IAC Statement: Demand independent investigation: U.S./EU exploits plane shootdown over Ukraine

In the aftermath of the horrific crash of a Malaysian Airlines civilian jet that killed 298 people on July 18 in the war zone of eastern Ukraine, the governments of the United States and European Union are cynically trying to exploit the incident for their own imperialist gains.

President Barack Obama has blamed Russia, claiming that the shoot down was the result of the civil war in Ukraine and asserting that Russia instigated the war. However, in reality, the war was caused by the aggressive policy of U.S. and EU imperialism.

In order to install a regime that would cater to International Monetary Fund dictates, force austerity on working-class Ukrainians, and bind Ukraine to NATO, the imperialist powers supported a d’état that relied on vicious, openly pro-fascist forces. The aggression from Kiev–including the bombing of southeastern cities, the killing of civilians and the forced exile of tens of thousands to Russia–makes the resistance of the people of Ukraine inevitable and completely justified.

The cause of the crash remains rooted in speculation as of now. However, it is highly unlikely that the popular resistance forces in Ukraine have weapons capable of shooting down a plane at the altitude, and it is clear that neither Russia nor the resistance have any motive in downing a passenger aircraft. There are also many questions surrounding the role of the U.S.-supported Kiev government’s rerouting of the civilian aircraft to a trajectory directly over the war zone.

In fact, the only one who could possibly gain from the shoot down are U.S. and EU imperialism, and they have wasted no time in attempting to manipulate the situation. Progressives in the U.S. and around the world must remain vigilant to the threat of increased aggression on the part of these warmongers.

We demand an independent inquiry into the cause of the plane shoot down. And we demand that the U.S. and EU end their bloody intervention in Ukraine.

U.S. caused Iraq’s present war and chaos.

With the outbreak of fighting from Mosul to Tikrit putting Iraq back onto the front burner of world media coverage and with the Obama administration threatening air strikes in Iraq once again, anti-war organizations and activists in the United States must take a clear position against further U.S. intervention of any type. Broad opposition must again be mobilized to demand:

No bombing, no military aid, no advisors and no troops to Iraq!

While it is still unclear exactly who is directing the forces against the Baghdad regime, this remains clear: No intervention by the Pentagon or by the U.S.’s NATO allies can improve conditions for the Iraqi people. Such an intervention will widen the war and create even more harm.

In addition, military strikes in Iraq – not to mention the possibility of again sending U.S. troops into the region – will mean adding to the already trillions of dollars that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have stolen from working people inside the United States.

The history of U.S. relations with Iraq, especially the U.S. war of 1991 and the murderous sanctions of the following 12 years attest to this truth. Then in March of 2003, U.S. and British imperialism committed the gravest possible war crime when they launched an aggressive war to conquer Iraq.
This war and the eight-year occupation killed 1.5 million Iraqis, drove five million more into external and internal exile, and destroyed the healthcare, educational, sanitary and industrial infrastructure. It also killed 4,500 U.S. troops and wounded 30,000 to 100,000 more who are still suffering.

To keep a powerful popular resistance movement from defeating the U.S.-British occupation in 2004 and 2005, U.S. strategists did everything possible to exacerbate ethnic and religious differences among Iraqis so as to divide the resistance. The U.S. occupation force treated Sunni and Shiite differently and Arab and Kurd differently. They consciously fostered antagonisms and poisoned all relations between the groupings.

When the U.S. pulled its combat troops out of Iraq in 2011, it left an unpopular client regime headed by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, hated by many sectors of Iraqis. In the past months, the Baghdad regime answered all protesting groups with bullets and bombs. Fallujah, a town already much destroyed by U.S. bombs, was again a target.

It was almost inevitable that sectors of Iraqi society would try to topple this regime. Finally, armed opponents of the Maliki regime seized Mosul and other cities north of Baghdad. The Iraqi army occupying this region collapsed and retreated. This brought Iraq to today’s crisis.

Both Maliki and U.S. political leaders concentrate their propaganda against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as the group leading the military uprising in Mosul, Tikrit and other Iraqi towns. Other sources include Iraqi secular nationalist forces – such as those from the Baath Party and local tribal organizations in the forces fighting against Maliki.

ISIS, a reactionary sectarian heavily armed militia has been funded by Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are U.S. allies with their own local interests and connections. ISIS profited from U.S. and NATO attempts to enflame sectarian violence to overthrow the Bashar al-Assad government in Syria.

Whatever and whoever is involved in the conflict in Iraq today direct U.S. military intervention can only make the situation worse for all, just as it did earlier in Iraq and just as imperialist intervention has in Syria, Libya, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Somalia, Mali, and Ukraine.

It is U.S. imperialist intervention that caused the crisis and instability that poisons Iraq today. Further intervention will only worsen life for the Iraqis and for the U.S. working class.

U.S. stay out of Iraq!

Jafe Arnoldski speaking at Tucson teach-in on U.S./NATO intervention in Ukraine (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Jafe Arnoldski speaking at Tucson teach-in on U.S./NATO intervention in Ukraine (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Tucson teach-in on U.S./NATO intervention in Ukraine

By Jafe Arnoldski

May 27, 2014

Originally published in FightBack!News http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/5/27/tucson-teach-usnato-intervention-ukraine

Tucson, AZ – Tucson activists organized a presentation and discussion on the crisis in Ukraine, May 23. The teach-in was part of the nationwide emergency action campaign, initiated by the United National Antiwar Coalition, against U.S. intervention in Ukraine.

The event, attended by 20 anti-war activists and Tucsonans eager to learn about the ominous developments in Ukraine, featured speakers from the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Alliance for Global Justice, and Workers World Party. The presentations covered the history and dynamics leading up to the Maidan protests, the U.S. and NATO-backed fascist coup in February, the current anti-fascist resistance across the country and the role of U.S. imperialism and the corporate media.

Paul Teitelbaum with Workers World Party and an organizer of the panel explained, “People will never be told the truth of the situation by the bourgeois media. So it’s important to gather and learn about the role of U.S. imperialism in creating the crisis in Ukraine and the relationship between the imperialists and the fascists. Combating media lies and clarifying the political character of the events will help us build the strong anti-imperialist, anti-war movement that we need.”

After the presentations, a lively question and answer discussion shed further light on the urgent need to oppose the U.S. efforts that are backing fascists in Ukraine and the malicious expansion of NATO into Eastern Europe. Speakers and participants also drew connections between U.S. meddling in Ukraine, Belarus and Venezuela.

In front of a flag of the newly established Donetsk People’s Republic in Eastern Ukraine, activists demanded “U.S. hands off Ukraine,” and “Victory to the anti-fascist resistance,” and vowed to uphold solidarity with the people of Ukraine in opposing the U.S.-backed Kiev junta.

Crisis in Ukraine:
Presentation and Discussion

Friday May23 6:30-8:30pm

Revolutionary Grounds Books and Coffee

606 N 4th Ave Tucson

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/events/721955517864741/

What exactly is happening in Ukraine?

Who is who and why should progressives support the anti-Kiev resistance?

Activists from the Tucson area will be gathering to answer these questions in a community event to include:

  • Presentation on situation in Ukraine

  • Talk on the role of the US in the crisis

  • Talk on the role of the mainstream media in the crisis

  • Question and Answer and discussion session

SIGN Petition: U.S. Hands Off Russia and the Ukraine

Please send email messages to President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Kerry, Senator McCain, Secretary-General Ban, Congress and the media saying: U.S. HANDS OFF RUSSIA AND THE UKRAINE!

SIGN the online petition at http://www.iacenter.org/ukrainepetition

TEXT of Petition:

TO: President Obama, Senator McCain, Secretary Kerry, Secretary-General Ban, Members of Congress, and Members of the Media:

The overwhelming majority of the population of the U.S. is against being dragged into another disastrous war. Nothing is more dangerous than the aggressive U.S./NATO troop movements right on the borders of Russia.

Sending U.S. destroyers into the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea; scheduling threatening U.S./NATO war games and troop movements in East Europe; and imposing sanctions on the Russian Federation is a threat to peace on a world scale. We have seen the cost of past and continuing U.S. wars, which enrich the military corporations while impoverishing the targeted countries as well as poor and working people here in the U.S.

The years of U.S. funding of fascist forces in Ukraine and the recognition of a government in Kiev that overthrew the elected government, seized power and appointed extreme right-wing groups to head the police, army and national guard in order to pull Ukraine into NATO membership makes the U.S. complicit in the complete denial of the rights of the Ukrainian people. It is also a provocation against the entire region.

People in East and South Ukraine, outraged by this coup government, have attempted to resist the illegal junta, have declared an independent People’s Republic of Donetsk, and have called for referendums. In response, the right-wing coup government has allowed its military forces and other fascists to terrorize the Ukrainian people. In the most recent incident, some 40 people were massacred in the city of Odessa on May 2 by fascist militants, loyal to the Kiev government, who set the Trades Union Building on fire. In addition, 23 people were killed at Slavyansk and in Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region in attacks by Ukrainian military forces from May 2-3.

Despite mass desertions by Ukrainian police and military personnel, so-called “anti-terrorist” campaigns against activists in southeastern Ukraine were launched immediately after visits to Kiev by U.S. officials. Washington has spent $5 billion to effect “regime change” in Ukraine, helping to bring into power a junta dominated by fascist, racist, anti-Semitic organizations like Svoboda, Fatherland and Right Sector. Meanwhile, the U.S. has pledged up to $10 billion in loans to the illegal coup regime, and Washington has been instrumental in securing a $17 billion aid and austerity package from the International Monetary Fund.

This massive U.S. intervention in the Ukraine and ever-increasing campaign to surround and isolate Russia must end. I therefore demand:

  1. That the U.S. government and all its public, secret, official and unofficial agencies immediately cease all forms of intervention in Ukraine, including ceasing all material and political aid to fascist and right-wing organizations within the country;
  2. That all sanctions and threats of sanctions against the Russian Federation be dropped — sanctions are an act of war;
  3. That U.S. military forces immediately be withdrawn from the Eastern European region and that NATO’s expansion and provocative actions against Russia be ended.