Syria

Terror Attacks in Paris: Western Imperialism Is to Blame

In the aftermath of the latest attacks on Paris that left more than 120 dead, the corporate, Eurocentric media of the West is in overdrive to scare working people into sacrificing their civil liberties and convince us of the need to launch more aggressive bombing raids, with the possibility of deploying troops, in Iraq and Syria to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS). The attacks reek of a false flag operation by French security forces, but even if the attacks were indeed the work of ISIS, the attacks are nevertheless the inevitable response to Western imperialism’s exploitation of the Middle East and North Africa and worldwide military interventions.

Each conflict in the Middle East and North Africa can be attributed to the policies of Western imperialism. The conflict in Syria is not a civil war; it is a regional proxy war being waged by Western imperialism through air strikes, sanctions, and support for regional proxies (i.e., so-called “moderate” rebels, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, Israel, etc.), all with their own agendas, to weaken movements and states opposed to their interests. Likewise, the war in neighboring Iraq can be directly attributed to the illegal occupation of the country by Western imperialism in 2003; al-Qaeda in Iraq, the predecessor of ISIS, was not formed until after the U.S.-led occupation.

The U.S. and its allies have over the last 50 years caused untold devastation and suffering to millions of people in dozens of countries throughout the world, especially in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. There is hardly a single country in all three regions that hasn’t been subjected to airstrikes, invasions, coups, sanctions, and/or mass murders by U.S.-led imperialism.

The rise of radical Islamic extremism itself has its origins in the policies of U.S. imperialism to overthrow the People’s Democratic Government of Afghanistan in the 1970s and 1980s. Muslims were recruited, trained, and armed by the U.S. and its allies Pakistan, then under the control of Zia ul-Haq, an authoritarian, US supported military dictator with a radical Islamic agenda, and Saudi Arabia, still controlled by one of the most corrupt and oppressive regimes in the world with an extreme interpretation of Islamic law, in camps and madrassas on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

These “freedom fighters”, as Ronald Reagan referred to them, poisoned the water of schoolchildren, mercilessly tortured teachers, raped women, and fought to reestablish the power of the feudal landlords. After the Soviet withdrawal and the overthrow of the socialist government, many of these Muslim fighters left Afghanistan to wage violent insurgencies against the authoritarian dictators that serve as the puppet masters of Western imperialism in their home countries and against the Western states that support them.

Whenever a terrorist attack is committed, Western politicians and the media try to capitalize on the anger and fear of the masses to implement pre-planned agendas, while deliberately ignoring the history of these very states in committing terrorist acts themselves.

France has terrorized the people of its former colonies for decades. In Algeria, 1.5 million were killed fighting for their independence from France, among many other bloody wars of independence fought against France. French imperialism routinely intervenes in its former colonies whenever its interests are threatened; French special forces were sent to control the uranium mines in Niger and the Central African Republic, and thousands of troops were deployed in the Ivory Coast to control the cocoa tradeand also to Mali to control the country’s mineral wealth in competition with Chinese investments.

To this day 14 former French colonies in Africa are forced to pay France a ‘colonial tax’, putting $500 billion of wealth into the French treasury each year instead of being used to help the desperately impoverished people of Africa. When French President Hollande declared, “Our democracy stands more true than these assassins,” he is referring to the same ‘democratic’ state that massacred 200 Algerian protestors in Paris in 1961.

The most recent attacks in Paris have the hallmarks of a false flag operation. A Syrian passport was conveniently located by French police at the scene of one of the attacks, an extremely helpful piece of evidence to justify closing the borders for refugees fleeing the violence created by France and its allies and illegally bombing cities in Syria. Hollande’s accusation that ISIS was responsible for the attack, before any investigation was completed and before ISIS, itself, claimed responsibility for the attack, as well as the appearance on Wikipedia of a detailed account of the attacks within two hours of them happening and Hollande’s statement an hour before he made it raises serious suspicions that this was a pre-planned attack by French security.

False flag operations have been used by many states to carry out pre-planned agendas. The Nazis did it in 1933 when they set fire to the Reichstag, Israel did it when Israeli agents planted bombs in American and British own civilian targets (known as the Lavon Affair) in Egypt, and the U.S. did it during the Vietnam War (Gulf of Tonkin Incident) and was prepared to do it Operation Northwoods, a plan by the U.S. to bomb civilians targets in the U.S. as a pretext for war against Cuba.

French police conducted more than 150 raids following the attacks in Paris. If the U.S. Patriot Act and anti-terrorism activities of police in Canada, the U.K., Australia, and elsewhere tell us anything about these raids, it is that not all of them were against suspected terrorists. The FBI has used the Patriot Actto target anti-war, anti-globalization, environmentalist, immigrant, and socialist movements in the U.S., and the RCMP have used anti-terrorism legislation to monitorenvironmental and Aboriginal movementsopposed to the Alberta Tar Sands.

Working people must remember that the tragic and despicable attacks on Paris are the inevitable consequence of Western imperialism’s destructive policies of exploitation and terrorism abroad. Further restrictions on domestic civil liberties and more military interventions will not keep working people safe. To fight terrorism Western imperialism must first stop engaging in it and recognize the fundamental right of the people of the Middle East to live in peace and to self-determination.

Photo Source: The Accra Report

ISIS Leaders Arrested by Iraqi Forces Confess to Receiving Support from US

Spokesman of Iraq’s Kata’ib Hezbollah (Hezbollah Battalions) popular forces Jafar al-Hosseini disclosing that captured ISIL leaders have acknowledged receiving logistical backup and intelligence support from the US.

“As the ISIL commanders captured in Iraqi popular forces’ recent military operations have confessed, the US supports for the terrorist groups are not limited to the dispatch of logistical support,” Al-Hosseini told FNA on Sunday.

He reiterated that the US has provided the ISIL with intelligence about the Iraqi forces’ positions and targets.

“ISIL commanders trusted the US officials who had assured them that the Iraqi forces would not attack Fallujah because the US had urged the Iraqi government to prevent the popular forces from entering Fallujah and raid Beiji instead; hence the terrorists left Fallujah for Beiji to stay on the alert in there,” Al-Hosseini added.

Al-Hosseini had also stated on Wednesday that his forces plan to win back the city of Ramadi only after expelling the American forces from Anbar province.

“Our forces have two operations underway; first seizing Ramadi from ISIL and second keeping away the American forces from Anbar province,” al-Hosseini told FNA.

He underlined that preventing the US forces from getting close to Anbar province will expedite operations for winning back the province, specially after the military operations in Salahuddin province that led to the liberation of the city of Beiji.

Iraqi officials have on different occasions blasted the US and its allies for supplying the ISIL in Syria with arms and ammunition under the pretext of fighting the Takfiri terrorist group.

Earlier this month, the Iraqi army and volunteer forces discovered US-made military hardware and ammunition, including anti-armor missiles, in terrorists’ positions and trenches captured during the operations in the Fallujah region in Al-Anbar province.

The Iraqi forces found a huge volume of advanced TOW-II missiles from the Takfiri terrorists in al-Karama city of Fallujah.

The missiles were brand new and the ISIL had transferred them to Fallujah to use them against the Iraqi army’s armored units.

On October 10, the Iraqi forces discovered US-made military hardware and ammunition from terrorists in Beiji.

“The military hardware and weapons had been airdropped by the US-led warplanes and choppers for the ISIL in the nearby areas of Beiji,” military sources told FNA.

In February, an Iraqi provincial official lashed out at the western countries and their regional allies for supporting Takfiri terrorists in Iraq, revealing that the US airplanes still continue to airdrop weapons and foodstuff for the ISIL terrorists.

“The US planes have dropped weapons for the ISIL terrorists in the areas under ISIL control and even in those areas that have been recently liberated from the ISIL control to encourage the terrorists to return to those places,” Coordinator of Iraqi popular forces Jafar al-Jaberi told FNA.

He noted that eyewitnesses in Al-Havijeh of Kirkuk province had witnessed the US airplanes dropping several suspicious parcels for ISIL terrorists in the province.

“Two coalition planes were also seen above the town of Al-Khas in Diyala and they carried the Takfiri terrorists to the region that has recently been liberated from the ISIL control,” Al-Jaberi said.

Also in February, a senior lawmaker disclosed that Iraq’s army has shot down two British planes as they were carrying weapons for the ISIL terrorists in Al-Anbar province.

“The Iraqi Parliament’s National Security and Defense Committee has access to the photos of both planes that are British and have crashed while they were carrying weapons for the ISIL,” Head of the committee Hakem al-Zameli said.

He said the Iraqi parliament has asked London for explanations in this regard.

The senior Iraqi legislator further unveiled that the government in Baghdad is receiving daily reports from people and security forces in al-Anbar province on numerous flights by the US-led coalition planes that airdrop weapons and supplies for ISIL in terrorist-held areas.

The Iraqi lawmaker further noted the cause of such western aids to the terrorist group, and explained that the US prefers a chaotic situation in Anbar Province which is near the cities of Karbala and Baghdad as it does not want the ISIL crisis to come to an end.

Also in February, a senior Iraqi provincial official lashed out at the western countries and their regional allies for supporting Takfiri terrorists in Iraq, revealing that US and Israeli-made weapons have been discovered from the areas purged of ISIL terrorists.

“We have discovered weapons made in the US, European countries and Israel from the areas liberated from ISIL’s control in Al-Baqdadi region,” the Al-Ahad news website quoted Head of Al-Anbar Provincial Council Khalaf Tarmouz as saying.

He noted that the weapons made by the European countries and Israel were discovered from the terrorists in the Eastern parts of the city of Ramadi.

Meantime, Head of Iraqi Parliament’s National Security and Defense Committee Hakem al-Zameli also disclosed that the anti-ISIL coalition’s planes have dropped weapons and foodstuff for the ISIL in Salahuddin, Al-Anbar and Diyala provinces.

In January, al-Zameli underlined that the coalition is the main cause of ISIL’s survival in Iraq.

“There are proofs and evidence for the US-led coalition’s military aid to ISIL terrorists through air(dropped cargoes),” he told FNA at the time.

He noted that the members of his committee have already proved that the US planes have dropped advanced weaponry, including anti-aircraft weapons, for the ISIL, and that it has set up an investigation committee to probe into the matter.

The US drops weapons for the ISIL on the excuse of not knowing about the whereabouts of the ISIL positions and it is trying to distort the reality with its allegations.

He noted that the committee had collected the data and the evidence provided by eyewitnesses, including Iraqi army officers and the popular forces, and said, “These documents are given to the investigation committee … and the necessary measures will be taken to protect the Iraqi airspace.”

Also in January, another senior Iraqi legislator reiterated that the US-led coalition is the main cause of ISIL’s survival in Iraq.

“The international coalition is only an excuse for protecting the ISIL and helping the terrorist group with equipment and weapons,” Jome Divan, who is member of the al-Sadr bloc in the Iraqi parliament, said.

He said the coalition’s support for the ISIL is now evident to everyone, and continued, “The coalition has not targeted ISIL’s main positions in Iraq.”

In Late December, Iraqi Parliamentary Security and Defense Commission MP disclosed that a US plane supplied the ISIL terrorist organization with arms and ammunition in Salahuddin province.

MP Majid al-Gharawi stated that the available information pointed out that US planes are supplying ISIL organization, not only in Salahuddin province, but also other provinces, Iraq TradeLink reported.

He added that the US and the international coalition are “not serious in fighting against the ISIL organization, because they have the technological power to determine the presence of ISIL gunmen and destroy them in one month”.

Gharawi added that “the US is trying to expand the time of the war against the ISIL to get guarantees from the Iraqi government to have its bases in Mosul and Anbar provinces.”

Salahuddin security commission also disclosed that “unknown planes threw arms and ammunition to the ISIL gunmen Southeast of Tikrit city”.

Source: Global Research

Refugee Crisis is a Crisis of Imperialism

The widely circulated photo of Aylan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian boy whose body was found on a beach in Turkey and whose family was “making a final, desperate attempt to flee to relatives in Canada even though their asylum application had been rejected” by the Harper Government, has caused widespread outrage and forced Western leaders to acknowledge that there is a “refugee crisis”.

In Canada, the leaders of the Liberal and New Democratic parties have used the news of Kurdi’s tragic death, along with the deaths of his five-year-old brother and his mother, to criticize the Harper Government’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis. Trudeau and Mulcair have called on Canada to accept more Syrian refugees, while the Harper Government, with its lust for military action, insists on more illegal bombing raids in Syria and Iraq as the solution to the surge of Syrian refugees.

The real tragedy is the refusal of Western leaders to acknowledge the cause of the refugee crisis – Western imperialism’s genocidal and never ending wars on the people of the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa.

There are now more refugees than at any time since World War 2, and the number of refugees has increased markedly since the start of the “Global War on Terror”. Wherever the U.S. and its imperialist allies have intervened, whether through direct military action or indirect proxy wars, economic sabotage, and coups, in the name of “democracy”, the “War on Terror”, or the “responsibility to protect”, death and despair have been forced upon millions of innocent people, who have been left no other choice than to abandon their native lands to embark on a dangerous future of desperate struggle.

In Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, Mali, Korea, Vietnam, East Timor, Sudan, Ukraine, and elsewhere the livelihoods of millions have been destroyed by the forces of U.S. and Western imperialism.

In the 1980s, Afghanistan had a “genuinely popular government”, according to John Ryan, retired professor from the University of Winnipeg, that was implementing widespread reforms (Parenti, Michael. “The Terrorism Trap”. Page 56. City Lights Books, San Fransisco, 2002). Labour unions were legalized, a minimum wage was established, hundreds of thousands of Afghans were enrolled in educational facilities, and women were freed from age-old tribal bondage and able to earn an independent income. U.S. and Western imperialism, fearful of that kind of equitable distribution of wealth, supported the feudal landlords and fundamentalist mullahs to sow chaos across the country, bringing rise to elements that later formed al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The Afghan people were once more dealt a severe punishment by the forces of Western imperialism following 9/11, despite a lack of conclusive evidence linking either the Taliban or al-Qaeda to the attacks. 30 years of U.S. intervention in Afghanistan have left the people of Afghanistan impoverished, traumatized, and desperate.

The conflicts in Libya and Syria are eerily similar to the Western destabilization of Afghanistan. In 2011, when the Arab Spring protests swept across the Middle East and North Africa, Western imperialism hijacked legitimate grievances of the masses as a pretext for intervention in the name of the “responsibility to protect” and “democracy promotion”.

Prior to the 2011 U.S./NATO intervention, Libya was among the wealthiest and most stable countries in Africa, with the continent’s highest standard of living. Housing was enshrined as a human right, education and healthcare services were free for all citizens, and the country was pushing to establish an African currency linked to gold to help end the endless cycle of debt and impoverishment of the African masses by Western imperialism. Under the cloak of the United Nations, Western imperialism, using the pretext of protecting the people of Libya from Gaddafi’s murderous rule, launched airstrikes on Libya and allied themselves with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and other Libyan extremists. NATO airstrikes killed hundreds of civilians and forced Libya back into the Stone Age; Gaddafi was mercilessly tortured and murdered by the rebels. Thousands have been killed as rival tribal and extremist factions, some now allied with ISIS, battling for control of the country.

The conflict in Syria has frequently been referred to as “Libya 2.0”. U.S. imperialism with the support of Israel, Turkey, and the Persian Gulf States, trained and financed “moderate” rebels to overthrow the secular and popularly supported government of Bashar al-Assad. The “Free Syrian Army”, i.e., the “moderate” rebels, has been virtually eliminated in the conflict despite millions of dollars in aid from the U.S. and its regional allies. FSA fighters have deserted to the ranks of ISIS en masse, itself a product of the illegal U.S. occupation of Iraq that killed 1 million Iraqis. There is overwhelming evidence that the U.S. and its allies have been actively training and supporting ISIS elements since the start of the proxy war in Syria. It wasn’t until ISIS invaded Iraq with its new Toyota technicals, curtesy of U.S. imperialism, that ISIS was declared a threat to the world. Western imperialism changed its tactic from supporting ISIS to airstrikes on Iraq and Syria, with the support of other Western imperialist states, Turkey (which is also conveniently bombing anti-ISIS Kurdish fighters), Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf States, but without consultation with the Syrian government, Iran, or Hezbollah that have been fighting ISIS and al-Qaeda elements since the start of the conflict. Hundreds of thousands have died in the West’s proxy war against the Syrian government.

From Libya to Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan and Somalia, U.S. and Western imperialist interventions, coups, and sanctions have displaced and killed millions of people. Physicians for Social Responsibility estimates that in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan alone Western imperialist interventions have caused the deaths of 1.3 million people. It is no wonder then that hundreds of thousands seek asylum elsewhere; however, after traveling huge distances overland and on water, refugees find themselves abused, discriminated against, held in detention, or rejected from Europe, Canada, the U.S., and Australia.

More than 2, 500 have died this year trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea into Europe, while the International Organization for Migration estimates that 30, 000 could die by the end of 2015.

Refugees attempting to enter Europe, even if they are granted asylum in a mainland European country such as Germany, have been met with police violence in Greece, Italy, and other countries on the Mediterranean that are the first landing points for boats sailing from North Africa and Turkey.

Greek riot police have beaten refugees protesting the failure of local governments to process their applications. Conditions are so poor for refugees that while waiting for processing newborn babies have died in Greece.

On the Macedonia-Greece border, where more than a thousand refugees are crossing daily, refugees that broke through the barbed wire fences were shot at with stun grenades, and the Macedonian police have treated refugees as rioters, according to Amnesty International.

Italian police forcibly removed African refugees camping out at the French border after France refused to grant them asylum. Hungary is building a fortified wall, similar to the barbaric wall that divides the U.S.-Mexico border, to stop refugees from crossing the border.

The thousands of refugees that seek asylum in Australia are detained in Australia’s detention facilities in Papua New Guinea and the small island nation of Nauru, dubbed the “Guantanamo Bay of the Pacific”. Refugees can be detained for several years in these facilities, where social workers have observed “profound damage” to those detained through “prolonged deprivation of freedom, abuse of power, confinement in an extremely harsh environment, uncertainty of future, disempowerment, loss of privacy and autonomy and inadequate health and protection services”. An Australian Senate investigation received reports of guards raping women on tape and sexually exploiting children as young as 2-years-old. Just as Britain refuses to assist drowning refugees in the Mediterranean out of fear that it will encourage more migrants to seek asylum, the unannounced policy of Australian authorities is to make refugees suffer abuse and inhumane living conditions to deter them from seeking asylum in Australia, as if Australian imperialism hasn’t inflicted enough suffering on the people of the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia.

U.S. and Western imperialism is the root cause of the “refugee crisis”. Everyday men, women, and children are killed by U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, U.S. and Western-backed militias in Afghanistan, Syria, and Somalia, European and North American mining and oil conglomerates in Central and Western Africa, or are starved to death in Yemen by the U.S.-backed Arab blockade of the country. Until the genocidal aims of U.S. imperialism, with the support of Canada, Australia, the European Union, and regional allies, are defeated, the “War on Terror” will continue to make life too unbearable for working people in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East to remain in their home countries.

Horrors of Off-Shore Detention Centres

From the Communist Party of Australia

Last week a former Nauru detention security guard testified he had seen male detainees gasping after experiencing the horrible waterboarding torture, and there are continuing reports of the rape and sexual assault of women, girls and young boys.

Many of the guards are former soldiers, described by journalist Martin McKenzie-Martin as involved in a “hyper masculine and immature culture”. They refer to the detainees by identification numbers, not by name.

The women detainees must take showers close to male guards, and must ask them for sanitary pads, because the management maintains they might be set alight and used as weapons during riots!

Morale collapsed within the centre last year after the government announced that no detainees would ever gain Australian citizenship. Incidents of rape, assault, self-harm and attempted suicide increased.

The Abbott government persuaded some detainees with refugee status to resettle on Nauru, offering them rudimentary education, employment and accommodation services. However, that generated bitter resentment among some Nauruan citizens who saw it as an act of favouritism for the “illegals”.

Many resettled women have been attacked. One is dying in hospital after having been raped and beaten. She was left semi-conscious for hours before being discovered and taken to the police station and much later to hospital.

Another woman detainee was set on fire after being raped. Yet another found herself pregnant after an attack. Deeply religious, she sought a termination but then attempted suicide after it was performed at a Brisbane hospital. She was then returned to Nauru.

Resettled women have spoken about the “50-dollar man”, who rapes women and then drops a $50 note onto their bodies. However, the Nauruan courts have recorded no convictions for assaults against detainees.

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US-Australian Bombing Plans: No Invasion of Syria!

From the Communist Party of Australia

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced that Australia is about to join the US in bombing Syria. There is a great deal of speculation about where the idea came from. It had already been floated by Liberal backbencher Dan Tehan who heads the Parliament’s intelligence and security committee. The PM claims the suggestion came from Barack Obama a few weeks ago when they were having a phone conversation. The US president was pressing Australia’s final endorsement of the sovereignty-destroying Trans-Pacific Partnership. Fairfax media reported leaks from senior government sources that Abbott had pestered the US for such an invitation.

The move to bomb Syria by the US and its allies is along the lines of Obama’s 2011 “humanitarian intervention” in Libya which saw the real intended outcome: the toppling of the Gaddafi government. The current intention on Syria is in fact invasion from the air. Military personnel on the ground from the US-Australia invading forces are there to help facilitate regime change by the terrorist forces that have been unleashed and given impetus by those planning the air invasion.

In September 2014, when Abbott announced that the Australian military would be returning to Iraq, he avoided giving a direct answer as to whether Australia would join the US in bombing Syria too.

Regardless of the origins of the idea, Australia’s involvement in yet another US war suits Abbott and the Pentagon.

As the president is claimed to have told Abbott from aboard Air Force One, the Pentagon would look kindly on a decision by the Australian government to extend its military’s bombing operations into Syria.

For Abbott, an extension of the war would also be a major distraction from issues worrying voters as the next federal election approaches. Former independent member for New England, Tony Windsor, spoke for many when he discussed Tony Abbott’s motivations and what they mean for the rest of us during an appearance on ABC TV’s Q&A program last week. “I remember him saying ‘I will do anything to get this job’. So, it was about getting the job. And I’m sure I think we are seeing it being played out now with the possibility of war in Syria. To me, that’s more about keeping the job than actually putting up an argument to take this country to another war,” Windsor said.

Of course, the reasons given for considering the “invitation” to bomb Syria include accounts of IS’s continued military progress and its atrocities. The bombing of Iraq has achieved little in that regard but it has contributed to a crisis of more than three million internally displaced Iraqis.

When asked about the legality of entering Syria against the wishes or the internationally recognised government of President Bashar al-Assad, the PM stated nonsensically: “The terrorists don’t respect the border, so why should we?” he said. So, we follow the lead of the terrorists.

People are starting to see through the “right to protect” camouflage the US usually deploys in these situations. Every country that the US intervenes in to protect “democracy” and “security”, descends into chaos and uncertainty. The only predictable result is that functioning and independently-minded sovereign nations are dismembered and converted into a bunch of warring fiefdoms whose desperation “cries out” for great powers to come in and restore “normality”. The secular government of Syria is a prime candidate for this sort of treatment. Russia and China are bigger challenges but, ultimately, are targets for the same strategy.

The people of the world want peace. They want the redressing of historical injustices and economic progress. They don’t want to be washed up on the shores of foreign countries as refugees. They don’t want imperialist powers determining the course of development of their homelands. Australians must speak up now to prevent our involvement in the next stage of this criminal, illegal aggression.

Refugees Flee Imperialist War, Face Racism in Europe

From Liberation News

The U.S. government and other western imperialist powers are trying to deflect blame from a growing number of migrant and human rights organizations for their role in what is being labeled “the European refugee crisis,” which has become a growing humanitarian disaster.

According to new figures by the International Organization for Migration, over 332,000 refugees have crossed the Mediterranean Sea this year alone in an attempt to reach Europe—nearly a 40 percent increase over the year before, which was already a record year for immigration into Europe.

Most of the refugees are coming from countries—like Syria—that are currently being militarily targeted by the United States and its allies, or from countries feeling the aftereffects of U.S. military intervention such as Afghanistan and Libya. Others come from countries that have not been militarily targeted by imperialism but suffer from the devastating effects of Western-imposed trade and economic conditions that have led to underdevelopment and poverty.

The IOM states that at least 2,636 people have died attempting to migrate to Europe, but these numbers could be much higher.

The office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva said Friday that “200,000 migrants have landed in Greece alone,” making it the largest point of entry for migrants into Europe.

Just this past Monday, Greece’s coast guard reported that it had found 2,492 refugees at sea off the eastern islands of Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Agathonissi, Farmakonissi, Kos and Symi in only three days.

According to the Associated Press, the vast majority of those arriving in Greece are Syrian and Afghan refugees who are not looking to make Greece their new home but instead see Greece as a first step in a long journey into more prosperous European countries like Germany or Austria. Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary have seen tens of thousands of refugees traveling through their countries.

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US Intelligence Confirms US “Deliberately Helping ISIS”: “Bomb the Kurds Not ISIS”

From Global Research

Former Defense Intelligence Agency head Gen. Michael Flynn is not backing down from his claims that elements of the US government were aware of and supported the rise of jihadists in Syria as a means by which to overthrow its president, Bashar Assad.

As the US moves ever closer to a full-out invasion of Syria the lack of media interest in Flynn’s story is reminiscent of the one-sided (pro-war) coverage of the run up to the 2003 Iraq War.

Click the link for a special video report.

Two Spaniards Arrested on return from Fighting Against ISIS in Syria

From El Pais

Two Spanish communists have been arrested in Madrid after returning from fighting against Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria. Police sources have confirmed that the pair are the same two men who appeared in a video that was released in January, in which they spoke from the desert about how they were taking part in a “revolutionary war” started by Kurdish militias to bring down the “fascist beast that is Islamic State.” One of the men has been identified as Paco Arcadio.

Sources from the Marxist-Leninist Party (Communist Reconstruction), to which both belong, explained that the first arrest took place in Madrid on Monday morning, when one of the young men “went to buy some bread.” “Hooded police officers swooped in on him and they treated him like a terrorist, when what he did was go to fight against terrorists,” the same sources said.

The second arrest took place at 7pm, after the other man went to a police station accompanied by his lawyer.

The police searched their houses on Monday afternoon.

The police claim that the two combatants had traveled from Syria to Turkey, and then on to Germany. The rest of the trip to Spain, where they arrived two weeks ago, had been undertaken by car.

The two are accused of participating in an armed conflict outside of Spain without authorization from the state, as well as putting national interests at risk and joining groups fighting against ISIS that are considered terrorist organizations by international organizations.

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The War on ISIS is a Farce

Nowhere in recent years have the contradictions of imperialism been so clear than in the West’s war against ISIS. Working people are bombarded with messages in the media of the worldwide threat of ISIS, with the aim of the messages to convince working people of the need to sacrifice their civil liberties and democratic freedoms to counter ISIS and to support more military interventions in the Middle East. If Barack Obama, David Cameron, Tony Abbot, and other Western leaders were truly interested in countering the threat of ISIS, perhaps they should follow Stephen Harper’s “strong leadership” by finding the nearest closet to lock themselves in.

The rise of ISIS has its origins in the illegal occupation of Iraq by the U.S., the U.K., and other Western forces in 2003, which caused the deaths of an estimated 5% of the Iraqi population. The Bush and Blair administrations falsely accused the Iraqi regime of harboring weapons of mass destructions, of supporting al-Qaeda, and of having some connection with the 9/11 attacks. What the public wasn’t informed of was that the Bush administration had plans to attack Iraq long before 9/11. What’s more, the U.S. facilitated the rise of Saddam’s regime, supplied it with weapons of mass destruction in its war against Iran, and unlike Saudi Arabia and other allies of the U.S. in the region, Iraq was a secular state that was violently opposed to the reactionary Islamist ideology of al-Qaeda. The war, if anything, was a boon for al-Qaeda, which was never active in Iraq before the U.S.-led occupation.

In 2011, the U.S., the U.K., France, Canada, and other Western imperialist states, along with their allies in the region, including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar, allied themselves with militant Islamist organizations in Libya and Syria to overthrow the secular governments of Muammar al-Gaddafi and Bashar al-Assad respectively.

Western imperialism invoked the ‘responsibility to protect’ (R2P) doctrine to justify NATO airstrikes on Libya, killing thousands of civilians. Libya was the wealthiest and most stable country in Africa, with the continent’s highest standard of living and with universal healthcare and education for all its citizens, but in the aftermath of NATO’s humanitarian intervention, the country fell into a state of collapse as rival tribes and Islamist organizations battled to control the country’s wealth. Militant Islamists captured, brutally tortured, and murdered Gaddafi. The NATO intervention in Libya directly facilitated the breakaway of the Azawad and the rise of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in Mali. Using the “war on terror” ruse the U.S., E.U., Canada, and other imperialist states have been actively supporting the Malian regime in its war against Tuareg autonomy and AQIM, which they earlier supported in Libya along with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. Libya was virtually handed to al-Qaeda by NATO.

With their success in Libya, al-Qaeda and other Sunni Islamic militants quickly mobilized to overthrow the secular government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, where the failure of Western imperialism is eerily similar to Afghanistan from the late 1970s to the 1990s and, albeit on a much larger scale, to Libya.

The U.S. policy of supporting hostile Sunni insurgent groups laid the foundation for the rise of ISIS, the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and nearly every single Sunni extremist group that has appeared in the last 40-50 years. In Afghanistan, to undermine the country’s 1978 socialist revolution and spread instability into Soviet Turkestan, U.S. imperialism with its allies in the Persian Gulf and in Pakistan supported militant Islamist groups that would later form the nucleus of al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The policy of supporting Sunni insurgent groups was given a further impetus following the 1979 Iranian Revolution, where an anti-U.S., theocratic Shiite regime was established. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh wrote in 2007: “To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.”

The Islamic State was formed in 2006 when al-Qaeda in Iraq merged with other Sunni insurgent organizations. The name was changed to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (or Levant) (ISIS) in April 2013 after a second merger, this time between the Islamic State and al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, the al-Nusra Front.

The U.S., the U.K., Canada, and other imperialist states, through their allies Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar, have been supporting the “moderate” Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels with hundreds of millions of dollars in weapons as well as setting up training camps and offering free medical treatment to injured fighters. The question that begs to be asked is how ISIS has managed to defeat the FSA despite hundreds of millions of dollars in aid from the West and its allies in the region?

You would have to be an absolute lunatic to believe that Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf States, all absolute monarchies run by a small clique of corrupt Arab sheikhs that couldn’t be farther from an acceptable version of democracy, would support a moderate, democratic, and free Syrian organization. Even to the corporate media in the West it is no secret that these allies of the West fund reactionary Islamist organizations whose interests are antithetical to democracy. The Washington Post reported that “Qatar’s cultivation of African Islamists, principally Somalia’s al-Shabab insurgents, has…troubled the United States,” which is drone bombing Somalia in the name of the “war on terror.” Israel, the region’s “only democracy” we are told, itself supported Hamas to counter the influence of the secular Palestinian Liberation Organization in the 1980s.

These “moderate” FSA fighters that the U.S. and its allies support, if there really was an independent FSA, have en masse joined the ranks of ISIS. Dozens of outlets have detailed this fact. A Lebanese newspaper quoted an FSA commander as saying, “We are collaborating with the Islamic State and al-Nusra,” and Al-Jazeera reported in 2013 that “hundreds of fighters under the command of the opposition Free Syrian Army (FSA) have reportedly switched allegiance to al-Qaeda-aligned groups.” The World Net Daily quoted Jordanian officials as saying that the rebels trained by U.S. instructors in Jordan have joined ISIS.

Furthermore there is overwhelming evidence that the U.S. and its allies are both directly and indirectly supporting ISIS. According to a source close to Iraqi intelligence, there is allegedly an ISIS training camp in Turkey that is in the vicinity of Incirlik Air Base near Adana, where American personnel and equipment are located. NATO member Turkey is among the most staunch supporters of the rebels, a fact that an ISIS fighter detailed to the Jerusalem Post: “Turkey paved the way for us. Had Turkey not shown such understanding for us, the Islamic State would not be in its current place.”

Former Iraqi Prime Minister and current Vice-President Nouri al-Maliki publicly accused U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar of bankrolling ISIS. Kuwait, in particular, due to its weak financial laws, has become a financial and organizational hub for Syrian rebel groups. The Brooking’s Institute in Washington, D.C. reported “evidence that Kuwaiti donors have backed rebels who have committed atrocities and who are either directly linked to al-Qa’ida or cooperate with its affiliated brigades on the ground.”

Evidence exists of direct Israeli support for ISIS fighters. United Nations observers in the Golan Heights reported to the United Nations Security Council of direct contact between ISIS and Israel, including Israeli Defense Forces supplying ISIS with unmarked crates and offering medical treatment to wounded fighters. An Israeli officer spoke out in opposition to the U.S. war against ISIS, claiming that in fighting ISIS the U.S. is strengthening what Israel perceives as the real threat, the Shiite alliance of Hezbollah and Iran.

Finally nearly all of the aid provided to the “moderate” rebels has been captured or sent to ISIS. It wasn’t long after the Washington Post reported that aid from the CIA and the State Department, which included dozens of Toyota pickup trucks, were being delivered to rebels on the Turkish-Syria border that the iconic photo of ISIS militants in a convoy of Toyota pickup trucks invading northern Iraq became public. Less than four months after Obama pledged $500 million in weapons and aid to the FSA rebels, ISIS had acquired the same amount of weapons from the FSA; a Syrian fighter told Al-Quds al-Arabi that much of the aid was sold to unknown parties in Turkey and Iraq. Don’t forget about the repeated “accidental” weapon drops by the U.S. in ISIS-controlled territory!

The war against ISIS in the Middle East by Western imperialism is a farce. ISIS has and continues to dutifully serve Western and Israeli imperialist interests in the Middle East, causing chaos in formerly staunch anti-imperialist states that had the strength to oppose Israel, and creating a force capable of countering Iranian influence.

The reason ISIS is now a “threat” is that Western imperialism, in failing to topple the Syrian government, requires a new pretext to continue its aggressive military interventions in the Middle East, in particular to weaken Syria and the Shiite leadership of Iraq for an attack on Iran. If defeating ISIS was the real objective, the Western powers would form an alliance with Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah, which have relentlessly battled ISIS on the ground, not with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey.

Working people need to realize that the real threat to the world isn’t ISIS, Iran, or Syria, it is Western imperialism.

No to the Expanded Canadian Military Mission in Iraq and Syria

Statement by the Central Executive Committee of the Communist Party of Canada

The Communist Party of Canada condemns the Harper government’s one-year extension of Canada’s participation in the latest imperialist war in Iraq, which will expand this military mission into neighbouring Syria without the agreement of the elected government of that sovereign country. This is a clear violation of international law and the UN Charter. As with previous military actions in Korea, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Libya, this move is yet another undeclared war.

As our Party and others predicted last fall, this mission quickly went far beyond the so-called “bombing and training role” to include direct combat operations. Clearly, this extension shows that Canada is on the way to another disastrous Afghanistan-style war of occupation, ultimately costing billions of dollars and thousands of Iraqi and Syrian lives. The federal government recently claimed that the mission had cost $122 million as of February; this understated figure of about $30 million per month does not include many related expenses, but does indicate that the cost of the expanded mission can be expected to go far higher.

Predictably, the Tories call this a “humanitarian” war to “protect the women and children”. But there is overwhelming evidence that the “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine has instead inflicted enormous damage upon civilian populations. The long list of R2P victims include the thousands killed in NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, countless Afghan civilians, and the million or more Iraqis dead in the wake of the 2003 US-UK invasion.

Four years after “Operation Freedom Falcon” in Libya, violent social, economic and political crises have resulted from the illegal bombing and “regime change”. As imperialism plunders the country’s energy resources, war hawks are now openly discussing a second intervention against ISIS-linked groups in that country.

In Iraq and Syria, Canadian troops are helping to further imperialism’s so-called ‘New Middle East strategy’ which aims to turn the entire region into a patchwork of weak and compliant mini-states kept in check, in part, by its local ally Israel, with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar as secondary, supportive powers.

Involving Canada in the modern day crusades led by US imperialism and other NATO allies only deepens regional conflicts and humanitarian crises. The most significant terrorist threat today is posed by the U.S., British, Canadian and other governments, which have killed millions of innocent people with a vast range of deadly modern weaponry, ranging from Cruise missiles to drone bombs. These are the same imperialist powers which count the reactionary fundamentalist regimes of the oil-rich Gulf states and Saudi Arabia as close and valued allies.

It was US imperialism which encouraged and financed the Taliban, Al Qaeda, ISIS and other such groups for its own ends, only to later whip up fear and hatred against these same reactionary forces. This cynical game of switching “allies” and “enemies” brings enormous profits to the military-industrial corporations, but only death and destruction to working people.

The Communist Party of Canada rejects the “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine as a cover for direct imperialist intervention and military aggression in the Middle East and other regions. We demand Canada’s complete withdrawal from NATO and US-led military interventions, starting with the expanded war in Iraq and Syria. We call upon the labour and democratic forces, and especially the anti-war movements, to step up opposition to the Harper government’s war-making, and to help win a new foreign policy of peace and disarmament, just political settlement of armed conflicts, respect for national sovereignty, withdrawal from NATO, an end to imperialist military alliances and interventions, and for universal global nuclear disarmament.