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Do you support Western intervention against ISIS?

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Do you support Western intervention against ISIS?

Yes
16
41%
No
18
46%
Other/Don't know
5
13%
 
Total votes : 39
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Sep 2006, 22:05
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Post 12 Aug 2014, 22:52
Yeah OP-B in that case America was aiding your self-determination not shitting all over it.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
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Post 12 Aug 2014, 23:02
Principles are not something Marxists should be adhering to. A principle implies an eternal truth which must always be adhered to. Instead we should be analysing the situation and determining what is the best course of action depending on the specifics. Here IS is clearly the most reactionary force and therefore must be stopped. In this situation the US and its allies are the progressives while IS are the reactionaries. Of course, this isn't to say that the US et al are progressive absolutely, just relative to the alternative in this scenario.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
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Post 12 Aug 2014, 23:09
No Gred, you are wrong. Principles are very important for Marxists. They are important for any kind of strategy, even an army has to follow some principles.

Quote:
Yeah OP-B in that case America was aiding your self-determination not shitting all over it.

America was just attacking the Germans on our territory, and trying to size as much as they could for themselves. Although they objectively helped our self-determination, they did it with imperialist means, including means directed against our self-determination. That's why General de Gaulle has always refused to celebrate D-Day anniversaries. And he wasn't a communist!
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Sep 2006, 22:05
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Post 12 Aug 2014, 23:14
Of course they did it with imperial motivations, that's the motive for every foreign American action. However as you pointed out they did objectively aid your self-determination. The same cannot be said about ISIS or Iraq by any stretch of the imagination.

@gred: Principals are an important aspect of strategy. But I guess if you accepted the value of principals you'd have to reject your entire 'progressive imperialism' mentality.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 09 May 2008, 14:59
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Post 12 Aug 2014, 23:28
gRed Britain wrote:
Principles are not something Marxists should be adhering to.


That sounds an awful lot like a princple. As a matter of fact, so does everything else that you mentioned

gRed Britain wrote:
Instead we should be analysing the situation and determining what is the best course of action depending on the specifics.


Principle.

gRed Britain wrote:
Here IS is clearly the most reactionary force and therefore must be stopped.


"Reactionaries must be stopped". Principle.

gRed Britain wrote:
In this situation the US and its allies are the progressives while IS are the reactionaries


"Progressives should be supported against reactionaries". Priniciple.

Saying "Marxists shouldn't adhere to principles" is vulgar materialism at best and intellectual laziness at worst. Not every principle is an "eternal truth which must always be adhered to". All a principle is is a rule or a guidline. Every school of thought has one, even Marxism.

Also all of this:

Dagoth Ur wrote:
: Principals are an important aspect of strategy. But I guess if you accepted the value of principals you'd have to reject your entire 'progressive imperialism' mentality.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Mar 2005, 20:08
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Post 12 Aug 2014, 23:39
I guess the other thing I should add is that this is a KONY 2012-level adventure. We're dealing with two sides - ISIS and the Iraqi government, both of which are shitty and kill civillians, but ISIS is worse, so the idea is that we should support one against the other. Except instead of the masturbation guy, it's Obama, but there is nothing he can really do about the situation. It's like how George Clooney suggested sending Blackwater to Darfur. Air strikes are probably a good choice for now because they deal damage to ISIS, but if they start consistently killing civilians like in Pakistan, I doubt that it will really make sense to continue the mission, which has very unclear victory objectives.

Sending weapons to Peshmerga and the Iraqi government is probably a good idea, but doesn't really count as intervention which is why I didn't address it before.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Sep 2006, 22:05
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Post 12 Aug 2014, 23:49
I doubt there is much hope of airstrikes that don't kill loads of civilians.

Quote:
Sending weapons to Peshmerga and the Iraqi government is probably a good idea, but doesn't really count as intervention which is why I didn't address it before.

This is why I voted no as well.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Dec 2004, 23:53
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Post 13 Aug 2014, 03:14
I support US imperialism. It worked with the first invasion, sanctions/bombing, second invasion and occupation. More US troops and bombings are needed.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 22 Oct 2004, 15:15
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Post 13 Aug 2014, 10:44
Indigo wrote:
There's a difference between liberating a soverign nation from an invading foreign power and occupying a country to protect it from itself. There's no conflict of principles, just a difference of context.


Well, in this case, there is an asymmetrical war going on. There are no "sovereign nations" and "foreign powers", just a country that, in its present form, is a sectarian failed state, as a result of the recent invasion and occupation by a foreign power. In this new reality, the religious majority and some minorities in this country are being threatened by a transnational terrorist force consisting both of an indigenous minority and foreign terrorists. Much like the failed sectarian state of Iraq itself, its opponents of ISIS are the result of machinations by a foreign power.

Now I think it is in neither the nature nor the desire of the US to solve this problem of its own creation. The sectarian tensions that were once held in check by Saddam's brutality have now exploded, and to prevent genocide on the short term, you have to wonder if the state of Iraq can even survive in its present form. But if an intervention could end the madness and do nothing more and nothing less, then that wouldn't be such a bad thing. I just don't believe it's possible, and I'm only answering the poll (I voted Other/Don't know).

gRed Britain wrote:
Principles are not something Marxists should be adhering to. A principle implies an eternal truth which must always be adhered to. Instead we should be analysing the situation and determining what is the best course of action depending on the specifics. Here IS is clearly the most reactionary force and therefore must be stopped. In this situation the US and its allies are the progressives while IS are the reactionaries. Of course, this isn't to say that the US et al are progressive absolutely, just relative to the alternative in this scenario.


There must be some messed-up definition of "principles" going on here. As mentioned, you yourself state several hard-and-fast principles, like supporting the "relatively" progressive side at all times (it's not even clear if the US is willing or able to play a "progressive" role here). Whereas others would say that sometimes a state may be reactionary on the domestic level, but what if they were invaded? Like Trotsky with his example of the UK invading a fascist Brazil. Not that I would necessarily agree with him on that, but it's an obvious example of how this principle isn't clear-cut.

Anyway, what are you worth without principles? Principles are not the same thing as dogma. What good are your analyses and theories if you can't derive acting principles from them, guides to action? Like, say we have an idea of what imperialism is and what it does, we have gone some way towards determining the systematic side of it. Then when it manifests itself, this is not exactly predictable, but it adheres to certain, err, "principles", and we need to take those into account when we formulate our own position and response.

Without that, you're just passing judgement on isolated affairs on a case-by-case basis. So the US wants to bomb ISIS, then "Marxists" immediately drop what they're doing, they go to the conference room, which has a big map of Iraq on the table and a flip chart with graphs explaining the ethnic and religious dimensions, and we sit there brainstorming about what our position should be, somehow independent of all previous context. Then after 3 hours, the verdict is reached and a press release supporting the bombings is put out, and we all go for drinks.

Of course this is a bit of a caricature, but politics without underlying principles (if such were even possible), analysing one specific situation in isolation and "determining the best course of action" would look something like a boardroom meeting. It ignores the struggle aspect of it, the contradictions, the interests, the place of this situation within a regional or even global context. I personally do think that leftists do too much sloganeering without thinking it over, but the opposite, a dispassionate, cold-logic approach to everything, is a poor alternative. Where is there room for the dynamic, the struggle, the human agency?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Mar 2010, 01:20
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Post 13 Aug 2014, 13:28
I thought Gred was trying to argue against dogmatic adherence to abstract principles which ignore practical realities, but that's my interpretation. I've never understood the point in deliberately misconstruing somebody to win an argument. There's a lot of it on the internet though.

As far the question itself: Yes. Hell yes even. This obsession with anti-Imperialism is one of those abstract principles that needs to be thought about a little more sometimes. Generally Western Imperialism is a negative force, but there are occasions (such as this one) where there are far worse alternatives out there.

People generally believe in Communism (or whatever) not becase of some abstractions it supports or opposes. Concepts such as Imperialism are only as bad as the damage they do to the lives of the people under them. The idea of always opposing something just because it's usually a bad thing is the kind of principle we can do without.

ISIS are probably one of the most regressive forces on the planet. I hope nobody seriously believes they are the lesser evil in this whole affair. Whether a Western intervention on its own could resolve this mess of their own making is another matter (I wouldn't count on it). The West have this strange way of fighting these things with one hand tied behind their back, but if it gets ISIS's attention away from their "ethnic cleansing" inclinations and onto fighting somebody who can fight back it might actually save some lives.

I don't understand all the hand wringing over enemies of socialism who seem to want to wipe each other out anyway.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
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Post 13 Aug 2014, 13:53
In a way, IS is a creature of imperialism itself. And probably more direct that we could think at first sight. We don't know exactly who funded IS and mother Al Qaeda, but we can guess...
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 22 Oct 2004, 15:15
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Post 13 Aug 2014, 14:15
Shigalyov wrote:
I thought Gred was trying to argue against dogmatic adherence to abstract principles which ignore practical realities, but that's my interpretation. I've never understood the point in deliberately misconstruing somebody to win an argument. There's a lot of it on the internet though.

As far the question itself: Yes. Hell yes even. This obsession with anti-Imperialism is one of those abstract principles that needs to be thought about a little more sometimes. Generally Western Imperialism is a negative force, but there are occasions (such as this one) where there are far worse alternatives out there.

People generally believe in Communism (or whatever) not becase of some abstractions it supports or opposes. Concepts such as Imperialism are only as bad as the damage they do to the lives of the people under them. The idea of always opposing something just because it's usually a bad thing is the kind of principle we can do without.

ISIS are probably one of the most regressive forces on the planet. I hope nobody seriously believes they are the lesser evil in this whole affair. Whether a Western intervention on its own could resolve this mess of their own making is another matter (I wouldn't count on it). The West have this strange way of fighting these things with one hand tied behind their back, but if it gets ISIS's attention away from their "ethnic cleansing" inclinations and onto fighting somebody who can fight back it might actually save some lives.

I don't understand all the hand wringing over enemies of socialism who seem to want to wipe each other out anyway.


All he said was principles. That he uses a definition that would be more appropriate for a word like "dogmatism" is not my problem. The problem is that one may very well conclude that, if it lay in their abilities and interests (which I've yet to be convinced of), it would be desirable for the US to stop the genocide, but it's a totally different thing to use this case to call for the abandonment of "principles" altogether.

What you get then is just the simplest kind of pragmatism, looking at every situation without any reference to what we know and think about imperialism (in this case) and deciding "what works", "what is best", and so on (how do we know this without principles?). As if we can take this matter in isolation, as if there is no history here (correctly pointed out in the OP), as if either intervening or looking away isn't going to have its own consequences.

It is a question of compromise, of different sorts of compromises. Is it a compromise forced on us by reality, with a gun against our heads, or it it a compromise where we're holding a gun, assisting our capitalist class in robbing the world? I think it's likely to turn out to be the former. But if we don't have any underlying basic principles as a guide to action (and not a dogma), then soon enough any excuse will do. Then we can retroactively "support" the invasion of Afghanistan, the bombings of Yugoslavia and Libya, etc.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 Sep 2011, 13:51
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Post 13 Aug 2014, 16:16
I concur with everything No 14 said, seeing as we were the only two people who voted other. The whole affair is not a question of opposing imperialism blindly and by all means. It's a question of how effective US interference would be.

I believe that arming the Iraqi government with better equipment as well as providing intelligence would suffice. I don't think another US intervention to be wise or necessary. With enough help I believe the Iraqi people can take care of themselves. I am of course in no way against any form of humanitarian aid the west can provide.

I also believe the west can do more by pressuring their puppets in Saudi Arabia and Qatar to stop providing so much financial and material support to the IS.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 09 May 2008, 14:59
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Post 13 Aug 2014, 16:27
I'm with No. 14 on the matter.

Quote:
Well, in this case, there is an asymmetrical war going on. There are no "sovereign nations" and "foreign powers", just a country that, in its present form, is a sectarian failed state, as a result of the recent invasion and occupation by a foreign power.


That's what I was getting at, just worded poorly.

Shigalyov wrote:
I thought Gred was trying to argue against dogmatic adherence to abstract principles which ignore practical realities, but that's my interpretation.


Your interpretation is reading too much into a pretty clear statement. "Marxists shouldn't adhere to principles because principles are eternal truths" is just factually incorrect. There's also a problem with using dogmatism to argue against dogmatism. To say we should mechanically apply classical Marxism against "principles" solves a problem of its own creation. It's a useless statement.

Shigalyov wrote:
As far the question itself: Yes. Hell yes even. This obsession with anti-Imperialism is one of those abstract principles that needs to be thought about a little more sometimes. Generally Western Imperialism is a negative force, but there are occasions (such as this one) where there are far worse alternatives out there.

People generally believe in Communism (or whatever) not becase of some abstractions it supports or opposes. Concepts such as Imperialism are only as bad as the damage they do to the lives of the people under them. The idea of always opposing something just because it's usually a bad thing is the kind of principle we can do without.


You're assuming that anti-imperialism is something that is adhered to on principle without any consideration for material realities. There has been no occassion where imperialism has benefited anyone except the imperial power. Even in this case (which has been mentioned several times) attempting to solve the problem in that way has only made it worse and has only multiplied and lionized the "more negative" forces out there. The idea that direct military intervention would solve the problem has no basis in reality.

Besides, I think that such "abstractions" as "regressive" and "progressive" are more in line with your description of concepts we should do without. The idea that "X is more progressive than Y and therefore X should be supported over Y" leads to the sort of black and white conception of world politics that ignores the past 10 years of history as completely as somone who supports Western military intervention in ISIS does. Can anti-imperialism be taken far enough to do exactly the same thing? Yes it can, and it has. Frequently. No one here has advanced to that level. The argument being made here is "Western military intervention is a form of imperialism that will only make a bad problem worse".

Shigalyov wrote:
ISIS are probably one of the most regressive forces on the planet. I hope nobody seriously believes they are the lesser evil in this whole affair.


They may well be, and no one does. Everyone who has said no has also said that the fight against ISIS should be supported materially.

Shigalyov wrote:
I don't understand all the hand wringing over enemies of socialism who seem to want to wipe each other out anyway.


A recognition that there's more at work in the world than the struggle for socialism. Also a recognition that no war ever results in both sides wiping each other out, and that someone has to deal with the eventual winner.

Shigalyov wrote:
I've never understood the point in deliberately misconstruing somebody to win an argument. There's a lot of it on the internet though.


I've never understood being passive-aggressive in place of making actual points. There's a lot of it on the internet though.

More than that is the blatant hypocrisy of saying that while defending a pretty broad intepretation of what gRed said, while making what amounts to a caricature of anti-imperialism. You're willing to give the benefit of the doubt to someone who supports your position on the matter, but everyone else is deliberately misconstruing the argument? That makes no sense.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
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Post 13 Aug 2014, 18:47
Wow, I didn't expect that post to cause such a side debate.

I didn't exactly phrase it in the best manner. The point I was trying to make was that many Marxists seem to think they should always support a certain outcome at all times and in all scenarios. Thus they adopt principles in the bourgeois form as a moral guide (think of how so many bourgeois politicians like to talk about their "principles").

As a result of many Marxists adopting this notion, they tend to apply a certain blanket principle (i.e. 'oppose imperialism everywhere at all times') without stopping to realise whether this is relative to the specific situation at hand (i.e. their principle becomes a moral principle, not a scientific one). In this instance, US imperialism is undoubtedly getting involved as it seeks to destroy ISIS. However, when we analyse the specific details of this situation, we see that imperialism is fighting a brutal medieval foe who are so backwards that they can never be anything other than more reactionary than US imperialism. In this particular instance, the so-called principle of 'oppose imperialism everywhere at all times' is not applicable.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 04 Aug 2004, 20:49
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Post 14 Aug 2014, 20:56
I hear that the KDP are refusing to give Yankee supplied arms to their YPG and PKK comrades, despite the fact the heroes of the YPGs and PKK have already saved over 100,000 Yazidis from almost certain extermination.
If the Kurdish factor of the problem is as complex as this with the forces close to Yankeeland and those closer to an ideal of actual self-determination, I honestly fail to see how bombing the hell out of Iraq will help when they are largely based in Syria. ISIS has a bunch of sand. Just read War Nerd.

As Kirov pointed out, at no point will the Yankee dogs ever do the humane thing and supply Assad on the real frontline against ISIS where the real damage will be done - the threat in Syria is contained militarily by the SAA, it is practically unopposed in large swathes of flat, boring desert in Iraq where the real danger is to the civilians. Sadly, I don't know anything that can prevent this giant genocide waiting to happen. The tragedy of this is that ISIS is using the weapons they were given by the sodding West in the first place, and those they got for free when the Iraqi army decided to cut its losses. I wonder if ISIS now has a stockpile of those dud "bomb detectors" now.

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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 27 Feb 2014, 05:02
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Post 15 Aug 2014, 02:07
I hate NATO with ever fiber of my being, but I hope NATO will crush them. The extremists of IS are nothing more that monsters that do not deserve to live.
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Post 15 Aug 2014, 02:09
gRed Britain wrote:
Principles are not something Marxists should be adhering to. A principle implies an eternal truth which must always be adhered to. Instead we should be analysing the situation and determining what is the best course of action depending on the specifics.


I couldn't agree more.
While the state exists, there can be no freedom. When there is freedom there will be no state. - V. I. Lenin
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Dec 2004, 23:53
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Post 15 Aug 2014, 05:34
The US/West/NATO intervenes into other countries for profit. Never for humanitarian reasons. They might say to stop genocide, fight terrorism, women's rights, white man's burden or whatever "moral" justification they want to spin. But they only intervene to secure and preserve profits. The goal is not to defeat IS, which is a handy tool in destabilizing Syria, tying up Iran and weakening Palestine. Western intervention is not good for the Iraqi people (or people in general).
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Sep 2006, 22:05
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Post 15 Aug 2014, 05:57
US imperialism destroys only barrier to ISIS, US imperialism trains and arms basically the whole IS from the top down, therefore what's needed to stop out this direct result of US imperialism? More US imperialism.
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