April 4 — Daesh/ISIS in Syria seems close to defeat. But instead of heralding peace, the war is mutating into more deadly and dangerous conflicts: Turkey against the Kurds, Israel against Iran, and the US against Russia.
Let’s shed the illusion that capitalists–imperialists can ever create a peaceful world. Their system is based on unending competition that creates trade wars and eventually shooting wars.
These wars create the objective conditions for communist revolution.
In a communist world, workers will have no need to fight over natural resources like oil or natural gas. We will share them –until we can replace them with more environment- and human-friendly sources of energy.
US imperialists hoped to overthrow Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and guarantee the construction of a natural gas pipeline from Qatar to Europe. This would have broken Russia’s chokehold on the European Union’s energy supplies. It would have freed European imperialists – particularly the Germans and the French – to side with the US in future confrontations with the Russian imperialists.
This plan has failed miserably. Even Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia has admitted that “Bashar is staying.” Salman dropped another bombshell, announcing a long-term Saudi-Russian energy alliance to guarantee stable, high oil prices.
This effectively ends the 1946 Saudi-US “oil-for-security” pact against the Soviet Union. This pact gave US imperialists control of the oil-rich Middle East, the cornerstone of their worldwide empire.
US control was strengthened in the early 1970s when Saudi Arabia and OPEC agreed to sell oil only in dollars. The surpluses were to be reinvested in US Treasury bonds. These petrodollars became the lifeblood of the US economy. The dollar became the world’s reserve currency, allowing the US to print dollars at will while becoming the world’s biggest debtor.
All this is now threatened by the petro-yuan. China recently opened trading in oil futures on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange in contracts that will be denominated in yuans, easily convertible to gold.
The final blow to the petrodollar will be when China persuades or forces Saudi Arabia to sell its oil in yuans. Nobody knows when this will happen, but China is already the world’s biggest oil importer and Saudi Arabia’s biggest customer.
Former US allies are becoming more independent. For example, the US has long relied on Turkey to confront Russia in the Balkans and the Black Sea. But Turkish capitalists have been emboldened by their growing financial and military ties to China and Qatar. They have just humiliated the US in Syria, defeating the Kurdish allies of the US in Afrin.
Turkey threatened to attack Manbij, where two thousand US troops were stationed.
Meanwhile, Syrian anti-aircraft fire shot down an Israeli fighter jet. US forces, repelling an attack by Russian fighters, killed perhaps hundreds of Russian “mercenaries.” The influential Atlantic magazine (2/13/18) warned that “Syria’s war encompasses at least three other international conflicts, each of which are heating up.”
Workers need to understand why capitalists-imperialists are fighting so that we’re not blinded by patriotism or racism into supporting our class enemies and the fascist movements they’re building.
A communist understanding of the dangerous storms ahead should deepen our commitment to win soldiers, mostly members of our working-class family, to the outlook of turning the guns around. It should help steel our Party to stand firm in our commitment to reject pacifism and call for revolutionary war for communism.