On Jan. 3, 2020, the U.S. committed a major act of terrorism and evil by killing Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani. Soleimani was instrumental in defeating ISIS and other terrorist proxies, which are armed, funded and trained by the U.S. and the U.K. to terrorize the Middle East. Soleimani and the Iranian people have resisted U.S. imperialism for decades. They have demonstrated to the world that oppressed nations can break free from imperialist reigns and determine their own destinies.
There should be no hesitation in our defense of Iran from the evils of empire. There should be no hesitation in acknowledging and praising the role Soleimani played in the defeat of imperialist U.S. proxies, which brought death, destruction and genocide to the region. Anything other than this is against Marxism and in direct support of U.S. imperialism.
Marxist-Leninism argues that national liberation, in its struggle against imperialism, must be supported at all times. In his “Foundations of Leninism,” Joseph Stalin wrote about national liberation movements and why they are crucial to the defeat of imperialism. In his chapter titled “The National Question,” Stalin explained that the broader national liberation movement has been “transformed into a world problem of emancipating the oppressed peoples in the dependent countries and colonies from the yoke of imperialism.” Thus, the liberation of oppressed Global South nations plays a direct role in the defeat of imperialist powers.
He explained that Leninism “recognizes the existence of revolutionary capacities in the national liberation movement of the oppressed countries, and the possibility of using these for overthrowing the common enemy, for overthrowing imperialism.” Simply put, revolutionary potential exists in any national liberation movement, regardless of its character, so long as its enemy is imperialism. Imperialism is the main enemy of communists and oppressed nations of the world, regardless of their specific national characteristics.
Finally, as Stalin argued, it is rightful and just to praise national liberation movements in oppressed countries. We should support these national liberation movements not on the basis of building a “formal democracy,” but rather “from the point of view of the actual results, as shown by the general balance sheet of the struggle against imperialism, that is to say, ‘not in isolation, but on a world scale.’”
To clear up any misunderstandings, I will provide examples Stalin used. The national liberation movement of the Emir in Afghanistan was a monarchist movement which opposed socialism, but fought against British imperialism. The Emir’s revolutionary national movement was far stronger than any socialist force in Afghanistan at the time and was the only group capable of setting Afghanistan onto the path of national self-determination. Thus, it was imperative to support the Emir in the struggle against British imperialism, because failing to do would bolster the reign of British imperialism. As Stalin explains in another example regarding Egypt:
“The struggle that the Egyptian merchants and bourgeois intellectuals are waging for the independence of Egypt is objectively a revolutionary struggle, despite the bourgeois origin and bourgeois title of the leaders of Egyptian national movement, despite the fact that they are opposed to socialism. Whereas the struggle that the British ‘Labour’ Government is waging to preserve Egypt’s dependent position is for the same reason a reactionary struggle, despite the proletarian origin and the proletarian title of the members of the government, despite the fact that they are ‘for’ socialism.”Joseph Stalin, “The Foundations of Leninism”
In this time of crisis and imperialist aggression, those who continue to slander Iran and its leaders should no longer consider themselves Marxist or even leftists, but join the imperialists. If you wish to ignore the ideology and basic tenets of Marxism, then do not claim to be a Marxist.
Now is the time for international solidarity with the Iranian masses who are fighting for autonomy over their own nation. For us as Latin Americans, we look to the leadership of the revolutionary governments of Cuba and Venezuela, which continue to support Iran and any nation which shares their common enemy: U.S. imperialism.
¡Que viva Irán!