The one “silver lining” in the US election was said by some to be reduced tensions between the United States and Russia, an opportunity to end decades of Cold War hostility. Those on the left who reject such a prospect (for example repeating the false claim that Russia “annexed” Crimea – which has historically always been part of Russia), are letting US imperialism off the hook for its role as the primary threat to world peace.
Early indications are that while the targets may be shifted, the overall foreign policy of the United States remains militaristic, aggressive and dangerous. One of the most serious signals is the escalation of tensions between Washington and Tehran. The UK-based Committee for the Defence of the Iranian People’s Rights (CODIR), is calling on labour, peace and democratic movements worldwide to be on the alert against a possible conflict between the two countries.
Trump put Tehran “on notice” after Iran’s recent unsuccessful test of the Khorramshahr medium-range ballistic missile, imposing new sanctions against Iranian individuals and companies the US claims are linked to the missile programme. As CODIR stresses, the 2015 nuclear energy accord between Iran, the US and other powers prohibited research into nuclear weapons, but not missiles with conventional warheads like the one launched in January. In another ominous development, Defence Secretary James Mattis called Iran “the single biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East,” and sent the destroyer USS Cole to the Yemeni coast to protect warships of the Saudi-led invasion coalition from missiles launched by pro-Iranian coastal defence forces.
Whatever Donald Trump’s personal intentions may be, US imperialism has not abandoned its drive for global domination, or its militarist foreign policy. This is not a time to “wait and see”- it is urgent to renew and rebuild the anti-war movement.