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Six years after the beginning

Document adopted by the International Conference of the Anti-imperialist Camp, Vienna, Febuary 2-4, 2008

13. March 2008
Taking advantage of the downfall of the USSR, the United States of America have intensified their aggressive policy, knowing well that their global supremacy depends on their ability to wield a steady dominance in this stormy region. Since 1991 Washington pursues the strategic American project, better known as "Great Middle East". This plan does not tolerate any hostile regime (see the Iraqi case) and implies wiping out any anti-imperialist resistance.


1. The Middle East is the centre of gravity of the global geopolitical system.

Taking advantage of the downfall of the USSR, the United States of America have intensified their aggressive policy, knowing well that their global supremacy depends on their ability to wield a steady dominance in this stormy region. Since 1991 Washington pursues the strategic American project, better known as “Great Middle East”. This plan does not tolerate any hostile regime (see the Iraqi case) and implies wiping out any anti-imperialist resistance.

In its most extreme version it implies that they need to severely modify the current geopolitical configuration, redrawing the borders inherited from old European colonialism and transforming the already unsteady nation states into weak imperial satraps. To be realised this project requires three conditions: a widespread net of US military bases, the strengthening of Israel as the first military power of the region, the annihilation of the resistances.

Regardless of whether or not the region can be stabilized in the future in the forms of a deathly pax americana, the plan of the “Great Middle East” will imply, in a middle term range, a state of permanent war.

The European Union, whose specific interest sometimes do not coincide with the American ones, nevertheless acts as the American’s main strategic ally. Things are different as far as China and Russia are concerned, as their shared strategic ambitions are destined to clash, on long term, with the American ones.

The Anti-Imperialist Camp rejects the American plans and will strive to contrast it, first of all by supporting the resistance movements, as well as the right to self-defence of every country which is threatened and possibly attacked by the United States and/or by US-led coalitions, also in the case that they are disguised with UN colours.

2. The Islamic Republic of Iran, notwithstanding the turnover of different governments, represent an insurmountable obstacle to the realization of the “Great Middle East”. Teheran, pursuing the legitimate goal of avoiding the punitive neo-colonialist international division of labour, won’t be able to find a way for its economical and social development without defending and reinforcing its sovereignty, and this, in a context which is characterized by the supremacy of imperialism, implies that they have to break the encirclement, build a defensive belt and counter Israel, which remains the vanguard and the main stronghold of the North American supremacy.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is therefore compelled to play an anti-American and anti-Zionist role, that is, in this phase, an anti-imperialist role. This is proved by Teheran’s decisive support not only to Hezbollah in Lebanon but also to Hamas in Palestine.

The United States will try in every way to obtain what they call a regime change. If they do not manage it through political pressure, orange revolution-style inner conspiracies, blackmail, threats and sanctions, there is no doubt that they are ready to start a war of aggression.

We support Iran’s right to self-defence, not only in the case of a missile attack or open war, but also against possible sanctions and embargos which would only be a way to keep it under siege in order to weaken it in the perspective of the final military clash.

We therefore have to encourage an international campaign in order to build a unitary and inclusive movement against the threat of aggression. We do not fool ourselves that it will be easy. We already have to face an incessant and treacherous anti-Iranian propaganda aiming at isolating not only Iran but also any anti-war movement. Those defending Iran will be harassed, defamed and denounced in a virulent way. We must be able to make it clear that while we support in principle the independence and territorial integrity of Iran and its right to defend itself from attacks of imperialism, we denounce the internal policy of the regime when it violently represses social movements of protest, those of the most oppressed layers of population in the first place, when it represses the rights of the national minorities, when it denies elementary democratic and civil rights.

3. The consequences of the American effort to re-configure and concentrate its forces in the perspective of the overthrowing of the Islamic Republic of Iran are strongly affecting the Iraqi scene.

Washington couldn’t have overthrown the Baathist regime and set up a puppet regime in Baghdad without the permit and the help of the government of Ayatollah Mohammed Khatami. The backing its government gave, deeming the US occupation as better than the survival of the Baathist regime, does not only remain as an indelible stain on the Iranian polity, it also resulted into providing a great advantage to Bush’s anti-Persian strategy itself.

The powerful rise of the Sunni resistance and the American failure to wipe it out in a frontal assault damaged the already unsteady joint rule of Iraqi affairs. Ahmdinejad’s rise to power (August 2005) and the criminal attack to the Shi’a mosque of Samarra (January 2006) symbolically represent the start of a second tragic phase for occupied Iraq. The two main sectors of the Sunni resistance, the Qaedist one on one hand and the Baathist one on the other – the first one because of its takfirism which condemns Shiites as apostates and misbelievers, the second one because of its blind anti-Persian nationalism which considers Shiites as Safavids – started to target the Shi’a community as the main enemy. Far from weakening the occupation, this strategy turned out to be a real suicide.

The Americans have started by fomenting the fratricidal struggle between the two main religious communities, and then they have arbitrated this same conflict and have called for a new alliance in order to crush the Qaedist guerrilla groups on one hand, and the Shi’a militias on the other. The American move succeeded. The Sunni resistance, already unable to federate in a united front, was split in an irreparable way. After the first armed confrontations (Spring 2007) some sectors of the resistance, in order to counter the Qaedist fractions on one side and to fight the “ethnic cleansing” carried on by many Shi’a militias on the other, decided to collaborate with the occupiers. In this context the Americans not only have been paying a salary to thousands of former guerrilla fighters, but they have forced the puppet government to rehabilitate the former Baathist officers.

Iraq is now facing a newly entered third phase. The Teheran government cannot allow that the Shi’a militias are wiped out (first of all the Mahdi Army following Moqtada as-Sadr uncertain leadership), nor that its allies in Baghdad are thrown out of the government; it must counter every try at stabilizing the occupation (which is necessary to the Americans in the perspective of the possible attack on Iran). On the other side the process of re-composition of the Sunni resistance, after the phase of disintegration started in 2006, under the pressure of the events, will yield its results. It is the American determination to consolidate the occupation and wipe out the Islamic Republic of Iran that gives strong roots to the resistance.

The Anti-Imperialist Camp will continue to direct all its efforts towards the support to the Iraqi resistance, hoping it will be able to find new forms and new ways, and leave behind the sad phase of religious fanatism and blind nationalism. The Iraqi people, which has the historical merit of having showed the world that fighting the strongest imperial power of all times is possible, will indeed not be able to free itself only counting on its own forces. They need to beat the United States, to throw them out of the Middle East, and this requires a long lasting struggle and a wider union of the peoples of the region.

4. The “New Middle East” strategy implies a deeper attack on the Palestinian people. No imperialist stabilization is possible without crushing forever the resistance of this people which has been fighting now for more than sixty years against the Zionist occupation.

The imperial reaction to Hamas’s hegemony was to completely change the political situation which had come out of the elections, imposing a Fatah-led puppet government in the West Bank. In the Gaza Strip this was not possible, because the popular forces, in June 2007, managed to defend their right and duty to govern. The legitimate armed self-defence caused the most severe response by Israel and its allies, president Abu Mazen included.

The Gaza Strip, which had been an open air prison prior to June 2007, has now become a concentration camp, because isolation goes far beyond the traditional forms of embargo; in the West Bank the demonstrations in support of the population of Gaza are severely repressed by the puppet government; the governments of the Arab countries do not do anything except from keeping at bay their populations who support the resistance of their Palestinian brothers. The conference of Annapolis and the following meeting in Paris, under the appearance of peace talks and the slogan “two peoples, two states” have actually approved the siege on Gaza representing the Zionist attempt to definitively strangle its people.

We reaffirm our solidarity to the Palestinian resistance with the commitment to carry on the work we already started in support to the population of the Gaza Strip and the legitimate Palestinian government, even though we know that we will meet many obstacles even from subjects who claim to be friends to the Palestinians. In particular we will have to work in order that in all the countries where the Camp is present solidarity committees with Gaza are born, like the ones that are already active in Italy, England and Greece, able to involve single persons, organized groups and if possible institutional figures, and we must not give up our intention to bring our solidarity through delegations representing the Committees and Associations of anti-imperialist voluntary work, to Palestine and the hell of the Gaza Strip.

5. Lebanon is one of the centres where the different and opposing pushes converge, in the context of a growing escalation of the Middle Eastern conflict. Israel’s defeat by the Hezbollah-led resistance makes it search for a final revenge. Neither the Zionist nor the imperialist Holy Alliance can tolerate the hegemony of the resistance in Lebanon. A counter-attack from Israel is to be awaited. This threat explains why so-called peace troops (UNIFIL 2) have been sent, not only in order to protect Israel but also as an anti-Hezbollah deterrent in the case of an inner frontal clash. The presence of these troops explains the arrogance of Hariri’s block when it refuses any compromise with the national resistance, and contributes to the institutional crisis which could lead to a new civil war.

The Lebanese resistance must be supported in its efforts to avoid a bloody inter-Lebanese conflict, but it will have to be supported as well in the case that such a conflict becomes unavoidable. A conflict that could function as a crucial test for the battle that will decide the outcome of the American global strategy, and secondarily the Israeli one.

6. Afghanistan is another crucial place where the United States’ attempt to consolidate their imperial strategy. Once failed the try to crush the popular resistance and having lost the control of the land primarily in the regions with a Pashtun majority, Washington, with the full support of Europe, will try, as it did in Iraq, to redirect its policy, integrating in the puppet regime one or another once hostile notable or local clan leader, in order to divide and weaken the liberation struggle and isolate the intransigent sectors, not only the Taliban.

Here as well, like in Iraq, the United States are deluding themselves if they think it to be possible to withdraw their soldiers without endangering their strategy. No pro-imperialist regime would indeed be able to go a long way only counting on its own strength.

The defence of the Afghan resistance and the struggle for the withdrawal of the occupation troops remain two crucial points of our international initiatives, in Europe first of all, considering that the occupation directly involves NATO, and that it is experiencing a growing dissent in the countries that are directly involved in the conflict, and that it will never stop representing a reason of disagreement among the political forces of the imperialistic political block themselves.

7. Along with the Middle Eastern first front, we must take into account the second front of the anti-imperialist struggle, that is first of all the Latin American one, especially South America. Here the strategic imperial plan of total control of the continent, through the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA-ALCA), failed. The empire was forced to a strategic withdrawal, searching for bilateral agreements. The United States anyway have to face an alternative pole the pillar of which is represented by Chavez’s Venezuela.

Venezuela, with the ALBA proposal and thanks to the brave anti-oligarchic interior policy, has indeed become the engine of a potential anti-imperialist coalition of Latin American countries and peoples.

If we compare the steps ahead made by Chavez to the policy of subjection to the United Stated carried on by Lula in Brazil, we can understand the importance of the momentum emanating from Venezuela.

The American empire did not engage in a frontal clash in Latin American only because in this phase its battle in the Middle East is the priority. But to lower the guard of solidarity would be a fatal error.

The Anti-Imperialist Camp supports, notwithstanding some limits it has, the process of social transformation going on in Venezuela and commits to defending in from external and internal attacks. It also supports in a strong way the Chavist attempts to build the basis for the region to break away from the imperial sphere.

8. The solidarity to the resistances remains the Polar Star of our activity. It must be inscribed into the perspective of an international anti-imperialist bloc which includes not only the resistances of the first Middle Eastern front and the second front (the rest of the semi-colonial peripheries with Latin America in the first place) but also the ones of the European third front.

Following the United States also for the European Union the permanent imperialist permanent war has become the driving force. It causes the multiform Americanization of Europe. NATO is the historical base without which the building of the European Union would never have been possible. It is the organization through which Europe participates directly in the attack to the resistances of the oppressed peoples, and shared the strategy of containment of the Russian-Chinese axis.

Therefore the closure of the American bases and the suppression of NATO, difficult as they are, remain among the main motives of the anti-imperialists’ struggle in Europe.

This is however only the first aspect of the battle against Americanization. The second one concerns the struggle against the ruling oligarchy. Capitalists, money-makers, bankers, politicians, cops, judges, intellectuals, journalists – in a word all the categories that form indeed a real oligarchy – are pro-American in their vast majority. They represent the transmission belt thanks to which Washington is able to chain Europe to the role of a prosthesis; they are the leaders of the American outlook on the world, the makers of the social and cultural hegemony of the American form of capitalism, that is a system based on social exclusion and where the oppressed have no voice, where the working class, which has been robbed of its historical memory, is only a subordinated and variable part of the capital and is integrated as a complementary force into the chauvinistic, imperialistic European-American bloc.

Therefore the Anti-Imperialist Camp is not indifferent of all the attempts that will tend to organize and give political representation to the excluded and the oppressed. We will do so in the frame of the link and the solidarity with the resistances of the first and the second front, rejecting any separation between anti-imperialist values and anti-capitalist values of social justice. It is the imperialist structure of the capitalistic system which implies that any anti-capitalist struggle also has to be anti-imperialist.

There is finally a third aspect of our struggle in Europe. The tendency to the permanent war causes the adaptation of social, political and institutional systems to the necessity of the war itself. The permanent war brings along the tendency to replace the traditional democratic systems with institutional oligarchic systems characterized by despotism, militarism, xenophobic populism. The United States lead the way. Those are changes of a crucial importance which lead, through growing repression and ever-increasing securitarian policies and systems, to destroy the state under the rule of law and replace it with an effective and ubiquitous police state. Those changes are not limited to the institutional sphere, but rather they are the consequence of deep changes that already happened in the so-called civil society, changes which followed the collapse of the forces representing the old workers and communist movement.

One of the paradigms used to justify the need for this authoritarian turn is the war on terrorism, alias popular resistance, the Islamic one first of all, as it represents the oppressed in the first front of the permanent war.

Against the rampant imperial tendency towards securitarian despostism, we must not only limit ourselves to defend one or another democratic right, or democracy in abstract. We make the defence of the state under the rule of law one of the main levers of our political actions. The struggles for social rights themselves have no future if they don’t attack the imperialistic, pro-American and neo-authoritarian policies of the European capitalistic oligarchies. In the same way that democracy can’t exist without social justice, the latter implies the defence of democracy. On these grounds of resistance new subjects will enter the scene. New democratic and revolutionary alliances will arise, wiping out the worn-out left/right polarity.