“The US government is an economic terrorist. We are not enemies of the people of the US, but we condemn the crimes of the US government.”
By MENCHANI TILENDO*
The ongoing US-Iran conflict is one of the latest manifestations of US war mongering. The history of US aggression towards Iran has been simmering long before Washington killed Qasem Soleimani, top commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards-Quds Force. When former US president George W. Bush declared Iran as part of the “Axis of Evil,” the US government has waged its “war on terror” on the pretext of Islamic extremism.
Quietly supporting them with funds and intelligence reports in their battle to overthrow the Syrian government, the US government has been arming ISIS and Al-Qaeda. This has undoubtedly aggravated Islamophobia all around the world. Consistent with the frame of imperialism, Donald Trump has not only attacked and insulted the real followers of Islam, he also threatened to bomb Iran’s cultural heritage sites.
The people of Iran are raging–they know very well that Trump’s attack is not just an attack on their culture and religion. More than anything, the US government wages terror and destabilization on their economy.
As Morteza Sabouri Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran cultural counselor put it during a discussion with Philippine groups last January 16, “Nobody should ask us to be calm against the US government. We have the right to defend ourselves.”
Economic sanctions as vehicles of US war on Iran
Indeed, there is money in war; and those coming from the most vulnerable sectors and working class are the ones paying for the cost. Decades of immense US military establishment continue to create a war-based economy and impose economic sanctions on self-governing states such as Iran.
US sanctions have been crushing the Iranian economy. The very high inflation have burdened Iranians and triggered massive protests in the past year. The reinstatement of US sanctions on energy, shipping, and financial sectors have dried up foreign investments and caused oil exports to plummet. The cost of basic social services in Iran, such as health care, food, housing, and transportation, have tripled in the past year. The US sanctions are targeting the Iranian regime, but the poorest suffer the most.
“The US government is an economic terrorist. We are not enemies of the people of the US, but we condemn the crimes of the US government,” Sabouri said.
Global solidarity for peace and social justice
Amid the series of US aggression towards Iran, other parts of the Middle East, and other regions, the conditions still may not be ripe enough to claim that we are facing a World War III. In a multi-polar world wherein economic and political powers are monopolized by superpowers such as US, China, and Russia, the brewing of yet another world war comes hand in hand with the alignment of inter-imperialist wars.
The struggle of the Iranian people goes beyond the preservation and protection of Islam and their culture, it is also geared for the defense of their nation. Economic, social, and political crises in the Philippines do not fall far from the same culprit– the global policies of the US government. It is in this light that we must unite our national aspirations with Iran and other neighboring countries sharing the same vein of the consequences of US aggression.
The fundamental situation of unemployment, landlessness, and repression of democratic rights remains today. The cost of war knows no borders, nor religion — it is a universal suffering of the poor and marginalized. This is why we need to strengthen our global solidarity, and raise it against the world’s number one economic terrorist.
On January 25, people across the world will stand in solidarity with Iranian people and hold protests as part of the Global Day of Action: No War on Iran.
* The author is a journalism graduate from the University of the Philippines Diliman and is currently an international solidarity worker at the International League of People’s Struggles.