The tilting balance in the Middle East and North Africa

The furious demonstrations and attacks on US and other western embassies in over 20 countries from Nigeria to Indonesia in September express the anger of millions of people at their oppression by imperialism. For the people from Tunis to Benghazi, Cairo to Karachi, the US-made video insulting the Prophet Mohammed represents the imperialists’ humiliation of their people and their nations – which they have suffered for over a century. However the US, Britain, France and their allies manoeuvre to contain and co-opt the people’s risings, the Arab Spring still threatens to weaken and break the entire edifice that was constructed by the victorious powers after World War One to dominate the Middle East and North Africa.

 

Read more ...

Middle East and North Africa: Spring has yet to bring a summer

The ‘Arab Spring’ has yet to bring a summer for the region’s masses. Imperialism responded to the risings in Tunisia and Egypt in early 2011 by mobilising its local allies, principally Saudi Arabia and its five fellow Gulf Cooperation Council partners. It turned the revolt against Colonel Gaddafi’s government into a NATO-led war. The rebellion in Bahrain was crushed with help from Saudi and United Arab Emirates’ forces. Now imperialism is using its regional allies, including Turkey, to fund and equip forces to overthrow the Syrian state. US imperialism and Israel wage covert war against Iran, accompanied by US and European Union sanctions that amount to economic warfare.

 

Read more ...

The King of Bahrain - an FRFI guide– May 2012

The King of Bahrain - an FRFI guide

The King of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa Khalifa, was a guest of HM Queen Elizabeth II for her Diamond Jubilee lunch at Windsor Castle on 18 May 2012. He also hosted the Formula 1 Grand Prix on 22 April 2012. Below are some interesting facts for FRFI readers.

 

Read more ...

Murderous British imperialism - military operations in North Africa and the Middle East since 1945

Murderous British imperialism - military operations in North Africa and the Middle East since 1945

The Royal Air Force bombing of Syria on 3 December 2015 is the 50th separate British military intervention in the Middle East and North Africa since the end of the Second World War. This region contains approximately half of the world’s proven oil reserves; control over these reserves and the distribution of oil is essential for the British ruling class and for the balance of power between the competing imperialist states.

 

Read more ...

Arming the Middle East and North Africa

While US President Obama and British Prime Minister Cameron talk of a ‘free democratic and prosperous’ Libya and say that they are promoting democracy throughout the region, the US and British governments are arming dictatorial regimes to save these regimes from the masses.

World military expenditure in 2000 was $810 billion. In 2006 it had reached $1.2 trillion and in 2010 it was $1.63 trillion; that is double the 2000 figure. The US accounts for 43% of world military spending, an 81% increase on 2001, and its defence budget is ten times that of its nearest rival China. The profits of the US arms companies have quadrupled in the past decade. BAE Systems UK had the second largest arms sales of any company in the world in 2009. If we combine BAE Systems UK with its operations in the US and Australia then it had the largest arms sales in 2009 by far. Eleven out of the top 100 arms companies are based in Britain. According to the Ministry of Defence the UK security sector has 18,000 companies and employs 335,000 people.

 

Read more ...

Hands off the Middle East and North Africa

The people’s revolt across the Middle East and North Africa continues to send tremors through the centres of imperialist power. The capitalists are pledging billions of dollars to shore up states and maintain their grip on the region. In Libya they send missiles and helicopter gunships, always in the name of democracy and humanitarianism, never in the name of oil and power. For every dollar they give as aid, they send twenty as weapons. The demands of the risen peoples of the Middle East and North Africa threaten the entire system of exploitation that has ruled over them and much of the world for more than a century – imperialism.

 

Read more ...

Middle East and North Africa

‘A demographic time bomb’

Every country in the Middle East and North Africa is unique, with different political features, but they share underlying potentially explosive structural problems. The same forces that rebelled in Tunisia, the youth and the unemployed, exist in abundance throughout the region and they are moving to confront repressive regimes.

 

Read more ...

Discontent in the desert kingdom

To date Venezuela, a country going through a revolutionary democratic process, is believed to have the world’s third largest oil reserves. Iraq is believed to have the second largest reserves of oil and is currently the most unstable country in the world. Within this context imperialism is having to rely on its old ally Saudi Arabia – the world’s largest oil producer – more than ever. But the oil-rich kingdom is itself facing turmoil, as Andrew Alexander reports.

Over the past two years Saudi Arabia has been rocked by numerous bombings and attacks by groups aligned to Al Qaida, in particular on 12 May 2003 when 35 foreign workers were killed in a compound in Riyadh, and on 29 May 2004 when militants attacked a similar housing compound in Khobar, killing 22. Many journalists have also been targeted including BBC correspondent Frank Gardner and cameraman Simon Cumbers, who were shot in a drive-by shooting on 14 July 2004 (though there is circumstantial evidence that Gardner, an ex-soldier and expert on Al Qaida, was an MI5 agent). Cumbers died and Gardner was seriously injured. These attacks however represent only the fringe of what is a wider discontent at the deterioration of the Saudi economy and the absolutist monarchic rule of the Al Sauds – a dynasty that has ruled brutally for over 70 years.

 

Read more ...

Doha trade talks collapse

Disputes that resulted in the failure of the 1999 Seattle World Trade Organisation (WTO) conference were replayed and led to the collapse of the so called ‘Doha round’ of talks in Geneva at the end of July.

Ostensibly about promoting free trade, the US and EU agenda is really about promoting big business at the expense of small producers, especially in the under-developed countries. The US and EU representatives fell out over reducing agricultural subsidies: neither would move before the other. The underdeveloped countries resisted opening their markets even wider to US and EU exports and investments without the US and EU cutting their farm subsidies. India’s trade minister, Kamal Nath, explained that: ‘Indian farmers can compete with US farmers, but not with the US Treasury.’

 

Read more ...

Cookies make it easier for us to provide you with our services. With the usage of our services you permit us to use cookies.
More information Ok