The US is bombing the Syrian and Iraqi people, not the Islamic State


Issued by: CPGB-ML

Issued on: 15 October 2014

The Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) unequivocally denounces the US bombing of Iraq and Syria. The claimed justification for these acts of aggression – namely, that they are a ‘response’ to, and a way of stopping, the barbaric atrocities perpetrated by the so-called ‘Islamic State’ (IS) in both countries – is a complete fraud. This lie has been manufactured to conceal the true aims of imperialism in the Middle East and to confuse and neutralise the opposition of workers in the imperialist countries to the actions of their governments.

Given that IS has grown up in what is probably the most surveilled region of an obsessively surveilled planet, and given the openness of the terrain where the group has been mustering and training its forces, it is frankly laugh-able to imagine that the imperialists were ‘taken by surprise’ at the ‘sudden’ emergence of IS in Iraq this summer.

In fact, this army of international mercenaries is the product of over three years of the imperialist proxy war waged against the independent and progressive state of Syria.

The ‘Islamic State’ is not only objectively a tool of imperialism. The West, via its proxies in Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, has as a matter of policy quite deliberately and specifically funded and armed IS, trained its leaders and given its squads all manner of logistical back-up in order to create a terrorising force that might be capable of unseating Bashar al-Assad’s national-unity government in Syria.

With the heroic support of the Syrian people, however, the Syrian Arab Army had all but beaten IS and the other foreign jihadis back. Earlier this summer, IS and its de facto allies were on the run and imploding into in-fighting and recrimination.

Faced with the prospect of the defeat of its proxy army, the US gave IS the green light to sweep into northern Iraq, thus providing Washington with a pretext for overthrowing Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki and replacing his government with one deemed to be less obstructive to US goals in the region.

Maliki had originally been installed as the frontman for a sectarian stooge regime in Baghdad, but had turned out to be too close to Iran and Syria for imperialism’s liking, and had actually allowed the passage of arms to the Syrian government through Iraqi territory.

Crucially, by allowing the IS goon squads to swarm into Iraq, and by painting a terrifying picture of this motley crew of religious maniacs and mercenary thugs as a supposedly ‘invincible army’ and ‘unstoppable force’ sweeping all before it, Washington counted on stampeding public opinion into supporting the air strikes on Syrian soil that it has been aggressively pushing for since before summer 2013.

A series of videoed beheadings of western captives was duly splashed all over western media in order to drum up support amongst shocked western workers. But the very same media pundits who claimed to be horrified by such acts of barbarism when committed against a few white men this summer had for three years ignored and glossed over, even excused, the same heinous crimes when they were routinely perpetrated by the West’s terror gangs against ordinary Syrians.

The truth is that IS’s ‘brutality’ was only ‘discovered’ when the imperialists realised that their proxy forces were staring defeat in the face. Having failed in their mission to destroy secular, anti-imperialist Syria, they were desperate to try anything that might shift the balance of forces on the ground. Hence the sudden need to ‘stop IS’, which has now become the cover story that Washington and London are using to legitimise the renewed bombing of Iraq and the ‘extension’ of that bombing into Syria.

While Syria’s anti-imperialist government is the primary target of the bombing campaign, it remains a major goal of the US to balkanise Iraq, breaking it into three hostile and weak states, and loosening its growing ties to the axis of middle-eastern anti-imperialism formed by the Lebanese and Palestine resistance movements with Syria and Iran.

Any illusion that the air campaign in Syria is an operation against IS is surely dispelled by Washington’s choice of targets. US bombers have barely touched IS, instead concentrating on the destruction of Syria’s own infrastructure, honing in on Syrian air defences and Syrian oil refineries in particular.

The reason offered for these attacks on refineries – that it is necessary to cut off the funding that IS gets from oil sales – is disingenuous. Who is the recipient of any oil that IS might try to sell, if not the West itself? How are such gigantic quantities of oil supposedly transported out to the end users, and by what trail of banking transactions is payment effected?

Such major dealings cannot escape detection. If western banks can be stung for millions for breaking US sanctions on Iran, Sudan, Cuba, etc, it cannot be beyond the wit of western regulators to put a block on dodgy IS deals if they so chose.

The only possible conclusion is that the real aim of the air strikes is to weaken Syria by the wholesale destruction of her infrastructure and defences as a prelude to direct attacks upon the Syrian Arab Army and the government in Damascus.

What is certainly not being seriously targeted is the IS presence at the gate of the besieged city of Ayn al-Arab (known to its majority Kurd population as Kobane) in northern Syria. For days, the city’s terrified population has been begging for help in breaking the blockade of these cut-throats, but no help has been forthcoming.

And yet the exposed desert landscape where IS is massing, and the fact that it is engaged not in guerrilla warfare but in positional warfare, ought to make its forces sitting ducks for any serious aerial assault – as were the patriotic forces of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya when the Nato nazis decided to wipe them out from the air in very similar terrain. However, aside from bombing a few empty buildings for appearance’s sake, the US has ignored IS and got on with its real job: attacking Syria.

Moreover, if the US was serious about wanting to ‘stop IS’, there are many very effective measures it could be taking that would achieve the desired effect without any need for the allegedly ‘collateral damage’ being done to Syria’s infrastructure and people.

It could instruct its proxies in Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia to cut off funds to IS. It could instruct Turkey to close its borders to halt at least some of the freely-flowing arms and men. It could instruct Turkey and Israel to stop providing medical services to wounded IS soldiers. It could close down the CIA-run jihadi training camps in Jordan. None of these things is being done.

Before the US started its bombing campaign, both Russia and Iran endorsed Syria’s avowal that, were there to be any encroachment on Syrian territory without permission, this would constitute a violation of international law. By making this prescient statement, Syria pre-emptively removed any spurious justification that the US might put forward as a smokescreen for direct aggression aimed at Syria.

Since the air strikes in Syria – in reality, against Syria – began, Damascus has limited itself to the dry acknowledgement that Washington had “informed” Syria’s UN envoy of US intentions, having made plain in advance the dim view it takes of such unilateral action. One junior partner in the governing coalition, the Syrian Communist Party, has made no bones about the criminal nature of the Anglo-American warmongering exercise now under-way.

In words that all progressive humanity will echo, it has branded the air strikes in Syria as ” a flagrant violation of international law, which prohibits the violation of the sovereignty of independent states.

These hostile actions are being carried out under the pretext of ‘fighting terrorist organisations’. But the organisations in question were created in the laboratories of the imperialist intelligence agencies, especially those of Britain and the US, with the active participation of the zionists. They were formed with the aim of creating a pretext for imperialist intervention and aggression against countries in the region, especially Syria, owing to Syria’s long opposition to imperialist and zionist hegemony, for which stand our people have made great sacrifices.

The Syrian people continue to make great sacrifices in their struggle to hold imperialism’s barbarous invaders at bay. And now they are suffering the even more barbaric ‘help’ of imperialism’s ‘friendly’ bombers, whose trigger fingers are itching to take their payloads all the way to Damascus.

At this critical time, the Syrian people and their government need and deserve the full support of British workers.

No cooperation with war crimes in Syria or Iraq. Death to imperialism, and to its creature, the Islamic State!

Victory to Syria!