In recent weeks, the United States has begun a new military campaign in Syria and Iraq. Branded as a humanitarian mission against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) by the bourgeois media, this war is, in truth, the latest method with which to topple the anti-imperialist elected government of Syria, as well as further destabilize the region in general. Not only is US imperialism merely using ISIS as a pretext for war, it is, in fact, the primary reason that the group exists at all.
Prior to the 2003 invasion by western imperialism, Iraq was a secular and highly developed country. Despite US Sanctions, Iraq had universal healthcare, education, and a nationalized oil industry. After the 2003 invasion and nearly nine year occupation, all of that was gone. Most of the country’s infrastructure laid in rubble and the government set up by the occupying imperialist powers was purposefully weak. Over 3 million Iraqis died since 1990 because of US policies of sanctions, war, and occupation in what we consider to be one of the gravest crimes against humanity. This combination of imposed poverty, weak government, and an imperialist policy of religious sectarianism and discrimination gave rise to the tensions that allowed ISIS to prosper.
In Syria, during the summer of 2011, several groups financed by the US and its allies started an armed rebellion against the Syrian government led by Bashar al-Assad. Their right wing insurgency had nothing to do with the Arab Spring’s demands for democracy and equality. This became a proxy war by which the United States is trying to destroy the government of Syria and destabilize the region, making it weaker against the forces of imperialist plunder. Over 200,000 people have died in the conflict so far, most of which are soldiers fighting against US-Saudi-Qatar backed mercenaries.
In 2013, with the forces of the Syrian government remaining strong, the imperialists, headed by the Pentagon, needed an excuse to intervene directly. Chemical weapons had been used in the town of Ghouta and the US media was quick to pin it on the government of Syria before any investigation had actually taken place. Despite no concrete evidence pointing to the Syrian government having committed the attacks, they claimed that “red lines had been crossed” and the United States was ready for war. The insurgent groups had failed to break the will of the loyal Syrian forces and now the US Imperialists were going to do it themselves. In the end, a combination of public outrage against a new war and international diplomacy prevented the United States from going to war… at least temporarily.
With their original plan foiled, the United States began searching for a new way to strike at Syria. ISIS had been active in Iraq in various forms for years and began to fight in the Syrian Civil War in 2013. It wasn’t until the end of spring 2014, however, that the bourgeois media began to cover them. Now they play on every level of islamophobic prejudices and fears of “terrorism” that have been used since 2001, all in an massive concerted effort to drum up support for war.
The United States has begun bombing all manner of Syrian infrastructure supposedly to combat ISIS. In addition to this destruction of Syrian property, the United States has refused to coordinate attacks with the Syrian Government forces in their own country! This is particularly telling about the objectives of the United States government. If they were truly interested in only defeating ISIS, on a humanitarian mission, then they would work with the Syrian government to ensure that their infrastructure remains intact. Because they have shown no desire to do this, and additionally continue to fund anti-government insurgent groups, it can be concluded that the United States only wishes to harm the Syrian government and the Syrian people.
All nations around the world have the right to self determination and the right to be free from intervention. The people of Syria have largely made it clear that they choose their President, Bashar al-Assad, over anything that US imperialism has to offer. We in Fight Imperialism – Stand Together (FIST) denounce the United States’ blatant violation of the sovereignty of Syria and call for all progressive people around the word to rally behind the slogan “US Hands off Syria!”
The people of Syria resist imperialist advances into their country, much like the people of Iraq. This is exactly what causes it to be the target for war. The justification being used by the United States is an old and tired one which has been proven to be wrong many times before. Iraq, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and Libya are all testaments to the millions of lives lost because of imperialist “humanitarian wars”. These wars only offer death, destruction, and poverty. In exchange, the major corporations and banks get billions in blood money.
As young revolutionaries, we stand in solidarity with all of the working and oppressed peoples of the world. We understand that capitalism is at a dead end and has nothing to offer us except poverty, racism, and especially endless war. While the US working class suffers continually high unemployment and low wages, the Pentagon is spending $7.5 million every day on the war against ISIS. This money could be used to provide for the material needs of working and oppressed people, but is instead spent on death and destruction in pursuit of profits.
The only way forward for our generation, and humanity in general, is socialism. In order to bring that about, we need to defeat US imperialism. States everywhere that struggle against imperialist advances and fight for their national independence must be supported in our common fight. This is the basics of Leninism and the essence of solidarity with the oppressed. For all of these reasons, we in FIST say NO to war on the Syrian and Iraqi people!