IYSSE meeting in Wellington, New Zealand

The imperialist debacle in Iraq and the struggle against war

The collapse of the American-trained Iraqi Army and the seizure of large areas of the country by the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is a debacle for US imperialism of its own making. US foreign policy is collapsing under the weight of the contradictions that have built up over decades of bloody wars across Middle East.

The sectarian divisions that are fuelling civil war in Iraq are the direct outcome of the illegal 2003 invasion and the ruthless divide-and-rule policies pursued by the US occupation forces that cost as many as one million Iraqi lives. Having recklessly turned since 2011 to arming Al Qaeda-linked militia like ISIS in an attempt to topple the Syrian government, Washington was blindsided when they changed targets and attacked Washington’s Shiite-based puppet regime in Baghdad. As surrounding countries get drawn into the conflict, the entire Middle East hovers on brink of a catastrophic region-wide war.

Everywhere, US foreign policy consists of intrigues and violence, with “terrorism” or “human rights” invoked as the increasingly discredited justification for actions that are solely in the interests of a parasitic and ultra-rich ruling elite. Even as the Middle East plunges toward disaster, the crisis in Ukraine and the stoking of tensions in the South China and East China Seas pose the danger of devastating conflicts with nuclear-armed states, Russia and China.

The New Zealand ruling class has strengthened its ties with Washington in recent years, and is supporting all its crimes and conspiracies. During his meeting with President Obama last month Prime Minister John Key promised to support any new attack on Iraq, and aligned New Zealand more closely with the US military build-up against China.

The opposition Labour Party—which sent troops to Iraq and Afghanistan when it was in government—and the Greens have indicated that they would also support intervention in Iraq and Syria. Whichever party wins the September 20 election, the vast majority of the population, which opposes the drive to war, will be disenfranchised.

There is an urgent need to build a new mass international movement against imperialism and war. A renewed antiwar movement can only succeed, however, to the extent that it is based on the socialist and internationalist perspective to unite workers around the world in a common struggle to end the profit system—the source of war, social inequality and exploitation.

We encourage students, workers and young people to attend the open meeting called by the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) to discuss this perspective.

Wednesday, July 30, 4:15p.m.
Student Union Building, SU219
Victoria University, Wellington, Kelburn campus