Friday, January 6, 2017

"Islamic State" (ISIS): A tool in the hands of Imperialism

Photo source: Bēhance.net.
The history of exploitative societies has shown that religious and ethnic differences and contradictions, either existed or fomented, were always been utilized to promote the interests of the ruling classes many times they consisted the formation through which substantial class contradictions were manifested

In the history of capitalism and the imperialist system, the emerging bourgeoisies often wore the cloak of religion and many other imperialist powers have used religious conflicts in order to impose their designs against their competitors. The region of the Middle East is full of examples. 

From the late 19th century until today, we have seen many cases of religious movements which have been utilized by bourgeois forces for the creation of reactionary murderous organizations, from the “Taliban” and the “Mujahideen” in Afghanistan to the recent case of ISIS (also known as ISIL or Daesh). Of course, to some extend, in the process, these organizations may become autonomous from their creators or continue to operate in coordination with them. However, what is important is that without the support from imperialist mechanisms, without access to state mechanisms, their activity could not have such large dimensions and impact.

The notorious murderers of the “Islamic State” (ISIS/Daesh) do not consist a new phenomenon. The relation of such “organizations” and “movements” with european and american monopolies is a very old one. If we go back to 1928, we will see that the french company (Suez Canal) had supported the strengthening of the newly-founded “Muslim Brotherhood” in Egypt. 

Nonetheless, the best known case of mercenaries who used Islam as a cover for terrorist activities towards the promotion of US monopolies, can be found in Afghanistan in the beginning of 1980s. Zbigniew Brezinski, National Security advisor of President Carter from 1977 to 1981, was one of the masterminds behind the recruitment and training of Afghanistan's Mujahideen (predecessors of Taliban and Al-Qaeda) against the Soviet Union. Among these anti-Soviet “warriors” recruited by the United States was Osama Bin Laden. In the name of anti-communism, the US imperialism with the support of its NATO allies, created the monster which later was transformed into Al-Qaeda.

After the attacks of September 11th 2001, the “war against islamic terrorism” became the pretext for imperialist invasions in Afghanistan and Iraq. The foundations for the creation of ISIS can be found in the destruction of Iraq after the 2003 imperialist invasion. The US-led war in Iraq which was followed by the total destruction of the Iraqi state and the complete dissolution of Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party created the seed for the rise of ISIS jihadists.

The leader of the Islamic State (formerly Islamic State of Iraq), the Iraqi sunni muslim Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, had been arrested by US Forces-Iraq on 2 February 2004 near Fallujah and detained at the Abu Ghraib and Camp Bucca detention centers under his name Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim al-Badry as a "civilian internee" until December 2004, when he was recommended for release by a Combined Review and Release Board, while in December 2004, he was released as a "low level prisoner". Right after al-Baghdadi was freed, the Islamic State emerged out of nowhere and rapidly took over important swaths of Iraq and Syria.

US Senator John McCain meeting with members of the Syrian opposition.
Who is the man in the red circle?
There is strong evidence that al-Baghdadi was recruited, trained and financed by mechanisms of the U.S. secret services and Arab governments. His participation in meetings with US Senator- and US Presidential candidate John McCain- has been captured in published photographs. What seems to be closer to reality is that al-Baghdadi was used in the beginning as a supposedly “moderate” sunni of political Islam. The rise of al-Baghdadi and ISIS came as the result of a combination of developments in the broader region of the Middle East, including the imperialist war in Libya, the events of the so-called “Arab Spring” and the US-NATO imperialist intervention in Syria.

The 2011 imperialist intervention in Syria wasn't proved as easy as the U.S government and its regional allies (Turkey, Saudi Arabia) hoped it would be. The plans for the overthrow of Bashar Al-Assad's government were proved unsuccessful. The Assad government proved much stronger than the respective authorities of Mubarak in Egypt and Qaddafi in Libya. Nonetheless, the so-called “Arab Spring” had already paved the way for the rise of reactionary forces-tools in the hands of the imperialists, like ISIS.

From 2011 onward, the US and their European and regional allies (Saudi Arabia, Turkey etc), started to supply extremists and terrorists fighting the government of Syria with billions in cash, weapons, equipment, and even vehicles. Multiple publications in the western press had admitted this. Behind the “moderate Syrian opposition” it was the ISIS and other extremist forces, trained, equipped and financed by the secret services of the US, EU member-states, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Qatar. In a few words, the savage murderers of ISIS became part of an imperialist equation in Syria which serves the interests of the monopolies of the states involved in the war.

The Independent, 6 December 1993: Osama Bin Laden, the Anti-Soviet warrior.
The multiple terrorist attacks claimed by ISIS (e.g. Paris, Nice, Istanbul, Berlin, Brussels etc) in Europe, Turkey and elsewhere have added fuel to the fire of repression and intensification of security policies. The “monster of ISIS” has been exploited by bourgeois governments in order to spread fear in societies and strengthen the repressive state mechanisms against the people and the labour movement, to foster xenophobia and racism and to escalate more imperialist interventions. Of course, nobody can reject the possibility that groups within ISIS may operate independently from their imperialist patrons; however, this does not change the nature of the jihadists as a tool of imperialist mechanisms.

The future of ISIS depends on several factors: The developments in the inter-imperialist contradictions and rivalries in the broader region (e.g. US/EU vs Russia) as well as the political and social developments in regional powers (e.g. Turkey, Iran). The people of the region, the working class in the countries affected by the imperialist wars, must organize their struggle against the jihadists and their patrons, the imperialists. For that, it is essential for the masses to understand that the source of this situation is the power of the monopolies and the exploitative system which creates poverty, despair and wars.


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FURTHER READING: THE MILITARY-POLITICAL EQUATION IN SYRIA, by Elisseos Vagenas, Member of the CC of the KKE,  Responsible for the International Relations Section.