Anti-Imperialism.com is reposting this statement from the Central Committee of Revolutionary Intiative as part of our support for the broad united front against imperialism. Re-posting is for educational purposes only and does not imply endorsement, agreement, or affiliation on behalf of the Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement, its chapters and collective projects, or Anti-Imperialism.com
RI Central Committee statement on the current situation in Syria
For a time, there was a debate that raged amongst anti-imperialist forces around the proper position to take in regards to the situation in Syria, a position that was complicated to settle upon by virtue of the the fact that both the initial popular mass mobilizations within Syria and the Western imperialists with their regional allies sought regime change.
Given the posturing of the Canadian government and NATO, a statement from Revolutionary Initiative on this matter is long overdue. By now, it is beyond clear what our position must be in relation to the situation in Syria.
This statement is by no means a comprehensive analysis of the situation in Syria or all of its political actors, but an overview sufficient enough to orientour militants and supporters. We encourage debate to continue, while at the same time reinforcing that the principle objectives (particularly from our standpoint in a NATO member-country) is to oppose and resist any Western imperialist intervention and the imposition of geo-political plans for the region, especially where possible by supporting any genuinely anti-imperialist and revolutionary forces present or that should arise in the region
As of the current moment, we believe that the following general points characterize the situation in Syria:
- The initial mass mobilizations in Syria did in fact have a popular character, with some genuine popular elements participating in these initial uprisings. Much like the Qaddafi regime in Libya, Syria had adopted measures to liberalize its economy since 2006, aggravating conditions for workers and the poor in Syria who were faced with increasing unemployment, growing inequality and a crushing drought. Indeed, the legitimate political and economic grievances of the Syrian masses and their right to rebel against the reactionary Assad regime needs to be acknowledged and supported.
- In spite of the popular basis of the initial mass mobilizations, it is now very clear that Western Imperialism is not only looking for regime change in the country, but is directing the opposition forces in order to achieve this. NATO countries, particularly the United States, England and France have not only been openly supporting armed opposition groups through the Syrian National Council and the Free Syrian Army, but they have also been channelling arms and mercenaries into the conflict.
- Russian, and to a lesser extent Chinese, interests are currently in contradiction with those of US/EU/ NATO. Because of its own particular economic interests, Russia has not only interceded politically on behalf of the Syrian regime but has also sold arms to the Assad government. As a result, NATO has not been able to act militarily. Syria today, therefore, is a faultline for inter-imperialist contradictions in the world, and has the potential and is developing into a broader confrontation for control within the region, specifically in relation to the regime in Iran.
- Hezbollah has contributed to the military defeat of the mercenary forces along the Lebanese border.
- There are no recognizable progressive forces remaining within Syrian opposition forces. Movements that had been previously opposed to the Syrian regime, have disassociated with the SNC/FSA or are even actively engaging against it. For example, the PKK-aligned Kurdish Democratic Union Party which had been previously part of the forces battling the Syrian regime, have now been given control of the large areas in the North, controlling key strategic points along the Syrian/Turkish border, stopping the flow of mercenaries and arms.
Aside from the PKK-aligned Kurdish forces, there are no clearly identifiable actors that could be considered to merit proletarian internationalist support. However, it is clear that Western Imperialists are determined to topple the Assad regime, and is even willing to allow reactionary Salafist elements to control the country, almost certainly translating into the mass murder of other religious and ethnic groups.
Revolutionary Initiative vigorously opposes any form of intervention, whether it be direct military intervention, channelling of funds and arms to reactionary armed actors and neo-colonialist regime-change plans.
We must also condemn and oppose any “civil society” organization, whether comprised of Syrians or not, that call for the Canadian or other imperialist powers to determine the future of Syria, especially through exposing how deeply reactionary, regressive, and criminal were the results in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and Iraq in the last two decades of such interventions.
We must also actively expose the deep complicity of the imperialists and their agents in the bloodletting that is taking place in Syria today, and challenge the notion that the bloodletting is entirely the result of the Assad regime. However reactionary the Assad regime, we must debunk and challenge support for the neo-colonial assumptions of the so-called “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine. There has been no example of a “failed state” – from Rwanda, Somalia, and Yugoslavia in the 1990s to Afghanistan and Haiti in 2000s that the imperialists did not play the principle part in either putting into place or destabilizing to prepare the ground for their invasions or sponsoring of invasions of these countries. In the case of Syria today we see being applied a textbook destabilization and delegitimization operations that we have seen time and time again in the recent decades.
We support the will and sovereignty of the people of Syria to arrive at a political solution to the legitimate grievances of the masses as a short-term solution to the civil war and halting of the Western imperialist-sponsored reactionary forces.
DOWN WITH NATO AND ITS REACTIONARY ALLIES!
OPPOSE ANY IMPERIALIST INTERVENTION!
ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE OF SYRIA IN THEIR STRUGGLE AGAINST ALL REACTIONARIES!
– Central Committee of RI
The recent developments of the use of excessive force in Syria against the people and the use of Chemical weapons poses the question of how to bring democracy and inclusivity through peaceful means. Yes the war in Iraq was motivated by an imperialist attitude by the then government but Afganistan’s war was directed against Al Qaeda who represent an reactionary understanding of Islam and the need for justice in the world.
Even under president Bush the emergence of the G20 which has geopolitical dimensions of peace and justice, and the decision that the UN should oversee peace in Syria and prevent the use of weapons which are criminal by all international standards also represent an important shift in geopolitical power.
Both Cameron and Obama have put the case for force as a response, to their respective democratic institutions. This is another important shift in the so called imperialist nations.
In the context of a world in which the question of imperialism takes on a different meaning given that America and Europe realize the economic imperatives and political needs for a peaceful and just world order one has to relook at groups and political views both within America and Syria who stand for authoratrianism and oppression or manipulation of the popular will, against political freedom and economic justice. Russia itself is struggling to democratize as envisioned by perestroika and Egypt is a case in point of support of a coup by groups like the national endowment of democracy and pro Assad forces against the Arab spring, which was a popular and nonviolent revolution inspired by Islam and the popular will.