There are serious long-term issues in the region, which influence the developments, such as the occupation of Palestine by Israel, the continuing occupation of 40% of Cyprus by Turkey, the “independence” of Kosovo, the occupation of Iraq by the USA, the occupation of Syrian and Lebanese territories by Israel, as well as the developments in Iran, which coexist with the search for a compromise concerning the nuclear weapons with pressure and threats from the USA and Israel.
There is a plethora of nationalities and religions, national, religious minorities, pre-capitalist forms of social organization in the existing states in the region of the Balkans and Eastern Mediterranean. Of course all these contradictions which have not been absorbed by the capitalist development are also reflected in the superstructure, in the relative delay concerning the creation of a more representative bourgeois political system. All these things facilitate the policy of “divide and rule”, the policy of stirring up minority and border issues, which is followed by the imperialists in order to promote their plans. Of course, this situation is also utilised by the bourgeois classes in order to trap the workers into the framework of nationalism and expansionism . Of course, these border changes, the fragmentation of states does not occur without bloodshed, without the involvement of conflicting imperialist interests. The slogan which the demonstrators shout at the anti-imperialist rallies in Greece “The imperialists re-divide the world, they draw the borders with the blood of the peoples” expresses the reality .
The theses and analyses of the KKE on these issues are well-known. For this reason we will focus on the most recent issues.
One of these is the so-called “Arab Spring”, as the developments in Egypt and Tunisia were characterized, there is a combination of internal and external factors, with the internal ones being predominant. This process is related to the activity of sections of the bourgeois class, the intermediate strata, which have the larger participation of the youth as well, which seek the modernization of the economic base and the bourgeois-parliamentary adaptation of the political system to the developed capitalist economy. Working class forces are also mobilized for this aim.
Often new or old sections of the bourgeois class are intertwined with new or old foreign allies. So these developments – the mobility, the conflicts- are connected to the intervention of strong imperialist states for the more effective control of the region. The plans of the USA, in any case, for the control of the so-called “Greater Middle East” are not unknown.
We saw that in the last three years, under the impact of the sharpening problems of the people, initially major working class and popular mobilizations, uprisings were organized in Tunisia and later in Egypt, which have as basic demands the combating of poverty, unemployment, corruption, the expansion of democratic rights and freedoms, the removal of the authoritarian regimes of Ben Ali and Mubarak, whose parties were members of the Socialist International. As a result in the beginning forces of so-called “political Islam” were promoted to the leadership, while in Egypt these forces (“The Muslim Brotherhood”, the Morsi presidency) were violently removed from the country’s governance, after the military coup, utilising the conditions formed through mobilizations organized by bourgeois and petty bourgeois forces, liberal and social-democratic, which temporarily coalesced under the “umbrella’ of “secularism”. These changes at the summit of the political superstructure were arbitrarily labelled “a revolution” both in the 1st and 2nd case, something, of course, which has nothing to do with the reality, and this has been demonstrated even to the most suspicious by the developments in the recent period.
It has been demonstrated that the struggles of the popular forces against unemployment, poverty, destitution, state repression, corruption, the plundering of the natural resources of their countries by the local and foreign monopolies, when they are limited merely to changing the anti-people governments, to bourgeois democratic rights, do not have the hoped for pro-people results. The expectations of the people are quickly dispelled by the political forces that prevailed through the so-called “Arab Spring”. The people’s interests can not be satisfied either by the Morsi government or the Muslim Brotherhood, which imposed anti-worker political support for the monopolies, or by the section of the bourgeois class that supported the military coup and elevated general Sisi to the presidency of the republic.
The crisis in the bourgeois political system of Egypt is also connected to the competition of the imperialist centres concerning the safeguarding of the natural resources of the wider region and the energy routes.
The bourgeois class of Egypt possesses alternative solutions in order to safeguard its interests and the role of the army and the so-called religious movements are some of these. The working class and popular strata must not limit themselves to whether the one or the other government should leave, should not be trapped in alleged transitional solutions which prepare the next anti-people government.
The developments demonstrate that when the working class does not possess a CP with a strategic independence from the bourgeois class, then the people’s indignation and protest becomes part of the plans for the reformation of the political system.
The imperialist intervention in Syria has been underway for over three years, and which is clearly linked to the other developments in the region, such as e.g. the NATO intervention and developments that are continuing in Libya, as well as the developments in Iraq. Of course, the events which are taking place in Syria have their roots inside the country itself, as Syria is marching along the capitalist development path, and this is responsible for the economic, social and political problems which the working class and the other popular strata are experiencing. These are problems that have been sharpening in recent years before the imperialist intervention, due to the policies of privatization, the reduction of the rights and income of the working class and popular strata, which are being promoted in the interests of the domestic bourgeois class.
However simultaneously with the people’s reactions to the anti-people measures there was the open imperialist intervention of the USA, the EU, Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar etc. It was obvious that certain imperialist powers are interested in the destabilization and weakening of the dominant bourgeois political forces of the bourgeois Syrian regime, which maintains close relations with Russia and for its own reasons came into conflict with the most “loyal” ally of the USA in the region, Israel, and constitutes an ally of other forces in Palestine, Lebanon that are fighting against various imperialist plans.
The weakening of these forces led by President Assad, or even his overthrow facilitated the imperialist plans to attack Iran, under the pretext of its nuclear programme. It may even lead to the new dismemberment of states in the region, and a domino-effect of destabilization and bloodshed, something which will bring new imperialist wars and interventions.
We can make a brief reference to history and assess that after the 2nd World War, thanks to the influence of the USSR, due to its contribution to the Anti-fascist victory, the superiority of socialism in the reconstruction of the country, the formation of the socialist regimes in Eastern Europe, and the collapse of colonialism, there were positive developments in the global correlation of forces. Of course, these developments were overestimated by the communist movement, because the international imperialist system remained powerful, despite the undoubted strengthening of the forces of socialism. Immediately, after the end of the war, imperialism under the hegemony of the USA, began the “Cold War” and elaborated a strategy to undermine the socialist system and to regroup its forces.
In the same period, in a series of countries, like Syria, the question of national independence and the rallying around this goal were the central issues, as a first precondition for the overcoming of the retarded development which was predominant in every sector of social life. The USSR and the other socialist states formed a policy of economic and other forms of cooperation and support for the new regimes, amongst them Syria, with the aim that they not be assimilated into the international capitalist market, the imperialist unions, and also to strengthen forces within the governing fronts which were in favour of a socialist orientation.
This effort of the Soviet Union to develop economic relations, and even alliances, with some capitalist states, against the stronger imperialist powers, was legitimate and understandable, as it weakened the united front of the imperialists, detached forces from them, even if only temporarily, and utilised contradictions in the imperialist camp. The problem was that this contingent (state) policy of the USSR, which was expressed at an economic, diplomatic or other level towards certain countries, was elevated into a principle, it was turned into a theory and there was talk of the so-called “non-capitalist path of development” in these countries, which was linked to the view about a “peaceful transition”. This led communist forces, and consequently the labour movement into tailing bourgeois forces.
Indeed up until today the Leninist saying “state-monopoly capitalism is a complete material preparation for socialism, a rung on the ladder of history between which and the rung called socialism there are no intermediate rungs”  is misunderstood by some to justify the active support and participation of communists in the bourgeois management. Even more so when these specific people understand state monopoly capitalism merely as the existence of a strong state sector in the economy, and not as imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism, as Lenin described it, and we must highlight something else as well: Lenin never called on the communists to contribute from government positions or other positions to the management and strengthening of state monopoly capitalism. Those who invoke the specific quote of Lenin to excuse their participation in bourgeois governments, “left”, “patriotic” etc are mistaken. Lenin wrote just above this specific phrase that “Imperialist war is the eve of socialist revolution” , but this does not mean that the communists should welcome the imperialist war and participate at the side of the bourgeois class in it. As we know from history, Lenin was the one who raised the banner of proletarian internationalism, against the participation in the imperialist 1st World War, a banner that was abandoned by the 2nd International.
So the mistaken separation of the bourgeois class into a “patriotic” section and a section “subservient to foreigners”, the participation in bourgeois governments, can lead the CP and the workers to fight under a “false flag”, Lenin warned of this danger . Even more so, when it has been demonstrated in practice that a "third road to socialism” does not exist. Likewise, intermediate stages between capitalism and socialism do not exist, something that is also apparent in the case of Syria.
We note the above, because we consider it useful for us to clarify that the stance of the KKE against the imperialist intervention in Syria does not mean identifying with the Assad regime, nor of course does our opposition to the imperialist attack against Iran mean giving up on the opposition which our party maintains in relation to the bourgeois regime of that country.
The communists determine their stance from the position of opposing the choices and plans of the country’s bourgeois class, like Greece’s participation in the imperialist war. Our opposition to the imperialist war, the organization of the struggle of the people against the involvement of the country in it, against the use of territory, sea and airspace of the country as a “launching pad” for the attack on another people is a crucial issue today, which provides us with the potential of placing the question of power on the agenda, calling on the Greek people and other peoples of our region to organize and overthrow the capitalist barbarity that gives rise to war.
We also understand that the revolutionary labour movement in Syria can not be indifferent to the foreign imperialist intervention which is being witnessed in its country now, or regarding the plans to occupy and dismember it. It can not be uninvolved in the resistance to the imperialist intervention. From this standpoint, we express our solidarity with the resistance of the Syrian people against the foreign imperialist intervention and at the same time we consider that this can only have a substantial outcome if it is linked to the struggle for a homeland free from the capitalists, outside all the imperialist coalitions, a homeland where the working class will be the owner of the wealth it produces, where it will be in power.
The recent events in Iraq, with the activity of the so-called "Islamic State” (ISIS), which was supported in various ways by Saudi Arabia, Turkey and of the course the USA and others in order to promote their interests in the region, can operate as a catalyst for the developments. Not only because they can provide the pretext for a new larger scale military intervention of the imperialists in the region, but also because for the first time in decades the “terrain" is being shaped for a possible change, temporary or permanent, in the “alliances” of the region and another “management” on the part of the USA-EU, the bourgeois class of Iran and maybe also the bourgeois class of Syria. The stance of the labour-people’s movement in this case as well can not be one of supporting the imperialists against the obscurantist “puppets” that they themselves created. What is also needed here is the disentanglement of the labour movement from the bourgeois-imperialist plans in the region, the formation and charting of its own strategy, something which, however, is made difficult by the lack of a strong CP with a revolutionary strategy in Iraq.
This conclusion is clearly also true and valid for the dangerous developments in our wider region, such as in Ukraine. The bloody conflict, which broke out on the terrain of the capitalist development path, is continuing in this country, with the intervention of the EU and the USA in the Ukrainian developments, in the fierce competition of these powers against Russia over the control of the markets, the raw materials and the country’s transport networks.
The overthrow of the Yanukovych government is not a “democratic” development, as with the support of the EU and USA reactionary and even fascist forces emerged. These forces are being used by the EU-USA to promote their geopolitical goals in the region of Eurasia.
The KKE assessed that the attachment of Ukraine to the chariot of today’s capitalist Russia is not the solution for the Ukrainian people. The attempt to divide the Ukrainian people on an ethnic, language basis and to lead them to a new slaughter, with immeasurably tragic consequences for them and their country, to make them choose one or the other inter-state capitalist union is completely alien to the interests of the workers. We express the conviction that they must organize their independent struggle with their interests as the criterion and not with the criterion of which imperialist is chosen by the one or the other section of the Ukrainian plutocracy. They must chart the path for socialism, which is the only alternative solution to the impasses of the capitalist development path. In any case the people of Ukraine have experienced what socialism means! To a great extent, they fondly recall the enormous social gains which it achieved for the working class and poor popular strata. The KKE demanded that our country must have no participation, no involvement in the imperialist plans of NATO, the USA and EU in Ukraine. It underlined that the capitalist crisis and imperialist wars go hand in hand and Greece’s participation in these plans is not in our people’s interests.