IC Quarterly Analysis – Q3 2022
Period: July–September 2022
Volume 3, Issue 1
At its 2019 convention, Democratic Socialists of America voted that its International Committee (IC) should produce for members a quarterly newsletter of news and analysis about international events. In our third quarter of the 2022 newsletter, we cover: NATO and the US’s complicity in Turkey’s aggression in Syria and Iraq; the strike by construction workers building the U.S. embassy in Honduras; the national plebiscite held in Chile; and the floods that devastated Pakistan.
NATO and US Complicit in Turkey’s Aggression in Syria and Iraq
On June 28th, 2022, Turkey, Finland, and Sweden issued a trilateral memorandum outlining the terms under which Turkey agreed to drop its objection to Finland and Sweden entering NATO. Under this memorandum, Finland and Sweden agreed to assist Turkey in its continued oppression of Kurdish people, including listing the PKK as a terrorist organization, changed national laws defining terrorist activities, and agreed to deport individuals sought by the Turkish state. Turkey has continually leveraged its power as a NATO member to gain leeway to attack diverse communities in Syria and Iraq – Kurds, Yezidis, Armenians, Syriac-Assyrians, Turkmens, Arabs, and others – and is charged with committing ethnic cleansing and war crimes in territories it occupies.
While NATO postures as a defensive alliance supporting sovereign integrity, NATO members Turkey and the United States are currently occupying Iraq and Syria and continue to conduct military operations despite calls from the Syrian government and Iraqi parliament for these forces to withdraw. A decade into the illegal US-led intervention, some 1000 US troops continue to be stationed across dozens of US controlled bases in Syria, occupying territory to steal Syrian oil and committing countless war crimes over the years against Syrian civilians, as well as aiding ongoing Israeli attacks against Syria. The US supplies 63% of Turkish arms imports and plans to expand its already considerable military support. President Biden recently endorsed the provision of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, a deal put on hold after tensions over Turkish acquisitions of advanced Russian air defense systems.
Construction Workers Building the U.S. Embassy in Honduras Strike
On July 6, 1,100 Honduran construction workers building the new United States embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras went on strike. The workers demanded safe working conditions, job security, and fair compensation after suffering years of labor and human rights violations by US-based mega-prison contractor B.L. Harbert and by the State Department’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO). Like most Honduran construction workers following twelve years of neoliberal dictatorship after the U.S.-supported 2009 coup that brutally repressed organized labor, these workers were not represented by a union; however, they had been working closely with Honduran labor movement leadership in their fight for justice.
Chile Fails to Adopt a New Constitution
On September 4th, Chile held a national plebiscite to determine whether to adopt a proposed new Constitution, intended to replace the Pinochet-installed Carta Magna of 1980. The new draft incorporated important rights for women, workers, and indigenous communities, and decommodified key social rights such as the right to education. The results of the national plebiscite was to reject the adoption of the new Constitution. Unfortunately, the Chilean right successfully deployed its advantages during the plebiscite to nullify the social changes for which comrades have struggled. The right-wing Rechazo (Reject) campaign enjoyed more than a 40:1 money advantage, disproportionate airtime on Chile’s television networks, and a wide-ranging social media disinformation strategy. It is clear that in Chile, just as in the United States, money and the media can have deleterious effects on the democratic process.
See Solidarity with Apruebo Dignidad and the Chilean Constitutional Process
Massive Floods Devastate The People of Pakistan
Beginning on June 14, devastating floods wrecked the country of Pakistan. The flooding caused by the rain submerged one-third of the nation under water. This man-made climate disaster killed nearly two thousand people and impacted more than 30 million people. To put that into context, that is nearly the entire population of Canada. These are the costs borne by nations of the Global South of a world system of expropriation that benefits fossil fuel corporations headquartered in the Global North.