What is ISIS?

ISIS have survived into 2016, they show little sign of the complete collapse that many anticipated. Despite reams of paper and hours of news real many have little idea of what the Islamic State is and how it operates. Beyond there own wildly publicised executions and terror acts there lies a complex and organised state able to acquire resources and land like no other rebel group in the Middle East. They have risen out of the ashes of civil war and decades of imperialist intervention.  Along with there affiliates they have taken control of territory in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Afghanistan. They recruit by exploiting anger at Islamphobia and and chauvinism of states like the UK, USA, and Russia, but at the same time whip up and encourage air-strikes and racism.

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An IS flag flies over the Roman theatre in Palmyra, now used as a place of execution

They keep a grip on our collective consciousness by almost continuous violence and terror. The slaughter of Yazidies and Shia, bombing attacks across the Middle East, Turkey, and now France, the brutal treatment of captured women, and the execution of aid workers and journalists have shocked a world used to atrocities in the region. And yet they have stayed in power since 2013, collecting taxes exporting oil, and co-opting the remnants of the Iraqi state.

Saudi Ikhwan - Islam - Peter Crawford
A Wahhabist militia, known as Ikhwan, used by The House of Saud to conquer the Arabian Penisula

ISIS are a group bound to Wahhabism, that claims to be fighting a Holy War as a prologue to the end of the world. A holy army that uses the rementas of a secular Ba’athist army and state.

Are ISIS a death cult or a state? Will they be wiped out by a coalition western powers dropping bombs? How long will they last?

Have a watch of the illuminating documentary Bitter lake, by Adam Curtis:

And if that’s sparked your interest check out some of the texts from the reading list:

All Welcome:

Wednesday, 6th January, 6:30pm in the Owain Glyndwr.

 

Syria & Iraq Capitalism’s Crisis

The Middle East is ablaze. Millions have fled the bombings and invasions of Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Libya and thousands more risk death fleeing the chaos. Reactionary and murderous groups like ISIS have filled a vacuum, shocking the world by targeting people least responsible for the struggles of people in Syria, and Iraq.

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Iraqi military helmets discarded during the defeat from Mosul

They have filled a vacuum left by the collapse of the secular left, exploited the chaos of intervention and fury at Imperialism. Often these ideas have gained support and d funding from the tyrannical Saudi regime, and been tacitly supported by the corrupt undemocratic Erdogan of Turkey, both states which are backed to the hilt by the West’s governments. The Bombs that will fall will kill Syrians, and be a propaganda coup for ISIS, Driving desperate people into there arms. Missiles will be accompanied by crocodile tears from our leaders. Whether it’s Paris or Raqqua all Cameron and Co will be thinking about is an opportunity to strengthen Their hands in a game of class war. Increase his security state and divide the working class with racism against refugees and Muslims. The situation is dire the entering of Russia into the conflict on a larger scale has cemented this as a proxy war. The world is being divided into separate opposing blocs of capitalist countries, on one side the USA, NATO and their allies face, China and Russia, both playing a game of posturing, increasingly ramping up tensions and actual conflicts like in the east of Ukraine. This is a high stakes game, not for Putin and Obama but for us, the working class. It’ll be us sent to die in wars for profit; it’s us who are killed in the terrorist attacks that spew out of the anarchy. It’s them who escape all blame. The real divide in society isn’t between us and Mulsims, or the Chinese. It’s us and the rich, the politicians the war mongers and profiteers. Only a society that breaks down artificial barriers like the Sykes–Picot border, that puts food education and shelter above profit will deliver us from the hell in the middle east that is a socialist world.