Montag, 30. Juni 2014

From Iran: Oppose all the reactionary efforts to take advantage of this situation and instead use it to build a revolutionary movement

24 June 2014. A World to Win News Service. The following is excerpted and edited from a statement by the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist -Maoist) posted in mid-June. The Islamic Republique of Iran (IRI) is another government very worried by the advance of ISIS. The Baghdad regime has very close relations with the IRI. Iranian political and military experts played an important role in training the present Iraqi army, at least its Shia sections. After the ISIS attack on Mosul, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards, the notoriously bloodthirsty General Qasem Soleimani, went to Baghdad to protect the capital with 150 military "experts" and 1,000 troops. Ever since the formation of ISIS, the IRI has called them "Takfiris" [Muslims who label other Muslims infidels], and ever since the crisis in Syria, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards have fought them. IRI leaders say that ISIS is a Saudi creation for confronting Iran. Iranian military forces are on alert in the western part of the country and in Iranian Kurdistan, and flights to Iraq, including of Iranian pilgrims, have stopped. The ISIS attacks have added a new contradiction to all the others among the Islamic Republic rulers: should the IRI use the Revolutionary Guards to go all out militarily against ISIS, or help Iraq in a more limited fashion? Should the IRI continue supporting the Nouri al-Maliki regime or abandon it? Because of these internal contradictions, different IRI leaders have different positions. But on the whole, the IRI is using this to declare cooperation with the U.S. in dirty regional wars. On the anniversary of his election, President Hassan Rouhani cried, "We are fighting world terrorism!" On 14 June he declared, "If the IRI sees U.S. military action against ISIS, some kind of collaboration between both countries can be envisaged." At the same time as he is yelling about "terrorism", a very severe state terrorism is on the march inside Iran itself, as the regime continues to suppress oppressed nationalities and religious minorities. In the past few days, two Arab activists were executed and 57 Kurdish youth accused of collaborating with Salafi [Sunni fundamentalist] and Kurdish political forces were brought before the courts. Of course, in the case of further intervention by the IRI in Iraq, we must expect a reaction from ISIS supporters in the Sunni and border areas of Iran like Baluchistan and elsewhere. The irony is that the first ones to proclaim a religious regime in recent history are now proclaiming their opposition to other reactionary forces, who, like the IRI, also want to establish the rule of Allah on earth. Reactionary forces in the Middle East and Africa, whether Shia, Sunni or Salafi, have raised the banner of Islam to attain power and share in the exploitation and plunder of the people along with the imperialist powers. In this endeavour they will commit any crime necessary. The Islamic ideology is an extremely reactionary and anti-people ideology and social programme, and the growth of Islamic fundamentalism is the outcome of imperialist capitalism's vicious crimes and its functioning in the world. The dire economic and social consequences have brought about horrors for millions in the peripheral countries, including in the Middle East and North Africa, and resulted in the formation of Islamic fundamentalist movements there. Islamism is a reactionary movement with no perspective other than the continuation of capitalist relations and poverty, misery, ignorance, superstition, patriarchy and misogyny for the workers and toilers in these countries. Even though the consequences of a military engagement in a region brimming with contradictions and instability are not clear for the theocratic rulers of Iran, in the mid, long or even short term, the necessity to maintain a system which to its core is totally dependent and reliant on the world capitalist imperialist system forces the IRI in that direction. Any defeat in this engagement would worsen the IRI's own political, economic and ideological crisis, including the contradictions among the rulers themselves. Nevertheless, regime leaders view entering this regional war as an opportunity to safeguard their system. They see the necessity of playing a dangerous and multi-sided game, striving to become the main ally of the imperialist powers in the region and challenging the Islamist fighters of al-Qaeda and the paramilitary forces dependent on Saudi Arabia, Qatar, etc., even if the grenade might explode in their own hands. The situation in the Middle East is such that the ruling regimes can only gain credit with the imperialists through such measures. Almost no state can stay away from these contradictions and conflicts Various forces in the Iranian opposition have had different positions on the situation. Right after the ISIS offensive, Mojahedin Khalq [an Iranian organization often described as "Marxist Islamic" that fought the Iranian regime] told Al Jazeera TV news that the city of Mosul was under the control of Iraqi revolutionaries and tribes. That a force like the Mojahedin in the region would start to support and even work with ISIS is not extraordinary. In a leaflet on the first day of the crisis, Komala Zahmatkeshan [a largely Kurdish Iranian party that calls itself "Marxist-Leninist"] said that the Iraqi Kurdish government should "bring back the regions cut off from Kurdistan into the arms of the Kurdish Autonomous Region to protect them from against ISIS" and that all the political forces of Iraqi Kurdistan should unite with that government in that. Komala also said, "We declare our support for the Kurdish Autonomous Region government to protect the people of Iraqi Kurdistan and are ready for collaboration in any way possible to protect this historical experience from the danger of terrorists and racists." Such declarations on the part of nationalist and pro-imperialist forces like the Komala are not new. For a long time this party sang the old hymn of siding with whatever reactionary forces are in power. One day they unite with Ahmed Chalabi and imperialists against Saddam, and the next, despite their intentions, with Nouri al-Maliki and the IRI under the pretext of defending the Kurdish Autonomous Region. Even when they themselves are not in power, the class nature of such forces is obvious. These are mainly looking for a place and their part in the oppressive world and a share in exploitative relations. Such forces are looking for a middle road out of this mess but again and again fall into the trap of trying to choose between bad and worse, going along with one set of the reactionary imperialist or Islamic fundamentalist forces and reactionary states in the region. During the first imperialist world war, Lenin was the only one who opposed a similar stand taken by the strong Social Democratic parties of the time, and exposed the reactionary nature of that imperialist war. He said the real nature of this war must be exposed and the sophistry and patriotic warmongering of the imperialist ruling classes in promoting the war should be ruthlessly exposed. Today also, communist and revolutionary forces must expose the nature of all the reactionary forces and states, whether ruling or outside the state, under the orders of the U.S. or any other imperialists, and caution that any attempt to get close to these reactionary powers or groups on either side of the equation will only reinforce the slave chains on the region's people. The reason that young people of different nationalities are fighting under the black banners of ISIS, the Taleban or other Islamists in the region is not only because the states of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Libya and Egypt, etc., are unjust and corrupt. It is also because there is no communist alternative on the scene. A communist alternative – if it has a clear understanding of the political situation in the region and the world and the complex contradictions among various reactionary and bourgeois and pro-imperialist forces – can show a path to a real socialist revolution, for the revolutionary overthrow of all these states and the elimination of imperialist influence in the region, in unity with the international proletariat. This lack is sorely felt in the region. As long as such a force and communist pole is not formed in the region and the world, forces like ISIS will have the possibility and opportunity to mobilize masses of people, including workers and toilers. The genuine communist and revolutionary forces, even when they are a very small minority, should not leave people to choose between bad and worse and not fall into that themselves. The task of all progressive (let alone communists) individuals and groups is to take a position against the IRI's participation in the war in Iraq or anywhere else, and encourage the people to hate this reactionary "mission" that would serve the world imperialist system. We need to expose the hypocrisy of the IRI's security, military and ideological leaders who want to portray the despicable act of sending the Revolutionary Guards to fight in a reactionary war as in the "national interest" and meant to "make Iran secure" and justify it this way. People should know that the ISIS and the IRI share a common nature. The crimes of the IRI against Arab people in [the Iranian province of] Khuzestan should be exposed. Many Arab youth are going down the wrong road of serving the Salafis in opposition to the IRI. These youth and all the people, whether Kurds, Arabs, Fars, Turks or Turkmens, should know that the people's road is not that of any of these reactionaries, whether the IRI or its Sunni rivals. Short-sighted horizons, whether religious, national or regional, can only bring misery for the majority of the people. The people should see beyond national, regional, religious, racial and sexual/gender divisions and understand the broader horizon of internationalist unity based on class interests. The workers and worker activists in particular should take a position against the anti-Sunni and anti-Arab propaganda and "national" bigotry coming from Iran's security and military mouthpieces. Let us not forget the Iran-Iraq war, when hundreds of thousands of youth were sent to walk through mine fields in a reactionary war, and the toilers of Iran and Iraq were forced to kill each other and be killed to strengthen Saddam and Khomeini's thrones. Amidst all this, women should be in the forefront in taking a position against the military adventurism of the IRI, because in a war between the Islamic reactionaries of Iran and the Islamic reactionaries of Iraq or anywhere else, women will be the first victims. It is necessary that revolutionary and communist forces both expose the nature of ISIS and other fundamentalist Islamic forces in the region, and expose and oppose the IRI regime and its willingness to unite with U.S. imperialism and intervention and expansionism in Iraq, Syria and other places. The regime should not be allowed to strengthen its ties with the imperialists by fanning the flames of war between Shiite and Sunni and posing as "anti-extremists" to expand its own influence in the region. The regime should not be allowed to hide behind the dark face of the ISIS reactionaries, or to use them to prettify its own ugly and suppressive face in the eyes of the various sections of the people. It should not be allowed to take advantage of Sunni fundamentalism to suppress the protests of oppressed people in Iran like Arabs and Baluchis. This is the same regime that within its own borders still enforces vicious laws like the stoning of women, that from every pulpit preaches religion, ignorance and superstition, and that regularly unleashes their morals patrol against women. We should expose the real reactionary nature of these horrible wars. The people of Iraq in the past decades have had a taste of imperialist and reactionary politics. Millions of Iraqi children have been the victims of imperialist sanctions. Millions of Iraqis have been driven into the diaspora. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi workers and toilers have died or been injured, and many lost their lives in the dungeons of Abu Ghraib. Today, the Iraqi people must not let new and old criminals in whatever guise once again run the show. The political structures in the region put in place after WWI and WWII under the patronage of the Western imperialists led by the U.S. are falling apart, and the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have accelerated this process. The imperialists and their local states such as Iraq and even Iran are unable to deal with this situation. The cockiness of their armies and governments is empty. They are weakened by their internal contradictions, and this creates important opportunities for revolutionary communist forces to organize against all this oppression and exploitation amidst masses who are sick of the situation, and to start a movement for revolution – a revolution that destroys these states and instead establishes new socialist states.

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