Workers and Soldiers: Turn Bosses’ Wars into Communist Revolution!
January 30 – Turkey’s recent air and ground invasion of Afrin, in northwestern Syria, is targeting the US-backed Syrian Defense Force (SDF), composed mainly of the Kurdish YPG militia.
This is a milestone in the decline of US imperialism. It reveals once again that “national liberation” is a death trap for the working class. We need to understand these things so we can better prepare our class worldwide to fight for communism.
Only Communism Can Liberate the Working Class
Kurdish people have fought unsuccessfully for centuries to establish an independent Kurdistan. Most recently they allied with Russia and the US in fighting the Islamic State, hoping these imperialists would help them achieve their goal.
They trusted the Russians rulers to keep Turkey from invading Kurdish Syria. But, like all capitalists-imperialists, the Russian rulers care only about advancing their own interests. They withdrew their military from Afrin and opened the sky to Turkish warplanes.
The ideology of nationalism set the Kurds up for this betrayal. Nationalism promotes unity between workers of an oppressed group or nation with “good” local capitalists and “less evil” imperialists to fight against “worse” imperialists and local capitalists.
Kurdish nationalism is a reaction to racist oppression. They are the fourth-largest ethnic group in the Middle East, with 35 million people in Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Armenia and Syria. Everywhere they have been subject to vicious racism.
Between 1925 and 1939, Turkey deported and massacred 1.5 million Kurds, a third of the population. The Turkish dictator Erdogan recently declared his intent to “exterminate” Kurds in Syria.
But nowhere in the world has “national liberation” liberated the working class. A Kurdish “homeland” would still be a capitalist state. Kurdish workers would still be wage-slaves, and wage slavery everywhere is the material basis for racism, sexism, xenophobia and war.
Tragically, the old communist movement fought for national liberation and separate nations for different ethnic groups. This was supposed to lead to socialism and later communism. It didn’t work in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Angola, Eritrea or anywhere else. It just perpetuated capitalism with all its evils.
Workers need communist ideology, not nationalism. ICWP fights to unite workers everywhere to mobilize directly for one communist world. We invite the masses in Afrin and everywhere to join our struggle for a world without nations or borders, without profits or money. A world where we’ll all produce collectively to meet the needs of our class. This is what we have in common. Communism is the material basis for forging international unity.
When the US wanted Turkey to invade Syria, masses in Turkey declared, “We won’t fight for the imperialists!” However, blinded by their own patriotic nationalism, many now support Erdogan’s racist terror campaign against the Kurds. They must reject all capitalists and imperialists and join their Kurdish comrades to fight for communism.
Turkish Rulers’ Defiance Shows US Imperialism’s Steep Decline
US imperialists have also betrayed the Kurds in Afrin. It’s not the first time. During the first Gulf War, US rulers encouraged Kurds in Iraq to rebel against Saddam Hussein. Then they stood aside as Hussein’s army butchered them.
Turkey, a NATO member, used to be the main bulwark of US imperialism against the former Soviet Union. But now the interests of the Turkish and US rulers clash in Syria. US bosses want to divide Syria by granting the Kurds their own territory. Turkish rulers see this as an existential threat because it could encourage the 18 million Kurds in Turkey to demand the same.
Turkey is receiving financial support from Qatar and China. Russia, Iran, and the Syrian rulers also want to maintain Syria’s territorial integrity. All this has emboldened the Turkish rulers to defy the US. If they prevail, the US will have little influence left in southwest Asia (the “Middle East”).
Turkish rulers threaten to move on from Afrin to Manbij, where 2000 US troops support the SDF. Will the US stand its ground or withdraw?
US rulers know they need to fight to regain control of the oil-rich Middle East. They are divided over where. Some generals advise confronting Russia, Iran and China in Syria. They have stated that US troops will not withdraw from Manbij.
However, the recently-published 2018 National Defense Strategy calls for “prioritizing preparations for tomorrow… at the expense of fighting today’s wars.” This would mean backing off in Syria and getting ready to face Russia in the Black Sea and Eastern Europe and China in the South China Sea.
Crucial US geopolitical interests are at stake (see below). However the immediate crisis plays out, the fierce rivalry among capitalists and imperialists makes world war inevitable. Syria and North Korea show how this process is sharpening and accelerating.
Only Communism Can End Capitalism’s Unending Wars
Capitalist competition leads to wars over natural resources, markets and cheap labor. It divides our class and uses patriotism to mobilize us to kill each other so capitalists can maximize their profits and build empires.
Our interests as workers, soldiers, and youth everywhere are directly opposed to those of the profit-hungry, bloodthirsty capitalists-imperialist. We need a world where no bosses’ flag flies and no worker dies defending nations. We urgently need communist revolution.
War exposes the deadly nature of the profit system. It creates more opportunities to win millions of workers and soldiers to revolution for communist workers’ power. The Russian Revolution emerged from World War I and the Chinese Revolution from World War II.
The crisis in Syria calls for us to redouble our efforts to mobilize the masses directly for communism. This time we will bury capitalism-imperialism for good.
US and Russian Imperialists Collide Over Turkey
Russia threw Syrian Kurds under the bus to respect Turkey’s opposition to a Kurdistan state. An independent Kurdistan would threaten Russian interests by destabilizing the region. It would curtail the growing influence of Russia and Iran there. It could help to install US-friendly regimes in Syria, Iraq and possibly even Iran.
Then the US might be able to use these countries’ oil and gas to break Russia’s chokehold on the European energy markets. Now the European imperialists depend heavily on Russian energy imports. This limits their willingness to align with the US on major geopolitical issues – including, of course, the possibility of a US-Russia war.
An independent Kurdistan could not come into existence without triggering World War III.
Turkey is guaranteeing Russia’s European gas monopoly by helping to build Turkstream. This pipeline will transport gas from Russia to Turkey to Europe, bypassing the pro-US Ukraine.
Even more important, Turkey’s growing alliances with Russia and China are a huge blow to NATO. Turkey has been a NATO member since 1952. It was one of the main outposts for US imperialism against the Soviet Union, and later Russia.
Now it’s clear that the US can’t count on using Turkey to wage war against Russia in the Black Sea region, Central Asia and Europe. It points to the growing isolation of US imperialism worldwide. This isolation makes the wounded beast more dangerous.
Can Nuclear Weapons Prevent World War III?
That was the theory of “Mutually Assured Destruction.” Don’t count on it.
In January 2018, the US Pentagon announced plans to produce a “low yield” nuclear weapon for the Trident missile. This could be ready in two years. In the longer term, US generals are planning a new nuclear-tipped sea-launched cruise missile. Both weapons are to “give the US more flexibility in confronting Russia and the rest of the world.”
These “usable” nuclear weapons increase the likelihood of the US imperialists once again launching a nuclear first strike. Russia and China are also increasing military spending, including on nuclear weapons.
This raises the stakes for the international working class. We should see the urgency of ending capitalism-imperialism and its threat to devastate the world. Communist revolution will rely on mobilized masses, not on weapons of mass destruction. Help mobilize for communism now! Join ICWP!