Why Revolutionary Marxists Oppose Daesh/ISIL


By Yossi Schwarz, Internationalist Socialist League (RCIT Section in Israel / Occupied Palestine), 15.12.2015, http://www.the-isleague.com/ and www.thecommunists.net




On the night of November 13, 2015, ISIL staged a series of coordinated attacks in Paris, killing more than 130 persons and wounding more than 400, most of them innocent civilians.


Following these reactionary terrorist attacks, in Paris and other Western capitals the imperialists and their servants have cynically been trying to drum up working class support for more murderous military attacks in Syria and other countries in the Middle East and Africa.


King Abdullah II of Jordan wrote an article published in the Telegraph on December 1st:


Events taking place in the Middle East today will shape the security and stability of Europe and the world for decades to come. This is why I call the war on terrorism a Third World War, by other means. It is also why it is imperative for all of us to be united in this existential war. This is not a war that should divide us, but a war that should unite us in shared interests, common principles and fundamental human values“. (1)


And US President Obama stated: “We’re going to continue to push hard and the good news is, coming out of Paris, we’re seeing countries like Germany and Great Britain that had been hesitant about getting too actively involved in Syria, realizing that they have to be part of the solution here.” (2)


The imperialists’ war in Syria has the same character as the two US wars launched in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2001 and 2003, respectively, and the French war in Mali. These are all wars for imperialist domination, where the Western powers have bombed tortured and killed civilian population.


According to its own data analysis, the British-based monitoring group estimates that U.S.-led warplanes have killed at least 680 civilians, and as many as 975, since its campaign against ISIS began in August 2014. American allies in the fight have included France, Canada and 11 other countries. (3)


The RCIT has stated numerous times that it is always in the interest of the working class to oppose imperialist wars and occupations of other countries, in this case of Syria.


Furthermore, in Syria, it is the role of the working class and the poor peasants to overthrow the Assad regime and drive out the imperialist interlopers by means of a socialist revolution. For this to take place the working class must, among other tasks, defeat Daesh/ISIL.




Imperialist “War against Terror”




As usual, the Imperialists claim that they are fighting a war for democracy and against terror. Two questions come to mind. First, what exactly do the imperialists mean by democracy? Well, in Iraq, where the US claimed that it installed democracy what did they really do during their lengthy occupation of that country?


Over the past several months The Nation has interviewed fifty combat veterans of the Iraq War from around the United States in an effort to investigate the effects of the four-year-old occupation on average Iraqi civilians. These combat veterans, some of whom bear deep emotional and physical scars, and many of whom have come to oppose the occupation, gave vivid, on-the-record accounts. They described a brutal side of the war rarely seen on television screens or chronicled in newspaper accounts. Their stories, recorded and typed into thousands of pages of transcripts, reveal disturbing patterns of behavior by American troops in Iraq. Dozens of those interviewed witnessed Iraqi civilians, including children, dying from American firepower. Some participated in such killings; others treated or investigated civilian casualties after the fact. Many also heard such stories, in detail, from members of their unit. The soldiers, sailors and marines emphasized that not all troops took part in indiscriminate killings. Many said that these acts were perpetrated by a minority. But they nevertheless described such acts as common and said they often go unreported — and almost always go unpunished“. (4)


The second question is what is terror? The Webster Miriam dictionary defines terror as “violent or destructive acts (as bombing) committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands.


This definition is entirely one-sided as it attributes terror to “groups” and entirely ignores terror perpetrated by states. There is no such a thing as terror in the abstract just as there is no such a thing as an apple in the abstract. There are different types of apples: Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, McIntosh, Rome Beauty, Fuji, Jonathan, York, Gala, Idared, and Yellow Newton. Similarly, rather than abstract terror, there are only different kinds of terror: left-wing and right-wing terror; white and red terror; individual and state terror.




Left Wing Terror




Examples of left-wing terror were the assassination of the Emperor of Russia, Alexander II, by the Russian Narodnaya Volya (”People’s Will”) movement in March 1881; that of US President William Mackinley, who led the United States in its first military ventures as an imperialist power in the Spanish American War of 1898, and was shot and fatally wounded by a self-avowed anarchist, Leon Czolgosz, on September 6, 1901 and died eight days later from gangrene caused by the bullet wounds; Ernst vom Rath, a Nazi German diplomat was shot to death by Herschel Grynszpan, a seventeen-year-old Polish Jew in Paris in 1938.


These three cases were all morally justified acts of terror against oppressors. However, these acts were not working class revolutionary methods, as they only serve to strengthen the oppressors who exploit them, allegedly in revenge, to terrorize the exploited classes and the oppressed nationalities. In the A History of the Soviet Union (1985), Geoffrey Hosking wrote that, ultimately, the efforts of the “People’s Will” ended in failure: “In 1881 it actually succeeded in assassinating the Emperor Alexander II. But setting up a different regime, or even putting effective pressure on Alexander’s successor – that proved beyond their capacities. Their victory was a pyrrhic one: all it produced was more determined repression.” (5)


Following the assassination of US President Mackinley “state and federal legislation began to target anarchists, with bills being introduced almost immediately to expel avowed anarchists from the country and to prohibit their entry into the United States from other countries.” (6)


Following the assassination of Ernst vom Rath, the Nazi regime organized the huge Kristallnacht pogrom against German Jews.


As Trotsky wrote as early as 1911: If we oppose terrorist acts, it is only because individual revenge does not satisfy us. The account we have to settle with the capitalist system is too great to be presented to some functionary called a minister. To learn to see all the crimes against humanity, all the indignities to which the human body and spirit are subjected, as the twisted outgrowths and expressions of the existing social system, in order to direct all our energies into a collective struggle against this system—that is the direction in which the burning desire for revenge can find its highest moral satisfaction.“ (7)




Right Wing Terror




As there is left-wing terror, there is also right-wing terror. For example, the Nazis used right-wing terror to achieve state power by intimidating working class organizations and smashing meetings of the Social Democrats. In the US, right-wing organizations use terror against blacks and abortion clinics. “In recent years, the U.S. government’s counterterrorism policy has largely focused on Islamist radicals. This is largely a reaction to the 9/11 attacks. Meanwhile, attacks from right-wing radicals have largely been overlooked by officials. This is despite the fact that attacks from rightwing radicals have led to more deaths than “homegrown jihadists” since 9/11, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). In fact, since the twin towers were hit, self-proclaimed jihadists have killed 26 people in the U.S. whereas rightwing radicals have killed 48, so says statistics provided by the New America Foundation.“ (8)


The assassination of Israel’s Prime Minister Rabin is another example of individual right-wing terror. Yigal Amir’s act reflected the teachings of the right-wing rabbis who called for the assassination of Rabin because they opposed the Oslo agreement with the PLO. There have been many acts of right-wing Zionist terror against the Palestinians but the State of Israel usually ignores them.




White and Red Terror in the French Revolution




During the French Revolution, monarchists organized the “white terror” which began in 1791 in the Vendée in the west of France. The monarchist leaders of the white terror were supported by the British and French royalist immigrants in Britain, and on June 27 the British landed an army of 4,500 French royalists at Quiberon north of Vendée on the Atlantic coast of Brittany. This was a counter-revolutionary offensive that lasted from March to September 1793 during which more than 100,000 persons were killed.


In response to the monarchist counter-revolution, on April 6th, 1793 the Convention created the Comité de salut public (Committee for Public Safety) led by the Jacobins which used harsh measures to stop the Vendée insurrection. “According to some estimations 40,000 supporters and suspected supporters of the royalists were executed.” (9)




White and Red Terror in the Russian Revolution




Similar events took place during the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Immediately after the Bolshevik Revolution, counter-revolutionary forces initiated the civil war and during which they utilized “white terror.” Those that joined the whites included the party of Cadets who wanted to continue the armed struggle against the pro-imperialist war Mensheviks and the right Social revolutionaries. Others who joined the “white terror” included the exploitative classes: landowners who had lost the estates, factory owners who had lost their plants, devout members of the Russian Orthodox Church, all the royalists who wanted to restore the monarchy and continue exploiting the workers and the peasants. They were supported by imperialist troops from Britain, France, Japan and the United States who were sent into Russia. By December, 1918, there were 200,000 foreign soldiers supporting the counter- revolutionary forces.


Alexander Kolchack became the supreme leader of the counter- revolutionary government based in Omsk. Kolchak suppressed the trade unions, disbanded the soviets, and gave the factories and land back to their previous owners. He utilized “white terror” and murdered at least 25,000 people in Ekaterinburg. The Bolsheviks responded with “red terror” against the monarchists and their supporters. All in all “around 800,000 soldiers were killed during the three year Civil War. It has estimated that another 8 million died as from starvation and disease as result of the war.” (10)




US State Terrorism




The US has a long history of supporting right-wing terror and of using state terror. The director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan – Lt. General William Odom – stated:


“The second perverse policy is the so called ‘Global War on Terrorism.’ As many critics have pointed out, terrorism is not an enemy. It is a tactic. Because the United States itself has a long record of supporting terrorists and using terrorist tactics, the slogans of today’s war on terrorism merely makes the United States look hypocritical to the rest of the world.” (11)


The head and special agent in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles office stated that most terror attacks are committed by the US’s CIA and FBI. (12)


Israel’s war against Gaza in 2014 killed over 2,000 Gazan civilians and more than 10,000 were wounded (including 3,374 children, of whom over 1,000 were left permanently disabled). This is a specific example for state terrorism.




Marxism and Islamism




The fact that ISIL’s declared aim is to establish the Caliphate, a reactionary aim – as it is impossible to turn back the pages of history – would not in itself be a sufficient reason not to side with it in a military confrontation if it were fighting an imperialist invasion. The problem is that ISIL kills civilians rather than imperialist soldiers.


Right-wing centrists like Allan Woods of the IMT loves to remind us that on June 5, 1920 Lenin presented his theses on the national and colonial question to the Second Congress of The Communist International. In this important document we read the following:


“With regard to the more backward states and nations, in which feudal or patriarchal and patriarchal-peasant relations predominate, it is particularly important to bear in mind:


first, that all Communist parties must assist the bourgeois-democratic liberation movement in these countries, and that the duty of rendering the most active assistance rests primarily with the workers of the country the backward nation is colonially or financially dependent on;


second, the need for a struggle against the clergy and other influential reactionary and medieval elements in backward countries


third, the need to combat Pan-Islamism and similar trends, which strive to combine the liberation movement against European and American imperialism with an attempt to strengthen the positions of the khans, landowners, mullahs.” (13)


What he forgets to tell us is that Bolshevik politics polarized and split the Islamic movement into right and left factions. Most Muslim leaders were convinced that they have a better chance of religious freedom under Soviet power. The Bolsheviks were able to form alliances with the Kazakh pan-Islamic group the Ush-Zhuz (which joined the Communist Party in 1920), the Persian pan-Islamist guerillas in the Jengelis, and the Vaisites, a Sufi brotherhood. In Dagestan, Soviet power was established largely by the partisans of the Muslim leader Ali-Hadji Akushinskii. In Chechnya, the Bolsheviks won over Ali Mataev, the head of a powerful Sufi order, who led the Chechen Revolutionary Committee. (14)


As a result of the Bolsheviks experience the Communist International stated in its Theses on the Eastern Question at its Fourth Congress in 1922:


In Moslem countries the national movement at first finds its ideology in the religio-political watchwords of pan-Islam. (…) But to the extent that the national liberation movements grow and expand, the religio-political watchwords of pan-Islam are increasingly replaced by concrete political demands.” (15)


Thus Lenin understood the need for an anti-imperialist united front with Islamist organizations as long as they opposed the imperialists. Muslims became communists because of this policy. Arguing like Woods and relying on part of the truth leads to Islamophobia.


There have been Islamic regimes which revolutionary Marxists have defended against imperialism without giving them any political support, while the reformists supported the imperialist side. The reformist Eduard Bernstein in January 5, 1898 wrote an article in which he defended colonial rule over Morocco:


There is a great deal of sound evidence to support the view that, in the present state of public opinion in Europe, the subjection of natives to the authority of European administration does not always entail a worsening of their condition, but often means the opposite. Even before the arrival of Europeans in Africa, brutal wars, robbery, and slavery were not unknown. Indeed, they were the regular order of the day. What was unknown was the degree of peace and legal protection made possible by European institutions and the consequent sharp rise in food resources.” (16)


The Communist International was on the side of the Islamic Republic of the Rif against French and Spanish imperialism in the 1920s. (17) The RCIT stood on the side of the Tuareg tribesmen of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) against French imperialism, and we consistently oppose Israel in its wars in Gaza and Lebanon. (18)


Moslems can be revolutionaries. One of the best-known cases is Malcolm X, who was murdered when he started becoming a Marxist.


The 1992 CBS documentrary, ‘The Real Malcolm X, An Intimate Portrait of the man’, narrated by Dan Rather. Spike Lee’s documentary movie, Malcolm X, had left out the most of the events in the last year of Malcolm’s life, starting with March 12, 1964 Press Statement By Malcolm X. When Denzel Washington, acting as Malcolm X, is shown addressing this press conference, right after Malcolm’s statement: “There can be no black-white unity until there is first some’ black unity,” Denzel Washington did not state what Malcolm X said next, which was “There can be no workers solidarity until there is first some racial solidarity,” The statement about ’workers solidarity’ showed some of Malcolm’s thinking and outlook at that time — he was becoming anti-capitalist in his political thinking.” (19)


Another important case is the PKI in Indonesia where a significant part of the Sarekat Islam were won to communism following Russian revolution of 1917 and the work of the small Indonesian Social Democratic Association (ISDV), led by Sneevliet, inside the Islamic organization. (20)


On the other hand Islamic organizations can be used by the imperialists to smash working class and poor peasant organizations as happened in Indonesia after Suharto Military coup supported by the CIA in 1965.




Taliban and Al-Qaeda




Daesh/ISIL was formed following a split from al-Qaeda. Thus, we should deal with another question: what is al-Qaeda? Imperialist propaganda has presented the attack of 9/11 as a terrorist attack coming out of the blue, the result of the terroristic nature of al-Qaeda and the Taliban which harbored it. Of course, many in the West are aware of the fact that the US supported the predecessors of al-Qaeda and the Taliban at least from 1979 onwards when the US decided to fund troops to fight against the Soviet Union. These Mujahedeen, including the later al-Qaeda and the Taliban, were armed by the US, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia.


Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a leader of the Mujahedeen and today an important collaborator of the Taliban, was once among America’s most valued allies. In the 1980s, the CIA funneled hundreds of millions of dollars in weapons and ammunition to help him to fight the Soviet Army during its occupation of Afghanistan. Hekmatyar, then widely considered by Washington to be a reliable anti-Soviet rebel, was even flown to the United States by the CIA in 1985.


So the real question is: Why is there a conflict between the Taliban and Al-Qeada and the US? After all, these organizations used “terror” with the blessing and support of the US.


When the Taliban came to power they were not ready to act in the service of the US. A week after the 9/11 terrorist attack in 2001, a former Pakistani diplomat told the BBC that the US had been planning military action against Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban even before the al-Qaeda’s attack.


Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani Foreign Secretary, was told by senior American officials in mid-July that military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October. Mr Naik said US officials told him of the plan at a UN-sponsored international contact group on Afghanistan which took place in Berlin. Mr Naik told the BBC that at the meeting the US representatives told him that unless Bin Laden was handed over swiftly America would take military action to kill or capture both Bin Laden and the Taleban leader, Mullah Omar. The wider objective, according to Mr Naik, would be to topple the Taleban regime and install a transitional government of moderate Afghans in its place – possibly under the leadership of the former Afghan King Zahir Shah.” (21)


Another source confirms this:


When the Bush administration came to power, however, it decided to give the Taliban one last chance. This last chance occurred at a four-day meeting in Berlin in July 2001… According to the Pakistani representative at this meeting, Niaz Naik, US representatives, trying to convince the Taliban to share power with US-friendly factions, said: “Either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs.” Naik said that he was told by Americans that “military action against Afghanistan would go ahead…before the snows started falling in Afghanistan, by the middle of October at the latest.” (22)


Likewise, Bob Woodward, one of the two journalists who exposed the Watergate scandal, wrote in the Washington Post on November 18, 2001


For the last 18 months, the CIA has been working with tribes and warlords in southern Afghanistan, and the division’s units have helped create a significant new network in the region of the Taliban’s greatest strength.” (23)


Thus the US war against the Taliban and al-Qaeda has nothing to do with the fact they were terrorists, but with the fact the Americans were not in total control of these organizations after the end of the war against the Stalinist government in Kabul.








ISIL has its origins in the Iraq War of 2003–11. Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), ISIL’s immediate predecessor, fought in the Sunni insurgency against the Iraqi government and foreign imperialists occupying forces. After Zarqawi’s death in 2006, the group combined with smaller groups and took the name the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI). In 2010, the leader of the group became Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (his real name is Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai) who had been released from a five-year detention in a US-run prison in southern Iraq.


The sectarian policies of the pro-imperialist Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki imposed by the US in Iraq helped the AQI/ISI to grow from 2011, as is attested to be one former prisoner:


I now want to explain to people what is occurring in the prisons that [Prime Minister Nouri al-] Maliki and his gangs are running,” Heba added. “I was raped over and over again, I was kicked and beaten and insulted and spit upon.” Heba’s story, horrific as it is, unfortunately is but one example of what a recent report from Amnesty International refers to as “a grim cycle of human rights abuses” in Iraq today. The report, “Iraq: Still paying a high price after a decade of abuses,” exposes a long chronology of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees committed by Iraqi security forces, as well as by foreign troops, in the wake of the US-led 2003 invasion.” (24)


Daesh/ISIL entered Syria in 2012. In April 2013, Baghdadi announced that he combined his forces in Iraq and Syria with the al-Nusrah Front under the name Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The unification was rejected by the al-Nusrah Front and resulted in open fighting between these two organizations.


Thus the true question is not whether ISIL is an organization of extreme Islamists, but rather which class do the actions of ISIL serve? The answer to this is provided by information which sheds light on the US’s intention that ISIL establish an Islamic state in eastern Syria:


A revealing light on how we got here has now been shown by a recently declassified secret US intelligence report, written in August 2012, which uncannily predicts – and effectively welcomes – the prospect of a “Salafist principality” in eastern Syria and an al-Qaida-controlled Islamic state in Syria and Iraq. In stark contrast to western claims at the time, the Defense Intelligence Agency document identifies al-Qaida in Iraq (which became Isis) and fellow Salafists as the “major forces driving the insurgency in Syria” – and states that “western countries, the Gulf states and Turkey” were supporting the opposition’s efforts to take control of eastern Syria. Raising the “possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality,” the Pentagon report goes on, “this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).” (25)


In the last few days it has been revealed that IISL is selling oil to Israel.


Kurdish and Turkish smugglers are transporting oil from ISIS controlled territory in Syria and Iraq and selling it to Israel, according to several reports in the Arab and Russian media. An estimated 20,000-40,000 barrels of oil are produced daily in ISIS controlled territory generating $1-1.5 million daily profit for the terrorist organization. Crude currently sell for $41 and $45 per barrel to the Israeli mediator, a man in his 50s with dual Greek-Israeli citizenship known as Dr. Farid. He transports the oil via several Turkish ports and then onto other ports, with Israel among the main destinations.” (26)




Why Daesh/ISIL Attracts New Supporters?




The reformist left, including the scores of national communist parties on the one hand stand with the Syrian regime, and on the other with the imperialists. Following the terrorist attacks in Paris, the leader of the PCF said: ”We salute the work of law enforcement…. Even as a state of emergency has now been declared by the government, reinforcement of the police and of the justice system’s resources is an imperative. Less than a year after the attacks in January, the Republic has been struck at its heart… France is affected by the war and the destabilization that is plaguing the Middle-East. The fight against terrorism calls for increased engagement and international solutions.” (27)


This position puts the PCF squarely in the camp of those who support the imperialist “war of terrorism” against the Syrian people.


Unfortunately, the centrists are not much better. Adam Booth of the IMT (led by Alan Woods) has written: “The driving force behind this latest military intervention is not to destroy the reactionary forces of jihadi fundamentalism, but to restore the pride of the British ruling class and to prove that British imperialism is still an important player in world relations”….. Indeed, even the so-called ’moderates’ that Western imperialism has backed thus far, in the fight against Assad, are in fact just Islamist extremists of one variety or another.” (28)


For the IMT there is no legitimate opposition to Assad; rather they all are Islamists jihadi fundamentalists and the only problem with the British imperialist war drive is that it is not serious enough. According to this position, “socialists” have no part in this war. Were the imperialists seriously fighting the jihadi fundamentalism, then we could, according to IMT, side with the imperialists.


No wonder that, with this kind of politics claiming to be revolutionary, thousands of young people are joining the Islamist rebels and not the so-called radical left because they want to fight the imperialists. If there were a revolutionary working class International, these young people would have joined it.


Some centrist tendencies like the Spartacists openly support ISIL, having replaced their loyalty to Stalinism with loyalty to murdering, anti-working class terrorists. In their newspaper Workers Vanguard of April 3rd 2015, the Spartacists wrote:


It is the duty of class-conscious workers everywhere, particularly in the U.S., to oppose all wars and occupations carried out by the imperialists. When the U.S. began air strikes against ISIS last year, we explained that “any force, however unsavory, that attacks, repels or otherwise impedes U.S. forces strikes a blow in the interests of the exploited and the oppressed” (“U.S. Out of Iraq! No Intervention in Syria!” WV No. 1051, 5 September 2014). We take a military side with ISIS when it targets the imperialists and forces acting as their proxies, including the Baghdad government and the Shi’ite militias as well as the Kurdish peshmerga forces in Northern Iraq and the Syrian Kurdish nationalists. This does not mean we give the slightest political support to the reactionary ISIS butchers.” (29)


In abstract, this is a revolutionary position, but abstractions hide the concrete truth. What they ignore of course is that ISIL actually kills innocent civilians of our class and that the Kurds are an oppressed nationality whose right of self-determination true Marxists must support, just as ISIL opposes it.








The RCIT opposes ISIL not only because it is a radical Islamist organization, but because it attacks the rebel forces who are currently leading the ongoing Syrian Revolution and kills innocent civilians in Syria, Iraq, and Europe. In its criminal actions, it is an imminent danger for the revolutionary process. Furthermore it only fosters imperialist state terror and the extreme right in Europe.


ISIL is not a freedom fighting outfit with a reactionary ideology. It is an authentic obstacle to the Syrian revolution. It is an organization that must be isolated and defeated by the opposition forces in Syria and Iraq as a dangerous enemy of the Syrian revolution, of both Shias and Sunnis, and above all of the working class.


At the same time we oppose any support for the imperialists’ so called “war against terrorism” aimed at controlling Syria and the Middle East. It is the task of the working class at the head of the masses to defeat the imperialists, Assad’s regime, and ISIL.


In any military clash against the imperialists, the RCIT continues to stand with ISIL against the imperialists, without giving them any political support whatsoever, as the imperialists are the worse enemy. But, when it comes to the Kurds or the Syrian rebels, we stand with them against ISIL.






(1) King Abdullah II of Jordan: We are all fighting Isil – the outlaws of Islam, The Daily Telegraph, 01 Dec 2015, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/islamic-state/12027918/We-are-all-fighting-the-outlaws-of-Islam.html


(2) CBS News: President Obama defends his strategy against ISIS, December 3, 2015, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/president-obama-isis-threat-paris-style-terror-attack-us/


(3) Shane Dixon Kavanaugh: How Many Civilians Has The U.S. Coalition Killed Bombing ISIS? Nov 24, 2015, http://www.vocativ.com/news/254506/how-many-civilians-has-the-u-s-killed-bombing-isis/


(4) Chris Hedges, Laila Al-Arian: War on Iraq. Confessions from U.S. Soldiers in Iraq on the Brutal Treatment of Civilians, The Nation, July 12, 2007, http://www.alternet.org/story/56761/confessions_from_u.s._soldiers_in_iraq_on_the_brutal_treatment_of_civilians


(5) John Simkin: The People’s Will (Narodnaya Volya), Spartacus Educational, http://spartacus-educational.com/RUSpw.htm


(6) The Legal Aftermath of the Assassination of William McKinley, http://library.buffalo.edu/pan-am/exposition/law/


(7) Leon Trotsky Why Marxists Oppose Individual Terrorism (November 1911), https://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1911/11/tia09.htm


(8) Justin Salhani: Right-Wing Terrorists Are Killing More Americans Than Jihadists Are, And Now The DOJ Will Act, OCT 16, 2015, http://thinkprogress.org/world/2015/10/16/3713318/doj-creates-new-post-to-focus-on-threats-from-rightwing-radicals-and-other-domestic-terrorists/


(9) Bastille Day and the French Revolution (1789), http://bastille-day.com/history/the-terror


(10) John Simkin: The Russian Civil War, Spartacus Educational, http://spartacus-educational.com/RUScivilwar.htm


(11) William Odom: American Hegemony: How to Use It, How to Lose It, http://www.middlebury.edu/media/view/214721/original/OdomPaper.pdf


(12) Ted Gunderson (Former FBI Chief): Most Terror Attacks Are Committed By Our CIA And FBI, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZ2VpfUqRoo&feature=player_embedded


(13) V. I. Lenin Draft Theses on National and Colonial Questions For The Second Congress Of The Communist International, in: Lenin Collected Works Vol. 31, p. 149, https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1920/jun/05.htm


(14) See e.g. A Bennigsen and S Wimbush, Muslim National Communism in the Soviet Union: A Revolutionary Strategy for the Colonial World, Chicago, 1979, pp 222 -223. See also Dave Crouch: The Bolsheviks and Islam, International Socialism 2:110, Spring 2006, http://www.marxists.de/religion/crouch/bolshislam.html


(15) Communist International: Theses on the Eastern Question, 5 December 1922, Fourth Congress of the Communist International, in: Jane Degras: The Communist International 1919-1943. Documents Volume I 1919-1922, p. 385.


(16) Eduard Bernstein: The Struggle of Social Democracy and the Social Revolution, 1898, quoted in: Louis Proyect: The Bernstein-Bax debate, May 17, 2008, http://louisproyect.org/2008/05/17/the-bernstein-bax-debate/


(17) On the Marxist tradition of anti-imperialist struggle see e.g. Michael Pröbsting: The Great Robbery of the South. Continuity and Changes in the Super-Exploitation of the Semi-Colonial World by Monopoly Capital Consequences for the Marxist Theory of Imperialism, 2013, chapter 12 and 13, http://www.great-robbery-of-thesouth.net/


(18) On Mail see e.g. Johannes Wiener: For a free and socialist Azawad! Our attitude to the freedom struggle of the Tuareg people in Mali, April 2012, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/mali-free-azawad/ and RCIT: Down with France’s Colonial War in Mali! 19.1.2013, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/no-to-france-s-war-in-mali/


On the RCIT’s position on the Palestinian liberation struggle and its history we have published numerous documents. See e.g. Yossi Schwartz: Israel’s War of 1948 and the Degeneration of the Fourth International, in: Revolutionary Communism, Special Issue on Palestine, No. 10, June 2013, www.thecommunists.net/theory/israel-s-war-of-1948-1


Yossi Schwartz: Israel’s Six-Day War of 1967. On the Character of the War, the Marxist Analysis and the Position of the Israeli Left, in: Revolutionary Communism No. 12, July/August 2013, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/israel-s-war-of-1967/


For an overview of the Trotskyist strategy for Israel / Occupied Palestine we refer readers to the RCIT’s section program: Summary of the Program of the Internationalist Socialist League, February 2014, http://www.the-isleague.com/our-platform/


An additional elaboration of the Trotskyist program can be read in: Michael Pröbsting: On some Questions of the Zionist Oppression and the Permanent Revolution in Palestine, in: Revolutionary Communism, Special Issue on Palestine, No. 10, June 2013, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/permanent-revolution-in-palestine


(19) Roland Sheppard: The Assassinations of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/writers/rsheppard/malcolmandking.htm


(20) See on this e.g. Jean Duval, The First Period of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI): 1914-1926 – An outline, http://www.marxist.com/indonesian-communist-party-pki2000.htm


(21) George Arney: US ‘planned attack on Taleban’, BBC, 18 September, 2001, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1550366.stm


(22) Quoted in David Ray Griffin: 9/11: Possible Motives Of The Bush Administration, Global Research, December 02, 2005, http://www.globalresearch.ca/9-11-possible-motives-of-the-bush-administration/1391


(23) Bob Woodward: Secret CIA Units Playing a Central Combat Role, Washington Post, Saturday, November 18, 2001, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/CIA18.html


(24) Dahr Jamail: Maliki’s Iraq: Rape, executions and torture, Al Jazeera, 19 March 2013, http://www.aljazeera.com/humanrights/2013/03/201331883513244683.html


(25) Seumas Milne: Now the truth emerges: how the US fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq,The Guardian, June 3 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/03/us-isis-syria-iraq


(26) Globes (An Israeli newspaper): Israel buys most oil smuggled from ISIS territory, 30/11/2015, http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-israel-buys-most-oil-smuggled-from-isis-territory-report-1001084873


(27) French Communist Party: Democracy is a Weapon in the Fight Against Islamic State, https://tendancecoatesy.wordpress.com/2015/11/20/french-communist-party-democracy-is-a-weapon-in-the-fight-against-islamic-state/.


On the RCIT’s position on the Paris attack see: RCIT: Terror in Paris is the Result of Imperialist Terror in the Middle East! Stop France’s and other Imperialist Powers’ Warmongering! No Mobilization of the Army inside France! Defend the Muslim Peoples against Chauvinist Hatemongering and State Repression! 14.11.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/terror-in-paris/


On the RCIT’s position on the increasing militarization of the EU after the Paris attack see: RCIT: Increasing Instability and Militarization in the European Union. On the Tasks of Revolutionaries in the New Political Phase which has Opened in Europe after the Terrorist Attack in Paris, 08.12.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/militarism-in-eu/


(28) Adam Booth: Britain set for war in Syria as Blairites back Cameron, 1 December 2015, http://www.marxist.com/britain-set-for-war-in-syria-as-blairites-back-cameron.htm


(29) Workers Vanguard: US Out of the Near East, April 3 2015, http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1065/neareast.html






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About RCIT Britain

What the RCIT stands for Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT)is a revolutionary combat organisation fighting for the liberation of the working class and all oppressed. It has national sections in a number of countries. The working class is composed of all those (and their families) who are forced to sell their labor power as wage earners to the capitalists. The RCIT stands on the theory and practice of the revolutionary workers’ movement associated with the names of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Trotsky. Capitalism endangers our lives and the future of humanity. Unemployment, war, environmental disasters, hunger, and exploitation are all part of everyday life under capitalism as are the imperialistic oppression of nations, the national oppression of migrants, and the oppression of women, young people, and homosexuals. Therefore, we want to eliminate capitalism. The liberation of the working class and all oppressed is possible only in a classless society without exploitation and oppression. Such a society can only be established internationally. Therefore, the RCIT is fighting for a socialist revolution at home and around the world. This revolution must be carried out and lead by the working class, for only this class has the collective power to bring down the ruling class and build a socialist society. The revolution cannot proceed peacefully because a ruling class never has nor ever will voluntarily surrender its power. By necessity, therefore, the road to liberation includes armed rebellion and civil war against the capitalists. The RCIT is fighting for the establishment of workers’ and peasants’ republics, where the oppressed organize themselves in councils democratically elected in rank-and-file meetings in factories, neighbourhoods, and schools. These councils, in turn, elect and control the government and all other statue authorities, and always retain the right to recall them. Authentic socialism and communism have nothing to do with the so-called “socialism” that ruled in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and which continues to do so in China and Cuba, for example. In these countries, the proletariat was and is dominated and oppressed by a privileged party bureaucracy. Under capitalism, the RCIT supports all efforts to improve the living conditions of the workers and oppressed, while simultaneously striving to overthrow this system based on economic exploitation of the masses. Towards these ends, we work from within the trade unions where we advocate class struggle, socialism, and workers’ democracy. But trade unions and social democracy are controlled by a bureaucracy perniciously connected with the state and capital via status, high-paying jobs, and other privileges. Thus, the trade union bureaucracy is far from the interests and living conditions of its members, based as it is on the top, privileged layers of the working class – a labor aristocracy which has no real interest in replacing capitalism. Therefore, the true struggle for the liberation of the working class, the toppling of capitalism and the establishment of socialism, must be based on the broad mass of the proletariat rather than their “representative” from the upper trade union strata. We also fight for the expropriation of the big land owners as well as for the nationalisation of the land and its distribution to the poor and landless peasants. Towards this goal we struggle for the independent organisation of the rural workers. We support national liberation movements against oppression. We also support the anti-imperialist struggles of oppressed peoples against the great powers. Within these movements we advocate a revolutionary leadership as an alternative to nationalist or reformist forces. While the RCIT strives for unity of action with other organizations, we are acutely aware that the policies of social democrats and pseudo-revolutionary groups are dangerous, and ultimately represent an obstacle to the emancipation of the working class, peasants, and the otherwise oppressed. In wars between imperialist states we take a revolutionary defeatist position: we do not support either side, but rather advocate the transformation of the war into a civil war against the ruling class in each of the warring states. In wars between imperialist powers (or their stooges) and a semi-colonial countries we stand for the defeat of the former and the victory of the oppressed countries. As communists, we maintain that the struggle against national oppression and all types of social oppression (women, youth, sexual minorities etc.) must be lead by the working class, because only the latter is capable of fomenting a revolutionarily change in society . Therefore, we consistently support working class-based revolutionary movements of the socially oppressed, while opposing the leadership of petty-bourgeois forces (feminism, nationalism, Islamism, etc.), who ultimately dance to the tune of the capitalists, and strive to replace them with revolutionary communist leadership. Only with a revolutionary party fighting as its leadership can the working class be victorious in its struggle for liberation. The establishment of such a party and the execution of a successful revolution, as it was demonstrated by the Bolsheviks in Russia under Lenin and Trotsky remain the models for revolutionary parties and revolutions in the 21st century. For new, revolutionary workers' parties in all countries! For a 5th Workers International to be founded on a revolutionary program! Join the RCIT! No future without socialism! No socialism without revolution! No revolution without a revolutionary party!
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