The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Terrorism Nourished by the Politics of Imperialism

Jan 19, 2015

Playing on the emotions provoked by the attacks in France, the French leaders, like Hollande and Sarkozy, call on the population for a war against terror. It was a surprise to nobody when the minister of foreign affairs declared further French military intervention in Mali and the Middle East. In the French Parliament on January 13, the deputies voted 488 to 1 for continuing the intervention of French forces in Iraq. Only 13 abstained from voting. The next day a military jet left for the Gulf region to fight against the group Islamic State.

Sending the fighter jet and supply planes to the Middle East indicates more air raids that don’t distinguish between killing civilians and jihadists.

The French government wants to justify its intervention in Mali or Central Africa or the Middle East region, like Iraq. They want to be able to continue these wars, intensifying them with the support of the workers and all the popular classes. But these wars led by France throughout the world, in the name of the war against terror, are really wars to defend the interests of the big capitalists.

For two years, the French government has justified its intervention in Mali by claiming it was opposing the installation of a terrorist government. But it is above all preoccupied with keeping order in the zones where it has influence in Africa, especially in the north of Mali and also near the border with Niger – all to help Areva, a big French company, exploit its uranium mines.

Politicians from Hollande to Sarkozy declare it is necessary to fight barbarism. But who has spread such barbarity around the world? The militias trying to impose a medieval Islamic state through terror in Iraq and Syria didn’t spring forth out of nothing. Militias like those of the Islamic State, claiming under the flag of religion to defend the Sunni population, just like the militias who pretend to represent the Shiite population, would never have seen the light of day if imperialism had not opened the way to them. It was imperialism that reinforced the divisions inside the Iraqi population and utilized these divisions to impose its domination.

These jihadist militias have been politically aided by 10 years of war and imperialist occupation, which have only brought the population misery, destruction and death. And they have been aided materially. For example, the Gulf states, especially Saudi Arabia and Qatar, carry out the dirty work for the imperialist powers, the U.S. first of all, while giving money and arms to Islamic State militias based in Syria. These reactionary forces are the monstrous creations of imperialism, today more and more out of control.

Even the former French prime minister said, “It’s time the Western countries learned the lessons of Afghanistan. It was a source of terrorism in 2001. Today, 15 years later, there are more terrorists growing out of that war.... How many more terrorists are we going to create?” He was referring to the French decision to continue to participate in a new war in Iraq, calling it “absurd and dangerous.”

Yes, the barbarity of the imperialist wars to maintain their domination of the world has brought forth the barbarity of fundamentalist militias. But if we expect Hollande or the other imperialist leaders to combat these terrorists, it’s like counting on arsonists to control fires.

It’s the capitalist system itself, and the politicians who govern in its name, that we must fight against.