No to Imperialist Bombing on Syria! For the Defeat of Al Assad and the Islamic "Caliphate"!

Written by IWL-FI – International Secretariat
Tuesday, 30 September 2014 21:22
Less than two weeks after having outlined his plan to intervene in Syria, President Obama ordered the begining of U.S bombing on Syrian soil, extending the military operation that began early August in Iraq.
Stated goals were: “Fighters, training centers, headquarters, command and control facilities, stores, business centers, supply trucks and military vehicles,” belonging to the Islamic State (ISIS) and Khorasan group [1], according to the U.S Central Command. The attacks, apparently carried out on a large scale, occur in the context of an “International Coalition” that, according to the White House, involved more than 40 countries in different levels. Thus, in the first airstrikes, alongside with american combat jets and drones, devices from “allied nations” such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain and Qatar [2] were also involved. From the sea, American plane carriers are the basis for launching dozens of Tomahawk cruise missiles [3].
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported about 20 American attacks in Syrian provinces of Al Raqa (ISIS’s main headquarters), Deir Ez-Zor, Al Hasakah, and Aleppo, besides also reaching “Al Nusra Front” positions, a subsidiary of Al Qaeda in the country, in Abu Kamal, near the Iraqi border. Besides military bases, the aircraft “coalition” bombed over ten refineries, estimated to generate $2-3 million a day to ISIS. The same source partially stated the deaths of at least 70 ISIS and 50 Al Nusra Front militants. However, this account is uncertain and could well be higher.
From the IWL, as stated elsewhere, we reject outright this imperialist aggression, not only against Syrian sovereignty, but mainly against the popular revolution that fights the genocidal regime of Bashar Al Assad in that country since 2011. We reaffirm that Obama’s real intentions are not “humanitarian” and “democratic.” The main imperialist goal is to regain control over the Middle East, taking advantage of the “justification” provided by ISIS’s mediatic atrocities. It is no coincidence that the main focus of U.S efforts are Iraq and Syria. The first was the scene of a historic military defeat, in which the U.S had to withdraw after an inglorious occupation of more than eight years. The second is still the spearhead of the entire revolutionary process in the Middle East, that despite all contradictions, continues throughout the region.
The Syrian regime is working directly with the U.S and became an accomplice of the imperialist bombing of their own country, raffling Syrian sovereignty in exchange for remaining in power. This shows on the one hand, the hypocrisy of the U.S government, that denounced the Syrian dictator as a “murderer” and now allies with him. On the other hand, the evident lies of the Assad regime that has always tried to show itself as “anti-imperialist”, and now collaborates with imperialism to end the revolution that threatens its power.
Al Assad and Imperialism are collaborating
Unable to act with his own “boots on the ground”[4], Obama had to look for a way to “outsource” direct combat against ISIS, as it is clear it will not be possible to eliminate this or any other enemy only from the air.
The operation limits make the intervention no more than containing ISIS. But what infantry will occupy the territories currently controlled by ISIS? The Syrian army? Al Assad is concentrating his troops (very damaged by more than three years of fighting) to take control of other important points, such as Aleppo and the capital Damascus itself. The regular Iraqi army? It is highly unlikely that an Iraqi “invasion” in Syria can happen without maximizing all tensions. Kurdish troops? They can barely contain ISIS in their own territory in Iraq.
According to the CIA, ISIS has 31,000 soldiers. The SOHR figures its forces in more than 50,000. In the ranks of the “black militias”, according to the UN, there are 15,000 foreign fighters from over 80 countries, two to three thousand of which are Europeans or Americans. Therefore, the reality is that America is stuck in another armed conflict with doubtful results. So uncertain that Obama himself, lowering the tone of speeches like “who threatens America will find no safe haven,” had to admit to Congress that “we cannot know the duration of these deployments and operations”.
Political limitations at home and the complexity of the political scene in the Middle East force U.S imperialism to move as a “bull in a china shop”, building uncomfortable alliances. The need to support its crackdown on ISIS in the Iraqi army, as weak as it has been, leads the US to defend the Iraqi government and places it in the same trench as Iran and Iraqi Shiite militias, which fear the intervention of Saudi Arabia and Qatar in the conflict; and vice versa. At the same time, Obama needs to rely on military force “on the ground” from Iraqi Kurdistan, but without encouraging the independence of the Kurdish nation. It’s a very complicated action.
However, the current air offensive on Syria is performed on the basis of a common front between the US and the Syrian regime. The friction and limited previous clashes, which the Stalinist left used to galvanize support for the dictator, now turned into unity. These are the facts. The tyrant Al Assad is allowing American bombing on his own country.
Very interested in being seen again as a “major player” in the “international community,” Al Assad has long been offering his “services” to imperialism, to collaborate with “any international efforts in the fight against terrorism.” In late August, Syrian Foreign Affairs Minister Walid al Muallem, also stated that Syria was willing to “work with the countries of the region” and to allow air strikes on his country whenever such action is “coordinated with our government”.
Such “coordination” proved precise. When the bombings started, Syrian Minister of National Reconciliation, Ali Haidar, said the US attacks are “in the right direction”:As for the raids in Syria, I say that what has happened so far is proceeding in the right direction in terms of informing the Syrian government and by not targeting Syrian military installations and not targeting civilians.” [5]
He also confirmed that:Notification of the Syrian government happened. Confirmation that they would not target Syrian military installations, and confirmation they would not target civilians happened.” [6]
This really destroys the whole argument of most of the left, particularly related to Castro-Chavez, who has always supported the tyrant Al Assad, presenting him as a supposedly “anti-imperialist leader.” What are the Cuban, Venezuelan, Nicaraguan, and Bolivian governments, as well as all Castroist and “Bolivarian” organizations going to say now, about the alliance between al-Assad and the Obama administration to bomb Syrian territory? Who are “allies of imperialism” now?
No confidence in Imperialism!
It is possible that, in the context of more than three years heroically holding a terrible and unequal struggle against the Syrian regime’s military and ISIS’s hordes, many rebel fighters see the current American strikes as “help” for “the revolution to succeed.” In fact, this is what the leaders of the Syrian National Council are saying:“This will make us stronger in the fight against al-Assad (…)” [7].
Within our full support to the struggle of the Syrian rebels, we affirm that no imperialist intervention has or will ever have this goal. Although rhetorically expressing its “opposition” to the Syrian regime, Obama’s goal, as explained, is not to overthrow Assad. Instead, they are now allies. Although he fights the Islamic State, which is another enemy of the Syrian revolution, Obama’s goal is ultimately to establish a dictatorship as sinister as Al Assad and the Islamic “Caliphate”: a colonial dictatorship. Imperialism always intervenes with colonial interests, in order to seize or strengthen economic and political control over the attacked country. It never does it for the people.
If imperialism wanted to support the Syrian revolution, it would have (a long time ago) unconditionally given heavy weapons and military technology that rebel militias need to confront Al Assad and ISIS’s dictatorships.
But this is not imperialism’s intention. Obama himself, recently responding to criticism from his former collaborator Hillary Clinton, dismissed the idea of massively arming the Syrian opposition:This idea that we could provide some light arms or even more sophisticated arms to what was essentially an opposition made up of former doctors, farmers, pharmacists and so forth,… that was never in the cards.” The imperialist position is clear: it is not acceptable to arm a revolution composed and supported by broad popular sectors. In that sense, Obama’s current proposal, also approved by a tight difference in Congress, to arm nearly five thousand rebels in Saudi Arabia for $500 millions, will be, if carried out, an extremely limited control for the US.
In our opinion, it is clear that in the context of the civil war it is necessary and completely fair that the rebels accept weapons from any government, even if these weapons are sent on very small doses. But this should never translate into political trust. Our proposal is to maintain political independence and demand weapons to all brigades fighting the Damascus regime and the Islamic “Caliphate”, which together total tens of thousands of fighters. All weapons must also be under exclusive control of these battalions, with no strings attached.
Surround the Syrian revolution with Solidarity!
Defeating Al Assad’s dictatorship and the hordes of the Islamic “Caliphate” are vital for the Syrian revolution. The Assad clan oppresses the country for over 40 years and promotes genocide against his own people, now allying with imperialism.
ISIS establishes, as explained, a sinister theocratic dictatorship in a third of Syria and Iraq. It is a counterrevolutionary project all along the line, and as the Syrian regime, it is based on physical crackdown of the entire labor and mass movement, starting with the anti dictatorial brigades and local committees that fight in Syria against Al Assad’s dictatorship.
The imperialist propaganda tries to make people believe that this is a struggle between U.S “democracy” and ISIS and the Syrian dictatorship’s “barbarism”. It is clear that ISIS and Al Assad represent barbarism. The lie is that US is the symbol of “democracy”. Because if we’re talking about genocide and atrocities, nobody beats the US in the Middle East, where for decades it has started wars and subjected these people to the most severe plunder.
Therefore, it is critical that all left and democratic organizations reject imperialist bombings in Iraq and Syria, as part of a broad anti-imperialist campaign to denounce this new attack on the peoples of the Middle East. At the same time that we reject Obama bombs, as revolutionaries we will fight alongside the Syrian rebels and Kurds against Syrian dictatorship and against ISIS’ theocratic dictatorship.
From the military point of view, besides the centralization of all anti dictatorial militias into a single command, supported by the network of local committees, it is critical to build a solid unity among Syrian and Kurdish fighters, whether Iraqi, Turkish, Iranian or from Syria itself. Recently, for example, between 2,000 and 4,000 Turkish Kurdish fighters have crossed into Syria to join the so-called People’s Protection Units (YPG, in Kurdish), who are defending the Kurdish city of Kobane (the third city of Kurdish majority in Syria) of ISIS’ assaults. There were also cases of Iraqi Kurdish fighters who went to Syria for the same purpose. The fight against the Islamic “Caliphate” unifies the entire Kurdish nation!
The brutal crackdown of the “Caliphate” against Kurdish areas in northeastern Syria has displaced over 140,000 Syrian Kurds who sought refuge in Turkey. They describe how their villages were burned and hundreds of civilians killed by ISIS. Syrian rebels and Kurdish fighters must join forces against ISIS and Al Assad’s dictatorship!
That’s why it is essential that all political and military leaderships of the Syrian resistance unconditionally recognize the right to national self-determination of the entire Kurdish nation.
More than ever we must strengthen the campaign of unconditional support to the cause of the Syrian revolution, demanding that all governments break commercial and diplomatic relations with Assad’s dictatorship and unconditional delivery of heavy weapons (combat aircrafts, armored vehicles, antiaircraft artillery), medicine and any kind of humanitarian aid to Syrian and Kurdish fighters.
As part of this campaign, which includes a broad unity of action (political and military), the revolutionaries must continue fighting the bosses and sell-out leaderships in Syria, defending a program that starts with the rebel military victory and develops to the seizure of power by the working class and the construction of socialism in Syria and across the Middle East.
To fight for this program, our proposal remains to build a revolutionary and internationalist party.
International Secretariat
September 25, 2014
[1]Organization affiliated to Al Qaeda, in the view of the White House, was preparing an imminent attack in Europe or USA.
[2]Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE have modern air force equipped with American F-15 fighter jets and Eurofighters,in the case of the Saudis, and Mirage French2000 and F-16 Americans in the UAE.
[3]Tomahawk missiles have a range of between 1,600 and 1,800 kilometers.
[4 ]few days ago, to an audience of soldiers in the Central Command headquarters in Tampa (Florida), Obama again promised that “American forces have been deployed in Iraq do not have and will not have a mission of combate”.

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