Anti-US Protests Spread Throughout Muslim WorldLes manifestations anti américaines se propagent à tous les pays du monde musulman

khartoum-protests-afp-sm

 

By Alex Lantier

WSWS

English | French

Protests that began one week ago at US embassies in Egypt and Libya against an anti-Islamic YouTube video are rapidly spreading throughout the Muslim world. The wave of demonstrations reflects the burning anger of hundreds of millions over the predatory policies of US imperialism. Over the weekend, the protests spread to some twenty countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

Protesters destroy an American flag pulled down from the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, September 11, 2012 (AP Photo/Mohammed Abu Zaid).

In US-occupied Afghanistan, police officials reported that several thousand marched in the capital, Kabul. They burned official cars, threw stones at the nearby US military base at Camp Phoenix, and burned shipping containers left outside the base.

In neighboring Pakistan, two protesters were killed in clashes with police as thousands of people marched in the cities of Karachi, Peshawar and Chaman. Several hundred people marched in Lahore and in the Lower Dir district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, near the Afghan border. The US embassy in Islamabad suspended operations for the day.

In Karachi, a protester was shot in the head and killed when police clashed with protesters to keep them from marching on the US consulate. Police arrested several dozen protesters after fighting broke out when police fired tear gas canisters into the crowd.

Pakistani Shiite Muslims shout anti-US slogans during a protest in Lahore on September 17, 2012 (Photo credit: AFP/Arif Ali).

Protesters in the Lower Dir district set fire to a press club and a government building and surrounded a local police station. One protester was killed and two wounded by police gunfire.

In Bangladesh, Khaleda Zia of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party called on the US to ban the anti-Muslim film, as authorities tried to head off further protests. On Friday, some 10,000 protesters marched against the film, including in the capital, Dhaka, burning American and Israeli flags and carrying signs demanding an apology from President Barack Obama.

On Sunday, approximately 100,000 garment workers struck in an industrial zone in Narayanganj, 20 kilometers south of Dhaka, demanding shorter working hours and higher wages. Bangladeshi garment workers work 10-16 hours a day and earn $37 a month, some of the lowest wages in the world. Amid rumors that a worker had been killed at one of the plants, workers blocked a highway connecting Dhaka to the port city of Chittagong and attacked police stations.

In India, one demonstrator was arrested at an anti-film protest in Srinagar in Muslim-majority Kashmir, where 15,000 Muslims had protested Friday, burning US flags and denouncing Obama as a terrorist. The US embassy reiterated calls for US citizens to avoid travel to the region.

Protests also spread to Southeast Asia. Police clashed with hundreds of demonstrators who burned effigies of Obama in front of the US embassy in Djakarta, Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country. Clashes were also reported in Medan, Bandung and Solo.

Approximately 3,000 protesters burned US and Israeli flags in the southern Filipino city of Marawi. The US and Japan closed their embassies in Thailand, a key US regional ally and host of CIA secret prisons, amid rumors that Muslims might organize protests in the capital, Bangkok.

Protesters climb a fence at the U.S. embassy in Sana'a, Yemen (Photo credit: Reuters/Mohamed Al-Sayaghi).

In the Middle East, hundreds of youth continued protests in Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, calling for the expulsion of the US ambassador. Last week, protesters attacked the US embassy in Yemen, where the US is waging a proxy war backing the regime of President Abd Rabbo Mansour el-Hadi. US drone strikes have killed hundreds in Yemen. Washington has suspended consular services in Yemen for the rest of September.

In Lebanon, hundreds of thousands of people marched in a demonstration called by the Shiite populist organization Hezbollah. Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah condemned the anti-Islamic video and criticized the US, which has inflamed sectarian tensions in the region as part of its Sunni-led proxy war against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, for sowing divisions between Christians and Muslims.

This followed Sunday’s anti-war protests by thousands of people in the Turkish city of Antakya, near the border with Syria.

Attempts by the US media to portray these protests as driven by religious sentiment, or the “traditionalism” of the Middle East, are reactionary and self-serving. The protests reflect broad popular opposition to Washington’s wars, its violation of elementary democratic rights in the conduct of the “war on terror,” and its exploitation of the region as a source of cheap labor.

The outpouring of popular anger against the US speaks as well to deep disillusionment with President Obama, who early in his tenure promised to pursue a new, less oppressive US foreign policy in the Middle East. In the four years since his election, however, the reactionary character of Obama’s foreign policy has been widely felt throughout the region.

His administration has defended the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, which cost over a million Iraqi lives and was launched on the basis of lies. Obama has continued the indefinite detention and torture of detainees at Guantánamo Bay, and expanded the use of drone strikes across the Middle East, Central Asia and parts of Africa, causing thousands of casualties.

Washington’s response to the current protests exposes the hypocrisy underlying the wars it has carried out, in the name of democracy and human rights, in response to last year’s revolutionary working class struggles against US-backed dictatorships in Egypt and Tunisia. Having authored wars in Libya and Syria supposedly to halt the suppression of popular protests, Washington now demands that its allies crack down on protests against US policies.

These wars themselves were largely based on Washington’s backing of reactionary Sunni Islamist militias and terrorist groups tied to Al Qaeda. This policy has now backfired. It appears that the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi that resulted in the death of the US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans was carried out by the Islamist group Ansar al Shariah. It and similar armed groups are able to operate freely amid the social chaos provoked by the US war and the overthrow of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

Sudanese men shout slogans during a protest after prayers outside the Grand Mosque in Khartoum on Friday September 14, 2012 (Photo Credit: AFP).

Amid rising popular protests as well as attacks on US interests by right-wing forces the US has promoted in the Middle East, there is a growing debate within the US ruling class on how to proceed in the region. Some within the foreign policy establishment are suggesting that Washington might consider making a deal with President Assad on the grounds that he would be a better guarantor of order in Syria than the Al Qaeda-type forces the US is backing against him.

Thus the New York Times wrote on Monday:

“The turmoil has only sharpened a painful quandary… Should the United States and its allies remain wary of toppling Mr. Assad, one of the region’s last secular dictators, whose rule, however repressive, has kept the forces of populist Islam in check?”

The Times cites foreign policy experts who argue for continuing the US proxy war in Syria. However, it also cites Brian Katulis of the Center for American Progress, who notes:

“These incidents will further give people pause because already our intelligence agencies have been telling us that amongst the Syrian opposition—the people who we’re supposed to support—some of them are Al Qaeda affiliates.”

This debate exposes the utter cynicism of Washington’s supposed opposition to repressive regimes and the criminal character of US foreign policy overall. Human rights, democracy, protection of civilians are all pretexts for a neo-colonial policy aimed at securing US hegemony in the Middle East and control over the region’s energy resources.

Whether a repressive regime (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, etc.) is an ally in the supposed struggle for democracy and peace or an enemy (Syria, Iran) is entirely dependent on Washington’s perception at a given time of its commercial and geo-strategic interests. There is a long list of one-time allies, including Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi, who were redefined as tyrants and targeted for destruction.

Washington views Middle East dictatorships as perfectly acceptable tools for use against popular opposition to US imperialism. It is prepared to make alliances with the most reactionary forces, including Al Qaeda, to suppress the working class.

 

Source: WSWS

Related:
Deadly Denim

  

By Alex Lantier

WSWS

English | French

Protests that began one week ago at US embassies in Egypt and Libya against an anti-Islamic YouTube video are rapidly spreading throughout the Muslim world. The wave of demonstrations reflects the burning anger of hundreds of millions over the predatory policies of US imperialism. Over the weekend, the protests spread to some twenty countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

Protesters destroy an American flag pulled down from the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, September 11, 2012 (AP Photo/Mohammed Abu Zaid).

In US-occupied Afghanistan, police officials reported that several thousand marched in the capital, Kabul. They burned official cars, threw stones at the nearby US military base at Camp Phoenix, and burned shipping containers left outside the base.

In neighboring Pakistan, two protesters were killed in clashes with police as thousands of people marched in the cities of Karachi, Peshawar and Chaman. Several hundred people marched in Lahore and in the Lower Dir district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, near the Afghan border. The US embassy in Islamabad suspended operations for the day.

In Karachi, a protester was shot in the head and killed when police clashed with protesters to keep them from marching on the US consulate. Police arrested several dozen protesters after fighting broke out when police fired tear gas canisters into the crowd.

Pakistani Shiite Muslims shout anti-US slogans during a protest in Lahore on September 17, 2012 (Photo credit: AFP/Arif Ali).

Protesters in the Lower Dir district set fire to a press club and a government building and surrounded a local police station. One protester was killed and two wounded by police gunfire.

In Bangladesh, Khaleda Zia of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party called on the US to ban the anti-Muslim film, as authorities tried to head off further protests. On Friday, some 10,000 protesters marched against the film, including in the capital, Dhaka, burning American and Israeli flags and carrying signs demanding an apology from President Barack Obama.

On Sunday, approximately 100,000 garment workers struck in an industrial zone in Narayanganj, 20 kilometers south of Dhaka, demanding shorter working hours and higher wages. Bangladeshi garment workers work 10-16 hours a day and earn $37 a month, some of the lowest wages in the world. Amid rumors that a worker had been killed at one of the plants, workers blocked a highway connecting Dhaka to the port city of Chittagong and attacked police stations.

In India, one demonstrator was arrested at an anti-film protest in Srinagar in Muslim-majority Kashmir, where 15,000 Muslims had protested Friday, burning US flags and denouncing Obama as a terrorist. The US embassy reiterated calls for US citizens to avoid travel to the region.

Protests also spread to Southeast Asia. Police clashed with hundreds of demonstrators who burned effigies of Obama in front of the US embassy in Djakarta, Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country. Clashes were also reported in Medan, Bandung and Solo.

Approximately 3,000 protesters burned US and Israeli flags in the southern Filipino city of Marawi. The US and Japan closed their embassies in Thailand, a key US regional ally and host of CIA secret prisons, amid rumors that Muslims might organize protests in the capital, Bangkok.

Protesters climb a fence at the U.S. embassy in Sana'a, Yemen (Photo credit: Reuters/Mohamed Al-Sayaghi).

In the Middle East, hundreds of youth continued protests in Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, calling for the expulsion of the US ambassador. Last week, protesters attacked the US embassy in Yemen, where the US is waging a proxy war backing the regime of President Abd Rabbo Mansour el-Hadi. US drone strikes have killed hundreds in Yemen. Washington has suspended consular services in Yemen for the rest of September.

In Lebanon, hundreds of thousands of people marched in a demonstration called by the Shiite populist organization Hezbollah. Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah condemned the anti-Islamic video and criticized the US, which has inflamed sectarian tensions in the region as part of its Sunni-led proxy war against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, for sowing divisions between Christians and Muslims.

This followed Sunday’s anti-war protests by thousands of people in the Turkish city of Antakya, near the border with Syria.

Attempts by the US media to portray these protests as driven by religious sentiment, or the “traditionalism” of the Middle East, are reactionary and self-serving. The protests reflect broad popular opposition to Washington’s wars, its violation of elementary democratic rights in the conduct of the “war on terror,” and its exploitation of the region as a source of cheap labor.

The outpouring of popular anger against the US speaks as well to deep disillusionment with President Obama, who early in his tenure promised to pursue a new, less oppressive US foreign policy in the Middle East. In the four years since his election, however, the reactionary character of Obama’s foreign policy has been widely felt throughout the region.

His administration has defended the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, which cost over a million Iraqi lives and was launched on the basis of lies. Obama has continued the indefinite detention and torture of detainees at Guantánamo Bay, and expanded the use of drone strikes across the Middle East, Central Asia and parts of Africa, causing thousands of casualties.

Washington’s response to the current protests exposes the hypocrisy underlying the wars it has carried out, in the name of democracy and human rights, in response to last year’s revolutionary working class struggles against US-backed dictatorships in Egypt and Tunisia. Having authored wars in Libya and Syria supposedly to halt the suppression of popular protests, Washington now demands that its allies crack down on protests against US policies.

These wars themselves were largely based on Washington’s backing of reactionary Sunni Islamist militias and terrorist groups tied to Al Qaeda. This policy has now backfired. It appears that the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi that resulted in the death of the US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans was carried out by the Islamist group Ansar al Shariah. It and similar armed groups are able to operate freely amid the social chaos provoked by the US war and the overthrow of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

Sudanese men shout slogans during a protest after prayers outside the Grand Mosque in Khartoum on Friday September 14, 2012 (Photo Credit: AFP).

Amid rising popular protests as well as attacks on US interests by right-wing forces the US has promoted in the Middle East, there is a growing debate within the US ruling class on how to proceed in the region. Some within the foreign policy establishment are suggesting that Washington might consider making a deal with President Assad on the grounds that he would be a better guarantor of order in Syria than the Al Qaeda-type forces the US is backing against him.

Thus the New York Times wrote on Monday:

“The turmoil has only sharpened a painful quandary… Should the United States and its allies remain wary of toppling Mr. Assad, one of the region’s last secular dictators, whose rule, however repressive, has kept the forces of populist Islam in check?”

The Times cites foreign policy experts who argue for continuing the US proxy war in Syria. However, it also cites Brian Katulis of the Center for American Progress, who notes:

“These incidents will further give people pause because already our intelligence agencies have been telling us that amongst the Syrian opposition—the people who we’re supposed to support—some of them are Al Qaeda affiliates.”

This debate exposes the utter cynicism of Washington’s supposed opposition to repressive regimes and the criminal character of US foreign policy overall. Human rights, democracy, protection of civilians are all pretexts for a neo-colonial policy aimed at securing US hegemony in the Middle East and control over the region’s energy resources.

Whether a repressive regime (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, etc.) is an ally in the supposed struggle for democracy and peace or an enemy (Syria, Iran) is entirely dependent on Washington’s perception at a given time of its commercial and geo-strategic interests. There is a long list of one-time allies, including Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi, who were redefined as tyrants and targeted for destruction.

Washington views Middle East dictatorships as perfectly acceptable tools for use against popular opposition to US imperialism. It is prepared to make alliances with the most reactionary forces, including Al Qaeda, to suppress the working class.

 

Source: WSWS

Related:
Deadly Denim

Par Alex Lantier

WSWS

anglais | français

Les protestations qui ont commencé il y a une semaine devant les ambassades américaines d’Egypte et de Libye contre une vidéo anti-islam sur YouTube sont en train de se propager rapidement à l’ensemble du monde musulman. La vague de manifestations reflète la colère noire de centaines de millions de personnes contre la politique prédatrice de l’impérialisme américain. Au cours du week-end, les protestations se sont propagées à une vingtaine de pays du Moyen-Orient, d’Afrique et d’Asie.

Les manifestants détruisent un drapeau américain tiré de l'ambassade américaine au Caire, en Egypte, mardi, 11 septembre, 2012 (AP/Mohammed Abu Zaid).

Dans l’Afghanistan occupé par les Etats-Unis, les responsables de la police ont rapporté que plusieurs milliers ont défilé dans la capitale, Kaboul. Ils ont incendié des véhicules officiels, jeté des pierres contre une base militaire américaine toute proche, Camp Phoenix, et brûlé des conteneurs se trouvant devant la base.

Dans le Pakistan voisin, deux manifestants ont été tués lors d’affrontements avec la police alors que des milliers de personnes défilaient dans les villes de Karachi, Peshawar et Chaman. Plusieurs centaines de personnes ont battu le pavé à Lahore et dans le district de Lower Dir de la province de Khyder Pakhtunkhwa, près de la frontière afghane. L’ambassade américaine à Islamabad a interrompu ses activités pour la journée.

A Karachi, un manifestant a été tué d’une balle dans la tête lorsque la police a affronté les manifestants pour les empêcher de se diriger vers le consulat américain. La police a arrêté plusieurs dizaines de manifestants après que des affrontements eurent éclaté lorsque la police a tiré des grenades de gaz lacrymogène dans la foule.

Des Musulmans pakistanais chiites crient des slogans anti-américains lors d'une manifestation à Lahore le 17 Septembre 2012 (AFP/Arif Ali).

Des manifestants du district de Lower Dir ont incendié un club de presse et un bâtiment gouvernemental et ont encerclé un poste de police local. Un manifestant a été tué et deux autres blessés par les tirs de la police.

Au Bangladesh, Khaleda Zia du parti d’opposition, le Parti nationaliste du Bangladesh (BNP) a demandé aux Etats-Unis d’interdire le film antimusulman, alors que les autorités tentaient d’empêcher l’escalade de protestations. Vendredi, quelque 10.000 manifestants ont défilé contre le film, y compris dans la capitale, Dhaka, en incendiant des drapeaux américains et israéliens et en brandissant des pancartes exigeant une excuse du président Barack Obama.

Dimanche, quelque 100.000 travailleurs du vêtement ont débrayé dans la zone industrielle de Narayanganj, à 20 kilomètres au Sud de Dhaka, en revendiquant des horaires de travail plus courts et des augmentations de salaires. Les travailleurs du vêtement au Bangladesh travaillent entre 10 et 16 heures par jour et gagnent 37 dollars par mois, comptant parmi les salaires les plus bas du monde. Au milieu de rumeurs selon lesquelles un travailleur a été tué dans l’une des usines, les travailleurs ont bloqué une autoroute reliant Dhaka à la ville portuaire de Chittagong et ont attaqué des postes de police.

En Inde, un manifestant a été arrêté lors d’une manifestation contre le film dans la ville de Srinagar dans la région du Cachemire à majorité musulmane où 15.000 Musulmans avaient protesté vendredi en brûlant des drapeaux américains et en qualifiant Obama de terroriste. L’ambassade américaine a réitéré ses appels à l’adresse des citoyens américains d’éviter de se rendre dans la région.

Les protestations se sont aussi propagées à l’Asie du Sud-Est. La police a affronté des centaines de manifestants qui ont brûlé des portraits d’Obama devant l’ambassade des Etats-Unis à Djakarta en Indonésie, pays musulman le plus peuplé du monde. Des affrontements ont également été signalés à Medan, à Bandung et à Solo.

Environ 3.000 manifestants ont brûlé des drapeaux américains et israéliens dans la ville de Marawi au Sud des Philippines. Dans le contexte de rumeurs selon lesquelles il se pourrait que des musulmans organisent des manifestations dans la capitale Bangkok, les Etats-Unis et le Japon ont fermé leurs ambassades en Thaïlande, un allié régional clé des Etats-Unis et où se situent les prisons secrètes de la CIA.

Les manifestants escaladent une clôture à l'ambassade américaine à Sanaa, au Yémen (Reuters/Mohamed Al-Sayaghi).

Au Moyen-Orient, des centaines de jeunes ont continué de protester dans la capitale du Yémen, à Sana’a en réclamant l’expulsion de l’ambassadeur américain. La semaine passée, les manifestants avaient attaqué l’ambassade américaine au Yémen où les Etats-Unis mènent une guerre par procuration contre le régime du président Abd Rabbo Mansour el-Hadi. Des drones américains ont tué des centaines de personnes au Yémen. Washington a interrompu ses activités consulaires au Yémen pour le reste du mois de septembre.

Au Liban, lors d’une manifestation appelée par l’organisation populiste chiite Hezbollah, des centaines de milliers de personnes ont défilé. Le dirigeant du Hezbollah, cheikh Hassan Nasrallah, a condamné la vidéo anti-islam en critiquant les Etats-Unis qui ont attisé les tensions dans la région comme partie intégrante de la guerre par procuration dirigée par les Sunnites contre le président syrien Bachar al-Assad, et qui ont semé la discorde entre chrétiens et musulmans.

Ceci a fait suite aux protestations anti-guerre de milliers de personnes dans la ville turque d’Antakya, près de la frontière avec la Syrie.

Les tentatives des médias américains de présenter ces protestations comme étant motivées par un sentiment religieux ou le « traditionalisme » du Moyen-Orient, sont réactionnaires et intéressées. Ces protestations reflètent une vaste opposition populaire à l’égard des guerres menées par Washington, sa violation des droits démocratiques fondamentaux dans la conduite de la « guerre contre le terrorisme » et son exploitation de la région en tant que source de main d’oeuvre bon marché.

Le débordement d’une colère populaire contre les Etats-Unis témoigne aussi d’une profonde désillusion à l’égard du président Obama qui avait promis au début de son mandat de poursuivre une nouvelle politique étrangère américaine moins répressive au Moyen-Orient. Durant les quatre ans qui se sont écoulés depuis son élection, toutefois, le caractère réactionnaire de la politique étrangère d’Obama s’est largement fait ressentir dans toute la région.

Son gouvernement a défendu l’invasion et l’occupation américaines de l’Irak qui a coûté la vie à plus d’un million d’Irakiens et qui fut lancée sur la base de mensonges. Obama a poursuivi la détention illimitée et la torture des détenus à Guantánamo Bay, et il a élargi le recours aux frappes de drones partout au Moyen-Orient, en Asie centrale et dans certaines parties d’Afrique, occasionnant des milliers de victimes.

La réaction de Washington aux protestations actuelles démasque l’hypocrisie qui sous-tend les guerres que les Etats-Unis mènent au nom de la démocratie et des droits humains en réponse aux luttes de classe révolutionnaires de la classe ouvrière de l’année dernière contre les dictatures soutenues par les Etats-Unis en Egypte et en Tunisie. Après avoir organisé des guerres en Libye et Syrie, soi-disant pour empêcher la répression des protestations populaires, Washington exige actuellement que ses alliés répriment les manifestations contre la politique américaine.

Ces guerres étaient elles-mêmes fondées en grande partie sur le soutien accordé par Washington aux milices islamiste sunnites réactionnaires et aux groupes terroristes liés à al Qaïda. Cette politique a maintenant l’effet inverse de celui recherché. Il semble que l’attaque contre le consulat américain à Benghazi qui a entraîné la mort de l’ambassadeur américain en Libye et de trois autres américains ait été perpétrée par le groupe islamiste Ansar al Chariah. Celui-ci, ainsi que des groupes armés similaires, sont en mesure d’opérer librement au milieu du chaos social provoqué par la guerre des Etats-Unis et le renversement du colonel Mouammar Kadhafi.

Des hommes soudanais crient des slogans lors d'une manifestation après les prières en dehors de la Grande Mosquée à Khartoum le vendredi 14 septembre 14, 2012 (AFP).

Au milieu des protestations populaires grandissantes et des attaques à l’encontre des intérêts américains de la part de forces droitières que les Etats-Unis ont promues au Moyen-Orient, il y a de plus en plus de discussions en cours au sein de l’élite dirigeante américaine quant à la façon de procéder dans la région. Certaines personnes au sein de l’establishment de la politique étrangère suggèrent que Washington pourrait envisager de trouver un accord avec le président Assad au motif qu’il serait un meilleur garant de l’ordre en Syrie que les forces de type al Qaïda que les Etats-Unis sont en train de soutenir à son encontre.

Ainsi, le New York Times a écrit lundi:

« Les troubles n’ont fait qu’aiguiser un dilemme pénible… Les Etats-Unis et leurs alliés doivent-ils rester prudents à l’égard de l’éviction de M. Assad, l’un des derniers dictateurs séculaires de la région, dont le régime bien que répressif, a contenu les forces de l’Islam populiste ? »

Le Times a cité des spécialistes de politique étrangère qui plaident en faveur de la poursuite de la guerre par procuration des Etats-Unis en Syrie. Le journal cite toutefois aussi Brian Katulis du centre de réflexion Center for American Progress qui remarque que :

« Ces incidents feront davantage réfléchir les gens parce que nos agences de renseignement nous ont déjà dit qu’au sein de l’opposition syrienne – les gens que nous sommes censés soutenir – certains sont affiliés à Al Quaïda.

Ce débat révèle au grand jour le cynisme absolu de la prétendue opposition de Washington aux régimes répressifs et le caractère criminel de la politique étrangère américaine dans son ensemble. Les droits humains, la démocratie, la protection des civils sont tous des prétextes à une politique néocoloniale destinée à sauvegarder l’hégémonie américaine au Moyen-Orient et à contrôler les ressources énergétiques de la région.

Qu’un régime répressif (l’Arabie saoudite, le Bahreïn, le Qatar, etc.) soit un allié dans la soi-disant lutte pour la démocratie et la paix ou qu’il soit un ennemi (Syrie, Iran) dépend entièrement de la perception de Washington à un moment précis de ses intérêts commerciaux et géostratégiques. Il existe une longue liste d’anciens alliés, dont Saddam Hussein et Mouammar Kadhafi, qui furent redéfinis comme tyrans pour devenir des cibles à détruire.

Washington considère les dictatures au Moyen-Orient comme des moyens parfaitement acceptables à utiliser contre l’opposition populaire à l’impérialisme américain. Washington est prêt à signer des alliances avec les forces les plus réactionnaires, y compris Al Qaïda, dans le but de réprimer la classe ouvrière.

(Article original paru le 18 septembre 2012)

Source: WSWS

 

By Alex Lantier

WSWS

English | French

Protests that began one week ago at US embassies in Egypt and Libya against an anti-Islamic YouTube video are rapidly spreading throughout the Muslim world. The wave of demonstrations reflects the burning anger of hundreds of millions over the predatory policies of US imperialism. Over the weekend, the protests spread to some twenty countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

Protesters destroy an American flag pulled down from the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, September 11, 2012 (AP Photo/Mohammed Abu Zaid).

In US-occupied Afghanistan, police officials reported that several thousand marched in the capital, Kabul. They burned official cars, threw stones at the nearby US military base at Camp Phoenix, and burned shipping containers left outside the base.

In neighboring Pakistan, two protesters were killed in clashes with police as thousands of people marched in the cities of Karachi, Peshawar and Chaman. Several hundred people marched in Lahore and in the Lower Dir district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, near the Afghan border. The US embassy in Islamabad suspended operations for the day.

In Karachi, a protester was shot in the head and killed when police clashed with protesters to keep them from marching on the US consulate. Police arrested several dozen protesters after fighting broke out when police fired tear gas canisters into the crowd.

Pakistani Shiite Muslims shout anti-US slogans during a protest in Lahore on September 17, 2012 (Photo credit: AFP/Arif Ali).

Protesters in the Lower Dir district set fire to a press club and a government building and surrounded a local police station. One protester was killed and two wounded by police gunfire.

In Bangladesh, Khaleda Zia of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party called on the US to ban the anti-Muslim film, as authorities tried to head off further protests. On Friday, some 10,000 protesters marched against the film, including in the capital, Dhaka, burning American and Israeli flags and carrying signs demanding an apology from President Barack Obama.

On Sunday, approximately 100,000 garment workers struck in an industrial zone in Narayanganj, 20 kilometers south of Dhaka, demanding shorter working hours and higher wages. Bangladeshi garment workers work 10-16 hours a day and earn $37 a month, some of the lowest wages in the world. Amid rumors that a worker had been killed at one of the plants, workers blocked a highway connecting Dhaka to the port city of Chittagong and attacked police stations.

In India, one demonstrator was arrested at an anti-film protest in Srinagar in Muslim-majority Kashmir, where 15,000 Muslims had protested Friday, burning US flags and denouncing Obama as a terrorist. The US embassy reiterated calls for US citizens to avoid travel to the region.

Protests also spread to Southeast Asia. Police clashed with hundreds of demonstrators who burned effigies of Obama in front of the US embassy in Djakarta, Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country. Clashes were also reported in Medan, Bandung and Solo.

Approximately 3,000 protesters burned US and Israeli flags in the southern Filipino city of Marawi. The US and Japan closed their embassies in Thailand, a key US regional ally and host of CIA secret prisons, amid rumors that Muslims might organize protests in the capital, Bangkok.

Protesters climb a fence at the U.S. embassy in Sana'a, Yemen (Photo credit: Reuters/Mohamed Al-Sayaghi).

In the Middle East, hundreds of youth continued protests in Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, calling for the expulsion of the US ambassador. Last week, protesters attacked the US embassy in Yemen, where the US is waging a proxy war backing the regime of President Abd Rabbo Mansour el-Hadi. US drone strikes have killed hundreds in Yemen. Washington has suspended consular services in Yemen for the rest of September.

In Lebanon, hundreds of thousands of people marched in a demonstration called by the Shiite populist organization Hezbollah. Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah condemned the anti-Islamic video and criticized the US, which has inflamed sectarian tensions in the region as part of its Sunni-led proxy war against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, for sowing divisions between Christians and Muslims.

This followed Sunday’s anti-war protests by thousands of people in the Turkish city of Antakya, near the border with Syria.

Attempts by the US media to portray these protests as driven by religious sentiment, or the “traditionalism” of the Middle East, are reactionary and self-serving. The protests reflect broad popular opposition to Washington’s wars, its violation of elementary democratic rights in the conduct of the “war on terror,” and its exploitation of the region as a source of cheap labor.

The outpouring of popular anger against the US speaks as well to deep disillusionment with President Obama, who early in his tenure promised to pursue a new, less oppressive US foreign policy in the Middle East. In the four years since his election, however, the reactionary character of Obama’s foreign policy has been widely felt throughout the region.

His administration has defended the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, which cost over a million Iraqi lives and was launched on the basis of lies. Obama has continued the indefinite detention and torture of detainees at Guantánamo Bay, and expanded the use of drone strikes across the Middle East, Central Asia and parts of Africa, causing thousands of casualties.

Washington’s response to the current protests exposes the hypocrisy underlying the wars it has carried out, in the name of democracy and human rights, in response to last year’s revolutionary working class struggles against US-backed dictatorships in Egypt and Tunisia. Having authored wars in Libya and Syria supposedly to halt the suppression of popular protests, Washington now demands that its allies crack down on protests against US policies.

These wars themselves were largely based on Washington’s backing of reactionary Sunni Islamist militias and terrorist groups tied to Al Qaeda. This policy has now backfired. It appears that the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi that resulted in the death of the US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans was carried out by the Islamist group Ansar al Shariah. It and similar armed groups are able to operate freely amid the social chaos provoked by the US war and the overthrow of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

Sudanese men shout slogans during a protest after prayers outside the Grand Mosque in Khartoum on Friday September 14, 2012 (Photo Credit: AFP).

Amid rising popular protests as well as attacks on US interests by right-wing forces the US has promoted in the Middle East, there is a growing debate within the US ruling class on how to proceed in the region. Some within the foreign policy establishment are suggesting that Washington might consider making a deal with President Assad on the grounds that he would be a better guarantor of order in Syria than the Al Qaeda-type forces the US is backing against him.

Thus the New York Times wrote on Monday:

“The turmoil has only sharpened a painful quandary… Should the United States and its allies remain wary of toppling Mr. Assad, one of the region’s last secular dictators, whose rule, however repressive, has kept the forces of populist Islam in check?”

The Times cites foreign policy experts who argue for continuing the US proxy war in Syria. However, it also cites Brian Katulis of the Center for American Progress, who notes:

“These incidents will further give people pause because already our intelligence agencies have been telling us that amongst the Syrian opposition—the people who we’re supposed to support—some of them are Al Qaeda affiliates.”

This debate exposes the utter cynicism of Washington’s supposed opposition to repressive regimes and the criminal character of US foreign policy overall. Human rights, democracy, protection of civilians are all pretexts for a neo-colonial policy aimed at securing US hegemony in the Middle East and control over the region’s energy resources.

Whether a repressive regime (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, etc.) is an ally in the supposed struggle for democracy and peace or an enemy (Syria, Iran) is entirely dependent on Washington’s perception at a given time of its commercial and geo-strategic interests. There is a long list of one-time allies, including Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi, who were redefined as tyrants and targeted for destruction.

Washington views Middle East dictatorships as perfectly acceptable tools for use against popular opposition to US imperialism. It is prepared to make alliances with the most reactionary forces, including Al Qaeda, to suppress the working class.

 

Source: WSWS

Related:
Deadly Denim

 

By Alex Lantier

WSWS

English | French

Protests that began one week ago at US embassies in Egypt and Libya against an anti-Islamic YouTube video are rapidly spreading throughout the Muslim world. The wave of demonstrations reflects the burning anger of hundreds of millions over the predatory policies of US imperialism. Over the weekend, the protests spread to some twenty countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

Protesters destroy an American flag pulled down from the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, September 11, 2012 (AP Photo/Mohammed Abu Zaid).

In US-occupied Afghanistan, police officials reported that several thousand marched in the capital, Kabul. They burned official cars, threw stones at the nearby US military base at Camp Phoenix, and burned shipping containers left outside the base.

In neighboring Pakistan, two protesters were killed in clashes with police as thousands of people marched in the cities of Karachi, Peshawar and Chaman. Several hundred people marched in Lahore and in the Lower Dir district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, near the Afghan border. The US embassy in Islamabad suspended operations for the day.

In Karachi, a protester was shot in the head and killed when police clashed with protesters to keep them from marching on the US consulate. Police arrested several dozen protesters after fighting broke out when police fired tear gas canisters into the crowd.

Pakistani Shiite Muslims shout anti-US slogans during a protest in Lahore on September 17, 2012 (Photo credit: AFP/Arif Ali).

Protesters in the Lower Dir district set fire to a press club and a government building and surrounded a local police station. One protester was killed and two wounded by police gunfire.

In Bangladesh, Khaleda Zia of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party called on the US to ban the anti-Muslim film, as authorities tried to head off further protests. On Friday, some 10,000 protesters marched against the film, including in the capital, Dhaka, burning American and Israeli flags and carrying signs demanding an apology from President Barack Obama.

On Sunday, approximately 100,000 garment workers struck in an industrial zone in Narayanganj, 20 kilometers south of Dhaka, demanding shorter working hours and higher wages. Bangladeshi garment workers work 10-16 hours a day and earn $37 a month, some of the lowest wages in the world. Amid rumors that a worker had been killed at one of the plants, workers blocked a highway connecting Dhaka to the port city of Chittagong and attacked police stations.

In India, one demonstrator was arrested at an anti-film protest in Srinagar in Muslim-majority Kashmir, where 15,000 Muslims had protested Friday, burning US flags and denouncing Obama as a terrorist. The US embassy reiterated calls for US citizens to avoid travel to the region.

Protests also spread to Southeast Asia. Police clashed with hundreds of demonstrators who burned effigies of Obama in front of the US embassy in Djakarta, Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country. Clashes were also reported in Medan, Bandung and Solo.

Approximately 3,000 protesters burned US and Israeli flags in the southern Filipino city of Marawi. The US and Japan closed their embassies in Thailand, a key US regional ally and host of CIA secret prisons, amid rumors that Muslims might organize protests in the capital, Bangkok.

Protesters climb a fence at the U.S. embassy in Sana'a, Yemen (Photo credit: Reuters/Mohamed Al-Sayaghi).

In the Middle East, hundreds of youth continued protests in Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, calling for the expulsion of the US ambassador. Last week, protesters attacked the US embassy in Yemen, where the US is waging a proxy war backing the regime of President Abd Rabbo Mansour el-Hadi. US drone strikes have killed hundreds in Yemen. Washington has suspended consular services in Yemen for the rest of September.

In Lebanon, hundreds of thousands of people marched in a demonstration called by the Shiite populist organization Hezbollah. Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah condemned the anti-Islamic video and criticized the US, which has inflamed sectarian tensions in the region as part of its Sunni-led proxy war against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, for sowing divisions between Christians and Muslims.

This followed Sunday’s anti-war protests by thousands of people in the Turkish city of Antakya, near the border with Syria.

Attempts by the US media to portray these protests as driven by religious sentiment, or the “traditionalism” of the Middle East, are reactionary and self-serving. The protests reflect broad popular opposition to Washington’s wars, its violation of elementary democratic rights in the conduct of the “war on terror,” and its exploitation of the region as a source of cheap labor.

The outpouring of popular anger against the US speaks as well to deep disillusionment with President Obama, who early in his tenure promised to pursue a new, less oppressive US foreign policy in the Middle East. In the four years since his election, however, the reactionary character of Obama’s foreign policy has been widely felt throughout the region.

His administration has defended the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, which cost over a million Iraqi lives and was launched on the basis of lies. Obama has continued the indefinite detention and torture of detainees at Guantánamo Bay, and expanded the use of drone strikes across the Middle East, Central Asia and parts of Africa, causing thousands of casualties.

Washington’s response to the current protests exposes the hypocrisy underlying the wars it has carried out, in the name of democracy and human rights, in response to last year’s revolutionary working class struggles against US-backed dictatorships in Egypt and Tunisia. Having authored wars in Libya and Syria supposedly to halt the suppression of popular protests, Washington now demands that its allies crack down on protests against US policies.

These wars themselves were largely based on Washington’s backing of reactionary Sunni Islamist militias and terrorist groups tied to Al Qaeda. This policy has now backfired. It appears that the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi that resulted in the death of the US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans was carried out by the Islamist group Ansar al Shariah. It and similar armed groups are able to operate freely amid the social chaos provoked by the US war and the overthrow of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

Sudanese men shout slogans during a protest after prayers outside the Grand Mosque in Khartoum on Friday September 14, 2012 (Photo Credit: AFP).

Amid rising popular protests as well as attacks on US interests by right-wing forces the US has promoted in the Middle East, there is a growing debate within the US ruling class on how to proceed in the region. Some within the foreign policy establishment are suggesting that Washington might consider making a deal with President Assad on the grounds that he would be a better guarantor of order in Syria than the Al Qaeda-type forces the US is backing against him.

Thus the New York Times wrote on Monday:

“The turmoil has only sharpened a painful quandary… Should the United States and its allies remain wary of toppling Mr. Assad, one of the region’s last secular dictators, whose rule, however repressive, has kept the forces of populist Islam in check?”

The Times cites foreign policy experts who argue for continuing the US proxy war in Syria. However, it also cites Brian Katulis of the Center for American Progress, who notes:

“These incidents will further give people pause because already our intelligence agencies have been telling us that amongst the Syrian opposition—the people who we’re supposed to support—some of them are Al Qaeda affiliates.”

This debate exposes the utter cynicism of Washington’s supposed opposition to repressive regimes and the criminal character of US foreign policy overall. Human rights, democracy, protection of civilians are all pretexts for a neo-colonial policy aimed at securing US hegemony in the Middle East and control over the region’s energy resources.

Whether a repressive regime (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, etc.) is an ally in the supposed struggle for democracy and peace or an enemy (Syria, Iran) is entirely dependent on Washington’s perception at a given time of its commercial and geo-strategic interests. There is a long list of one-time allies, including Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi, who were redefined as tyrants and targeted for destruction.

Washington views Middle East dictatorships as perfectly acceptable tools for use against popular opposition to US imperialism. It is prepared to make alliances with the most reactionary forces, including Al Qaeda, to suppress the working class.

 

Source: WSWS

Related:
Deadly Denim

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