What do PALESTINE, REFUGEE MIGRANT CHILDREN, UKRAINE, & SYRIA have in common?
IMPERIALISM on the Offensive: How We Will Fight Back
A Statement and Call to Action from Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST)
The aggressive apartheid settler state of Israel is once again attacking the people of Palestine in Gaza and the West Bank. The pretext this time was the death of three Israeli teenagers, but the results are all too familiar. At the time of this writing, 167 Palestinians have been confirmed killed in the airstrikes, 1,100 injured, and hundreds arrested. This chapter in the ongoing genocide of Palestine recalls the massive bombings of 2008-2009, which killed 1,417 Palestinians.
Meanwhile, in the United States, over 50,000 refugee children and youth, primarily from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, are being held in concentration camps at the border. The U.S. governments ineffectual efforts to relocate some of them have in some areas been met by proto-fascist demonstrations of whites opposing migration.
On the other side of the world, in Ukraine, a pro-U.S./E.U./NATO government effected a coup of the democratically elected leader with the help of a growing fascist movement. At the time of this writing, the popular workers’ movement in East Ukraine is being exterminated by those same fascists who now wear government uniforms.
Syria, a nation suffering immensely from a civil war, recently re-elected its president Bashir al-Assad by a wide margin with high levels of public participation. Opposing the government is a right-wing U.S./Saudi-funded grouping of “contra” mercenaries, who are raised up as “freedom fighters” in the U.S. media while the Syrian government is demonized.
Nowhere in the capitalist-controlled media are these events portrayed as related in any way – yet they are intimately connected. Each is a product of the world system of imperialism.
IMPERIALISM IS THE ROOT CAUSE
Imperialism is not just the tendency of U.S. and European nations toward aggressive wars. It is not simply bad policies of a particular president or political party. Imperialism is a global economic system – it is the highest stage of capitalism, in which monopolies and a financial oligarchy rule, the imperial nations divide the world amongst themselves, the entire world is subjugated and exploited economically by these powers, and those nations or peoples which do not obey are crushed militarily.
Israel is imperialism’s outpost in the Middle East – a genocidal white settler nation armed with nuclear weapons, a high-tech military, funded by the U.S. Since Israel’s establishment as a state, it has served to destabilize all other independent nations nearby, halting anti-imperialist development and keeping it’s oil-rich neighbors weak and open to exploitation by the west. Were it to make peace with it’s neighbors and truly reverse the historic crime of occupation and genocide against Palestine, it would lose its utility to the imperialists. Racism and apartheid keep the flame of conflict burning, and keep the missiles falling on the oppressed peoples of the Middle East.
The poverty and conflict in Central America is a direct result of more than 150 years of U.S. imperial policy – effecting right-wing coups, halting independent development – all in order to keep the resources and peoples’ labor open to exploitation and profit. Most recently, in 2009, the U.S. supported a coup that displaced the left-leaning democratically elected president Manuel Zelaya. Popular opposition to this crime was crushed with massively increased police repression, combined with more exploitative working conditions, leading ultimately to a mass exodus – many of whom are now imprisoned at the U.S. border.
When the government of the Ukraine wavered in its resolve to strengthen ties with the E.U. and NATO and considered moving towards closer ties with Russia, a fascist-supported violent coup came swiftly after to bring the nation – and its crucial energy infrastructure and resources – back into the imperialist fold.
Syria has long materially supported the Palestinian peoples’ struggle for self determination, having had its own Golan Heights stolen and occupied by the settler state. The U.S. seized on internal turmoil is Syria to fund and support right-wing fundamentalists in their war with the Syrian government and people. Syria, Iran, Palestine, Hezbollah in Lebanon – these nations are under constant attack and pressure precisely because they oppose U.S.-led imperial domination and exploitation of the region.
HOW WE WILL FIGHT BACK
FIST (Fight Imperialism, Stand Together) calls upon all people, particularly youth, to take to the streets against these crimes. Demonstrations against the genocidal attack on the people of Palestine have been called in many areas – we praise and support these. We connect the struggles of all people under attack – Palestine, migrant refugees, the people of Syira and Ukraine, and all independent peoples of the world. We must be clear about the root cause of the violence whenever we take a public stand: imperialism is the enemy of all humanity. It is not a particular law, lobbyist group, or president. It is the system itself, and the independent peoples across the world will only be free to follow their own path when it is defeated.
The most crucial political principle in opposing imperialism is to unconditionally support the right of oppressed peoples to self determination. We must defend the right of the Palestinian people – and all peoples across the world under imperialist attack – to fight back in whatever way they choose, by any means necessary. What kind of solidarity would we be showing if we denounce the U.S. and Israel while at the same time preaching to the oppressed how they should struggle? Our duty is to oppose imperialism!
Learn more about FIST, socialism, and how to fight back at fightimperialism.org
Early on July 1, the Israeli authorities used the death of three Israeli teenagers as the pretext to begin a major assault on Palestinian organizations and civilians in the West Bank and Gaza. Every voice should be raised against this assault.
This is already the largest Israeli military operation against Palestinians in the West Bank since the second Intifada, or uprising, ended in 2005. It is reported that in just one day, Israel has arrested more than 400 Palestinians, raided thousands of homes and shot five people dead. It has brought back the punitive demolition of Palestinian homes, a practice mostly discontinued in 2005.
While the youths’ deaths are still under investigation, Tel Aviv loudly blamed the Palestinian organization Hamas and then bombed Gaza 34 times. Hamas, elected to govern Gaza, denies any responsibility in the deaths. Israel’s last attempt to unseat Hamas, a massive bombing in 2008-09, resulted in the deaths of 1,417 Palestinians and nine Israelis. (Palestinian Centre for Human Rights)
This murderous assault has much in common with Kristallnacht, a Nazi attack on Jewish people 76 years ago.
Kristallnacht, Nov. 9-10, 1938, was massive, coordinated aggression on Jewish people living under the German Reich. The excuse was the assassination of a German ambassador by a Jewish teenager in Poland.
In the two-day rampage, 91 Jews were killed and 30,000 arrested and sent to concentration camps. Jewish homes, hospitals and schools were ransacked, synagogues were burned (95 in Vienna alone) and Jewish businesses destroyed or damaged. It was the beginning of the Holocaust.
What do today’s Israeli government attacks on Palestinians have in common with Kristallnacht?
Both used sensationalized events as pretexts to implement extermination plans already in place. Both used the media to whip up panic to justify their genocidal attacks. Both murderous assaults were against oppressed people and benefited only the ruling classes — German capitalists in 1938, Israeli and U.S. capitalists today.
The U.S. bankrolls and arms Israel to protect Washington’s and Wall Street’s interests in the Middle East. The current assault seeks to destroy the struggle of the Palestinian people to return to their homeland and regain their national rights.
Certainly the deaths of the three Israeli teens are tragic. However, the social and political context must be understood. The three teenagers disappeared on the West Bank on June 12 while hitchhiking home from a religious school in Kfar Etzion, between Bethlehem and Hebron.
Kfar Etzion is one of many illegal settlements populated by right-wing Israelis who serve as the flying wedge for Tel Aviv’s West Bank land confiscation. These settlers are extremely racist and talk about Palestinians in much the way Nazis described Jewish people.
The settlers take over Palestinian resources, harass the population and then claim they are in danger. Next, the Israeli military builds an outpost to protect them. Before you know it, the Palestinians are limited in where they can go, and more and more land is confiscated for an Israeli military zone to protect the settlers.
Often, these settlers are armed by the Israeli state. They are notorious for assaulting Palestinians of all ages: slapping children’s faces in the street and firing on farmers trying to gather their olive harvest in order to render them destitute and force them off their land. Settlers desecrate and set fire to mosques or declare them Jewish religious sites off-limits to Palestinians. For decades, the bodies of West Bank Palestinian youths have been discovered who were believed killed by settlers.
In truth, the “violence problem” on the West Bank comes from the settlers. And settler violence is increasing.
Settler violence more than tripled in the three years up to 2011. (Guardian, March 21, 2012) The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs reported that settler attacks had almost quadrupled between 2006 and 2014. Meanwhile, Israel bars Palestinian police from defending their people from settler harassment and violence.
Let’s work together to expose Israeli hypocrisy and build support for the Palestinians’ right to return to their land, be free from attack, and exercise all their national rights.
Reposted from IACenter.org
Here’s a great piece of analysis from an North Carolina FIST member’s blog Womancipation Proclamation on the fight against low wages and sexism.
NC Raise Up organizer Zaina Alsous participates in civil disobedience at the NC legislative building.
Originally posted on Womancipation :
North Carolina, as well as many states across the US, suffers from a disease I call “let’s not pay workers a living wage”. You see, NC’s minimum wage reflects the federal wage of $7.25 an hour, which means that these individuals are expected to survive on a mere $15,080 a year. Over the past 30 years, the rise in minimum wage has not paralleled inflation or the increasing cost of living. If the federal minimum wage rose at the same rate as the exploitative 1%’s earnings, it would be $22.62 an hour today. And despite the stereotypes, low wage workers are not primarily teenagers working after school and during vacations. They are adults. They have families.
Low wage workers are also disproportionately women.
In North Carolina, 61% of the lowest paid workers are women. Many of these individuals are breadwinners, single mothers and women of color. They are hard workers who probably cannot…
View original 968 more words
Yes we will! Check out FIST at Left Forum!
By Caleb Maupin (originally posted on RT at http://rt.com/op-edge/166816-us-war-extremism-iraq/)
Popular discourse in the US often speaks of “anti-American dictators” and “aggressive autocrats.” The group of world leaders who currently top the US enemies list is always portrayed as “pushing toward war” with their “hostility.”
While this is the portrait that is presented, the majority of the states in conflict with the US in the current period have assumed this role with extreme reluctance.
The United States with its huge military and its central role in the world economy is a country that no sensible world leader would genuinely want a conflict with. Any rational head of state would want trade, diplomatic relations, and cooperation with the US. The problem is that the US will simply not allow independent-minded states to be at peace with it.
We have recently seen examples of states going to extreme lengths to appease and befriend the United States, and only to be met with more hostility.
The WAVE rejected
World media portrayed former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as an “extremist.” His words were distorted at great length, and almost everything he did was portrayed as an example of his “anti-Americanism”, “belligerence” and his “desire to destroy Israel.”
The new President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, has made gigantic efforts to improve relations with the United States. Rouhani’s debut speech at the UN did not speak of the United States with hatred, but instead called for an alliance for a “World Against Violence and Extremism (WAVE).” He emphasized that there was no “Iranian threat” and Iran had no desire to develop nuclear weapons. He called for a new period of peace and cooperation.
While the US seemed to always blame Ahmadinejad for their policy towards the Islamic Republic, the accommodating, peace-seeking words of Rouhani did not result in an end to US hostility. The illegal, unilateral sanctions against Iran have not been lifted.
Just months after Rouhani told the General Assembly of his desire for peace and cooperation, the United States even took the unprecedented action of denying Iran the right to choose its UN representative. The US claimed that the new UN Ambassador appointed to represent Iran, Hamid Aboutalebi, had been involved in the 1979 student takeover of the US embassy. With no clear evidence to support this claim, the US barred the Iranian representative from entering the country. This was an extreme diplomatic attack on Iran, violating the obligations of the United States under the United Nation host country treaty.
Though the Islamic Republic opened a hand of friendship to the United States, calling for joint anti-terrorism efforts and new negotiations to secure a lasting peace, the response of the US has been to become even more viscously hostile.
The destruction of Libya
Muammar Gaddafi, the leader of Libya, was also portrayed as an “anti-American dictator”, but the last decade of his life, before he was brutally killed, he engaged in great efforts to satisfy the United States.
In 2004, Libya began extensive cooperation with the United States. The Libyan government carried out mass privatizations and began work with US and British corporations. The Libyan government cooperated with Bush and his “war on terror.”
This did not stop the United States from backing the brutal insurgency as they kidnapped, tortured, and murdered people in the country. As the US backed insurgents were continuously defeated on the battlefield, the US joined with the other NATO countries in bombing Libya in order to secure their victory.
The efforts of Gaddafi to cooperate with the United States and cease hostilities clearly fell on deaf ears. Though Gaddafi was praised by the Bush administration for his cooperation with the war on terror, and for destroying his chemical weapons, the United States still happily facilitated the violent destruction of Libya.
Libya once had the highest life expectancy on the African continent. In a climate where water is scarce, Libya had the most efficient water system, with pipes under the ground. Libya was known for its free education, and its widely accessible medical care. This has all been destroyed. The country is ruin.
The US regime change operation clearly did not take place because Gaddafi was “belligerent” or “Anti-American.” It happened after he spent over half a decade accommodating, negotiating with, and doing all he could to please the leaders of the United States and Britain.
The continuing Syrian bloodbath
The Syrian Arab Republic, like Libya, and the Islamic Republic of Iran, has no desire for war against the United States. The Syrian Arab Republic cooperated with Bush during his “war on terror.” It also carried out many economic reforms. Much to the delight of Wall Street, the country is far from the economically centralized Arab nationalist state it was a two decades ago.
Yet, these measures are not enough. They have not stopped the United States from backing a brutal, violent insurgency campaign. The United States, along with its allies in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jordan have armed and trained extremists as they wage war against the Syrian government. They slaughter, torture, and kidnap with the United States and its gulf-state proxies paying the bill.
This campaign was not unleashed on Syria because President Assad was “aggressive” or “hostile.” President Assad was known for his moderation, and prior to the civil war, he often cooperated with the United States.
As over 100,000 are dead, and millions are displaced living in refugee camps, the Syrian government has called for peace talks to end the fighting. The insurgents keep killing. The insurgents also boycotted the recent election, making clear that they were not interested in achieving their aims through peaceful or legal means.
‘State sponsors of terrorism’
When portraying a regime as “hostile”, the US often accuses it of being a “state sponsor of terrorism.” Recently, it seems the cause of anti-terrorism is being championed, not by the US, but by those in conflict with it.
The Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari has pointed out that forces Obama claims to be fighting in Nigeria, and are now considering fighting in Iraq, are being supported by the US in Syria. Syria has joined Russia and Iran, in calling for a global mobilization against terrorism and violent sectarianism. It is the United States, and its allies in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jordan that are arming and training the sectarian terrorists who currently plague Syria and Iraq. The forces US leaders dubbed “Al-Qaeda” and “Islamic Extremists” in the aftermath of 9/11, and now working with the US.
Likewise, the US-backed regime in Kiev is dependent on Anti-Russian extremists like the infamous “right sector” to carry out its “anti-terrorism” operation in the East. While the US backed government has absorbed ultra-right wing militias based on ethnic hatred into its national guard, Russia continues to loudly call for a cease fire, and the protection of civilians.
The use of terrorists to fulfill its aims is not a new part of US policy. The US has backed violent, para-military forces all throughout Latin America. Currently the US is harboring Luis Posada Carriles, a terrorist who bombed a Cuban airliner killing over 70 people. Violent groups in Venezuela that seek to destabilize and overthrow the United Socialist Party are also receiving US support.
In recent years, the US has worked to support the People’s Mujahedeen, a group of anti-Iranian terrorists. The group has a long history of violence and terror, and even killed a US army general. However, now that the primary target of the People’s Mujahedeen is not the United States, but the Islamic Republic of Iran, the US is happy to facilitate their activities. John McCain, Tom Ridge, and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani have all raised money for the People’s Mujahedeen, and promoted their cause internationally. The group has been removed from the official Justice Department list of “Foreign Terrorist Organizations.”
It is currently the regimes that the US opposes like Iran, Russia, Syria, Venezuela, and Cuba that are pushing for a global effort against terrorism. The United States, with its actions in the Middle East, Latin America, and elsewhere that is undisputedly the primary “state sponsor of terror.”
The dangerous drive for war
In the early 1970s, Chinese leader Mao Zedong assessed the international situation saying “revolution is the main trend in the world today.” At that time there was a global trend of armed struggle against the US and its allies, by anti-imperialist and anti-colonial movements.
The current period is drastically different. In the current period, the colonized and oppressed countries are not engaged in an offensive revolt against US and European domination. It is rather the opposite.
Countries like Iran, Syria, Russia, Cuba, and Venezuela are seeking simply to peacefully co-exist. They are striving to have normal diplomatic relations, to trade with the United States, and to exist as an equal and independent part of the global economy.
The policy of the United States has been to force conflict on these states. If there is a government that cannot be totally controlled, no matter how much it appeases and cooperates with the US, it simply is not tolerated. The policy of the US to force these countries into a corner, threaten them until they finally are forced to push back as an act of basic self-preservation. At this moment, the US then declares such states to be “hostile” and “belligerent” as justification for more attacks and provocations against them.
In the modern world of drones, nuclear warheads, and the huge growing apparatus of destruction, peace is a necessity for humanity. The people of the world rightly want peace, but the United States and its allies will simply not allow it.
No matter how much effort is made to appease them, they will simply not be appeased.