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Workers Vanguard No. 1056

14 November 2014
The closing date for news in this issue is 11 November.

 

Workers Vanguard

Down With U.S. War Against ISIS!

Syria/Iraq: Kurdish Nationalists Serve U.S. Imperialism

In his press conference the day after the midterm elections, President Barack Obama stated that he would seek Congressional authorization for his war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, three months after the U.S. imperialists started their bombing campaign against those reactionary Islamists. Two days later came the announcement that 1,500 American troops would soon be sent to Iraq, doubling the number of military “advisers” there. The insistence by the White House that there will be no U.S. “boots on the ground” to carry out the war against ISIS is sounding thinner by the day.

For the moment, the Obama administration continues to rely on bombing attacks and local proxies on the ground. In the battle for the predominantly Kurdish city of Kobani in northern Syria, the U.S. has carried out airstrikes against ISIS and dropped arms and other supplies to fighters, mainly from the People’s Protection Committees (YPG). The YPG—the military wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is allied to the nationalist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) based in Turkey—is acting as both ground troops and spotters for the U.S. imperialists. YPG spokesman Polat Can described how a member of his organization in the joint operation command center transmits the coordinates for bomb attacks provided by YPG forces on site (civiroglu.net, 14 October).

The acceleration of U.S. “mission creep” in Iraq and Syria underscores the need for class-conscious workers everywhere, particularly in the U.S., to oppose the war against ISIS and all other imperialist depredations. Cynically carried out in the name of humanitarian assistance to the Yazidis, the Syrian Kurds and other victims of the ISIS cutthroats, the imperialist onslaught is aimed at reinforcing the U.S. hold over the Near East. The U.S.-led “coalition” hodgepodge includes Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which have been among the main financial backers of ISIS, as well as other Persian Gulf monarchies. The public beheadings by ISIS shocked Americans, feeding into support for the bombing campaign. Not as publicized in the U.S. capitalist media are the numerous beheadings carried out by Washington’s Saudi allies, who execute people convicted of homosexuality, adultery, blasphemy, apostasy and sorcery.

In Kobani, the PKK-allied forces have tied the fortunes of the oppressed Kurdish population to U.S. imperialism’s war against ISIS. They are joined in this effort by Iraqi government forces and the Kurdish pesh merga of northern Iraq, who are conducting joint military operations with the U.S., just as they did during the American occupation of Iraq. As we stated last issue, “The fact that all these forces are ‘boots on the ground’ for imperialist intervention means that revolutionary Marxists have a military side with ISIS when it targets the imperialists and their proxies” (WV No. 1055, 31 October). (read on)

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About the ICL




V.I. LeninLeon TrotskyThe International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist) is a proletarian, revolutionary and internationalist tendency committed to the task of building Leninist parties as national sections of a democratic-centralist international. Our aim is the achievement of new October Revolutions—nothing else, nothing other, nothing less. The ICL bases itself on Marxist historical, dialectical materialism and seeks in particular to carry forward the international working-class perspectives of Marxism developed in the theory and practice of the Bolshevik leaders V. I. Lenin and L. D. Trotsky and embodied in the decisions of the first four Congresses of the Communist International as well as key documents of the Fourth International such as the Transitional Program (1938) and "War and the Fourth International" (1934). We also look to James P. Cannon, a leader of the early American Communist Party who was won to Trotskyism and went on to become a principal founder of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), working in close collaboration with Leon Trotsky. The origins of the ICL are in the Spartacist League/U.S., which began as the Revolutionary Tendency in the SWP and was bureaucratically expelled in 1963. Our ICL "Declaration of Principles and Some Elements of Program" was modeled on the Declaration of Principles adopted at the 1966 founding conference of the SL/U.S.

Adopted at the Third International Conference of the ICL in early 1998, the declaration presently exists in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, German, Russian, Polish, Italian, Turkish, Indonesian, Greek and Tagalog. In this post-Soviet period, marked by a deep regression of proletarian consciousness, we continue to be guided by Trotsky's statement that "the task of the vanguard is above all not to let itself be carried along by the backward flow; it must swim against the current." Reforge the Fourth International, world party of socialist revolution!