Letters on Iran, Afghanistan and the “left”


On “Iran, imperialism, and the ‘left’”

Dear Alex,

I appreciate the way you have presented the comparative analysis of the class character of the movement against President Ahmadinejad, the media campaign in Europe and the US, and stance of many “left” sections in Europe and US. I have noted with interest your following comments:

“However, the demonstrations were politically led by sections of the Iranian bourgeoisie, drew its main forces from the privileged sections of the urban middle class, and based on a program deeply antagonistic to the interests of the working class.”

These comments recall the days when during1977 in Pakistan. An alliance of nine reactionary religious and political parties called “nou sitaras (Nine Stars)” started a movement against the elected government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. This was also based on the fraudulent claim that the then Prime Minister Bhutto rigged the elections.

Interestingly, that movement was also supported by urban middle classes, city merchants, mullahs and other pro-establishment sections of society. Another interesting point was that those mullahs, in an attempt to give a popular colour to their movement, even arranged processions of eunuchs in some cities of Pakistan. Later on, the government of Bhutto was toppled on July 5, 1977, by military dictator General Zia ul Haq, who arranged a judicial murder of ZA Bhutto on April 4, 1979. Following that, Pakistan witnessed a dark night of dictatorship for 11 years that created all sorts of extremism, mullahism, Talibanization and destroyed the social fabric of the society. The country has yet to come out of that traumatic situation and get rid of the repercussions of that dictatorial regime.

Talib L
7 July 2009


Great article. The WSWS has not only excelled in covering developments in Iran, but has also correctly analyzed the impact of these developments on various political tendencies worldwide.  Other publications may cover Mousavi in a serious way, but can they explain why the would-be "left" is compelled to support him with such bombast? Thank you Alex!

Ed H
7 July 2009


I read Alan Wood's June 26th article and similar IMT articles regarding the so-called “Iranian Revolution” (he has even got the deceased Ted Grant on the job republishing a 1979 piece!), and they are astounding for their lack of class analysis. There is no mention of the “political independence of the working class.” The word “class” is rarely used. The IMT and Woods talk about the “far left” and “leftists” and the “revolution has begun,” but again this is just impressionist hyperbole. As Woods has shown, he is all too ready to “advise” the petty-bourgeois protest movement on where it should go—following in Pablo's footsteps.

New Zealand
7 July 2009

On “The ‘left’ and the US military offensive in Afghanistan

The intensification of contradictions during this crisis highlights and exposes the fundamental character of all political groupings. The WSWS is the only party that has consistently and unequivocally assembled behind the barricades on the side of the working class. Outside of their cadres “there does not exist a single revolutionary current on this planet really meriting the name.”

Tony L
6 July 2009