What is Isis and what are its roots?
David Cameron claimed bombing Syria is necessary because Isis poses a specific evil.Yet in August 2013 he said bombing Syria was necessary because of the specific evil of president Bashar al-Assad.
Assad had used chemical weapons on people in Syria. Yet any attacks on Isis now will strengthen Assad’s position.
Isis is a reactionary and sectarian group produced by the conditions created by Western imperialist war in Iraq. This was another war built on lies. Tony Blair in 2003 claimed war was necessary because Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.
Government leaders have often pointed to tyrants committing atrocities to justify their wars.
But many of these are former allies who were bolstered by the West. And Western intervention doesn’t make the world safer.
Isis has grown in size and come to control a bigger geographical area as the conflict in Syria became militarised. Some Muslims who join Isis from the West are alienated by racism, repression and the experience of imperialist wars.
In Syria Isis has become the most effective military force in the battle against Assad’s regime. Other groups have either been defeated by it or now work under or with it.
No to racist attacks
The Tories’ war drive has opened up a renewed rise in Islamophobic attacks. A mosque in Finsbury Park, north London was the target of a petrol bomb last weekend.
The fire would have caught if it hadn’t been for rain.Mohammed Kosbar told Socialist Worker, “The response from the local community has been very supportive. We are defiant and want to show unity against all kinds of racism.”
Imperialist invasion wrecked Iraq
Whenever there is a terrorist attack the intelligence services use it to demand more resources and powers.
The US faced nationwide resistance when it invaded Iraq in 2003.
In the south, this was dominated by the Shia Muslim cleric Moqtada al Sadr and his Mehdi Army. Sunni Muslim groups did most of the fighting in the north.
But they had a common interest—so the US turned to divide and rule.
It got the Shia clerical hierarchy to bless an election in 2004, knocking the Mehdi Army out of the battlefield. Meanwhile it built a Shia sectarian state in the south.
This left Sunni groups in the north to do the bulk of the fighting and initially allowed Al Qaida to grow. But other Sunni organisations began to turn against it.
The US promised to bring them into a “national unity” government if they fought Al Qaida. Yet once they defeated Al Qaida Sunnis were still locked out of Iraqi politics.
Imperialism is responsible for sectarianism. Bombing will only pour fuel on the West’s fire.
Don’t trust cynical West
The Arab revolutions of 2011 showed the alternative to imperialist war, dictatorships and the sectarian violence of Isis in the Middle East.
Then millions of ordinary people rose up and brought down brutal dictators who had ruled for decades. They didn’t need Western armies to fight for freedom. In fact the tyrants they faced had been armed and backed by the West. Today those revolutions are in retreat and the old regimes are regaining a grip. The biggest and most important revolution took place in Egypt. But now ex general and president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is crushing resistance and denying democratic rights.
David Cameron welcomed this butcher at Downing Street last month. Western powers are never driven by the interests of ordinary people—either in their home country or internationally.
The West interferes in the Middle East because Western rulers want to control the region. They will ally with brutal regimes if it helps them to do that.