[...]To quote V Lenin, "What is to be done?" The CWI's Kevin Simpson has released an extensive analysis on this topic with the following conclusions:
Lebanon is mired in a terrifying labyrinth of death and destruction. Beirut's airport is bombed. Israel has imposed a sea blockade. Other than privileged Westerners who are being evacuated by air or sea, people have overnight become refugees. They are plunged into an exodus of hundreds of thousands crammed on rickety rural trucks, overcrowded buses, Red Crescent convoys and even Mercedes with Saudi license plates on a mad dash through Lebanese back roads to Syria.
Israel's lethal bombing is ubiquitous - raining hell over family homes in the Bekaa Valley, over the Liban Lait milk factory on the road to Baalbek, over a Greek Orthodox church, over civilian trucks carrying rice and sugar near the Christian village of Zaleh, over a civil-defense building in Tyre, over a paper mill, over a packaging firm, over a pharmaceutical plant, over the Lake Qaraoun dam, over bridges, water reservoirs, electric plants, gas stations, ambulances, even over Beirut's main Christian neighborhood.
Peak Oil: Lebanon Left for Dead
Information Clearing House: Uncensored photos from Lebanon
Undoubtedly the prospect of further conflict and war fills workers and young people around the world and particularly in the Middle East with dread because of the terrible suffering it could mean. However, capitalist wars and conflict will see further working class struggles against privatisation and attacks on workers living standards which have already taken place in countries like Iran, Egypt and Israel. Such movements will come to the fore again but with a different consciousness – one that is imbued with a desire for an end to bloodshed and a new society where the mass of the population control the huge wealth that exists in the region.
This perspective is based on historical experience. At the height of the internecine Lebanese Civil War in 1988, Lebanese workers across the sectarian divide took strike action against the collapse in the value of the minimum wage as a result of the galloping inflation caused by the conflict. Along the "green line", which divided Christian and Muslim Beirut, joint demonstrations took place on this issue. During the same period between half and one million Israelis demonstrated in Tel Aviv against the IDF invasion in Lebanon.
However, socialists and activists cannot simply sit back and wait for these developments in the future. A movement for revolutionary socialist change needs to be built, as a matter of urgency, across the region.
Socialist Alternative: Israeli regime’s air invasion of Lebanon
- No to the mass terror of the Israeli regime against the Lebanese people. End the bombing of Lebanon. Build mass international opposition to ‘collective punishment’ of the Lebanese people
- For the right of the Lebanese working class and poor peasantry to defend themselves against Israeli state aggression. No to indiscriminate bombing and shelling of civilian areas. For the setting up of cross-community, armed defence committees under the democratic control of the Lebanese masses. No to the concept of collective punishment of innocent civilians
- Release all political prisoners and captives. All imperialist forces out of the region
- For a mass movement of Arab and Palestinian workers, poor peasants and young people to overthrow the capitalist system which breeds war, poverty, mass unemployment and neo-liberal attacks in the Middle East. For a socialist confederation of Arab states based on a democratically planned economy, under workers’ control and management
- For a mass movement of Israeli Jewish workers to overthrow the Israeli capitalist regime which means endless wars and attacks on living standards. For a socialist Palestine and socialist Israel as part of a socialist confederation of the Middle East in which workers and poor peasants and not corrupt leaders will decide how society is run and where the national, religious and ethnic rights of all minorities will be guaranteed