In the wake of the growing threat of all out war caused by the U.S. military’s assassination of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad, the YDSA Internationalism Committee extends solidarity to the people of the Middle East threatened by U.S. imperialism and stands firmly opposed to a war with Iran.
This act of war against Iran is a continuation of the U.S.’s pattern of violence against the people of the Middle East. In Iran, U.S. sanctions designed to cripple the Iranian economy have caused many to suffer poverty and lack of access to pharmaceuticals, while in Iraq, over 1 million people have died as a result of the U.S. war there. The lives of millions more in Iran, Iraq, and the Middle East at-large are at stake if the U.S. goes to war with Iran.
In all likelihood, any Iranian state response to the assassination and any subsequent escalation of conflict will occur in the Middle East and not on U.S. soil. This will be to the detriment of local proletarian and democratic movements which have sought to chart a course independent from imperial and regional powers – including the recent popular demonstrations in Iraq, what remains of the uprising in Syria, and the wave of mass protests by workers and the poor in Iran itself. The ruling classes of the region will seek to use this crisis to delegitimize (or co-opt) these mobilizations and maintain their grip on power. As such, it is an opportune moment for internationalist students in the U.S. imperial core to forge ties with movements in the region led by students and the popular classes.
To confront the threat of another endless imperial war, we must work to rebuild the militant student anti-war movement and grow student opposition to militarism and capitalism on our campuses. As students in the imperial core and as internationalists, we must center anti-imperialism in our struggle, learning from past organizers who occupied ROTC buildings, held mass protests, and fought military recruitment on campuses in resistance to U.S. interventions abroad.
To this end, we urge all YDSA chapters to hold events in opposition to war with Iran in the coming weeks and to prepare for a sustained anti-war campaign should the conflict escalate.
We also express our unconditional support for the measures being pushed by Senator Bernie Sanders and Representatives Ilhan Omar and Ro Khanna to prevent any part of the defense budget from being spent on what would be another horrifically genocidal war. The leadership Sanders has exhibited on this issue brings brings to light the absolute necessity of ensuring his victory in the 2020 Democratic Primary and General Election.