|Written by IWL _ International Workers League|
|Thursday, 23 May 2013 21:55|
At the beginning of its third year, Syrian Revolution continues and becomes increasingly acute. Syrian people, who rose in arms to get rid of the bloodthirsty dictatorship of Bashar Al Assad, are still displaying their heroism and sacrifice and they confronted an enemy who wields military superiority and proved to be capable of committing the most atrocious crimes, including genocide if his permanence in power is at stake.
A gory civil war is sweeping across the country. The situation of death and destruction is dramatic and its consequences will last for decades. Just so as to have a parameter, the Syrian Human Rights Observatory reported that the death toll since the beginning of the armed conflict is between 94,000 and 120,000. According to this estimate that has by now been exceeded by reality, there are 47,387 civilians and among them 4,788 children and 3,048 women.
In addition to this, there is the drama of those who had to flee because of the conflict. The UN reports that there are over 4 million internally displaced persons and the number of people who fled the country is more than a million and a half. Every day about 10 000 people cross the borderline; half of them are children. During the latest 10 weeks, half a million civilians did so. Very frequently, after a trek of several days and having suffered attacks from the army loyal to the regime, entire villages reach the borderline of Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey or Iraq in this painful exodus. Hosted by these countries it is now their turn to suffer again this time from infra-human conditions, supporting famine and harsh climate.
In the midst of this Dantesque panorama spawned by the crimes of Al Assad, there is the Syrian revolution and civil war, doubtlessly the spearhead and the main arena where, since late 2010, the continuity of the revolutionary wave that is shaking North Africa and Middle East is to be won or lost. What is the course of the military and political situation? What problems is the revolution to face if it is to overcome? What are the prospects? What position should we, the revolutionaries take in the face of the main confrontation in the class struggle in our days?
An Al Assad counteroffensive with prominence of Hezbollah
A few months ago, there were reports of some headway of the rebel forces that, up to a point, diminished the enormous difference where military might is concerned. However, these last weeks, this situation began to change and today we are witnessing a strong counteroffensive of the army loyal to the tyrant, which managed to retrieve important points that have so gar been controlled by the rebels.
The counteroffensive of a regime that seemed depleted and had suffered several occasional defeats is based on a new element but very important from the political and military point of view: the overt and devastating entrance of Hezbollah, the Shiite Lebanese party-militia, into the military camp of the Syrian dictatorship.
This is not a minor event for it is one of the most powerful political-military organisations in the Middle East. Actually, the participation of thousands of Hezbollah combatants in the service of the Syrian regime proved to be qualitative in Homs, one of the centres of the revolution and the third most important city in the country and is under permanent siege. Without Hezbollah, the dictatorship could have hardly retrieved, for example, Wadi Al Sayeh – strategic neighbourhood. The bombing of Homs is endless and fiendish and is turning this city into rubble. Land incursions – according to reports from rebels are headed by Hezbollah fighters – follow the showers of missiles. It is said that the immediate target of the regime is to retrieve control over the motorway that connects this city to Hama.
Hezbollah forces have also had a vanguard role in the partial victories that the regime had scored in Damascus, where they recaptured checkpoints in Zamalka and strengthened their recovery of Qaysa, both of them to be found in this city. From the point of view of the periphery, defended with great effort by rebel militias until they fell, the regime can now block important routes by which weapons and supplies could be sent for the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
In this way, Hezbollah, who had earned leading authority and admiration from thousands of activists in the world as those who had defeated the invasion of Lebanon by Israel in 2005, in this civil war, they are playing the role absolutely counterrevolutionary, placing all their political authority and their military might in the service of the dictatorship of the Al Assad dictatorship.
This element leads us to reassert a conclusion: at this point in the Civil War, the dictatorship is still exerting power fundamentally due to support from abroad, and it is already a known fact that it does not come from Hezbollah alone but also from the theocratic and reactionary regime of Iran, who provides them with missiles and military experts; Russia supplies them with modern weapons and antiaircraft devices apart from all the diplomatic work and the weight of their naval base in Tartus; and from such countries as Venezuela governed by Chavism, that supplies them with a part of the fuel that the regime air force to bomb the rebels and the civilian population.
Intensification of the genocidal methods.
To all this support from abroad – nothing to be sneezed at – we must add a policy of intensification of the use of terror and promotion of massacres against the civil population used by the regime. A few weeks ago, on the coastal zone, birthplace of the Assad family, the troops of the dictatorship and the Shabihas (hired thugs) committed atrocious slaughter in the towns of Banias and Baydas in the province of Tartus, where the Bashar mercenaries broke into one house after the other to loot, behead and rape over 150 people in each place, many of them women and children.
Within the framework of this genocidal dynamics, the rebels report that Al Assad is using lethal chemical weapons, essentially sarin gas. Actually, it is not a secret that has one of the greatest arsenals of chemical weapon in the region. It is nothing less than 1000 tons o sarin gas, mustard gas and the VX nerve agent, apart from cyanide – all this stored in 17 different parts of the country. (EL País)
It is against this background that we can analyse the policy that is being applied by imperialism, taking into consideration of course the strategy of defeating the revolution and stabilise the country in the region and for this they have to get Assad from power before the rebellious masses do so and, through their victorious action further insufflate the revolutionary situation in a region that is central for the interests of the great powers.
Formal reports on the use of chemical weapons by Al Assad created an atmosphere for American military intervention in Syria, because months ago, Obama had announced that this would be the “red line” to undertake a military action of his government against the Damascus regime.
However, imperialist policy bypasses military intervention with his troops on the land. That is due not only to the economic crisis and to the absence of international consensus or the relative strength of Al Assad’s, superior to that of Gadafi, but fundamentally for political reasons that have a lot to do with the defeat of American imperialism in Iraq and Afghanistan (which affected the very American bourgeoisie) and the need to move cautiously in a region that is going through a powerful revolutionary process that the USA are trying to contain.
That is why even Obama was emphatic when he said, “I cannot imagine a scenario in which the presence of American troops could be taken advantage of by Syria or the USA.”)El Pais). With the same message in mind he completed his statement saying that he would not act if the price was “to cause chaos” in the entire region. Even if he did say that he could not discard “other…less risky… military actions” in the entire region, it is clear that, because of the political cost, an invasion of troops on the territory is one of his current options.
Neither is, for example, to arm the rebel militias with all they need to overcome: aeroplanes, antiaircraft devices, tanks, etc. because he knows that this would be building up a popular revolution menacing his interests. The most to be expected is that, through Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries, minor arms could be sent to certain rebel sectors and brigades, essentially those linked to Salafi Islam, according to what was disclosed by Syrian activists, precisely because the sectors are more akin to these petromonarchies and that, even if they at present do challenge the regime, see this struggle as sectarian, confessional-religious, between the Shiite- Alawites and Sunni and not of the Syrian people against the Baath tyranny.
In this way, dividing and keeping other ethnic and religious sector away from the revolutionary struggle, militias such as Al Nusra Front (who had declared fidelity to Al Qaeda and allegedly financed by Qatar) wind up by playing into the hands of the dictatorship. That is why it should be no wonder that they receive more weapons and support than the secular sectors such as ESL, who fight against many more problems to be supplied.
The imperialist policy is still to boost a negotiated solution that would get Al Assad out of power (while ensuring his impunity) and saving the essential aspects of the regime and so stabilise the country and the region. This can be summed up in the worlds of State Secretary, John Kerry, who said that he wished, “to sit round a table and a transitional administration can be established with the agreement of both parties, which in our opinion means clearly that President Al Assad would not be a member of it.” (ABC)
Aiming at this target, American diplomacy met Russian ¨resident, Vladimir Putin and then with the British Prime minister, David Cameron. The orientation they agreed on was to summon a “peace conference” on Syria early next June where, according to Obama, “We shall get members of the regime and of the opposition to get together in Geneva and to reach an agreement regarding a transitional government that could take over after [after the departure of Al] Assad” (El País).
… the attacks of Israel
It is within the framework of this policy that, in our opinion, we must see the recent Israeli attacks against Syrian military premises. In the first place, these Zionist aggressions deserve nothing but our most determined condemnation and opposition.
It is also important to make it very clear that, in our opinion, even if up to a point they weaken Al Assad’s military potential, they can never be regarded by Syrian fighters as a “help” to the revolutionary cause for Israel is one of the parties most interested in defeating the revolution not only in Syria but in the entire region.
It is because of these facts that neither Al Assad himself nor most of the left can present him as an “anti-Zionist fighter” for it has been 40 years since he has not fired a single shot nor done anything else against Israel in any attempt to recover the Golan Heights (Syrian territory occupied by Zionists in 1967) and he does not as much as think of it now.
This is what the statement by the Revolutionary Military Council of Damascus, an important rebel organisation, says on this matter: “(…) we wish to emphasize that our struggle against the Assad regime cannot make us forget that our main enemy. Israel (…) In the light of this, we unequivocally condemn the recent Israeli aggression against Syrian territory and we regard it as a violation of sovereignty of our country, Syria. And until the day that the Syrian Army once more becomes patriotic after the overthrow of the Assad mafia, our response to any Israeli attack will be deeds and not worlds, which is what the Assad regime does quite often omitting any consistent action.” (http://syriafreedomforever.wordpress.com/2013/05/09/statement-of-the-revolutionary-+-council-in-damascus-on-the-israeli-aggression/).
That is why, it would be superficial if when analysing the reasons for the Zionist attacks we stopped at the alleged shipments of sophisticated weapons (Iranian missiles) by Al Assad for Hezbollah as Israel and the international press inform. And above all because, in the midst of a civil war, where the life of the regime is at stake, it would not be easy to believe that the regime would divest itself and send this kind of weapons abroad when they are needed at home.
That is why, treating the subject more thoroughly, it is more likely that the selective attacks of Israel (who is not interested in a war with the Al Assad regime) are in the service of general policy of imperialism, that is to say, meant to force the regime to negotiate a transition. It would be like “keep quiet”, essentially at a time when Al Assad feels emboldened by its military headway and the material support of its allies from abroad seems unwilling to sit down and negotiate and is not even prepared to attend the above mentioned peace conference”.
In short, imperialism hampered from intervening militarily play a game in which – on the one hand, they side with the opposition to the regime, above all with the moderate National Syrian Coalition but conditioning even the authorities as well as they are not willing to arm the rebels to defeat Al Assad and, on the other hand, neither can they allow a military annihilation of the rebels by the dictatorship, This is a delicate balance aiming at a general depletion that will lead to a negotiated solution, That is why they used the military force of their enclave in the region, Israel, to show Al Assad and his Praetorian Guard that the best solution for this conflict is to follow the path the USA and their allies are mapping; an agreement on the summits to prevent a revolutionary triumph of Syrian masses.
Everything to achieve the triumph of the revolution! Participate in the Global Day of Solidarity with Syrian Revolution!
While the Al Assad regime is undertaking a vicious counteroffensive with the collaboration of Hezbollah and with weapon and military advisers from Iran and Russia, an offensive based on genocidal actions against Syrian people, such as atrocious massacres and use of toxic gases, we insist: there is no more urgent task than to surround the Syrian Revolution with support and active solidarity.
At present, this is the main confrontation of world revolution and counterrevolution. A victory or a defeat in Syria will produce a very strong impact in the Middle East and in the whole world. It is not a faraway combat with no relation to other countries. It is part of a global struggle of the oppressed against the oppressors.
And yet, unfortunately and unlike in the previous processes in Egypt and Tunisia, Syrian revolution (as was the Libyan one before) is isolated for most of the world left (captained by the influence of Castro Chavism) in a most criminal manner picked sides with the dictatorship and against the masses that that stand up against it. In order to justify this political crime, they use such fallacious arguments as saying that the bloodthirsty dictators were “anti-imperialists” or “anti-Zionists”, victims of an “international conspiracy” when the truth is that for long decades now they have bowed down to imperialism and handed over everything to them and now they challenge (or challenged in the case of Gadafi) the struggle of their own peoples, whom the have been oppressing and whom the repressed brutally.
In the face of the betrayal of most of the left, it is absolutely necessary to break through this political and military isolation that affects Syrian revolution, expressing unconditional support for the struggle of the people to defeat the murderous Al Assad dictatorship.
The IWL-FI has been doing do from the very beginning of the revolution, expressing an unconditional support for Syrian revolution, regardless of who may be leading it and se assert that the central demand of honest activists and fighters and of the left should be more than ever: Out with Al Assad. No to the imperialist and Zionist intervention! All our support for the revolution to overcome!
That is why it is necessary to demand from all the governments on earth – beginning with the ones in the region that are part of the revolution, such as Egypt, Tunisia or Libya – to break diplomatic and commercial relations with the Al Assad dictatorship and to send aeroplanes, tanks and heavy weaponry, medicaments, food and every kind of concrete, material aid to be controlled by the rebel militias to defeat and put an end to the regimes that oppresses the Syrian people and has proved to be a faithful guardian of Israeli and American interests. That is why we are against the criminal embargo of weapons for the rebel fighters in Syria that European Union and the UN impose.
It is urgent to organise a vigorous international campaign, as ample as possible, of support for the Syrian revolution. It is along this guideline that a Global day of Solidarity with Syrian Revolution is being organised and summoned for the 31 May (read: may 31st: global day of solidarity with the syrian revolution). The intention is to boost all kinds of activities: marches, rallies in front of Al Assad embassies, cultural events, debates, etc., so as to instate the discussion on the necessity of aiding Syrian Revolution and collect material support for its fighters.
In our opinion, this is the way in which socialist revolutionary organisations as well as any organisations that defends democratic rights, free organisation and expression and stands against tyrannies in the world. It is the path of active, militant, international solidarity with the struggles and revolutions of people against their governments and against imperialism. Syrian people and their combatants, their popular militias, must not be induced by the fatal role played by Castro-Chavism and Stalinism in all its variants to believe that they are abandoned or to feel forsaken by international left and remain thinking that the “left” is supporting dictators. It is absolutely necessary for the world left and all the trade unions, social, popular, students’ of human rights movement to take a clear stand of support for military victory of the rebels and to get together to do whatever may be necessary in order to help the Syrian Revolution to overcome.
This is the task on which the IWL – for all our smallness but with very strong conviction – the IWL-FI is embarked. We are fighting for the Syrian people, with their weapons and their mobilisation, to topple the Al Assad dictatorship for this would be an enormous revolutionary triumph for the Syrians and all the peoples of the world and a powerful impulse for the advance of socialist revolution. Syrian Revolution must overcome and must not stop when the tyrant falls. It must move on until power is seized by Syrian working class and toiling masses and so begin the construction of Socialist Syria as part of the struggle for a Federation of Socialist Republics of Middle East and North Africa.