The Enemy of My Enemy is Not (Necessarily) My Friend: U.S. Imperialism, and IS
As the U.S. government embarks on a new form of the War on Terror, now on the Islamic State (IS), AROC asserts its opposition against all forms of U.S. imperialism, and specifically the bombardment of Iraq and Syria. Last week, Obama described his plan of action for stopping IS, invoking the moral imperative placed on the United States as the rationale for bombing. While it may be difficult to make sense of the complexity of the situation, the U.S. government must be accountable to the damage it has caused in the region, and it cannot make reparations for prior destruction through continued bombardment and violence. Nor can the brutal impact of war be disguised by the supposed absence of ground troops.
We must reject war and state violence in all its forms, whether it is drones, bombs, troops, displacement, economic and military aid to colonial states and dictators, or imprisonment and state repression. We reject the notion that the primary concern should be a contrived threat to U.S. citizens or the safety of U.S. combat troops. This is a public distraction from the real interests of restructuring power and allegiances to serve U.S. capitalist and imperialist goals in the Middle East. Any principled discussion on the matter must center on the lives and self-determination of the people of Iraq, Syria and the region. As such, we oppose U.S. bombing and war and demand that our U.S. tax dollars be used towards social and economic justice, and that U.S. foreign “aid” focus on reparations and rebuilding.
IS is a dangerous force using extreme violence. The U.S. military is a dangerous force using extreme state violence against those who reject or fall outside of its interests. What IS does on the ground, the U.S. military does from the sky and with the backing of state and military power. And it has just promised to continue to do so and further extend its reach. Are aerial bombardment, drones, forced displacement, sanctions, and paramilitary guns-for-hire the more “civil face” of extremism? This is the same violence that has enhanced the conditions and created the fertile grounds for the growth of IS. This is the same violence that continues to disrupt the lives of people all over the world.
Just as more bombing will not save Iraq or Syria, nor can or should the U.S. play any role in fighting sectarianism in the region. The U.S. has consistently fanned the flames of the current violence and sectarianism. The U.S., alongside its puppet dictators, is responsible for creating and propping up new groups serving its interests and crushing any viable social movement for self-determination in the region. Its plans to build more allegiances and dependency with whatever faction-du-jour it wagers will best serve U.S. economic and political interests, without regard for the interests of the people on the ground. We stand against the U.S. waging war on Arab lands. We stand against U.S. imperialism everywhere.
We reject sectarianism. We believe in social and economic justice. We oppose war. We embrace self-determination.