Humanitarian interventionism

Syrian anarchist on imperialist interventions and the Syrian Revolution

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The Syrian revolution is a revolution that began as a struggle for self-determination. The Syrian people demanded to determine their own destiny. And, for more than two years, against all odds, and in the face of massive repression and destruction from the Assad regime, they persevered.  In the course of the revolutionary process, many other actors have also appeared on the scene to work against the struggle for self-determination. Iran and its militias, with the backing of Russia, came to the aid of the regime, to ensure the Syrian people would not be given this right. The jihadis of the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham and others, under the guise of “fighting the Assad regime,” worked against this right as well. And I feel the same way about any Western intervention.

Tell Us Lies About Kobanê -unpicking the demand for Turkish & western intervention

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The notion that the fall of Kobanê could be prevented by the intervention of the Turkish army is a smokescreen that covers the truth that they are already intervening - on the side of ISIS. The Turkish state's selective blockade of the border, which allows arms and volunteers to cross for ISIS, but strangles them for the YPG defenders of Kobanê is the decisive intervention that is giving ISIS the upper hand.

This fundamental truth has been put forward by some minority voices in the mainstream media. Chiefly those intrepid reporters on the ground trying to cover the story. Honourable mention should be made of the BBC's Paul Adams amongst others. But these marginalised voices have been drowned out by the official media line issuing from the central editorial offices downwards, that the Kurds of Kobanê and Turkish Kurdistan are protesting "against Turkey's inactivity" or "failure to intervene". This is the world turned upside down. And Orwellian newspeak where the exact opposite of the truth is reported as accepted fact. The banners the protesters are holding say "Turkey Stop Supporting ISIS".

As Gaddafi falls - Lessons from Libya - imperialism, anti-imperialism & democratic revolution

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With Al Jazerra reporting that Gaddafi has been killed during or after the closing phase of the battle of Sitre Andrew look's back at the rebellion in Libya and the decade of co-operation with imperialism that preceeded it.

The sudden end of the Gaddafi regime some 6 months after the start of the Libyan revolt leaves some difficult questions unanswered for the left. Gaddafi’s determination to physically crush the revolt quickly transformed it into a civil war, a civil war that saw considerable imperialist intervention on the rebel side, intervention that was essential to their eventual victory. This and Gaddafi’s historic record led to some on the left taking his side in the civil war while other organisations tried to balance support for the ‘Arab spring’s’ arrival in Libya with opposition to imperialism. This question of where the balance lies between international solidarity with pro-democracy movements and opposition to imperialism could well rapidly return to the top of the agenda in a very much bigger way as the regime in Syria continues its months long military suppression of the democracy movement there.

(Image from B.R.Q. via Flickr under Creative Commons )

Debate on 2003 Iraq war

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In Workers Solidarity, No 76 August 2003, we published an article under the title "Iraq war aftermath: slaughtering democracy" by Chekov Feeney. We received a reply to this from R. Knife, an (Iraqi) Kurd living in Ireland. Unfortunately it is to long too print in full in the printed version of the paper but you can read the full text below. We also print a response from Chekov. [WSM material on the Iraq War]

Charles Taylor & Liberia 2003 - a history of US intervention

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Every so often the newspapers fill with stories of a crisis in some third world country. We see pictures on our screens of gunmen, starvation and suffering; inevitably we hear calls for humanitarian intervention. Over the summer, we were told of a crisis in Liberia. A brutal civil war, a corrupt leader, child soldiers, starving civilians: it seemed that the whole world was crying out for intervention by the US or UN.

Iraq war aftermath - Slaughtering democracy

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While most people understand the word democracy to mean that the people hold power, there is another meaning. According to the second meaning of the word, democracy means that the super-rich make all of the decisions while the people's job is to do what they're told, and to put a piece of paper in a box every few years. This 'democracy' is extremely hostile to any notions of popular involvement in politics. The US/UK war against Iraq, trumpeted as a war for 'democracy', illustrates what this 'democracy' means in practice.

Bosnia, Rwanda and UN intervention

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The WSM has always said socialists should not support any intervention by the UN anywhere. What is currently happening in Bosnia and Rwanda demonstrates the reasons why we should not call on the UN to intervene.

In Europe most people have favoured intervention from an early period in ex-Yugoslavia. Initially this would have been in the support of Croatia, now it would be for Bosnia. Yet despite the popular acclaim such intervention would receive (in its early days), it has not happened. Why? Because our rulers have decided it is not in their interests to do so.

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