zondag 4 oktober 2015

About 'Islamic State' and US imperialism

The scene currently seems to be in a condition of hopeless confusion: Which position must be taken in regard to the successful advance of the Islamic State (IS) in the Middle-East and its attractive force - especially on youngsters of Islamic origin in the whole of Western-Europe?

Where in the Netherlands only some parts of the anarchist movement have tried to analyze this from their own perspective (see Buiten de Orde #1 and #2/2015), the most part of the (reformist) left is satisfied by putting IS aside as 'fascists' in an Islamic form (so-called 'Islamo-fascists': a term first coined by the 'Anti-Germans' in the wake of Bush his 'War on Terror'). With this they uncritically join the camp of the Kurdish nationalists (as a 'beacon of revolution' in the Middle-East). Only in the anarchist scene some critical remarks are made about the 'basisdemocratic' project in Rojava (Western-Kurdistan).  

However, true revolutionaries clearly take another position in this matter, namely that of military support for IS. A position that demands some further explanation. Why isn't it possible to take a neutral position (a so-called 'third way') or a more pure proletarian position?     

The biggest common denominator within the (reformist) left is its aversion against IS, which is seen as horrible, malignant, and yes, even fascist. In such a way even, that a preference is given to the 'democratic' US imperialism. However, in reality even the most gruesome acts of IS fall into nothingness to the crimes of American and other imperialists, both in number, scale, as well as impact. The traces of blood in the current Middle-East are a direct consequence of a century of divide-and-conquer politics, war and a general economic and social backwardness, caused by the imperialist system. IS itself came forth from the destruction which followed after the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, as well as from the support the Americans and their allies gave to the reactionary forces, which fought against the ruthless bourgeois-regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.  

As long as IS directly attacks the imperialists and those forces which act as their proxies (including the puppet-regime in Baghdad, the murderous Shia militias, the Kurdish Peshmerga in Northern Iraq and the Syrian-Kurdish bourgeois-nationalists), IS has to be supported entirely in a purely military sense. At the same time a firmly oppositional position must be taken against IS its methods and its worldview in a political sense. The overall starting point of true revolutionaries is that a defeat for US imperialism and its mercenaries (proxies) will prevent the imposing of imperialist models in the region. This can only be in the advantage of the proletariat and the oppressed masses of the Middle-East, including the Kurdish masses. Such a defeat could also give the resistance against US imperialism in the United States itself a new impulse. By now the population of the United States is tired of war and many years of economic crisis, as well as the so-called 'recovery' from which the workers did not benefit. As revolutionaries it is our duty to convert the disillusionment and anger among workers in the imperialist metropolises (the United States in particular) into a full scale class struggle against its own capitalist rulers. Precisely because through such a struggle, the proletariat will be won for the program of socialist revolution, in order to destroy the beast of imperialism from the inside out. Such a perspective starts with the insight that US imperialism is the main enemy of the world-proletariat and the oppressed peoples all over the globe. However, it is exactly this that is rejected by the (reformist) left. In order to substantiate its argumentation, the left has time after time given the Iranian revolution of 1978-1979 or the Second World War as examples, where at that time the proletariat took a more "neutral" position. But this example does not make any sense, as we shall explain further below.             
US Marines tear down a statue of Saddam Hussain in Iraq (April, 2003)  

In the case of Iran (1978-1979) it was about a struggle between competing bourgeois forces - the shah versus the Islamists. Each fought for the control over the country in a situation in which the power issue for the proletariat was immediately on the agenda. It was not a situation in which imperialism fought against one or the other party. The First and the Second World War were wars between the imperialists, aimed at the redistribution of the world among the 'superpowers'. In these wars revolutionaries take a different position: namely that of revolutionary defeatism against all warring parties (except those of Worker- and Peasant-States, such as the former Soviet Union during World War II, which had to be defended unconditionally).

And now for the joke of 'Islamo-Fascism'. The reformist left describes IS (just like the Mullahs in Teheran and other Islamic forces such as the Muslim brotherhood) consistently as 'fascists', because according to them they "are the enemies of all socialist movements." However, the same can be said about the bourgeois-nationalists and above all about the imperialists. However they are not marked as 'fascist' by the leftists. In our view IS and other political Islamists are not more or less 'fascist' than all the other reactionary and murderous forces that rule the vast majority of the planet. Indeed: The term 'Islamo-Fascism' was invented as part of the ideological campaign of the 'War on Terror'. It serves as a pretext for leftist liberals to make peace with US imperialism and gives credibility to the 'democratic' varnish of imperialism. By using it as a misguided kind of invective, the left only shows how it is influenced by the 'democratic' pretentions of US imperialism. Even if IS was to represent a fascist power, it would not make a difference to our principled position in regard of the defense of IS against imperialism in a military sense.

  US Torture Prison Guantanamo Bay (Cuba)

And now for our leftist readers: In the prelude of the Second World War in 1938, Trotski had already discussed a hypothetical attack of the 'democratic' British imperialism against Brazil, which was in that time ruled by the fascist Vargas-regime. He said:  

"In this case I would support 'fascist' Brazil against 'democratic' Great-Britain. Why? Because in this conflict between both, it is not about the question 'democracy or fascism'. If England will be victorious, then another fascist will be placed in Rio de Janeiro and Brazil will be double subjected. On the other side, if Brazil will be the victor, it will mean a great impulse for the national and democratic consciousness of the country and it will lead to the overthrow of the Vargas-dictatorship. At the same time the defeat of England will weaken British imperialism and give an impulse to the revolutionary movement of the British proletariat. One must really be a total ignorant in order to reduce the antagonisms of military conflicts around the world to the struggle between fascism and democracy."

('Anti-imperialist struggle is the key to Liberation', 23th of September, 1938)   

Now to shed some light on the Kurdish question: The (reformist) left implies that somehow the Kurdish forces are very 'progressive'. However, the fighting in Iraq and Syria has led to sectarian massacres by the hands of all the parties involved. At first instance, we as revolutionaries could not take sides in these kinds of (sectarian) conflicts, until the moment US imperialism directly intervened. Despite the fact that IS has many times showed itself barbaric and ruthless, it does not have a monopoly on these things among the fighting parties in the region. One of the reasons IS got so much support from Sunni Arabs in the first place, was because they themselves had encountered the bloodthirstiness of the Shia and Kurdish militias against their communities – such as the Peshmerga, who participated in the US imperialist attack on Fallujah in 2004. Recently there are reports of Arab inhabitants being driven out from Northern Iraq by the Kurdish YPG - an US ally. The (reformist) left then claimed that our politics towards the Kurds would de facto mean that we would be "overseeing things from the sidelines and applauding" while the "IS fascists" are killing the Kurds. That is ofcourse a completely false assumption! We never doubted the right on self-determination for any community whatsoever. However, what we do oppose is the fact that the Kurdish nationalists act as mercenaries ('proxies') for imperialism.

Peshmerga conquer Tuz Khurmatu with arms provided by the USA 

The left does not challenge the fact that the Kurds fulfill this function; they merely state that they (the Kurds) "don't have any other choice". In reality the Kurdish nationalists have subordinated their justified struggle for the (Kurdish) right on self-determination, to their role as proxies for imperialism. A crime for which the oppressed Kurdish people will pay a high price. By selling their soul to imperialism, as well as to several regional bourgeois-regimes, the Kurdish leaders are very helpful with executing the divide-and-conquer strategies. This will inevitably stoke up sectarian, national and religious tensions and will only serve to strengthen the oppression of the Kurdish masses. As happened so many times before, the assumed Kurdish benefactors have already turned against them. Last month the US imperialists (in exchange for the use of the air force basis Incirlik in Turkey for military operations against IS) gave a green light to the regime in Ankara, to start air raids in Northern-Iraq against an ally of the YPG, namely the 'Workers Party of Kurdistan' (the PKK, which is marked as a 'terrorist organization' by both the US as Turkey). These airstrikes are facilitated with information about PKK bases in Iraq, which is given to Turkey by the US since 2007. The Turkish government also began a campaign of oppression against the domestic opposition, arresting hundreds of Kurds and other activists.           

Turkish Air Force attacks PKK in Syria

The peoples of the Middle-East will not know peace, freedom and social progress until the bourgeois-rule in the region is overthrown by means of socialist revolution. However, this demands first and foremost, for the most implacable opposition against imperialism!




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