For an International Mass Movement to Defeat the Offensive of the Great Western Powers! Support the Kurdish Struggle for an Independent State! No to the Harassment of Muslims in Western Countries!
Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 18.9.2014, www.thecommunists.net
1. The Obama administration has called for the formation of an international coalition of states under its leadership in order to “destroy” and “annihilate” the extreme Salafi-TakfiriIslamic State (IS, often called Daash in Arabic). Since early August, the US has carried out more than 162 air strikes inside Iraq. Unsurprisingly, General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, is already speculating about sending US ground troops into combat in the region. US officials have speculated that this war might last for at least three years.
2. Regardless of Obama’s rhetoric, the “War against IS” is nothing but a cover for another major imperialist offensive of the US and its allies in the Middle East. It is an attempt by US imperialism to strengthen its economic and political influence in the Middle East following the setbacks it suffered during the past decade. In the wake of the US initiative, Western European imperialism and Australia similarly hope to enhance their positions in the region. These powers also interested in supporting Israel which suffered a humiliating political defeat in its recent failed war of aggression against the Palestinian resistance in Gaza. In addition, the war against IS/Daash serves as a pretext to wage a chauvinistic campaign against Muslim migrants in Western countries who are frequently discriminated against, oppressed, and super-exploited as cheap labor. Finally, this imperialistic war is intended to prop up the instable rule of the pro-Western Arab dictators.
3. The composition of the US-led coalition is indicative of its reactionary nature. The US itself – the biggest and most powerful imperialistic state on the planet – has been involved in all the world’s major wars during the past century and has killed millions of people, a large percentage of which were non-combatant civilians, in their wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. In general, Britain and France, who on their own have a bloody legacy of colonial wars waged by them for centuries, supported the US in these imperialist wars of aggression. Not at all out of character, the tiny imperialist country of the Netherlands, which assisted the Serbian chauvinist mass murder Ratko Mladić in his massacring of 8,000 unarmed Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica in 1995, is also part of this newest coalition. Finally, the corrupt monarchs and military dictators of Egypt, Jordan, and the Gulf states – prime examples of the imperialist values of “democracy” and “human rights” – have also signed up again as US lackeys. These dictators are primarily motivated by fear for the safety of their own regimes and their concomitant luxurious lives, fears which are justified considering the heroic uprising of the Arab workers, peasants, and youth since the beginning of 2011. And these greedy and power-hungry mass murderers and dictators dare lecture others about “terrorism”?! How can state terrorists possibly wage a “war on terror”?! They can’t! No, this is rather an imperialist war of terror!
4. Obama’s new crusade in the Middle East is part of a general offensive of the great Western powers to re-establish their influence, so undermined in the wake of the emergence of the new imperialist powers, Russia and China, as well as by their tremendous loss of prestige in the course of events in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Arab Revolutions, and various Latin American countries. Not at all coincidentally, in parallel to this new crusade, the Western powers are exploiting the civil war in the eastern Ukraine as a pretext to launch a political and military offensive against their Russian rival.
5. The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) calls the international workers’ movement and all popular mass organizations to unite in mobilizing against the new imperialist offensive. Together, we must stand up and undermine any popular support in Western countries for the “war against IS.” This united mobilization should organize demonstrations, strikes, and direct actions against the US and their military allies.
6. The RCIT also calls for the defense of our Muslim brothers and sisters residing in the Western countries, who are increasingly harassed by the bourgeois state, the media, and nearly all established parties – from fascists to liberals, social democrats to greens. These imperialist parties are exploiting the reactionary nature of IS/Daash to stigmatize and humiliate the Muslim migrants and thereby make them a more submissive sector of the working class. At the same time, these forces of reaction aim at demoralizing backward sectors of the working class using chauvinistic, anti-Muslim hatred to distract them from resisting the ongoing austerity offensive of the bosses and the capitalist governments.
7. We restate our support for the Kurdish struggle for an independent state, and for the defense of all religious minorities against the oppression of IS/Daash. No less so, just as we defended the Kosovar, Bosnian and other resistance movements’ right to get weapons from wherever possible, we defend the Syrian and Kurdish peoples’ right to acquire weapons – even from Western imperialists – to advance their struggle for freedom. At the same time, we warn against the bourgeois leaderships of the Peshmergas – Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party and Talabani’sPatriotic Union of Kurdistan – both of whom have long records of offering their service as agents for Western imperialism. In contrast to them, Öcalan’s PKK has been persecuted by imperialists for decades. Nevertheless, the leadership of the PKK has consistently demonstrated its own petty-bourgeois character, first when it failed to defend Iraq against the US imperialist attacks in 1991 and 2003, and now by its offer to act as an ally of the West against IS/Daash. While the RCIT supports the struggle of the Kurdish people to win their rights even if this is accomplished under non-revolutionary leadership, we emphasize that they can only achieve true liberation by establishing a united and socialist Kurdistan.
8. Regardless of some of the Western media’s fictitious stories about the IS/Daash, there is no doubt about this organization’s extremely reactionary nature. Clearly, its member adhere to a deeply sectarian understanding of Islam which represses not only non-Muslims but also Shiites and even Sunnis who think differently, and who are dubbed by them kafirs (infidels). Their petty-bourgeois reactionary nature has been made clear to all by the battles they wage against other Syrian rebels, as well as during the recent Gaza war when IS/Daash fighters burned Palestinian flags and declared Hamas as apostates because of its struggle for national liberation. However, it is important to recognize that IS/Daash has gained significant support among many Muslims both in the Arab world as well as among migrant youth in the West. Thousands of Muslim migrant youth in Western Europe are travelling to Syria to join the uprising against Assad – unfortunately under the leadership of the IS/Daash. Many Muslims – and in particular many youths – have become despondent and disillusioned due to the state terrorism used by Assad’s regime as well as the passivity of the official leaders of the ummah. The objective reasons for the appeal of IS/Daash to these youths include:
i) The war of state terrorism waged by the Assad regime against the Syrian people which has already claimed more than 190,000 lives;
ii) The systematic discrimination of Sunnis in Iraq and the leading role of the IS/Daash in the legitimate rebellion of the Sunnis against the Maliki regime;
iii) The failure of the imperialist powers to give any material aid to the Syrian rebels, as well as their support for the sectarian Maliki government in Iraq;
iv) The oppression and poverty of many Muslim migrants in the Western countries, and the resulting disillusionment among youth;
v) The utter discrediting of the Arab regimes, including the corrupt monarchies in the Gulf States;
vi) The failure of the international workers’ movement – controlled by social democratic and Stalinist bureaucrats, and aided by various centrist groups – to provide any meaningful support for the Syrian Revolution or, worse, their support for the Assad dictatorship.
9. Naturally, socialists must support the Syrian rebels, the Kurds, and religious minorities in their defense against IS/Daash attacks. But this legitimate defense must never lead to any collusion with the imperialists. Quite the opposite, socialists must defend the resistance forces in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan, Mali, etc. – including reactionary Salafi-Takfiris like the IS/Daash– against the much greater terrorists: the great Western powers and their allied Arab dictators. Only by such a principled anti-imperialist stand will it be possible for socialists to be heard among the growing numbers of Muslim youth who, unfortunately, have many illusions regarding IS/Daash. The goal must be to break these Muslim workers, peasants, and youth away from the reactionary IS/Daash Salafi-Takfiris, and to win them over to a democratic, anti-imperialist, and socialist perspective.
10. The struggle against Obama’s crusade must be combined with the continuing support for the Palestinian people and their heroic resistance against Israeli occupation. For an international solidarity campaign with the Palestinian people including financial, medical, and military aid for the people in Gaza! For international brigades of volunteers to support the Palestinian resistance against the powerful Israeli army – as the workers’ movement did in solidarity with the antifascist resistance in Spain in the 1930s! For an international boycott campaign against Israel!
11. The RCIT calls for the formation of a non-sectarian, mass resistance led by the working class to bring down the reactionary regimes of Assad, General al-Sisi, Khamenei, and their ilk. Instead of the sectarian IS/Daash, the workers and oppressed need independent and non-sectarian workers’ and peasants’ militias. The goal of such a struggle must be to free the region from enslavement by the imperialist monopolies and great powers, so that the workers and peasants can establish workers’ and peasants’ republics as well as a socialist federation of the Middle East. Such a perspective must be a crucial part of the program of revolutionary parties in the region, as well as that of a new revolutionary Workers’ International, which (in our opinion) will be the Fifth International.
* Down with Obama’s crusade! Defeat the military intervention of US imperialism and their allies! Support the rebels against the US-led war of aggression! For international mobilizations to defeat US aggression!
* Removal of the Kurdish PKK, the Palestinian resistance organizations (Hamas, Islamic Jihad, PFLP etc.), the Syrian Al-Nusra as well as IS/Daash from the imperialists list of declared ‘terrorist’ organizations!
* Defend the Sunni popular insurrection against the Iraqi army!
* Down with reactionary sectarianism! Drive IS/Daash forces out of the resistance movement!
* Defend the Kurdish and Yazidi people against IS/Daash forces! Support the Kurdish people’s right of self-determination! For a united and socialist Kurdistan!
* Defend Gaza! Defeat Israel! For an international boycott campaign against Israel! For a Free and Red Palestine!
* Victory to the Syrian Revolution against the Assad Regime!
* For joint action councils and militias of Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish workers and peasants!
* Expropriate the foreign owners of the Iraqi oil industry with no compensation! Nationalize all oil companies, large industrial and telecommunication enterprises, and banks under workers’ control!
* For a workers’ and peasants’ government! For a socialist federation of the people of the Middle East!
International Secretariat of the RCIT
For more RCIT statements on the recent events in Iraq and Syria, see among others:
* RCIT: Defend Iraq against another Aggression of US Imperialism! Support the Kurdish Right of Self-Determination against IS! Unite the Struggle against the US Attack with the Palestinian Resistance against Israel! 9.8.2014, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/defend-iraq-against-us/
* RCIT: Iraq: Defend the Sunni Rebellion against the Maliki Regime and US Imperialism! Down with all Reactionary Religious Sectarianism! For a Workers’ and Peasants’ Republic! 22.6.2014, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/iraq-sunni-rebellion/
* Yossi Schwartz: Syria, Israel and Palestinians: Free Abdel Qader Altlitha! Free Abdel Qader Altlitha! Free all Palestinian Political Prisoners! Internationalist Socialist League (RCIT-Section in Israel/Occupied Palestine), 16.2.2014, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/syria-israel-and-palestinians/
* Yossi Schwartz: The Myth of Assad’s Syria as an Anti-Imperialist Regime, Internationalist Socialist League (RCIT-Section in Israel/Occupied Palestine), November 2013, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/myth-of-assad-s-anti-imperialism/
* Michael Pröbsting: Syria: The Butcher in his own Words. Assad: A Friend of Israel and an Enemy of the Arab Popular Masses, 21.10.2013, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/assad-s-own-words/
* RCIT: Syria: Down with the Imperialist Geneva Accord! Stop US and Russian imperialist interference in Syria! No imperialist-controlled “peace” negotiations which can only result in a defeat for the Revolution! International Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution against the murderous Assad Dictatorship! 15.9.2013, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/against-geneva-accord/
* RCIT: Syria: Against Assad and Against Imperialism – Victory to the Revolution! For International Solidarity with the Popular Revolution against the murderous Assad Dictatorship! But Without and Against any Western Imperialist Military Intervention! 27.8.2013, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/syria-against-assad-imperialism/