voluntarily surrender its power. By necessity, therefore, the road to liberation includes armed rebellion and civil war against the capitalists. The RCIT is fighting for the establishment of workers’ and peasants’ republics, where the oppressed organize themselves in councils democratically elected in rank-and-file meetings in factories, neighbourhoods, and schools. These councils, in turn, elect and control the government and all other statue authorities, and always retain the right to recall them. Authentic socialism and communism have nothing to do with the so-called “socialism” that ruled in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and which continues to do so in China and Cuba, for example. In these countries, the proletariat was and is dominated and oppressed by a privileged party bureaucracy. Under capitalism, the RCIT supports all efforts to improve the living conditions of the workers and oppressed, while simultaneously striving to overthrow this system based on economic exploitation of the masses. Towards these ends, we work from within the trade unions where we advocate class struggle, socialism, and workers’ democracy. But trade unions and social democracy are controlled by a bureaucracy perniciously connected with the state and capital via status, high-paying jobs, and other privileges. Thus, the trade union bureaucracy is far from the interests and living conditions of its members, based as it is on the top, privileged layers of the working class – a labor aristocracy which has no real interest in replacing capitalism. Therefore, the true struggle for the liberation of the working class, the toppling of capitalism and the establishment of socialism, must be based on the broad mass of the proletariat rather than their “representative” from the upper trade union strata. We also fight for the expropriation of the big land owners as well as for the nationalisation of the land and its distribution to the poor and landless peasants. Towards this goal we struggle for the independent organisation of the rural workers. We support national liberation movements against oppression. We also support the anti-imperialist struggles of oppressed peoples against the great powers. Within these movements we advocate a revolutionary leadership as an alternative to nationalist or reformist forces. While the RCIT strives for unity of action with other organizations, we are acutely aware that the policies of social democrats and pseudo-revolutionary groups are dangerous, and ultimately represent an obstacle to the emancipation of the working class, peasants, and the otherwise oppressed. In wars between imperialist states we take a revolutionary defeatist position: we do not support either side, but rather advocate the transformation of the war into a civil war against the ruling class in each of the warring states. In wars between imperialist powers (or their stooges) and a semi-colonial countries we stand for the defeat of the former and the victory of the oppressed countries. As communists, we maintain that the struggle against national oppression and all types of social oppression (women, youth, sexual minorities etc.) must be lead by the working class, because only the latter is capable of fomenting a revolutionarily change in society . Therefore, we consistently support working class-based revolutionary movements of the socially oppressed, while opposing the leadership of petty-bourgeois forces (feminism, nationalism, Islamism, etc.), who ultimately dance to the tune of the capitalists, and strive to replace them with revolutionary communist leadership. Only with a revolutionary party fighting as its leadership can the working class be victorious in its struggle for liberation. The establishment of such a party and the execution of a successful revolution, as it was demonstrated by the Bolsheviks in Russia under Lenin and Trotsky remain the models for revolutionary parties and revolutions in the 21st century. For new, revolutionary workers' parties in all countries! For a 5th Workers International to be founded on a revolutionary program! Join the RCIT! No future without socialism! No socialism without revolution! No revolution without a revolutionary party!
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