Only the people can defeat ISIS and end with these hated regimes!
Since some weeks ago the government of the US, by order of Obama, has started a military intervention on Iraq bombing zones occupied by the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) with the argument of «protecting US Citizens» and to develop «humanitarian actions» defending the Christian and Yazidi communities threatened by ISIS. Now Obama announces he would proceed with a possible bombing of Syria, in agreement with the dictator Bashar al-Assad, with the same argument of «the battle against terrorism».
We call on the peoples of the world to condemn this new imperialist intervention. With this intervention, and the argument of «the battle against terrorism», imperialism wants to deal in one fell swoop with the two central problems in the region: the sinking of the occupation regimen in Iraq with a huge popular rejection and the existence of an ongoing revolution in Syria. For imperialism the problem is not the atrocities of ISIS against minorities. While ISIS was — and still is— an instrument at the service of Bashar al-Assad’s regimen to face the revolution by the rear-guard, Obama not only has not said a thing about its methods but has also supplied them through Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
The real motives for the imperialist attack have nothing to do with the fight against terrorism or the defence of the people of Iraq, Syria and their minorities. The US intervention has the aim of preserving the sinking occupation regime in Iraq and to sustain the murderous Syrian regime. Behind these aims are the interests of the oil multinational and Israel stability.
Even more now when the Palestine people and its heroic resistance achieved a partial victory, after 50 days of genocidal military attacks by the Zionist state of Israel, backed by the US; after an enormous suffering, with over 2,140 Palestinians dead (including 560 children) and 84 percent of them civilians. The permanent cease-fire agreement includes the reopening of the Rafah crossing, which means a significant attenuation of the blockade of the Gaza Strip. The Rafah crossing (connecting Gaza with Egypt) will be under control of the Palestinian National Authority, which now has a unified government between Fatah and Hamas. The agreement also accepts that Gaza fishermen can fish in a six mile zone (instead of the three miles they had been allowed until now). There are issues still under discussion such as the rights of Palestine to have a port and an airport and the liberation of 100 Palestinian prisoners. However, nothing is assured, moreover with the complicit role of the Egyptian el-Sisi regime acting in the service of Israel and the USA. The fight continues to ensure the respect of the agreement and to demand the end of the Gaza Strip blockade.
This certainly is neither peace, nor the liberation of the Palestinian people, nor the end to Gaza prison, but it does show that they cannot break the resistance. This was why the Palestinian people celebrated and the Zionist government went into crisis with several ministers questioning the agreement.
Hence, the current and central dilemma in Syria and Iraq is not between ISIS or the US and its allies. The issue is stand by the Syrian revolution and the legitimate clash of the Iraqi people fighting against their corrupt and illegitimate government. It is to stand against the imperialist intervention and its bombardments, and next to the Iraqi, Syrian and Palestinian peoples.
The world biggest criminal is imperialism
Obama, his partners of the EU, the Iraqi government and even the assassin Netanyahu, rate the reprehensible actions of ISIS as the «biggest threat to humanity». Their cynicism is boundless. In this way they want to cover up and justify their own crimes to the world. This is said by those who 70 years ago dropped atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing 200,000 persons in one day, when the war was already over. The very same who killed over two million people in Vietnam; those who endorsed dictators like Pinochet or Videla or starve the people of the world with the adjustment plans of the IMF.
The role of imperialism in relation to the Arab and Middle East peoples has been to colonize, to artificially divide the nations, to encourage religious struggles and civil wars to steal the oil and other natural resources. As part of this colonizing plan they installed the fictitious Zionist state of Israel, supporting it militarily and endorsing Israel’s repeated bombings to mass murder the people of the Gaza Strip.
The current situation of Iraq, its political and social debacle, its division between Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds is the consequence of that policy and of the Bush headed invasion in 2003, which led to the current state of semi disintegration. The American invasion, with the false «humanitarian» argument of overthrowing Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship and his supposed «weapons of mass destruction» had the real aim of controlling the oil production and creating stability of «cemeteries» in the Middle East in order to sustain Israel. The resistance of the Iraqi people and the repudiation of people all over the world finally made the American troops retreat in 2011 without achieving all those aims. They leave a Shiite pro-Yankee Iraqi government, backed by the Iranian regime that represses the Sunni people. Since then, there have been all kinds of popular revolts. For example, the brutal detention of Sunni leader Ahmed al-Alwani, in December 2013, in which two of his brothers were killed, lead to protests all over Al Anbar governorate, mainly in the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah. Imperialism has systematically violated the right of self-determination of the people, so we must condemn this new military intervention in Iraq and Syria. Nothing good can be expected from it.
ISIS must be defeated by the peoples of Iraq and Syria
In Iraq, within the framework of the revolutionary process opened in North Africa and the Middle East by the Tunisian revolution of January 2011, massive protests against the Maliki government take place which are brutally repressed. The violence and sectarianism of the Iraqi occupation government (supported also by Iran) is the fuel that encourages ISIS. What imperialism wants to present today as an offensive by ISIS fanatics actually has a triple component: an ISIS group which has grown in Syria, Sunni popular sectors and the remnants of the Baath Party (Saddam Hussein’s party) which face the government in Bagdad. Imperialism uses ISIS just as Bashar al-Assad does, to hide the popular uprising and reduce everything to the «fight against terrorism».
In Syria, in three years of war Bashar al-Assad has focused all its war machine (including dynamite barrels and chemical weapons) against what really has worried him: the people’s revolution, while allowing the ISIS to consolidate its position as a fifth column in liberated areas. The first ISIS fighters came out of the jails that al-Assad opened at the beginning of the revolution to weaken it, and for three years he did not fire a single shot at ISIS. Time and time again imperialism (the US and also the EU) refused to arm the only group that faced ISIS: the Syrian Rebels. Instead, they allowed the regime to continue arming themselves to the teeth with the support of Iran and Russia. Blocking the Syrian rebels reinforced ISIS military and politically and now, attacking them, they will strengthen ISIS further as alleged «anti-imperialist».
For this reason our repudiation to the Yankees bombardments in Iraq and Syria does not mean we give any political support or of any kind to the so-called Islamic State (ISIS). It is a bourgeois Islamic organization with a dictatorial theocratic counter-revolutionary proposal, which seeks to establish a «Caliphate» in the region. Their militias act with aberrant methods of ethnic cleansing in the service of this reactionary program. It is claimed that they are financed by the pro-US Sunni monarchist regime of Saudi Arabia, which means they are the creation of a strong ally of the US. Their main goal would be to interfere in the Syrian revolution to try to have a way out, given the possible fall of Bashar al-Assad, with a dictatorial government allied to the Sunni oil bourgeoisie of Saudi Arabia, enemy of any change process. In the Syrian revolution they act confronting the Syrian rebels themselves to occupy territories. From Syria they moved to the central-eastern provinces of Iraq, with larger Sunni presence, taking the city of Mosul and others. In all these territories they applied atrocities as mass executions of opponents and the expulsion of religious minorities.
The imperative fight against ISIS must be supported by the arming of the Syrian rebel forces (Free Syrian Army and the Kurds) and by the support of Iraqi popular movements. Against sectarian violence, for a joint struggle against the Iraqi occupation government and the assassin Bashar al-Assad. For the achievement of an independent solution of true national self-determination of the peoples where political, labour and religious rights of each community are respected. For us this must be framed within a socialist and workers solution.
For the national self-determination of the Kurdish people in Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran
The Iraqi Kurds are also suffering the consequence of this complex conflict. Kurdish people are the largest people in the world without a state. Nearly 30 million Kurds are dispersed in Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran. They share an identity, a language and culture of their own. But they are a nation historically oppressed and divided by various imperialisms (Ottoman, British, German and Yankee) and by the bourgeoisie of each country in the Middle East and Turkey, always preventing the existence of an independent Kurdistan, a single Kurdish state.
Our international current has always stood by the historical slogan of the right to national self-determination of the Kurdish people in Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran, countries were Kurdish people are persecuted and repressed, especially in Turkey. It is estimated that there are about 15 million Kurds in Turkey, 6 millions in Iraq, 4.5 millions in Iran and 1.5 millions in Syria. Some of the nationalist Kurdish leaders sought to compromise with imperialism and their respective governments to get some partial autonomy status.
One of those cases was taking place in Iraq, where after the fall of Saddam Hussein, American imperialism and its bourgeois Shiites allies, supported by the Iranian regime, gave partial autonomy to the Kurds in northern Iraq, for the support Kurdish bourgeois political forces of the PUK (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan) of Jalal Talabani and the KDP (Kurdistan Democratic Party) of Masoud Barzani gave to imperialist occupation. Nowadays Barzani is the president of the Iraqi Kurdistan, an autonomous region of Iraq. Since 2006 Barzani has supported and worked with the Iraqi national government installed by the United States, having its own armed militia: the Peshmerga. The Iraqi Kurdistan covers the most important area of oil production, which is why in recent years the area grew in the warmth of the oil multinational investments. Moreover, Barzani has been a good partner of imperialism and of the Turkish regime of Erdogan, enemy of Kurdish people, to whom they sell oil and do business with.
The near disintegration of the Iraqi army in central-eastern Iraq because of the advanced position of ISIS militias, led to the Kurdish military forces being the only forces able to confront ISIS, along the Iraqi army and since 8 August supported by US bombing.
As revolutionary socialist we support the right of Kurdish people to defend Kurdistan and its limited autonomy of any attack from ISIS. It is also fitting that the armed and popular Kurdish organizations defend themselves against the attacks of ISIS in Syria. And also they have the right to do so in their shelters in Iraqi Kurdistan if they were attacked by ISIS. But this does not justify endorsing the imperialist bombing. Kurdish people, their popular organizations and the peoples of the world must condemn the imperialist attack and strengthen themselves by fighting in an independent way against ISIS and for the unity and self-determination on Kurdish people in Iraq and the entire region.
We repudiate the bombardments and any kind of imperialist military intervention in Iraq and Syria
We call on the peoples of the world to repudiate the ongoing military actions in Iraq and Syria. With the argument of «fighting against terrorism» and using the cruel practices of ISIS, the US and the EU, supported by Russia, Iran, Israel and now, with the approval of the dictator Bashar al-Assad, they want to attack the people of the Middle East. With this same pretext they want to drown the revolt of the Syrian people. To the extent that the Syrian Foreign Minister «welcomed any attack, including by the United Kingdom and the United States with possible bombings» in his country to «fight ISIS». He only requested to «coordinate» them (ABC.es, 25 August 2014). This means they are using the madness of ISIS and their Caliphate to applaud Obama’s bombing of rebel positions. That is, the Syrian regime removes its mask of being «anti-imperialist», defended by the world reformist left and especially by Chavism, and now shows its true pro-imperialist and genocidal face.
The responsibility of the Iraq and Middle East crisis is the result of the criminal and genocidal actions of imperialism. But there is also a responsibility of the various Arab and non-Arab bourgeois leaders, who act against their people, allying themselves with imperialism and leaving alone the heroic Palestinian people who continue to give lessons in fighting spirit in the Gaza Strip. This selling out of both the old bourgeois Arab nationalism as well as the Islamic bourgeois forces and their regimes have given rise to the emergence of ultra-reactionary political groups like al-Qaeda, the Salafists and now ISIS. It is necessary for the revolutionary left in North Africa and the Middle East and the workers and popular sectors to unite and fight to build a new revolutionary socialist direction for the peoples of the region.
No to US attacks in Iraq and Syria!
Russia and Iran out of Syria! Down with Bashar al-Assad’s regime!
Support for the popular movements against the occupation regime in Iraq!
Arms for the Syrian revolution to defeat the regime and ISIS!
International Executive Committee of the International Workers Unity – Fourth International
29 August 2014