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Terrorism of ISIS and Terrorism of USA and France are inseparable

Wednesday 18 November 2015

Terrorist Attacks in Paris – No Excuse for War

On Friday the 13th, Paris was hit with a terrorist attack claimed to have been carried out by ISIS (the Islamic State in Syria). Coordinated attacks by terrorists killed 129 people and injured 352 in the middle of Paris. It was a terrible, brutal attack on innocent people. Immediately French politicians went into motion. Within minutes, former president, Nicholas Sarkozy, declared, “We are at war.” French president Hollande echoed, “This is an act of war.” The response of the politicians is clear – they will increase their attacks on the Middle East. Death will be answered with more death. And Sunday, French jets rained down their deadly message on the people of Raqqa, Syria.

The killing did not begin last week in Paris. France is complicit in the horrific death and destruction in the Middle East. Up until 2011, France was the main supporter of Ben Ali, the brutal dictator of Tunisia who maintained his rule in the 1990s by killing hundreds and imprisoning tens of thousands of his opponents. While the people of Tunisia starved and suffered, French presidents and ministers took their holidays in Tunisia.

In 2011, Tunisians rose up and overthrew the dictator. This sparked the wave of revolt known as the Arab Spring, which spread to Egypt and beyond. In 2012, Syrians inspired by those movements, rose up against the regime of Bashar Al-Assad whose Ba’ath party had ruled Syria for decades.

The Syrian uprising’s dream of ending the decades-long dictatorship of Assad has turned into the nightmare of a civil war. Money and weapons have flooded into Syria as the U.S. government and its allies, including France, have funded different armed groups. So far the war has claimed 250,000 lives and half of the population has been driven from their homes by the war.

It is no surprise that the immediate response of the French government to the attacks in Paris, was to send an aircraft carrier to the Middle East. And politicians in both the U.S. and France are calling for a ground invasion of Syria. This should be familiar to those of us in the U. S. who remember September 11th. The attacks claimed by Al-Qaeda on September 11th were used as an excuse to launch wars in the Middle East that have killed more than a million people and have cost over a trillion dollars.

The U.S. war on Iraq was used to install the regime of Nouri Al-Maliki, which then used religious divisions, death squads, torture and brutal repression to rule. The U.S. poured weapons into the country, many of which have found their way into the hands of ISIS fighters. Since the invasion in 2003, over a million people have been killed in Iraq by direct violence, or starvation, disease, and deprivation. ISIS began to grow and take shape in these conditions. Former officers of the Iraqi military were recruited in Iraqi prisons to fight back against the U.S. occupation of their country. Meanwhile U.S. oil companies re-wrote the Iraqi constitution to enable them to loot the economy.

The 129 who have died and the hundreds who have been injured in Paris and the thousands that have been killed by French and U.S. bombs in Syria and Libya are caught in the crossfire of wars based on greed and profit. ISIS has just copied the murderous tactics of those who have attacked the people of the Middle East.

We must condemn the terrorism of ISIS if they are the ones who carried out the attacks in Paris. But we must condemn the terrorism of the U.S. and France in the Middle East that launched this wave of violence and terror. It is always the innocent who die – young people in a French concert hall, thousands of people in New York City, or hundreds of thousands of Syrians and a million Iraqis.

We can’t sit by as thousands are killed in the Middle East and elsewhere. Ordinary people in the U.S., France, and the Middle East have no interest in more violence and more destruction. It is terrorism no matter which force is carrying it out. As the drums beat for the invasion of Syria we have to say loud and clear – No to imperialist war! U.S. and France out of the Middle East!

Forum posts

  • On Thursday, April 6th, Trump ordered the U.S. military to bomb a Syrian air force base that it claimed had launched a chemical weapons attack against forces opposing the Syrian government. The chemical gas attack was horrible, killing dozens of civilians, including babies. The Republican Party and many Democrats supported Trump’s action. Trump said he was horrified by the death of Syrian children. His response was to bomb the base.

    This is the same Trump who opposed U.S. military involvement in Syria for the seven years that this civil war has raged. It has killed over 400,000 people, including those killed by the U.S. bombing of ISIS in Syria. Since Trump came into office, 1000 civilians have been killed by U.S. air strikes in Syria and Iraq. And the U.S. supports the bombing of civilians, including children, in Yemen, by U.S. ally, Saudi Arabia. It isn’t a question of Trump opposing the slaughter of civilians – it is a question of whether those doing the slaughtering are allied with the U.S. or not.

    Trump says that Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, is a horrible dictator and should not be allowed to commit these atrocities. But he welcomed the current Egyptian dictator, el-Sisi, who repressed and killed Egyptians fighting for their rights and social justice during the Arab spring. So it isn’t a question of opposing dictators but of opposition to dictators who are not U.S. allies.

    The U.S. military has been a player in the Middle East for decades, since the 1940’s, propping up dictators who defended U.S. energy, corporate and banking interests, draining the oil riches from the Middle East to supply U.S. energy needs. It is a history that is filled with atrocities, and wars, whether it is U.S. support of Israel in murdering Palestinians, or U.S. support of the Shah of Iran slaughtering the Iranian people, or the two Gulf wars that have killed at least 200,000 Iraqis.

    What could be more hypocritical than this supposed outrage over the deaths of Syrian children by Trump and the Republican Party, who have tried to block Muslim refugees, especially from Syria, from coming to the U.S.? This same administration has proposed to cut off funds to U.N. programs that provide food and health services to people all over the world on the brink of famine, and ravaged by war and destruction. This is the same Trump who supported a health care plan that would have cut 24 million Americans off of healthcare while giving close to $700 million to the wealthy.

    How stupid he must think we are if he expects us to believe that his actions are based on concern for Syrian children and not on his own need to distract us from what he is really doing to us here at home. Also since Russia is a major ally of Syria, the U.S. attack could make it seem that Trump is not connected to Russia, in the hope of changing people’s minds about the current investigation of his administration’s links to Russia. The Democrats are certainly not a moral and caring alternative to these policies. The day before Trump ordered the attack, Hilary Clinton broke her post-election silence to call for the U.S. to bomb Syria. The Democrats’ hands are covered with the blood of past wars, bombings and support of brutal dictators.

    The crisis in Syria is a humanitarian disaster. But the U.S. politicians share responsibility for creating the mess that exists there today. The people of Syria have nothing positive to expect from Trump and the other U.S. politicians. The U.S. policies of greed and war are against the interests of all the poor and working people of the world, including in the U.S.

  • The Manchester bombing is a horrific crime.

    Little wonder, given that the groups involved are invariably the political creation of the major imperialist powers—used to further their predatory interests abroad and legitimise the repressive measures imposed at home in the name of the “war on terror.”

    The growth of Islamist terror groups is the by-product of the endless series of imperialist wars waged since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 and escalated since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now Syria have provided the breeding ground for the bitter resentments on which the Islamists feed and then channel in such a deeply reactionary direction.

    These groups are often considered allies before later being deemed to be enemies. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the suicide nail bombing. Its origins lie in the 2003 US-British invasion and occupation of Iraq. ISIS began life as Al Qaeda in Iraq, the product of the Sunni insurgency that emerged after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. It shifted to Syria in 2010 thanks to the US-led efforts to destabilise and overthrow the regime of Bashar-Al Assad through the arming and funding of Islamist militias.

    Events in Britain are indeed following the pattern set in France, where a state of emergency has been in force since 2015. It is just one month since the presidential elections there took place at gunpoint, with over 50,000 police and soldiers stationed at polling booths. The reason given was the murder of a police officer by Karim Cheurfi, a career criminal supposedly acting on behalf of ISIS. Cheurfi was well known to security and intelligence agencies, yet was left free to carry out his deadly assault.

    The parallels are striking. That assault took place under conditions where rising anti-war sentiment, following the April 7 US air strike on Syria, had benefited “left” candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon. The political hysteria whipped up and Mélenchon’s prostration before it were used to refocus official debate on “antiterrorism”—helping to ensure that right-wing candidate Emmanuel Macron and neo-fascist Marine Le Pen went through to the final round.

    The escalating turn to domestic repression in the UK is bound up with the preparation of new and even bloodier imperialist crimes. The Manchester attack provided US President Donald Trump with an opportunity to deliver a thuggish speech from Israel demanding that “terrorists and extremists and those who give them aid and comfort” be “driven out from our society forever.”

    What this means in practice is the pursuit of war in Syria in an alliance with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other sponsors of Sunni terrorist movements. May is up to her neck in these plans, promising that the first act of a newly elected Conservative government will be to put a vote before parliament in support of military action against Assad.

    On Thursday, May travels to a NATO summit in Brussels to be addressed by Trump in his first NATO appearance. The US president was already demanding US-led action on terror and increased military spending from the European powers. He will now be presented with a golden opportunity to urge support for a regional Sunni alliance, led by the US and Israel, against Shiite Iran.

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