Like a criminal returning to the scene of the crime, George Bush is on a tour of the Middle East – dropping in on all the despots, butchers, dictators and stooges that make up his “moderate” allies in the region.
Bush’s tour has one purpose – to fan the flames of war in a region that is already reeling with oppression and misery. He has already invaded Iraq and turned the country into a cauldron of blood. Now he has set his eyes on a new target.
On his tour Bush talked blithely of how “a new era offers hope for the millions across the Middle East who yearn for a future of peace and progress and opportunity” – and then called for a war on Iran.
“Iran is today the world’s leading state sponsor of terror,” Bush told the dictator of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last Sunday. “It sends hundreds of millions of dollars to extremists around the world – while its own people face repression and economic hardship at home.”
The tour was preceded by an announcement that the US will be sending yet more arms to its allies to make war on Iran.
Bush dropped in first on Israel to push for “reconciliation” with the Palestinians. Yet this much heralded “peace process” is a list of empty and broken promises.
The elected Palestinian Hamas government was not invited to Bush’s lunch with Ehud Olmert, the Israeli leader who ordered the bombing of Lebanon in 2006 – though Mahmoud Abbas, Israel’s stooge in the Occupied Territories, was more than welcome.
As soon as Bush got back on his plane, Olmert ordered a bombing raid on the Gaza Strip that killed 14 people.
Then Bush swanned around the Gulf states praising the “economic miracle” there – Kuwait, a dictatorship run by the al-Sabah family, Bahrain, run by the al-Khalifa family, and the UAE, run by an alliances of princes.
His next stop was Saudi Arabia, a key US ally and a regime built on brutal repression that has blocked any move to democracy with money, threats and force.
The Bush tour ends in Egypt, run by the dictator Hosni Mubarak. Bush has heaped praise on the Egyptian regime saying it is “leading the way towards democracy”.
Yet Mubarak has crushed all dissent, cheated the people and stuffed ballot boxes to keep his clique in power.
Bush will no doubt enjoy his final cavort with the despots.
But whoever replaces him will have to look over his or her shoulder.
For there is a real democracy movement rising across the Middle East, allied to militant workers and peasants.
It is this movement that will bring a real “new era” to the region – an era that will have no place for imperialism and its followers.
Come to the Cairo Conference, 27-30 March, to witness the Middle East’s new movements first hand. Go to » www.stopwar.org.uk for more information. Demonstrate to mark five years since the invasion of Iraq, Saturday 15 March, central London