STATEMENT of IWL(FI) Written by IS of the IWL (FI) Wednesday, 20 August 2014 18:25
Almost two months have elapsed since the beginning of the military offensive on the Islamic State (formerly called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) from the territories currently controlled in Syria towards the NE of Iraq and heading towards Baghdad.
The American President, Barack Obama, has taken the decision of carrying out “limited air raids” against the Islamic State (IS) in order to “protect American interests” and “avoid genocide” against the tens of thousands of Christians and members of the Yazidi community who, for the past week have been besieged on the Mount Sinjar, where they sought refuge from the threats of the IS.
Since early June, IS has got away with a third of the Iraqi territory in addition to border crossings with Syria and Jordan. Recently, their militias took over the Mosul Dam, a city controlled by the IS, of enormous strategic value, for it provides water and energy for that city and for Bagdad, the two most important ones in the country. With the disbanding of the Iraqi army, the army of Iraqi Kurdistan, called peshmerga, became the main restraint for IS. The Kurds, however were in serious trouble due to the sudden military superiority of the IS that, in their “lightning war” made away with heavy artillery and armoured vehicles of American origin. That is how the Jihadists came nearer and nearer to Erbil, capital of Kurdish Iraqis.
Within this context, while we are writing this text, the American Air Force, using combat aircraft F / A-18 and drones [unmanned aircraft] have carried out several bombing raids against artillery pieces and IS position in the neighbourhood of Erbil, “near where he American staff is to be found.” The US also attacked the IS soldiers who are laying siege on the Yazidi at the foot of Sinjar.
The IWL-FI rejects categorically this American military attack on Iraq’s sovereignty and calls on all the social and left organisations to confront it with mobilisations and a broad anti-imperialist campaign.
The IS militias are really committing atrocities against ethnic and religious minorities in Syria and in Iraq. As for the Yazidi, for example, there have been reports of murders committed of about 500 people after the city was taken; tens of them were burned or buried alive. Also 300 women were kidnapped to be sold as slaves.
But these inhuman crimes are not the real motive for the American intervention. The goals of Washington are not “humanitarian” as the White House proclaims cynically after having annihilated over a million Iraqis in this latest decade, a crime that the international press simply omits.
The US resume military aggression after having been defeated in Iraq. The political-military structure that was mounted by imperialism in order to maintain the control over the country after the withdrawal of occupation troops reveals a very deep crisis. At the same time, imperialism is compelled to protect the oilfields in Iraqi Kurdistan, whose semiautonomous government maintains an excellent relation with the American multinationals ever since the days of Sadam Hussein.
That is why we are now facing a new armed aggression, of marauding intentions, which threatens the sovereignty of Iraq and ought to be condemned by every democratic, anti-imperialist activist and evidently by all the revolutionary fighters in the world.
Due to the defeat suffered by the US in Iraq and Afghanistan, beaten by the heroic armed resistance of these peoples when they lost more than six thousand soldiers, hundreds of thousands were injured, and about US$ 4.5 trillion were spent, the so called “Iraq syndrome” hit the American people’s mood, in allusion to a similar case that surfaced after the American troops fled from Vietnam. It consists of a very progressive rejection by most of the American population – and those of other allied countries, such as Great Britain and France – of new and costly military adventures.
The defeat of the warmongering project of the “New American Age” that George W. Bush intended to put into practice during the last decade was the main heritage received by Obama when he took office, precisely with the promise of putting an end to the unpopular wars initiated by his predecessor and of carrying out a foreign policy based mainly on “diplomacy”.
The “Iraq syndrome” is an enormous political limitation for the American government, because it boosted mobilisations of hundreds of thousands against the wars imposed by the main military power on this planet. In practice, this is expressed in the fact that the American imperialism cannot act today by the same way it used to do so far: invading countries with its troops without deepening a serious crisis at home and with their traditional allies.
It is this principal fact what explains the “hesitations” in “foreign policy” for which the Republican “Hawks” accuse Obama in the entire Middle East (especially Syria), Ukraine, Gaza and now again in Iraq.
These political limitations of imperialism when its incomparable military power has to be used was highlighted, for example, in the latest “threat” of air raids on Syria in September 2013, which, due to lack of the necessary political support, led to scandalous recoil by Obama. This was also manifest before, in Libya, when the US, unable to land the troops, had to restrain themselves to air raids.
This is also what happens, so far at least, in Iraq. Ever since IS has begun their headway against that country, Obama discarded the idea of sending land troops, which were withdrawn in 2011.
The American imperialism asserts that the current air raids in the northeast of Iraq are – according to Obama’s definition – “limited” and “specific”. “I am aware of how many [Americans] are concerned about the military action in Iraq, even such limited attacks as these”, admitted the American President. And he promised, “”As commander in chief, I will not allow the United States to be dragged to fight another war in Iraq (…) American combat troops will not fight in Iraq again, because there is no American military solution to this crisis.” This, however, may change according to the dynamics of the situation.
In the first place, we can say that the “limited” attacks are fit well inside what is still the main tactics of the US in Iraq: a “political solution” related to involving all bourgeois factions in a “government of national unity”. “The only lasting solution is the reconciliation between the strongest Iraqi communities,” said Obama. “[It is necessary] to emphasise the importance of the formation of a new government,” Vice President Joe Biden seconded. In this regard, imperialism also moved their pieces and endorsed the appointment of a new prime minister, the Shiite Al Abadi, by the Kurdish president Fuad Musum, in spite of the initial refusal by the former President, Nuri Al Maliki, to acknowledge the succession. Pressed by the USA as well as by Iran, Al Maliki finally yielded and accepted the resignation and support for the new Premier Al Abadi.
“Limited attacks” and “a new government of national unity”: so far these are the initiatives of imperialism facing IS’ threat. We must wait and see the development of the crisis to know if Obama is compelled to get further military involvement.
No political support for Islamic State
While we are calling for a contestation in the streets against the new American aggression, it is necessary to make it very clear that this does not mean, not for a single minute, granting any solidarity or political support for the Islamic State, an organisation that, as we have already explained, has no progressive features at all .
The IS cannot be compared, for example, to the armed popular resistance that the Iraqi people developed against the American invader between the years 2003 and 2011.
It is all about a bourgeois organisation, with an extremely reactionary dictatorial theocratic programme, which during the last year-and-a-half has started to put into practice a project of conquest of a particular territorial strip – that includes parts of Syria and Iraq – with the only purpose of controlling the oil reserves of these countries and do business with both, the al-Assad regime as well as multinational oil enterprises as the estimate of profit pocketed by the IS with the sale of oil is more than a million dollars a day. There is no other target behind the newly proclaimed “Islamic Caliphate”.
In the Syrian civil war, the IS plays a clearly counterrevolutionary role, devoting themselves to fight rebels who fight against the Damascus regime and snatching territories that the revolution released from the control of the Syrian regime, that is to say, acting as the “fifth column” of the genocidal dictatorship of al-Assad.
Within the territories controlled by them, at present included in the new “Caliphate”, the IS has established a terrible theocratic dictatorship, imposing the most complete terror on the local populations by means of, among other things, summary executions (beheading, crucifixions, etc.), “tax” on religious minorities for remaining in their communities, as well as ablation [FGM], forced marriages on thousands of girls and women and, as we have already seen, burial of people alive.
That is the precise reason for which at least 600,000 people fled from northwest of Iraq. Only last week, around 100,000 Christians fled from Qaraqosh, the main city associated with this religion after it had been seized by IS. “There is a park in Mosul where (the IS) systematically beheads children and put their head up on poles. Increasing numbers of children are being beheaded; their mothers are raped and murdered. Their fathers are being hanged,” reported Mark Arabo, a Christian leader, to CNN. 
While we, the revolutionary socialists, reject this imperialist intervention, we must oppose the headway of the IS and the terrible methods used to attack the populations whose territories they conquer.
Defend the Kurdish territory! Arms for Iraqi Kurds!
As we have already stated, in the midst of the inter-bourgeois disputes, the only just struggle is the defence of the right to national self-determination (independence and creation of a state of their own) of the entire Kurdish nation at present scattered on territories that correspond to Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria.
In this case the Iraqi Kurdistan defends their territory from the criminal offensive of the IS. The Kurds in Syria also defend their cities against the militias of the new Caliphate. Hundreds of Kurds have crossed the borderline from Turkey in order to join the struggle by the side of their Iraqi counterparts. The struggle against the IS united almost all the Kurdish populations. It is imperative to express our solidarity with this just struggle and demand to all the governments to send heavy weapon immediately and to open all the frontiers for the free passage of volunteers against the terrible hordes of the IS.
From this military and political stand point, we must fight the submissive policy of they the Iraqi Kurdistan leaders – regarding the imperialism – who restrain their national demands to the current Iraqi territory and “forget” all about the Kurds settled in the remaining countries.
Keep imperialist hands off Iraq! For an independent solution! Against the Islamic State and against the Iraqi government!
The Iraqi people must fight with all their might to defeat this new aggression of the imperialist bandits just the way they did previously in the past decade. To undertake this anti-imperialist and democratic task of the first order, the broadest united action is necessary while maintaining the most complete political independence of the working class and the people.
There is no benefit for the working class to be achieved in the military confrontation existing between the State of Iraq (at present commanded by al-Abadi) and the Islamic State. Neither the government nor the IS can be depositories of any political or military support. What we are witnessing is a struggle between capitalist thieves fighting for the control of oil always within the framework of being “junior partners” of imperialist multinationals. Furthermore, it is a struggle between promoters of despotic and sectarian regimes that – up to a lesser or greater degree – refuse any kind of democratic liberties for the Iraqi toiling masses and seek to divide them along confessional differences. That is why we support the position of working class sectors based in southern districts, mostly Shiite as is the case of the Federation of Workers and Trade Unions (FECUI) who are against the IS and call for a fight against their government and not the fall into that sectarian call issued by the rulers with the support of Ayatollah Sistani and of Iran in order to turn the Shiites against Sunnis.
That is why it is of fundamental importance to confront these reactionary forces with a proletarian and independent solution and fight against the IS that creates terror to impose a vicious confessional dictatorship in what they now call the Islamic Caliphate as well as the repressive Iraqi government.
That is why, if the struggle against imperialism and against all the bourgeois factions is to be completely victorious, it must be closely linked to the struggle for a workers’ peasants’ and popular organisations’ government, based on democratic organisations build the Iraqi people themselves and that will begin to build socialism in Iraq and the entire region.