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Australian socialists: 'No imperialist military intervention in Syria!'

Western military intervention will cause more death and suffering in Syria.

Socialist Alliance (Australia) statement

June 13, 2012 -- Socialist Alliance, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Since the uprising against the government of Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011 the death toll in Syria is now estimated to have exceeded 10,000. As the violence escalates, Western government leaders are openly canvassing launching a military intervention. We oppose imperialist military intervention.

Socialist Alliance supports the Syrian people’s right to rise up for democracy and economic justice. We recognise the secular and anti-imperialist nature of much of the mass democratic opposition.

We do not recognise the Syrian National Council, or any other exile elements now unilaterally being promoted by the imperialist powers, as representative of the Syrian uprising.

We condemn the violence of the Syrian government and the killings by religious sectarian gangs that are directly or indirectly supported by the imperialists or the Syrian regime.

The Syrian people have a right to use arms to defend themselves from the violence of government military and paramilitary forces.

Some Sunni fundamentalist gangs have been armed and supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with imperialist encouragement and covert involvement, and have been attacking the Alawite, Shi’a and Christian communities.

Such sectarian attacks are not only war crimes, they also play into the hands of the Assad regime that, since the outset of the uprising, has been attempting to exploit sectarian conflict to undermine and discredit legitimate opposition.

We oppose the imperialists’ attempt to use direct and indirect military aid to assist these reactionary forces’ attempts to hijack the Syrian people’s legitimate uprising.

Socialist Alliance condemns the Australian government’s hypocrisy in opposing violence by the Syrian government while being silent on, or supporting, similar repression by pro-Western governments such as Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

We oppose the Australian government’s hypocritical expulsion of the Syrian charge d’affairs because it is part of the imperialists’ move to justify supporting regressive armed groups in Syria and to make military intervention politically palatible.

We demand an end to the Australian government’s military alliance with the US and other countries which are fuelling the violence and threatening invasion in Syria.

We reject the claim that imperialist military intervention could save civilian lives. This same argument has been used to justify imperialist military interventions in Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and numerous other countries. In all instances, civilian deaths have increased exponentially as a result.


Syrian revolutionaries should accept American arms

"The Syrian people have a right to use arms to defend themselves from the violence of government military and paramilitary forces."

What if those arms come from America? What if that is the form that imperialist intervention takes?

On Boycotts

It is interesting how the Australian government, opposition, NSW premier, The Australian Newspaper and others, accuses all who support the boycott on Israel boycott (due to their mistreatment of Palestinians) as being racist against jews. Yet the Cth Gvt has implemented boycott of Syria and Iran. I wonder why is no one accusing them of being racist against Arabs and Persians?

Again socialists miss an

Again socialists miss an opportunity to convince those who don't already agree with them that they have something to offer.

My point is this: socialists & communists from around the world were able to help defend the Spanish government from 1936 as it fought an attempted coup by Franco & others. In 2011 & 2012 however socialists & communists from abroad offer nothing to Syrian rebels & neighbourhoods deemed enemies by Assad's murderers.

Socialist Alliance say "The Syrian people have a right to use arms to defend themselves". But nothing in the statement says that socialists & communists should help Syrians in this way. As some will remember, the Algerian FLN was helped by some militants of the Fourth International, making guns in Morocco, & some were jailed in Holland & France for their involvement in this. I can't see people in imperialist countries who call themselves revolutionaries being prepared to give up their laptops & other creature comforts & risk jail in helping poor people who are being slaughtered. Instead they write statements & stand outside embassies, convincing themselves they might build some support but knowing not a single Syrian will be helped.

The SA statement means NOTHING to those on the receiving end of tank shells & house-to-house murdering. It seems that Australian militants are being told to be informed observers. Compare that with those who help provide Syrians with the means to defend themselves. Those political forces - Islamist and other - are earning respect, credibility & support because their actions help people who would otherwise be defenceless.

So long as socialists & communists ignore the reality of a life & death struggle they render themselves irrelevant & their words risible.

The SA statement says nothing to those on the receiving end of Assad except if the 'wrong people' let you live you should prefer death. What sort of philanthropic, emancipatory politics is that? Telling people that a 'pure' death is preferable to a 'dirty' life, a life sustained by imperialist firepower? And this politics coming from Australians living in the luxury & comfort of an imperialist country? No wonder socialists & communists lack support.

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