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News :: Human Rights
Against Deporting Refugees To Genocidal Turkey
by Steven Argue
20 Mar 2016
[Photo: destruction in the city of Cizre in Kurdish Turkey caused by the Turkish government's shelling.]
Click on image for a larger version
Against Deporting Refugees To Genocidal Turkey
by Steven Argue
Under a new plan, the anti-democratic, genocidal, and anti-Kurdish capitalist state of Turkey will now be the gatekeeper for refugees to Europe. Under an agreement that comes into effect Sunday, March 20th, 2016, refugees arriving in Greece will be sent back to Turkey. Turkey has agreed to accept them on condition of payment of €3 billion ($3.39 billion) for hosting the refugees and EU payment of an additional €3 billion that the EU promised last year, but still has not delivered.
Not that refugees are children, well, actually many are, but this agreement is akin to paying known child abusers to take children in for foster care. Turkey, long known for the genocide it has carried out against Kurds in previous decades murdering tens of thousands of people has now once again unleashed its military against its Kurdish population. In recent weeks and months, Kurdish areas of Turkey have now again suffered massacres of hundreds of civilians at a time at the hands of Turkish security forces. Some Kurdish areas are now bombed out and look like Syria.
Likewise, in Iraq and Syria, the Turkish government is bombing fighters of the Kurdish YPG and PKK, some of the best fighters against the genocidal Islamist forces of ISIS. Turkish journalists who write of things like how the Turkish government is supporting ISIS by allowing oil looted by ISIS to be imported into Turkey and supplying arms to ISIS and allied groups are sentenced to life in prison for telling the truth. Yet, the Turkish state, which destroyed Syria through its support to the genocidal Muslim Brotherhood led Free Syrian Army as well as more radical Islamists like ISIS, continues to enjoy U.S. military aid while Europe has decided to let this terrorist and genocidal nation host and decide who is and who is not a legitimate refugee.
Meanwhile, the western imperialists have also agreed to Turkish demands of excluding Kurds from Syrian peace talks. And Hillary Clinton's emails reveal that as early as 2012 Israel was supporting the Sunni Free Syrian Army uprising because they thought it would lead to a sectarian war between Shi'ites and Sunnis, and they saw that as a good thing for both Israel and the west.
The western imperialist and Zionist dream of a sectarian war failed to pan out, however, despite the attempts of western imperialist propaganda to paint this as the situation in Syria today. While the west pretends Bashar al-Assad's army represents the Alawite religion against the Sunni majority that the west backs, in reality, the majority of that army are actually Sunnis fighting for the secular state of Bashar al-Assad while the western backed "moderate opposition" and their al-Qaeda and Islamic Front allies are Sunni religious fanatics fighting for a religious state.
While the west excludes Kurds from negotiations and murders Kurds through providing U.S. weapons to Turkey and Sunni rebels, the Kurdish YPG are one of the most important fighting armies against ISIS. Despite western lies, in reality, the sectarian and genocidal warfare has only come from the Sunni Islamists that the west, Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia have supported. The forces that the west and Turkey opposes, the Kurdish PYD-YPG government of Rojava and the Syrian government under Bashar al-Assad, both are secular, support religious pluralism, are pro-woman, and are semi-socialist in their economies and outlooks. While far from perfect, both are far better than the western backed Sunni Wahhabist forces that have destroyed Syria and committed genocide against Christians, Shi'ites, Alawites, Kurds, and Yazidis.
Likewise, the U.S. invasion of Iraq has destroyed much of that country and left well over a million people dead while putting a brutal sectarian Shi'ite government in power whose brutal and corrupt nature has helped spawn ISIS and the refugee crisis. ISIS, which was at one time allied with the so-called Free Syrian Army and to whom CIA, Turkish, Saudi Arabian, and Qatari weapons flowed freely, only became exposed for their crimes in the western corporate media when their forces spilled over into Iraq and became a threat to the corrupt and murderous Shi'ite and Kurdish puppet governments that the U.S. set-up with the invasion of Iraq.
The U.S. invasion of Iraq was largely to end Saddam Hussein's semi-socialist programs that nationalized Iraqi oil in the 1970's and spent some of the oil money on human needs like health care and education. Yet, due to the resistance of the Iraqi working class, western goals of privatizing Iraqi oil failed. So instead the puppet regimes that the west set-up in Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan have circumvented the laws regarding public ownership of oil and instead export massive amounts of oil illegally channeling it through Turkey. With the cooperation of the corrupt Muslim Brotherhood Turkish government Recep Erdoğan, ISIS has been able to take advantage of this ready made black market channel in oil to sell the oil they have looted from Syria, Iraq, and Rojava as well. This Turkish corruption has helped fund ISIS genocide and their brutal enslavement of women and children as sex-slaves as well as other ISIS crimes against humanity.
It was in August 2013 that the United States nearly took its support for the Islamic counterrevolution one step further in Syria. At that time, ISIS carried out a nerve gas attack on the civilian population. This was done to blame the Assad government and bring the U.S. and Britain into the war. Turkish journalists who exposed this operation and Turkish involvement have also been jailed. Had this planned imperialist bombing campaign taken place, the western imperialists would have likely helped al-Qaeda, who were at that time the vast majority of the so-called "democratic opposition", seize power. Instead, British resistance led to the UK parliament voting down the prime minister's requested action of war. Meanwhile, Barack Obama, who was not going to consult congress, decided to back down as Russia pledged weapons to Syria capable of sinking U.S. aircraft carriers anchored as far away as Cyprus. Syria was well armed and U.S. war operations would not be the same comparative cake walk they carried out against Libya. Despite this victory by Syria and Russia against U.S. intervention, the U.S. covert war and ISIS forces it spawned, combined with the U.S. economic blockade of Syria, have destroyed much of Syria killing hundreds of thousands of people and creating a massive refugee crisis.
In 2015, the majority of refugees to Europe were coming from war torn Syria (49%), Afghanistan (21%), and Iraq (8%). Like Syria and Iraq, the west destroyed Afghanistan as well. Much of the worst of this was done in the 1970's and 1980's under the presidencies of Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. At that time, the U.S. spent 8 billion dollars in military aid to overthrow the pro-woman, secular, and left nationalist PDPA government of Afghanistan. Backed by the United States were the religious fanatics of the mujahideen (literally translated "holy warriors"). With U.S. backing, these holy warriors against literacy and women's rights murdered teachers for teaching little girls how to read and write, skinned Soviet soldiers alive, and threw acid into the faces of women liberated from the veil. U.S. support went even as far as supplying these criminal terrorists with stinger anti-aircraft missiles, providing $8 billion dollars in covert aid (the biggest covert U.S. war in history), and Reagan inviting the leaders of the mujahideen to the White House where he called them the "moral equivalents of the founding fathers". It was from this U.S. and Saudi Arabian war against the women of Afghanistan that the various corrupt and warring factions of the mujahideen came to power, and from them, with the help of the U.S. backed dictatorship in Pakistan, the Taliban became the leading warlords seizing most of the country prior to al-Qaeda's 9/11 attacks .
Strangely, western propagandists claim that all of these U.S., Saudi Arabian, and Pakistani crimes against the Afghani people were justified in the context of the so-called "Cold War". In this narrative, supposedly the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and the U.S. supported the resistance to that invasion. In reality, as has been bragged by top advisor to Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, the CIA was on the ground aiding the mujahideen before Soviet troops were sent into Afghanistan. And far from being an invasion, Soviet troops were requested by the government of Afghanistan to aid them in fighting the CIA's holy warriors against the PDPA government's programs for literacy, women's rights, and land reform.
While far from perfect, the PDPA government allied with the Soviet Union, had significant possibilities for replicating some of the advances made by women in Soviet Central Asia as a result of the Russian Revolution. The October 1917 Russian Revolution, under the leadership of Lenin and Trotsky, legalized the languages of traditionally oppressed nationalities under the tsarist empire, education was established in those languages, and republics of national ethnic minorities were established as part of the USSR's union of soviet republics. For women, forced marriage and bride price was outlawed, abortion and the vote legalized, and education propelled women to equality in professions like doctors and government administration. Fact is, in the traditionally Muslim republics of the USSR, women's rights and literacy far exceeded those of Europe's traditionally Muslim colonies and this remained true after those countries gained formal independence under neo-colonial governments.
Yet, instead of the promise held by the PDPA government for the women and oppressed nationalities of Afghanistan, the U.S. imposed the living hell of Taliban rule. This brought with it the slaughter of PDPA socialists, genocide against religious and national minorities, the enslavement of women, the outlawing of dance, the destruction of irreplaceable ancient art, and many other crimes. It also led to Osama bin Laden, the blue-eyed boy of the CIA's mujahideen operations in Afghanistan, establishing al-Qaeda. Early on, al-Qaeda's operations continued with CIA support. These included murderous operations of anti-Serb and anti-Croat ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, Macedonia, and Kosovo as part of Bill Clinton's operations to break-up Yugoslavia and eliminate its socialist economy. Likewise, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and North Yemen armed and used al-Qaeda forces returning from Afghanistan in South Yemen as a shock force to help destroy the remaining gains of South Yemen's communist revolution after South Yemen's leadership foolishly agreed to unify with capitalist North Yemen. Today, U.S. and British arms sales to Saudi Arabia, which is carrying out a massive bombing campaign against Yemen, combined with the U.S. economic blockade of Yemen, are creating a massive humanitarian crisis in Yemen.
Politically, no government in the world more closely resembles the program of ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra, the Islamic Front, the Taliban, and al-Qaeda than that of Saudi Arabia. It is beyond question that they are the most repressive government in the world. Saudi Arabia is a country that executes people for crimes like "wondering from the faith", homosexuality, advocating democracy, adultery, and advocating rights for Saudi Arabia's oppressed Shi'ite minority. Women are denied basic rights like the right to walk in public without a male escort, the right to drive, and the right to own property. Slavery is an established fact in Saudi Arabia as desperate workers come from elsewhere in the world and often have their passports confiscated and are forced to work for free. Yet, the U.S. and Britain sell Saudi Arabia billions of dollars in weapons that Saudi Arabia uses to suppress pro-democracy movements within their own borders as well as in Bahrain, uses to bomb the civilian population of Yemen back into the stone age for overthrowing a U.S. backed dictatorship, and uses those weapons to attempt to carry out an anti-woman, anti-socialist, Islamic counterrevolution in Syria.
It is with such allies as genocidal Muslim Brotherhood led Turkey and Wahhabist Saudi Arabia that then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hailed the west's building of an international coalition fighting for "democracy" in Syria. With CIA aid, the ISIS, Islamic Front, Jabhat al-Nusra, and the Muslim Brotherhood led Free Syrian Army and their genocide were all natural offspring of imperialist intervention.
Islamic counterrevolution, despite it often biting the imperialist hand that feeds it, is relied on by the U.S. imperialist government to pursue its policies in the traditionally Muslim world. In this, the U.S. presently mainly supports Sunni and Jewish religious extremists against all others, but is willing to employ Shi'ites as well, as it did in imposing a Shi'ite death squad government on Iraq. The reason the imperialists rely on religious extremism is because these forces can be used as a brutal club against secular, communist, socialist, and left nationalist forces that sometimes hinder western exploitation of the region's oil wealth and labor.
Even U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has now admitted to the genocidal nature of ISIS, but without admitting the role of U.S. imperialism in creating this Frankenstein monster. It is due to U.S., French, British, Saudi Arabian, Kuwaiti, Qatari, and Turkish intervention that the genocidal and anti-woman forces of ISIS today control territories in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Yemen. This is a major cause of the refugee crisis.
The west and its allies are guilty of crimes against humanity and has an obligation to Kurdish, Syrian, Afghani, and Iraqi refugees, not deporting them and selling them off to the brutal Turkish state. Leninist-Trotskyists demand: End the Imperialist Wars! Let The Refugees In!
Lessons From German Fascism
At the time when fascist Germany was building towards genocide against the Jewish people, in the United States the then Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party was unique in printing the horrors of Nazism and demanding that U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt allow Jewish refugees into the United States. Instead, Roosevelt sealed the fate of refugees by denying massive numbers entry into the United States. One stark example of what this meant in personalized human terms was that Anne Frank's family which was denied a visa by the U.S. State Department. Had they been granted that visa, Anne Frank might be an 86 year-old author living in the United States today.
At that time, even the Zionist movement opposed Jewish immigration. For instance, at a British parliamentary meeting on January 27th, 1943, when the granting of immigration permits for hundreds of Jewish families was being discussed, a spokesperson for the Zionists announced that they opposed the motion because it did not contain preparations for the colonization of Palestine. The Zionist movement has always been far more interested in stealing Palestinian land than saving the lives of Jews. Today, the Zionists are also part of the general climate of anti-Arab hatred and war spawned by U.S. and European imperialism.
Since 2011, the U.S. sponsored counterrevolutionary war in Syria has murdered hundreds of thousands of people and made millions of people refugees. U.S., French, and allied funding, arms, and training have been used to carry out genocide against Christians, Alawites, Kurds, Yazidis, and Shi'ites. These weapons and the civil war the U.S., France, and allies unleashed in backing the Muslim Brotherhood led Free Syrian Army and the Salafist Islamic Front also greatly strengthened the takfiris of ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra. No amount of western spin of reality can escape the fact that western intervention has been to back a misogynistic religious counterrevolution that is violently opposed to the secular, pro-woman, and semi-socialist governments of Bashar al-Assad and Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan). Likewise, no crime of either of those governments can justify imperialist intervention from outside to impose something far worse.
Despite U.S. involvement in creating ISIS and the Syrian civil war, the Obama administration has only accepted 1,500 Syrian refugees since 2011. Obama has now announced that he desires to allow an additional 10,000 Syrian refugees into the country. This is a drop in the bucket. The United States is obligated to allow in far more refugees fleeing the wars, poverty, and genocide that U.S. and European imperialism have created. Likewise, EU moves to deport refugees to genocidal Turkey is a slap in the face and deadly threat to many victims of Turkey's wars and genocide.
Refugees are not just coming from Syria of course. Refugees are flooding Europe from Asia and Africa as the European and U.S. sponsored radical religious counterrevolutions in Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria as well as the U.S. invasion of Iraq have spawned the mujahideen, the Taliban, al-Qaeda, ISIS, al-Nusra, and the death squad government of Iraq. Likewise, many decades of western pollution have brought global warming, drought, crop failure, starvation, and war to places like Sudan. In addition, the U.S. and EU sponsor the genocidal anti-Kurdish government of Turkey, the murderous anti-Shiite government of Saudi Arabia bombing Yemen, and the murderous anti-Arab government of Israel.
Leninist-Trotskyists oppose the subjugation of all peoples and, while always taking the side of oppressed nations against their oppressors, see no particular people as progressive or reactionary. Under capitalism, the working class is oppressed and exploited everywhere and has reason for class warfare, rising up against capitalist exploiters and capitalist governments for socialist revolution. In the 1930's, we warned of the deadly threat of fascism and fought to the degree we could to prevent it in Germany. After the Nazis came to power, we opposed the Hitler-Stalin Pact and then supported the USSR's war against Nazi Germany after the Nazis invaded the USSR. Through all of this, we were unique in demanding countries allow Jewish refugees to escape. Today, while not reaching the same scale as Nazi genocide, the western sponsored counterrevolutions in Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq do have similarities to the deadly executions and enslavement carried out by the Nazis. Leninist-Trotskyists continue our long tradition of demanding the west accept these refugees and stop arming and financing genocidal religious fanatics in the east.
On December 22nd, 1938, Russian Revolutionary leader, Leon Trotsky wrote:
"...Now it is the turn of France. The victory of fascism in this country would signify a vast strengthening of reaction, and a monstrous growth of violent anti-semitism in all the world, above all in the United States. The number of countries which expel the Jews grows without cease. The number of countries able to accept them decreases. At the same time the exacerbation of the struggle intensifies. It is possible to imagine without difficulty what awaits the Jews at the mere outbreak of the future world war. But even without war the next development of world reaction signifies with certainty the physical extermination of the Jews .
"Palestine appears a tragic mirage, Biro-bidjan a bureaucratic farce. The Kremlin refuses to accept refugees. The “anti-fascist” congresses of old ladies and young careerists do not have the slightest importance. Now more than ever, the fate of the Jewish people—not only their political but also their physical fate—is indissolubly linked with the emancipating struggle of the international proletariat. Only audacious mobilization of the workers against reaction, creation of workers’ militia, direct physical resistance to the fascist gangs, increasing self-confidence, activity and audacity on the part of all the oppressed can provoke a change in the relation of forces, stop the world wave of fascism, and open a new chapter in the history of mankind.
"The Fourth International was the first to proclaim the danger of fascism and to indicate the way of salvation. The Fourth International calls upon the Jewish popular masses not to delude themselves but to face openly the menacing reality. Salvation lies only in revolutionary struggle. The “sinews” of revolutionary struggle, as of war, are funds. With the progressive and perspicacious elements of the Jewish people rests the obligation to come to the help of the revolutionary vanguard. Time presses. A day is now equivalent to a month or even to a year. That thou doest, do quickly!"
While the existence of refugees from the traditionally Muslim world, combined with job insecurity and fear of Islamic fundamentalism, is used by the far right to build their movements in Europe and the United States, it is the duty of the left to defend the lives of these people, including their children, without racist stereotypes. In the west, while opposing all religions, including widely held views of evangelical Christians who support U.S. imperialism, the murder of doctors who perform abortion, preach hatred of homosexuals, and promote the Zionist hatred of Muslims and Arabs as part of their belief that Israel will bring the second coming of Christ. These views, like much of radical Islam, have been shaped by the powers that be to defend capitalism and imperialism. It is the duty of socialists to oppose all such hateful superstitions that feed into the nascent fascist movements building in Europe and the United States. A clear line of demarcation for the internationalist socialist movement is our uncompromising defense of the rights of refugees.
Today, most of the world continues to live under a capitalist system based solely on profit. It is a system incapable of caring about people or our environment. Any CEO who bases his or her policies on anything other than profit will soon lose their job. Same goes for the capitalist politicians of the Democrat and Republican parties. Arms production, imperialism, war, oil, and worsening global warming are all profitable enterprises. Likewise, it is a system less and less willing to pretend it cares about anything but profit in the face of the falling rate of capitalist profit. In the short run, some struggles against injustices can help, especially if they are based on the potential power of a fighting labor movement like the U.S. had in the 1930's, but ultimately almost all of our problems can only be solved through proletarian socialist revolution that establishes a planned socialist economy that can be geared towards meeting human and environmental needs rather than the profits of a few filthy rich capitalists.
Working Class Solidarity Has No Borders!
Murderous Imperialist Scoundrels, Let the Refugees In!
End The Western Imperialist Wars Against The Kurds, Syrians, Iraqis, and Afghanis!
End The U.S. Imperialist Economic Blockades of Syria, Iran, Yemen, Belarus, and Russia!
End the Israeli War Against The Palestinian People!
End the Israeli and Egyptian Economic Blockade of Gaza!
For The Defense of Syria, Iran, Yemen, Hezbollah, Rojava, and Russia From Imperialist Attack!
For the Creation of Kurdish and Palestinian Homelands, with the Right To return, As Part of A Federation Of Socialist Republics of the Middle East Created Through Anti-Imperialist Proletarian Socialist Revolution!
For An End To U.S. and EU Imperialism Through Proletarian Socialist Revolution in the Imperialist Centers Of Europe and The United States!
-Steven Argue for the Revolutionary Tendency
The Revolutionary Tendency
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The following was written just before the U.S. backed Islamists in Syria became a threat to the U.S. imposed death squad government of Iraq and the U.S. then kinda sort of switched sides, backing some anti-woman Islamists and carrying out a questionable partial war on others in ISIS while still backing Turkey who are still murdering some of the best Kurdish fighters against ISIS.
Syria: As Rebels Escalate Genocide Against Kurds, Obama Prepares Air Strikes to Bring Genocidal Islamists To Power
by Steven Argue
For an in-depth analysis of the Kurdish struggle, check out my following article that was published in the Kurdish press:
End U.S. Imperialist Attacks on Liberated Syrian Kurdistan!
For a Socialist Republic of United Kurdistan as Part of a Socialist Federation of the Near East!
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Why The Russian Revolution is Still Important
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Afghanistan: Misogynistic Hell Hole Made in the U.S.A.
by Steven Argue
Why We Should Oppose the Imperialist War on Libya
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The Vogue of Russophobia In Imperialist Propaganda
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