The following statement was adopted by the Socialist Alliance national executive on September 4 in response to the Australian government's decision to join the US and other imperialist states in further military intervention in Iraq.
The US wars on Iraq, in 1991 and 2003, killed hundreds of thousands of people and completely wrecked the country. The US promoted sectarian divisions to maintain control. It created the conditions for the rise of the “Islamic State” and is thus responsible for the crisis.
Australia was an enthusiastic junior partner in both wars on Iraq and thus shares responsibility for the terrible suffering inflicted on the Iraqi people as well as the current situation.
There is a humanitarian crisis in Iraq and Syria due to the Islamic State’s ethnic cleansing and general terror campaign. About 1.5 million refugees are living in camps in Rojava (the Kurdish liberated zone in northern Syria), Turkey and the Federal Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
Australia should give large-scale assistance to these refugees. This should be delivered by non-military means.
Australia should massively increase its refugee intake from Iraq and Syria. No asylum seekers already here should be forcibly returned to Iraq or Syria.
We are opposed to any US or Australian military involvement in Iraq or Syria.
The task of defeating the IS gangs is a task for the Kurdish, Iraqi and Syrian peoples. They have every right to accept weapons from anyone who will supply them (even from the imperialist states).
Australia should remove the Kurdistan Workers Party from its list of declared “terrorist” organisations and press the US and other governments to do the same.
Australia should exert pressure on Turkey to cease its support for the IS, in particular deny any transit to IS fighters coming or going.