Imperialism versus Fundamentalism (US and Allies Attack Syria)

Grant PetersonStarred Page By Grant Peterson, 23rd Sep 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3k7hg45b/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Society & Issues

This week the US Air force attacked ISIS and other groups in Syria, yet in August, president Barack Obama openly admitted that he did not have a strategy to combat the Jihadist ISIS group as it advances in Iraq and Syria as well as other groups across the Middle East.

Jihadist Strikes

The US bombing campaign is presented as a means of stopping the barbaric actions of the fundamentalist military groups, indeed images of terrible acts by ISIS and its recruits have spread across all TV screens and no-one can deny their horror indeed they have almost been played out as a recruitment video for US and allied armed forces leaning heavily on the disgust and repulsion of the public.

The truth is the number of displaced people in the region has reached the hundreds of thousands and the dead are now counted in their thousands these figures continue to grow as Jihadist groups attack anyone who do not share their viewpoint.

The rise of ISIS does not come from nowhere and is likely the direct result of US imperialist policies in the region for at least the last decade, and is clearly related to the development of Al Quada and the invasion of Iraq and the dismemberment of Saddam Hussein’s state apparatus, indeed there are many in the region that can justifiably state that the US intervention in the region has been nothing short of imperialist intervention.

US Sponsored Division

Adopting a classical strategy of “divide and rule” that had been used many times by its ally, the UK in its imperialist past, Washington gave its support to the Shi-ite minority whilst Hussain was in power and at the same time, they supported autonomy to the Kurds, upon invading the US carried out systematic repression of Sunni Muslims and this has led to a rise in support for groups like ISIS.

We should look on the barbarism of ISIS with horror, but we should also look at the re-shaping of Iraq with the same horror, firstly through western nations unreserved support for the Al Maliki government, and then the deserting of their former ally.

Between 2003 and 2011, the period of the occupation of the allied forces, it is estimated that almost half a million Iraqis died as a direct or indirect consequence of the US directed “war on terror”. Today it is clear that Obama’s intervention is not to avoid a humanitarian disaster, nor is it to defend the “democratic values” of the west. The only real aim is to defend America's imperialist interests in the region.

The Plague of Fundamentalism

In the past religious fundamentalism has been a weapon used by the capitalist class in order to further their aims around the globe, it is used as a weapon to hinder the development of the class struggle against their bankrupt regime, indeed many fundamentalist viewpoints are financed and promoted in many countries in order to confuse the real issues of society and future development. It was a tool used against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s yet with the collapse of the Soviet Union and its advance in the area. It is a case of former allies forgetting their original paymaster as today this weapon is turning against the American ruling class, creating a horror the US and its spy organizations have long since lost the ability to control.

ISIS is of course a problematic juxtaposition, in Syria it represented a potential ally in the attempt to overthrow the Assad regime but in Iraq the very same force is seen as "the greatest threat the the West". It is well known that the CIA helped train and finance Syrian rebels and furthermore urged them to allow any militants into their ranks irrespective of their beliefs and of course this has swelled with reactionary ideals. ISIS receives large amounts of financial support from Saudi Arabia, a state which supported this weeks air strikes against Syrian positions.

Truth is America has built itself a fundamentalist quagmire that it is unable to escape from. It was never part of the plan that ISIS capture important oil fields in the North of Iraq and it is that which has forced US Capitalism to re-consider its position over the last month. The situation is so paradoxical that the enemies of yesterday, have become the allies of today and visa verse, but the truth is US needs the resources this regions provides and it will continue to tip-toe across the quagmire of fundamentalism in pursuit of these interests.

Not a New Policy

Nineteenth century British Prime Minister, Lord Palmerstone once stated, “We have no permanent allies, we have no permanent enemies, we only have permanent interests”, this succinctly describes problem of America's in this region today.

The decline of American capitalism, together with the upheaval throughout the region following the revolutions in 2011, has opened up a gulf and given local powers a need to pursue their own interests but of course the development of a reactionary force of religious fundamentalism cannot be ignored, but we must remember that such thinking tramples both on the rights of working people in general and of women in particular.

In Iraq we are witnessing a civil war, in which each power uses the numerous ethnic groups and factions like pawns in order to realize their own objectives, indeed the likely result is one of increasing divisions, leading to continuing conflict which in and of itself has a likelihood of becoming a long lasting conflict. It is unlikely that any specific group will become dominant, ISIS may be on the rise today but they will not be in a leading position in years that follow as other ethnic groups assert their rights, having hidden for a generation in the mountains.

Crisis of the Nation State

The conflict spreading throughout the Middle East represents a massive change in the situation, it questions the whole need for borders and relations between the local powers. On one hand the artificial borders were the result of the divisions imposed by France and Britain by the Sykes-Picot agreement following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1918, but on the other hand the escalation of the conflicts reveal a total inability of the national capitalist class of the Middle East, not only to develop their economies but also to maintain the integrity of their national states.

During the 50s and 60s progressive governments in Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Libya brought dramatic change to the region, bringing with liberation and independence rousing great hopes for the people, but those leaders limited themselves to the limits of capitalism (or a deformed workers state in the image of the Soviet Union as was the case in Syria). This revolutionary wave was eventually exhausted with each notion become a client state of either the west of the Soviets.

The collapse of soviet power and the subsequent crisis of capitalism led to the disintegration of such states and they are today only being held together by the need for their oil resources. The crisis in this region today highlights more than ever before the impossibility of finding a way out of the impasse of capitalism. There are no easy answers and ISIS represents nothing but oppression of one ideology over other ideas that have lived more or less in harmony for centuries. US Air Strikes do nothing to improve this situation and will not end in the defeat is those who follow the reactionary Islamic Jihad, indeed they are likely to dig deeper trenches.

The need for Revolution

More than ever before, no solution can be found within either capitalism or the narrow confines of national states, what is required is a second Arab revolution, a revolution that supports a clear internationalist position which can unify each of the movements, overcoming national, ethnic and religious divisions on the basis of class struggle to overthrow both the reactionary regimes and the capitalist economy. This is not a utopian dream, because it is clear to see that the so-called “realistic” position has led to reactionary and obscurantist scenarios and leaves the region in permanent conflict.

Tags

Capitalist Crisis, Change, Ideology, Iraq, Isis, Jihad, Jihadist Groups, Obama, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Usa

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Comments

author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
24th Sep 2014 (#)

This happens when an existing order is overthrown and due to wrong intentions behind actions whereby innocents pay the price. American intervention has opened a can of worms and can also be termed opening of a Pandora's box that was kept under control by leaders like Saddam and Gaddafi. I read about the angst of former Australian PM Howard that he was misled on WMD that led Australia to participate in the action against Saddam.

Whenever I talk to people in many countries they veer around to the view that arms lobby is behind all the action and policies of America. The only way for America is to bridge the trust deficit by building bridges across the world and no more unilateral actions but only with the sanction of the UN. I am surprised that in a land where children are given much leeway America treats other nations as needing their help to fix their internal matters. It is much better to allow the Middle East to sort themselves out as like everywhere else the vast majority - 99% - will toe common sense of their own volition. It is time outsiders stopped creating a void that benefits only few to hit and run. If the intentions are noble then the path we take will also be likewise - siva

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
24th Sep 2014 (#)

i agree with siva and what he writes above...

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author avatar Grant Peterson
24th Sep 2014 (#)

Siva, Clearly Saddam was nothing but a tyrannical ruler but it is possible to say that under his leadership Iraq was developing as a nation, yet we also know that minority groups suffered at his hand.

It is not just the arms lobby, but of course the interests of "big oil" that still depends much on the Middle-East for its supplies. Yet America today stands in a turmoil of its own making as they have a long history of supporting rebels in the region then finding those they supported did not share their interests.

Thanks for your thoughts.,

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author avatar Retired
24th Sep 2014 (#)

One fundamental problem is that it is easier for people to know what they are against rather than what they are for. There is, for example, widespread agreement that Assad must be overthrown in Syria, but much less about what sort of regime should take his place - this is the Iraq/Sadam and Libya/Gaddafi situation happening again.

Many people in the Middle East want to live in an Islamic state, but not the sort that ISIS is seeking to impose.

It is surely a huge mistake for the West to assume that every country wants to be a multi-party democracy - in three words, not everybody does!

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author avatar Grant Peterson
24th Sep 2014 (#)

John It is true that not everyone wishes a multi-party democracy. Yet the rise of Islamic states can only be temporary in nature because they bring a continuity of oppression against their peoples that are whipped into submission and it will be the ethnic/cultural minorities that will suffer. The rising of another Ottoman Empire under a modern fanatical ruler will not solve anything.

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author avatar snerfu
24th Sep 2014 (#)

Some people only understand, only talk the language of the gun. If you do not do so you are DEAD. That kind of approach to life seems to be bordering on the insane and people who continue to tolerate such actions and philosophies are only adding stirring up troubled waters. Imperialism or fundamentalism which ever path you choose has to be tempered with tolerance firstly and more importantly by peace. People somehow seem to miss PEACE all around.

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author avatar Grant Peterson
24th Sep 2014 (#)

The language of the gun is the language of capitalism, it is also the language of greed and profit - the hallmark of this system. In truth the capitalist system borders on the insane and we need to consider its replacement at the earliest opportunity.

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author avatar snerfu
24th Sep 2014 (#)

I apologise if am "sounding off" Mr Peterson.

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author avatar Grant Peterson
24th Sep 2014 (#)

Snerfu sir, you are always welcome to sound off and you should do so whenever you feel the need.

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author avatar snerfu
30th Sep 2014 (#)

Ha ha right Mr Perterson.

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author avatar Retired
24th Sep 2014 (#)

Democracy falls over when the first regime that is elected then changes the rules to make sure that it will never be unelected. That has happened many times in the world, and is an important reason why democratic solutions are not always the wisest course.

There are other reasons why democracy does not solve every problem, but they are not particularly relevant in this discussion.

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author avatar snerfu
30th Sep 2014 (#)

What you say of democracy is so true today in India.

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author avatar M G Singh
24th Sep 2014 (#)

A very interesting post, but now the west has created a quicksand and I am afraid getting out is not going to be easy

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author avatar Grant Peterson
11th Dec 2014 (#)

For the lowest echelons of society they are being sucked under with no hope of every getting out.

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
24th Sep 2014 (#)

I have read all the comments and I have a question. Sadam said during his trial that America lied. That has always bothered me. What was he referring to? I personally believe that we should not supply arms to anyone. There may be good intentions but it never works out well. These may be random thoughs but I wanted to say them. I've learned a lot from all of you. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

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author avatar Grant Peterson
11th Dec 2014 (#)

It is clear that both America and Sadam have lied over many things. The weapons of mass destruction was certainly a lie on which one war was founded.

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author avatar Retired
24th Sep 2014 (#)

I would have thought one lie was that Sadam held a stockpile of WMDs when quite clearly he did not. There was also the "dodgy dossier" that included claims that Saddam was being supplied with urananium ore from Niger, which was a pure invention on somebody's part with not an iota of truth behind it.

Those sound like American lies to me - and therefore presuambly to Saddam Hussein.

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
24th Sep 2014 (#)

John, thanks for the info. I knew about WMD but I did not know about the urananium ore accusations. I've learned something new. Thanks.

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author avatar Melinda Bocook
29th Sep 2014 (#)

Well I feel this war shouldn't have never happened. The government, wanted a new world and that is just what they are going to get. It makes me sick, to know what I know now. Ever since the world has been formed it always wants to make it better. The bible says there will be wars and rumors of wars. I just think, the people who run America would have gone to the other country's in peace. It never was we the people.

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
30th Sep 2014 (#)

Grant, I went back and read your article again and all of the comments. I must say I'm very impressed with your knowledge. The one thing that is bothering me and has since the beginning of the ISIS nightmare is that I had never heard of ISIS before. Now it appears they are in many different places. Does that seem odd to you?

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author avatar Grant Peterson
11th Dec 2014 (#)

ISIS may not have been seen in the West, but it was well enough known in the Middle East and is a movement that has been building for quite some time.

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author avatar Melinda Bocook
30th Sep 2014 (#)

No not really, god made this and I am sure there will be a lot more places that we haven't herd of. It has been in the making for a long time to get into these country's. My father once told me, that we have been trying to change the middle east for centuries, back in the days of of jesus, who went to them in peace and look what happen there, and the wars, we tried to introduce them to a better place and all they wanted was the land god told them her gave them, that is why they are always at war. We gave them a taste of the 20th century and all they wanted was to learn to have control, now they have the 21st century and we are called many names.
The war was made in vain, there is no since to it. What has it really done for any of us.
I always have thought it was American made, because the bush's couldn't have there way with sad om, and president Obama said it, when the Egyptians needed help in 2011, he said we can't go into another country to help them not unless they did terrorism to America first.
Really then if that is true, this war is a lie.
Because if a person really thinks how this war came about they would know the third worlds have to fight for everything they have. They would know that it would cost alot to send so many people here to blow up something as big as the towers.
So this war is a lie, and the people were already here. They are called sleepers.
And something else why just New York, I mean if some one is really going to do something like this it seems to me they would do it to the whole united states. This war is a lie, the Bush's always talked about a one world, and that is just where it is going.
And it is godless.
I am under god government so what happens out side of that shows, me I better be ready for his kingdom, because that is all that matters really, because this earth will perish, and what is in it. Man government means nothing it will not save you in the end. I am sorry that the world has come to this, but with out god in this world who really has a chance, I pray that the war will stop, I pray that all who started this war will come to justice. This government is working really hard to get the new world.
Our government has a plan, go to Georgia Achieves and see how many our government wants on this earth. Then Look up Loose change. There is so much that is revealing it self, they have our kids getting shots, that they really don't need, they are making up sickness that we have never herd of before, our government has been doing this for a long time. Look up the endgame. I am a advocate for so much. I see all the things that government has planned. If you think the war is just in the middle east, look around right now, and see how they are having a silent war right her in our own country, we are being killed daily, to make the population die down, yes it will take years, but it is happening. Look at my article on the HPV shot, that is going to be a death sentence on all of young kids. This war is happening all over the world. I am not surprised about anything that should happen.

I enjoyed you post, I hope to read more in the future.

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author avatar AjaySinghChauhan
25th Oct 2014 (#)

interesting post and thanks for sharing it with us

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author avatar Vickie Collins
17th Jan 2015 (#)

I am unclear on some detail obviously, not studying it as extensively as you have. However, I have always thought that we did a lot of what we do for some reason other than good will and human rights, although we bantered that those phrases, especially the second on, as an excuse. Economic interest might very likely explain our own range of actions. It would certainly explain why we are so buddy buddy with Saudi Arabia which is one of the most repressive regrimes in the area.

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author avatar Grant Peterson
18th Jan 2015 (#)

Trouble is people rarely consider the real reasons why such alliances are formed and Saudi Arabia is also in urgent need of change.

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