In the Rubble of US Imperialism: the PKK, YPG and the Islamic State
The mainstream news has been filled with stories about the horrors being committed by the Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq, and how the United States (US) ruling class and their state supposedly want to stop this for humanitarian reasons. What has not been widely covered in the corporate and state controlled media, however, is why the IS came to exist; the real reasons for the US state’s new round of intervention in the Middle East; and how the US state wants to isolate and likely destroy the only two forces that have been effective in fighting against the IS: the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) and the People’s Protection Units (YPG).
How the Islamic State arose
The IS’s rise from an obscure group to a force within the Middle East can be traced back to the US military’s invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. During the invasion the US military killed 1.4 million people and as an occupying force it brutalised the population. This naturally fuelled anti-US sentiments throughout the country.
In fact, the US occupation of Iraq was based on the tactics of divide and rule. To weaken the possibility of united resistance to its occupation, the US state supported autonomy for sections of the Kurdish people in northern Iraq under the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), which is headed by a corrupt pro-US ruling class. It also promoted sectarian violence in Iraq to make it hard for people to unify against the occupation. This included backing a puppet regime – despite the fact it came to be led by hard-line Shia politicians that were close to the Iranian regime – that suppressed large sections of the Sunni population.
Read more: In the Rubble of US Imperialism: the PKK, YPG and the Islamic State
To Hell with Economics
First published online here:http://sacsis.org.za/site/article/2132
President Jacob Zuma has just returned from Russia – a strange place to be for many a commentator here in SA, when you’re in the middle of a crisis at home. Maybe he and Putin were swapping stories of a new series of Survivor. Because Putin certainly would have a lot to teach Zuma on that score.
But important as those tips may be for our embattled Zuma, Putin has much bigger fish to fry and for those us more interested in social justice than the competing ambitions of Putin, Zuma and Obama we may miss a more significant moment.
Guardian economics editor, Larry Elliot, has just declared that Putin’s decision to trade Russia’s energy supplies to China in Yuan and Roubles – rather than the currency of world trade, the US dollar - marks the Death of New World Order of Free markets.
He notes that every prescription of that New Order and its economic consensus has been overturned after barely 20 years.
It is a quarter of a century since the Berlin Wall came down. Instead of two competing ideologies, there was just: capitalism. "We know what works", said the then US president, George Bush, "the free market works".
The next decade was the heyday for Bush's vision. Capitalism spread to parts of the world. The dollar entrenched its position as the global currency. The Federal Reserve became the world's central bank. The completion of the seven-year Uruguay Round of trade talks saw the World Trade Organisation set up to act as the global trade policeman and to facilitate further liberalisation.
But once a model based around cheap credit and excessive borrowing hit the rocks, it also became clear that the new unencumbered variant of capitalism also meant outsourced jobs, falling living standards and welfare cuts.
Read more: To Hell with Economics