No to US airstrikes on Syria and Iraq!
All support to popular movements in Syria and Iraq!
As the US once more beats the drums for its “war on terror” we affirm our opposition to US/coalition airstrikes on Syria and Iraq. Such imperialist intervention will only lead to propping up the sectarian occupation regime in Iraq and the genocidal Assad regime in Syria. It will further pave the way for expanding US economic and strategic interests in the region (namely exploiting resources and supporting the Zionist State).
Obama’s move towards airstrikes comes following the assassination of American journalists and the persecution of minority communities (Christians and Ezidis) by the Islamic State. Such acts highlight the barbarity of the Daesh fascists but we question why Obama was not equally moved by the deaths of the countless Muslims who have been the primary victims of the Islamic State or the death of Syrian Muslim journalist Bassam Raeis who was executed by Daesh in August to no global outrage. The biggest terrorist threat remains the Assad regime which has killed thousands through daily barrel bombing of civilian neighbourhoods, chemical massacres, starvation sieges and torture. Such double standards show that humanitarian motives do not drive US intervention or international concern.
Airstrikes cannot defeat Daesh as they are spread through civilian areas. They would result in heavy collateral damage. Only boots on the ground (which the US has not offered and which have been rejected by the FSA) can defeat the Islamic State. The Syrian rebels, including Kurdish fighters, have been the ones fighting Daesh for the past year, know the local geography, terrain and people, and are the best placed to strike a real blow to the Islamic State. But to do this they must be provided with the weapons they need.
Attacking ISIS without toppling the tyrant Bashar Al Assad will only lead to exacerbating sectarian divisions in the region. Assad has been responsible both directly and indirectly to contributing to the growth of the IS, and until recently has not attacked ISIS positions focusing instead on attacking the FSA and civilians. Assad is now begging to be a partner in the US coalition, seizing the chance to gain international legitimacy. Any action seen as allying with Bashar Al Assad will lead to a backlash and exacerbate sectarian tensions. This fits well with America’s ‘divide and rule’ policy. We see in Iraq that the US is allying with the criminal government which is dropping barrel bombs on civilian neighbourhoods (recently committing a massacre at a school in Falluja) and using sectarian militias which are carrying out atrocities. The US has also focused its rhetoric on the Islamic State ignoring that popular elements (as well as remnants from the Baathist regime) are also rising against the Iraqi government. The US insistence that Malki steps down, but not doing the same for Bashar, again shows double standards.
Whilst we oppose US/coalition airstrikes in Syria and Iraq, we are appalled by the position of sections of the “anti-war” movement and “anti-imperialist” left which have rallied around tyrannical states instead of supporting the Syrian popular uprising against both Assad and Daesh and for freedom from tyranny. It should be highlighted that the largest foreign intervention so far in Syria has been from the imperialist State of Russia and Iran which have provided massive military, economic and political support to the Assad regime to continue carrying out atrocities against the Syrian people.
The grassroots forces of the Syrian Revolution have shown over and over again their willingness and ability to resist in battle – and often to defeat – any reactionary armed force, be it regime or reactionary “Islamist.” How else explain, after three and a half years of genocidal attacks, the continued mobilization and self-organization for daily survival of liberated towns and neighborhoods throughout the country? We reject the calls of the pseudo-Left to rely upon condescending saviors, whether in Washington or Moscow, in Damascus, Tehran or Riyadh. The steadfastness of the Syrian Revolution originates in the regionwide revolution of which it is an integral part – a revolution which on most fronts is now in retreat, but whose renewed advance depends in no small part on support, politically and materially, for the grassroots Syrian Revolution.