[OPE-L:6058] RE: war in Afghanistan becomes civil war in many countries?

From: Gerald_A_Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@email.msn.com)
Date: Wed Oct 10 2001 - 08:53:21 EDT

The events in the Middle East are rapidly changing and apparently
spinning out-of-control of the US and British governments and the
domestic bourgeois regimes in the region. 

Even if the Taliban are removed from power and bin Laden and other
leaders of  al-Queda are killed, what else is likely to happen?

1) Palestine

The mass demonstration in Gaza the other day and its suppression
by the Palestinian police suggests that civil war between the PLO
and its supporters and Islamic fundamentalist groups may be about
to explode.  Arafat seems desperate to maintain control, but this
repression may very likely lead to further dissatisfaction with his
government and a growing radicalization that will seek not merely to
extend the Intifada but to replace the PLO government. One has to
remember in this connection that Arafat brokered a 'peace' deal with
Israel without first gaining consensus among the Palestinian masses.
Indeed, one might view the Intifada and the growth in popularity of 
Hamas as a direct consequence of what many in Palestine view as
a 'sell-out' by Arafat and the PLO. If Arafat is overthrown and 
replaced by a more militant government (and just the other day a
leader of Al Fatah broke with Arafat) then a *full-scale* war and
invasion by Israel with support from the US (and probably the UK and 
some other NATO powers) is an almost certain consequence. 

2) Pakistan

It is becoming increasingly obvious that the current government's
ability to maintain control is becoming more and more precarious.
I don't think that it is an exaggeration to say that Pakistan is on the
verge of a civil war in which many millions of people in Pakistan
support the Taliban and think that the Pakistani government has
sold-out to US imperialism. What will happen if the Pakistani
government falls or even if it is seriously threatened? I believe that
US military intervention would be a likely consequence. But a
US military intervention in Pakistan would, of necessity, be a
*major* war with large amounts of  US causalities an almost certain
consequence and with the result very uncertain. Then there is the
question of Pakistan's nuclear capability .... (there is also the
distinct possibility of an Indian government military response and
of mass 'unrest' in India and Bangladesh).

3) Egypt

Islamic fundamentalist movements have had the support of many
millions of Egyptians in recent years (and, indeed, many al-
Queda soldiers have been recruited from Egypt).  Undoubtedly,
the recent events will further radicalize these masses and 'de-
stabilize' the Egyptian government. I also think that it is highly
possible that this could lead to full-scale civil war in Egypt. If
there was any real threat of the Egyptian government falling, there
would almost surely be military intervention by the UK, the US,
Israel, and NATO. (And, if there were US -- and UK? --
military troops fighting in Pakistan or Egypt, other states in the 
region would almost certainly be pulled into a full-scale regional war).

Etc. Etc. (Syria? Indonesia? Libya? Lebanon?)

In short, I think it highly likely that the current events will lead to
a further radicalization of the Arab masses (in the form of support for
Islamic fundamentalism) and de-stabilization of the 'moderate'
bourgeois governments in the region. Yet, there can be no
doubt that the US government and other imperial powers will not
just stand idly by and watch this happen. Further and much
larger-scale wars seem a likely response.

Do others disagree with the above scenarios?

What are the prospects for a working-class and anti-imperialist
radicalization in Arab countries and elsewhere? Or is the Left
becoming increasingly rejected as an alternative by the masses
in favor of reactionary religious movements like the Kaliban
and al-Queda?

There is also the question of how all of the above scenarios would
affect the duration and the severity of the current world economic
'downturn' ....

In solidarity, Jerry

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