Editorial - Gaza and Sudan: Flashpoints for World War

08 June 2024 654 hits

Within a span of two weeks, Israel used made-in-USA bombs to strike the Tal as-Sultan refugee camp near Rafah, bombing and burning to death at least 45 displaced workers in yet another genocidal atrocity in Gaza; 134 people died in a single hospital in the Darfur region of Sudan. They were casualties of a yearlong, imperialist-fueled civil war and another looming genocide. From the Israeli Defense Forces’ state terror to the brutal battle between rival generals in Sudan, the future of our class without communism is bleak. 

With U.S. imperialism in steep decline, Hamas nationalists and dueling gangsters in Sudan are seeking to partner with capitalist rulers in Iran, China, and Russia. The resurgence of the civil war in Sudan and the ongoing bloodbath in Gaza are drawing the U.S. into more direct confrontation with their imperialist competition, all on the backs of Black and Brown workers. These conflicts reflect the world situation in this period, a time of dangerous instability, rising fascism, and inevitable world war. The world’s working class has only two options: to lie down and die for this deadly system, or to organize and fight for an internationalist, worker-led red army–for communist revolution.

Middle East: U.S bosses losing control 

According to a 2019 United Nations report, the Levant Basin in the eastern Mediterranean Sea contains 122 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 1.7 billion barrels of recoverable oil, with an estimated total value of $524 billion (UN Conference on Trade and Development, 2019). Much of these resources lie beneath or off the coast of the Gaza Strip. Long before Israel’s most recent siege of racist slaughter and ethnic cleansing, the Zionist regime’s occupation and blockade of Gaza “prevented the Palestinian people from exercising any control over their own fossil fuel resources, denying them much-needed fiscal and export revenues and leaving the Palestinian economy on the verge of collapse” (Al Jazeera, 6/21/21).  

Given the economic stakes and the reality on the ground, where Gaza is physically devastated and Jewish settlers in the West Bank are killing and pillaging Muslim and Brown workers with impunity, a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine seems impossible. Israel’s capitalist rulers will attempt to hold on to these territories by any means necessary–including mass extermination and forced migration, the final solutions to Israel’s Palestine “problem.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. and regional power Saudi Arabia are nearing an agreement to develop Saudi Arabia’s nuclear program, a point of leverage against imperialist rivals of the U.S.: “Supporters of the arrangement maintain that it will enhance regional security by bolstering the U.S.-led alliance in the Middle East against Iran, checking the rising influence of China in the Arab world, and facilitating the normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia” (Foreign Policy, 5/29). The nationalist misleaders who run Hamas, along with Hezbollah and the Houthis, are all funded by Iran. Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel stalled the pending nuclear deal. But even if it’s revived, the U.S. will be relying on de facto Saudi ruler Mohammed bin Salman, a loose cannon who  jails prime ministers and murders journalists. Between Salman and the reckless and defiant war criminal Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, the U.S. bosses are straining to keep their junior partners in check. 
For the world’s working class, the only solution is to smash the capitalist ruling class with a militant, internationalist revolution led by workers, students, and soldiers. Students and workers who expose capitalist universities for their complicity in genocide are leading the way. And as workers in Rafah and Sudan ration food to share and help each other survive, they show how we must practice communist principles even under the most dire conditions. Workers of the world unite to turn the bosses' imperialist wars into class wars to smash the bosses.

Sudan–flash point for wider war

U.S. weakness is emboldening Iran to strike back. As Saudi, Israeli, and U.S. bosses align, so are Sudanese and Iranian bosses. Although Sudan’s army officially cut joint military ties in 2016, workers there recently spotted Iranian drones. With Sudan strategically positioned on the Red Sea, it fits into Iran’s plan for geopolitical control over the Middle East. “From the other side of the Red Sea, Yemen's Houthis, armed in part by Iran, have launched attacks in support of Hamas in Gaza” (Reuters, 4/10). 

Iran isn’t the only power planting a stake in Africa. Just as imperialist competition for land, markets, and labor in Africa was central to the world wars of the 1900s, Sudan’s current civil war reflects today’s inter-imperialist rivalry. Chinese bosses are funneling billions in loans for infrastructure development that will draw the continent more tightly into their global capitalist network. Currently pending is an agreement between Ugandan officials and the Chinese firm Sinohydro to develop a $180 million power transmission line from Uganda to energy-starved South Sudan (Reuters, 4/14). Although Russia, a major oil exporter, has no need for Sudanese oil, they are a longstanding security partner and are keen to set up a naval base in Port Sudan on the Red Sea (AP News, 2/11/2023). While Russia and China claim to be joined at the hip in opposition to the U.S. and NATO in Ukraine, their interests–and those of the Iranian capitalists–may clash in Sudan. China’s calls for “peacekeeping: and “stability” are muffled by the drumbeats of war. 

Build the communist “red line of history”

Workers around the world–from Paris to Israel, from New York to Lebanon–have risen up in protest against the mass murder in Rafah, demanding an end to Israel’s slaughter and occupation. Smaller protests have surfaced in cities like Philadelphia, linking the Sudan genocide to the struggles of workers in Gaza. But calls for “divestment” by universities or support for the “resistance” and ceasefires reveal the basic limits of reforms under capitalism. Genocide Joe Biden’s lying proclamations aside, there is no “red line” for the bosses’ profit-driven greed. With revolutionary communist leadership, workers must demand the overthrow of the capitalist system, drawing a “red line of history” that our class can celebrate and develop for generations to come. 

With internationalist communism as our guide, we must be inspired by the courage of the workers in Gaza to seize every opportunity to build international workers' power, freed from the nationalism that divides us. From Israel and Palestine to Sudan and beyond, we can smash the imperialists and the nationalists and their murderous plans! إلى أعلى، إلى أعلى، مع العمال Up! Up! Up with the workers! Join the Progressive Labor Party!