Socialist Worker

Imperialist rulers are out to battle each other, not Isis

Issue No. 2482

The world’s imperialist powers are rounding on Syria. They claim they’re “fighting terrorism” or “helping” ordinary Syrians.

In reality they are competing with one another to push their own interests.

The US has been bombing Iraq since August 2013 to prop up the sectarian Shia regime there.

The West has been desperately trying to regain the upper hand after it suffered defeat in Iraq in 2003.

France lost Syria after the Second World War—but hasn’t given up on the idea of empire. And Britain is fighting to keep its seat at the table.

The Western powers first tried to bomb in Syria in August 2013, then to oust dictator Bashar Al-Assad. They failed—and their weakness forced them to assemble a “coalition”.

So Saudi Arabia—Iran’s main regional rival—is aiding Sunni Islamist groups to oust Assad.

Saudi Arabia’s brutal dictatorship is a key Western ally—and a sponsor of counter-revolution.

It crushed the revolt in Bahrain in 2011 and now funds Egypt’s military regime.

The other Gulf regimes are likewise jockeying for position against Assad.

Western ally Turkey has been funding Islamist groups trying to oust Assad. But president Erdogan is also using the war to ramp up repression against Kurdish separatists and the left.

The US is allied to the same Kurdish PKK and YPG units fighting Isis in northern Syria.

Russian president Vladimir Putin waded into the conflict in September to back Assad.

This autocrat has rebuilt Russia’s imperialist influence since coming to office in 2001.

He butchered separatist Muslim forces in Chechnya, stoked ethnic conflicts and pushed reactionary nationalism.

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