Turkey, Pakistan and Iran: Squaring the Circle of US Imperialism

Behind the Misery of War - Imperialist Rivalry

The area of direct confrontation between the imperialist powers in the Middle East/Central Asia/Northern East Africa is spreading like an inkblot on wet paper. From Darfur to Daghestan, from Aden to Almaty the conflict zone is widening and intensifying.

To those who believe everything they are told, there is no connection between these conflicts over this vast region. Our media always portray each conflict as the result of local causes. Tribal or ethnic warfare in Darfur, Islamic extremism in Iraq, Lebanon or wherever, and local rivalries as a result of the collapse of the USSR, are all given as the main reasons behind the conflicts.

In reality these wars are the product of rivalry between the major powers who, in this epoch of imperialism, are determined to gain as much of the world’s wealth for their own interests and aggrandisement. By the end of the Cold War, we had arrived at a unique point in the history of humanity where one power, the United States, by virtue of its wealth and military might, was capable of imposing its will all around the planet. Thus, after 1990, the US was the home of grandiloquent theories about “the end of history” which celebrated the victory of liberal democracy a la USA across the planet. At the same time, we were told that there would now be a new chapter of peace and harmony amongst nations in a “new world order”.

This rosy scenario did not last long, and, within a few months, we were faced with the first Gulf War against Iraq. It was the first of a series of wars where former US stooges in the fight against the US’ enemies would challenge their former master. In Saddam Hussein’s case, he had in 1980, with the full support of the CIA, plunged Iraq into a long and bloody war which costs the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis in an attempt to unseat the ayatollahs’ regime in Iran. When the war ended in 1989, Saddam had only monuments to the dead to show for it, but believed he had been told by the US that he could help himself to Kuwait’s oil (1). The invasion of Kuwait which followed, and the response of the US coalition that followed are well-known. The US calculated that the defeat alone would bring down Saddam and that some general or other would replace him. They even calculated that the Shia revolt in the South of Iraq would also hasten this process. Basically, the US wanted another stooge in Baghdad and wanted to avoid any social revolution. It was a miscalculation which not only left Saddam in control of his sanction-saddled and half-dismembered country but also saw him plotting revenge. Having failed to build weapons of mass destruction, Saddam turned to weapons of economic destruction and began to attack a central pillar of US domination in the Middle East since 1945 - the fact that all oil was traded in dollars. Saddam now tried to sell Iraqi oil in euros, and this began to interest other oil producers as they saw Saddam’s profits increase as the dollar declined against the euro. Such a step, if repeated across the OPEC membership, would have destroyed the US domination of the world economy. Since the dollar devaluations of 1971 and 1973, the rest of the world had been paying for the US budget and trade deficits by holding the dollars that the Federal Reserve printed to cover the deficits. Should they have been returned to the US directly, this would have created hyperinflation and revealed the full extent of the economic crisis in the US. The US in this period was carrying out in practice what John Connolly, the US Treasury Secretary in Nixon’s Government had stated to fellow finance ministers in 1971

It’s our currency but it’s your problem.

The myth that Saddam Hussein represented a threat to Middle Eastern peace because he possessed weapons of mass destruction was simply the ideological cover to stop his game before it really did harm US economic interests in the oil market further.

But before all this the “New World Order” had already given way to the “clash of civilisations” between Islam and the West, as announced by Professor Samuel P. Huntington. He had already seen that former US allies in the Islamic world such as Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban (who had arrived in power in Afghanistan thanks to US money channelled to them by the Pakistani military intelligence - the Inter-Services Intelligence or ISI) had now turned against the US. The Gulf War had been the catalyst for this split. When the US used Saudi bases such as Dhahran to attack Iraq, it became clear to the Al Qaeda supporters that they had fought one imperialist power (the godless USSR) only to invite into their homelands another. Against the first attack on the World Trade Centre in 1993, the bombings of the US Embassy in Nairobi and the bombing of the US base in Dhahran and the attack on the USS York, the Clinton administration had only bombed Bin Laden’s arms factories in Sudan. It was the successful atrocity of 9/11 that brought the US further into the Middle East quagmire. Bush’s immediate declaration of a “war on terror”, rather than a specified material enemy, set the scene for the new aggressive military actions of the US. Supposedly, even before the perpetrators of 9/11 had been identified, and the Taliban had refused to hand over Osama Bin Laden, the plans for war in the Middle East were already hatched. On 9/11 itself the Pakistani intelligence chief Lieutenant General Mahmood Ahmed just happened to be in Washington having arrived there exactly one week before. It is not known why he was there but it is now known that he gave $100 000 (CIA or ISI money?) to Mohammed Atta, the supposed ring leader of the 9/11 attacks (2). He was told what the rest of the world was soon to be told by Bush: that in the war on terror you were “either for us or against us” except that the US deputy secretary of state (at that time Richard Armitage) put it more starkly saying “You are either 100% with us, or 100% against us” (3). It is not difficult to understand why the issue was put in this way. From 1978 until 1990, the CIA had funded various Islamic opposition groups through the Pakistani military intelligence, including the Taliban, which had its origins in the _madrassa_s (religious schools) of Pakistan. There, a militant form of Islam called Deobandism was preached which was both expansionist and contemptuous of non-Muslim cultures. It is based on Wahabism. Wahabism was imported into Northern India in the late nineteenth century from, of all places, Saudi Arabia. And the Saudis have financed various groups in Pakistan, which follow their faith ever since they got hold of oil money. Wahabism is at the roots of many of the Sunni Islamic terror groups today (it was even exported to Bosnia and Chechenya in the 1990s). Ironically, whilst Pakistan’s top spy was being browbeaten in Washington, Bush was making arrangements for 26 planes to take the Bin Laden family (Bush family friends of long standing you understand), and other Saudi nationals, out of the USA before it was announced that Al Qaeda were behind 9/11. There is no deep secret as to why the Saudis are never indicted as breeders of terrorism. Ever since Roosevelt did a deal with the Saudi monarchy that the US would support and defend it (forever selling it the latest in weapons technology), the Saudis would act to ensure the security of oil supplies to the US. Neither the Cold War nor the war on terror have ever disrupted this symbiotic axis which alongside support for the state of Israel is the lynchpin of US imperial policy in the region.

So whilst the Saudis are never openly identified by the US with the jihadist creed they nurtured, Pakistani military intelligence were getting a warning about their past sponsorship of the Taliban and had to agree to a programme of support for US operations in Afghanistan against Al Qaeda (which then, as now, has training camps on Pakistani territory). Mahmood Ahmed hastily phoned Musharraf to get his agreement to US demands and got it. Ahmed then became the messenger who took the US demand to the Taliban that they hand over Osama Bin Laden or face attack. Predictably, the Taliban refused and prepartions for war began. On October 7th the US supposedly learned of Mahmood Ahmed’s contacts with the 9/11 plotter and he hastily resigned presumably in order not to compromise Musharraf’s new line of fighting the forces in Afghanistan that he and the US had been nurturing for the past thirteen years (4).

Pakistan: The Disintegrating State

Pakistan was an already fragile ally for the US in the region. Although referred to as the “US’ best ally outside NATO” and “a beacon of the free world against communism”, Pakistan has been a basket case ever since it was artificially created by a declining British imperialism in 1947. As “a beacon of the free world”, it has hardly been exemplary. For more than half of its 60 year existence Pakistan has been ruled by military dictators. This is partly because the Army is one of the few state organs that actually functions as such. Its senior officers began as clones of the British Empire that had trained them, but increasingly they began to be trained at General Staff College, Fort Leavensworth, Kansas no doubt on how to be “bastions of the free world”. The Army, in effect became a state within a state and its ISI is de facto directly responsible only to the Chief of the Armed Services, even if under civilian rule it is de jure supposed to be under the control of the elected Prime Minister. In fact, any Prime Minister which has tried to exercise this control has usually been subject to a military coup. As an Army all its successes have only been against internal enemies.

However, the blatant corruption of the main civilian politicians have allowed the Army to frequently pose as the one national institution which can hold Pakistan together. This is now in doubt. Ever since Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan’s most popular politician ever, was hanged by General Zia in 1978 the Army has not simply administered the country. In order to undermine Bhutto’s Party, the Pakistan People’s Party or PPP (5) (now headed by his daughter Benazir), the military have played the Islamist card. Zia banned student unions and mercilessly wiped out left-wing groups att he same time promoting Islamic student groups and the _madrassa_s. Musharraf has gone even further by helping to organise groups like the MQM (6) to undermine support for the PPP in Sind. He allowed Islamic thugs of the MQM to murder demonstrators against him in the streets. 42 were shot dead last summer as they demonstrated in favour of the sacked Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhury.

Musharraf has been military dictator since 1999, but the turn after 9/11 to supporting the US in words (but achieving rather less in deeds) has undermined his legitimacy in the eyes of the very Islamists he has given a free rein to. Even in the current emergency which he claims as part of the fight against terror, the people locked up are secular followers of the PPP, Nawaz Sharif or Imran Khan. No Islamist organisation has been shut down nor had its press suppressed. Musharraf obviously thinks he can tough it out by dealing brutally with his opponents whilst pretending to be fighting the war on terror for international consumption. This has put the US in quandary. Musharraf has been their man in Pakistan but the continued support of the US has hurt Musharraf. Now, the state of emergency threatens to become a state of disintegration. What the US is hoping now is that another general will emerge to replace Musharraf as at least Head of the Armed Forces (the current favourite being Ashfaq Kiyani, the go-between between Benazir Bhutto and Musharraf). This might allow Musharraf to pose as a civilian president, but, if he then has Bhutto as Prime Minister and he does not control the Army, what real role would be left for him?

The stakes here are high. Not only is the continued failure of the Pakistan Army to deal with the Taliban inside Pakistan draining for US imperialism but US imperialist policy in the Middle East and Central Asia is, one by one, threatening to unravel the states on which it could previously count. And, despite the crushing poverty of most of its citizens, Pakistan is not just any state. Pakistan, it has to be remembered, is a nuclear power, thanks to China and North Korea. Indeed, amongst all the talk of the Iranian nuclear threat, no-one has raised the question about the fact that Pakistan already possesses “an Islamic bomb”. And it is not just Islamic fanaticism like that of the Taliban that can trace its roots back to Pakistan. Pakistan has, since 1998, already been one of the world’s greatest forces for nuclear proliferation through the “exploits” of Abdul Qade Khan, “the father of the Pakistani bomb”. Khan is a metallurgist who succeeded in stealing nuclear material from EURENCO, the European nuclear agency where he was working in the 1990s. Then

drawing on a globe-spanning network of producers and middlemen - in Turkey, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia among other countries - he peddled his nuclear wares to Iran, Iraq (which apparently turned down his offer of help), North Korea, Libya and perhaps others. Seen from without, he established a clandestine multinational corporation dedicated to nuclear proliferation for a profit. (7)

But he was not seen from without until 2003 when a shipment of nuclear material heading for Libya was intercepted by German and US intelligence. Khan is a national hero in Pakistan but Musharraf was forced to put him under house arrest and since then the Pakistani government has not allowed anyone to interview him including the International Atomic Energy Agency (who would thus have had earlier information about how much he had sold to Iran).

Nuclear Bombs and Real Threats

The obvious question here is: if Pakistan was the main nuclear proliferator in the area and one of the main fomentors of Islamic radicalism, why has it remained a lynchpin of the US alliance? Some take comfort in the view that it reveals the stupidity of the Bush administration. This may have some truth given their woeful lack of understanding of the situation in Iraq (8). However, the real reason is that the current threat of retaliation against Iran if the latter continues to pursue its nuclear enrichment programme, is nothing to do with the nuclear threat at all. It has everything to do with the strategic difficulties which have arisen for the US in the Middle East since it invaded Iraq. Indeed, Bush has more or less admitted this. When he condemns Iran as a state sponsor of terror he does not just cite its nuclear ambitions. He has a whole shopping list of reasons why Iran is threat to the civilised world. It sponsors terrorism abroad with aid to Hamas and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Iran is accused of giving weapons and bomb-making equipment to Shia militias in Iraq and of course its President Ahmedinejad has called for the destruction of the state of Israel. More significant though is what Bush does not say. He does not say that Iran has followed the same route as Saddam Hussein in reducing dramatically the amount of its crude oil which is sold in dollars. Today Iran sells 65% of its crude in euros and 20% in Japanese yen leaving only 15% to be sold in dollars (presumably to obtain some commodities which can still only be bought in dollars). On top of this, though, Iran is trying to form an oil “bourse” which aims to draw in other oil producers. Although this has not so far been very successful, it is a direct challenge to the US domination of the world economy. At the OPED Conference in November Ahmedinejad teamed up with Venezuelan President Chavez to denounce the dollar as “worthless bits of paper”. Neither Iran nor Venezuela has yet got much backing but the decline of the dollar puts a weapon in their hands. As we explained at the top of this article, the whole reason why US troops are so mired in the Middle East is precisely over this question. The current slide of the dollar is putting strain on US domination of the world economy as oil (and other commodity) producers realise that they are trading in a depreciating asset. Chavez, at the OPEC meeting mentioned above, provocatively stated that what was declining was not the dollar but the American Empire! The danger is that this is also perceived from Washington. Already some other oil producers in the Gulf States have reduced their dollar trading and others have decided, after nearly forty years, to de-link their currency’s peg to the dollar. And Iranian provocation of US touchiness over the dollar’s increasingly shaky hold over world trade also makes the US realise that any step in retreat in Iraq, or elsewhere, would signal a step forward for Iran’s imperialist objectives in the region. The Islamic Republic would not only gain in confidence but, materially, it would be able to step up its support to its allies throughout the Middle East.

On the Iranian side, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad is also in a precarious position. Ahmedinejad was brought in on a populist agenda to replace the radicals around Khatami who in eight years had not managed to improve the freedom of Iranians. Ahmedinejad has failed to deliver on his domestic promises of improved economic security for the millions who are marginalized in the Iranian economy. Hence his populism now takes the form of a calculatedly fanatical nationalism. Thus, he boasts about Iran’s progress towards a nuclear reactor (especially in his speeches in Farsi where he tells his audience that Iran now has 6000 centrifuges for enriching uranium), in order to raise the stakes in the stand-off with the US. It also makes it difficult for those inside the regime to criticise his policies without appearing to be feeble or traitors. It is also useful for him to have US sanctions continue since this provides a perfect alibi for the economic failures of the regime and gives him one more cause for whipping up nationalism. The resignation of Ali Larijani and the outspoken opposition of leading figures like Rafsanjani and Khatami to Ahmedinejad’s brinkmanship reveals greater splits in the Iranian ruling caste than we have seen before. For the moment the leading Ayatollah Khamenei supports Ahmedinejad, but only so long as the economic situation gets no worse. Now Ahmedinejad has strengthened his position by the appointment of his own men as ministers in key economic ministries. They have announced the intention to invest more in oil refining and in gas production (Iran only exports a minimal amount of gas, yet has the second largest reserves in the world).

Ahmedinejad’s greatest strength is the threat from the USA. The more he can claim he is acting to maintain Iran’s dignity as a sovereign nation, the more he can deflect attention away from the dire situation inside Iran (9). The danger, of course, is that the bellicose noise emanating from a US regime in some trouble in Iraq, could lead to a military adventure. Bush has put the situation in apocalyptic terms. He has basically argued to his allies that if they are “interested in avoiding world war three” then they should get much tougher on Iran. However, the Iranians must now be counting this as simply rhetoric. Materially, the US Government is not in a position to take unilateral military action any further. The so-called neo-cons who have been behind Bush and have been his closest advisers for the past seven years are now in some disarray thanks to the problems over Iraq. Bolton has gone as US representative at the UN (because the US will need the UN more now to help it get out of the Middle East). Rumsfeld, the Secretary for Defense, whose arrogance led to the disbandment of the Iraqi Army (and thus the arming of the militias), has gone. He has been replaced by Robert Gates, in the hope that he can find a way out of the Iraq quagmire. Other key Bush cronies like Rove, Wolfowitz and Gonzales have also been forced out. Only the Vice-President (and no-one qualifies for the vice bit better than him), Dick Cheney, continues to mouth the threats he first uttered two years ago against Iran. However, for the moment the negotiators have the upper hand in the White House since the prospects for the success of a new attack are not great. There are also some hopes that economic sanctions against Iran’s banking system will be more effective since the US has been able to make a case that Iranian banks are money laundering for “terrorist” organisations. The Iranian bank Sepah was “all put out of business” when the UN targeted it for sanctions. This success has strengthened the hand of the “let sanctions take their course “ brigade. Materially, however, the overwhelming argument is the actual state of the US imperial project. The continuing occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq are already overstretching the US as they are costing $400 million a day. Admiral William Fallon, head of Centcom, the US central command for the entire Middle East, has put all the war rhetoric in perspective by insisting that the Pentagon has made no plans to attack Iran. Fallon could not have spoken without clearance from the White House, and his statement was obviously intended as a counter-balance to the more bellicose comments of the hawks in the US Government. The aim seems to be to reassure potential allies that the US has not already prefigured a strike (against where? - Iran’s nuclear facilities are in at least 80 different sites around the country). The Israelis, via their military intelligence, are keeping up the mantra that Iran will have a bomb in two years, but since they have been saying this for over a decade few believe it. European commentators think it more likely that it will be 2015 before Iran can claim to have a bomb. The question of a limited strike on Iran, touted in many comments, also poses the question “and then what?”. Once these situations begin there is no restraint on the warmongers in any imperialist state. At the moment Armageddon does not seem likely but in an eyeball to eyeball confrontation it needs only one factor to shift to change the scene.

The PKK Crisis and Turkey

Washington is also trying to destabilise Iran by other means, but this has only emphasised once again the contradictions in US imperialist policy. The recent row between Washington and Turkey over the apparently symbolic issue of whether the massacre of Armenians in 1915-16 by the Ottoman Empire (which preceded modern Turkey) should be classed as “genocide”, has highlighted further problems for Pax Americana in the Middle East. Although the White House managed to gloss the Armenian issue over, it represents a far deeper split between Turkey and the US. Throughout the Cold War Turkey was a bastion of US policy. It was not only a member of key alliances, like CENTO and the Baghdad Pact, but was also the staging post for US nuclear missiles aimed at the USSR across their common border.

In 1974 Turkey was able to rely on US neutrality (Kissinger secretly supported Turkey) when it invaded Cyprus and divided the island against the opposition of the rest of the world. The CIA later helped the Turkish state by tracking down the leader of the PKK Abdullah Ocalan to Nairobi from where he was arrested and flown back to prison in Turkey. However this cosy relationship ended with the end of the Cold War and the rise of the Islamists in Turkey. Turkey was no longer so strategically critical to the US and now open support for the Palestinian cause could be seen throughout Turkey. The final straw came when the Turks refused to resume their old strategic importance by allowing the US to use Turkey as a launching pad for the attack on a fellow Islamic state Iraq in 2003. And under the Bush doctrine this was a virtual declaration of war.

The US retaliated by promoting the Kurds inside Iraq so that whilst Iraqi Kurdistan has virtual autonomy Jalal Talabani, leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan became President of Iraq. Talabani has competed with his rival in the Kurdish Democratic Party, Masooud Barzani to pass on arms to the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK). The PKK, after years of splits and retreats following the arrest of Ocalan, suddenly were capable of hitting the Turkish Army and in two raids killed 12 Turkish soldiers and captured 8 others.

And the weapons they used were American. Foreign Minister (now President) Gul announced to the Turkish media in the summer that the Turkish Army had seized weapons from PKK guerrillas and 1260 of them were stamped with US Army serial numbers. It has since transpired that of 370 000 light weapons sent to Iraq by the US since 2003, some 100 000 have gone missing and the US Army has admitted that they only recorded 3% of the serial numbers. The general in charge of this - Petraeus - has since gone on to command the entire US operation in Iraq. In other words we are not dealing with incompetence here but with US policy. It seems that the weapons have been handed on to the Kurdish regional government who then handed them on to Pejak (“the Kurdish Party of Life”), which is fighting for independence from Iran. Both Israel and the US are on record as giving support to Pejak. However, Pejak is the sister organisation of the PKK, and it is clear that they have handed US weapons over to their comrades in the PKK. The US Government, in order to attempt to destabilise Iran, simply turned a blind eye to this. Thus the policy contradictions of US imperialism in the region have come full circle. In order to keep the support of the Pakistani military the US ignored the nuclear proliferation of the Pakistani state including supplying know-how to Iran. Instead, they try to undermine the Iranians by arming the Kurdish _peshmerga_s (fighters). The US has thus antagonised a strategically important former ally in the region in order to pursue its wider imperialist objectives. It was thus no surprise, therefore, that the Turks threatened to invade Iraqi Kurdistan and mobilised their population in preparation for such an invasion. This brought Condoleeza Rice scurrying to Ankara to patch up an agreement. The deal was obviously that the Turks should hold back from a step which could potentially have destabilised the one part of Iraq which the US felt was reasonably quiet (although this is a bit of myth too as recent bombings in Kirkuk show) in return for which the US would lean on its Kurdish allies in Northern Iraq to get the PKK to hand back the Turkish hostages. This is in fact what happened a few days after Rice’s discussions with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish Prime Minister. This, of course has only whetted the imperialist appetites of the Turkish ruling class, which ironically under Turgut Ozal in 1990 had supported the first Gulf War, with the explicit aim of getting his hands on Mosul and Kirkuk the two main oil towns of Iraqi Kurdistan. Now any Turkish ambitions will be in opposition to their one-time Cold War ally.

The events analysed here demonstrate that the greatest military power in the world is already over-stretched. To use a comparison highly favoured in US ruling class circles, Pax Americana has much of the appearance of Pax Romana. The difference is that the contradiction for the Romans was that in a static system of economic production they had to conquer more land to feed the growing Army they needed to defend their Empire. But by conquering more land they needed more troops which meant that ... In the US case the situation is different. The potential collapse of the dollar as the world’s trading currency would mean that the rest of the world would stop paying for the US economic deficit and economic collapse, not just for the US, would be the outcome. This is why its main allies in Europe and Japan continue to only resist US imperialism in rather clandestine and piecemeal ways. It is those states like China and Russia who are the biggest thorn in the sides of the US because they refuse to join the “save the dollar” club (10). And, of course, they give some succour to those lesser states like Saddam’s Iraq and the Ayatollah’s Iran who deliberately try to destroy dollar dominance of the oil market, the central commodity market of the world. Russia, in particular has not only agreed to complete the building of Iran’s first nuclear power plant (which it pulled out of previously citing the delay in Iranian payments), but has also signed a five power agreement with Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. They have agreed not to allow any power to use their territory for an attack on any of the signatories. This is an obvious response to rumours that the US has approached Azerbaijan for permission to launch bombing raids against Tehran (11). Russia already supplies Iran with weaponry and recently added a $700 million surface to air defence missile system. The contradictions of the anti-Iran strategy are weakening US influence everywhere. The biggest contradiction of all though is that the more the US resorts to military action against these challenges the bigger its deficits, the weaker the dollar and the less appetite the world has for using dollars to trade. This then makes a further military adventure of a declining imperialist power look all the more probable. It was no accident that Bush raised the spectre of world war three...


(1) See Workers Voice 53, “No to War! No to Imperialism!”

(2) See Michel Chossudovsky, Professor of Economics , University of Ottawa, “The Role of Pakistan’s Military Intelligence in the September 11th Attacks” at globalresearch.ca

(3) See Jonathan Schell, “Pakistan, Bush and the Bomb” at atimes.com

(4) Chossudovsky loc. cit.

(5) It should not be forgotten that the main political parties in Pakistan have not been class-based parties but clientelist in that they represent the 6000 or so landlords who own most of Pakistan. They hold on to a following by giving favours and distributing patronage to their local supporters. This is the material basis of corruption in Pakistan since once a party attains power its first task is to reward its followers. The PPP started off as a populist party but as part of his struggle to stay in power Bhutto (who was a considerable landowner in Sind himself) Bhutto increasingly brought in one local landlord after another.

(6) The MQM did not start off as an exclusively Islamist party but as the representative of the Mohajirs or Muslims who had fled India on partition in 1947.They were very useful to Musharraf as they were strongest in Karachi the capital of Sind province which is the heartland of the PPP. By allowing them with allies amongst the Afghani refugees to carry out armed attacks and murders against the PPP he has weakened Bhutto’s fiefdom and further fragmented the Pakistani political scene. The MQM leader, Altaf Hussain, who bases himself in London, is one of Musharraf’s strongest supporters, and this week (Nov 15th 2007) issued a statement in full support of the state of emergency.

(7) See Schell loc cit above. According to this source:

Shortly before September 11, two leading scientists from Pakistan’s nuclear program, Dr Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood, the former director general of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, and Chaudry Abdul Majeed, paid a visit to Osama bin Laden around a campfire in Afghanistan to advise him on how to make or acquire nuclear arms. They, too, are under house arrest.

(8) See “The Debacle of US Imperialism” in _Revolutionary Perspectiv / /41.

(9) For the situation inside Iran, see Revolutionary Perspectives 42, “Iran: Imperialist Aspirations Mask Economic Decline”.

(10) Russia is increasingly refusing to use dollars and now demands euros for its oil and gas sales.

(11) See “Vladimir Putin pledges to complete Iranian nuclear reactor” in The Times, October 17th 2007.

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