No Escalation in U.S. Military Aggression in Iraq...
Bring Forward Another Way!

June 16, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


On June 10, armed fighters of the Sunni jihadist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIL—the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) took over Iraq’s northern province of Nineveh and its capital Mosul, a city of over 1 million people, driving out the armed forces of the U.S.-installed Iraqi government of Nouri al-Malaki. ISIS then moved south, toward Baghdad, the capital, attacking and capturing other cities. While Barack Obama has indicated he’s not ready to send in U.S. ground troops, he is talking seriously about air strikes. He also declared, “our national security team is looking into all the options." Coming from the commander-in-chief of a ruling class that enforces a world of oppression with drones, spies and torture, this needs to be called out and opposed!

How should people understand the dramatic occupation of Iraq’s second largest city by ISIS? This is a reactionary force. In the sizable areas they control, they ban music, force women to wear the niqab—a covering with only a small opening to see through—and terrorize other Muslim sects and non-believers. There are reports coming out of Iraq that ISIS massacred Iraqi soldiers taken prisoner.

Obama says the U.S. needs to respond militarily because ISIS “poses a danger to Iraq and its people” and to “American interests.” But the main cause of the unimaginable suffering of the Iraqi people has been those very same American—imperialist—interests. The 2003 invasion and occupation by the U.S.—based on lies about “weapons of mass destruction”—led to the deaths of 600,000 to 1.4 million Iraqis, the displacement of over 4 million more, and the strengthening of reactionary Islamic fundamentalism including ISIS. And those imperialist interests are essentially maintaining and enforcing a world of exploitation, oppression, and environmental devastation.

The conflict between the U.S.-backed regime in Iraq and ISIS is part of much larger, complex set of challenges to the U.S. empire by rivals and other reactionary forces. This has taken expression in intense conflict, brutal oppression, and horrific suffering in Iraq and neighboring Syria. Three years ago, the U.S. (and, with both overlapping and conflicting interests, U.S. allies) encouraged and backed an array of reactionary forces seeking to overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria and install a regime more compliant with the interests of U.S. imperialism. The result has been a civil war in Syria that has devastated the country, destroyed basic infrastructure, and created a massive humanitarian crisis with hundreds of thousands of refugees. The U.S. occupation of Iraq, and the preceding decades of murderous sanctions and invasion, have created terrible conditions for the people there. And from Pakistan to Yemen, and beyond, U.S drones, mercenaries and allied regimes have generated widespread fury at the U.S. These and other factors, including the lack of a real radical revolutionary alternative in the region, have created fertile ground for the rise of reactionary forces like ISIS.

What is at work in Iraq—and beyond that in large sections of the world—is conflict between different oppressive and reactionary forces. Supporting any of them will only perpetuate oppression and suffering. And any escalation of U.S. military involvement must be opposed by people in the U.S. in whose name this aggression is being carried out.

Bringing Forward Another Way

What will it take for something good to be wrenched out of this madness devastating the people of Iraq, and the whole Middle East? In a word: revolution! One that uproots—not intensifies—oppression, including the oppression of women. There is a deep basis for revolution in the misery and anger, the chaos and constant crises generated by the workings of the capitalist-imperialist system in the Middle East in general, and in Iraq in particular.

One thing revealed by this latest crisis for the U.S. in Iraq is that U.S. imperialism is not all-powerful. The whole situation in Iraq and the region is wracked with contradictions. Despite its military might, the U.S. has failed to achieve its objectives in Iraq. The 13-year-long global so-called “war on terror” (really a war for empire) has weakened their system and spawned new contradictions and difficulties, including the spread of reactionary Islamic Jihadism across North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and elsewhere.

Absent a real alternative, all the outrage and fury generated by imperialism will be channeled into dead-ends, despair, and reactionary agendas. But there IS another way! Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism IS the real, radical, viable and visionary alternative to Western imperialism and Islamic fundamentalism. Bringing that forward requires digging into the science of revolution. It means leading people in struggle, transforming their thinking, to make revolution. And as part of that, it requires a movement worldwide, and on the political map in the U.S., that exposes and opposes imperialist crimes but rejects and opposes the Islamic fundamentalist (non) “alternative.” In that light, it is urgent now to spread the new synthesis of communism, concentrated in Communism: The Beginning of a New Stage, A Manifesto from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA (available online in English, Arabic, Farsi, Turkish, Spanish, German and Portuguese) through every possible channel, and to politically support those forces in the Middle East which are engaging and promoting this understanding and working for real revolution.


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