Syria

Syria: Against the Syrian National Council

Members of the self-proclaimed, US-backed Syrian National Council.

By As`ad Abukhalil

March 8, 2012 -- Jadaliyya -- First, let us be clear: the Syrian people have every right to protest, peacefully and violently, against the brutal regime of Bashir Assad. And let us be clear: the Syrian regime has no right to stay in power, and this was true even before it began using violence to quell the uprising. And let us be clear: the Syrian regime is incapable of reforming itself.

It is rather foolish to wait for a group to ascend to power before criticising it. There was no mystery as to the intentions and agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood or the Salafis, or even the Khomeini movement, before their taking the reigns of power. Similarly, the adversaries of the Baa‘th Party began opposing it long before the former began conspiring to seize power by force.

Syria and the Palestinians: 'Almost no other Arab state has as much Palestinian blood on its hands'

Hamas’s prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniya, greets supporters after Friday Prayer, where he spoke out against President Bashar al-Assad.

By Michael Karadjis

March 7, 2012 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The declaration by Ismail Haniyeh, prime minister of Hamas, that his movement was backing the popular uprising in Syria against the brutal regime of Bashar al-Assad was widely reported, as was the significance of his statement to worshipers at Cairo's Al Azhar mosque. Hamas, while ruling the Gaza Strip, had its exile leadership based in Syria; now Haniyeh was perhaps betting on a new strategic relationship with post-Mubarak Egypt. Haniyeh saluted “the heroic Syrian people, who are striving for freedom, democracy and reform”.

Arab Spring, Syria and the left: 'No support for authoritarian regimes, no support for imperialism'

Tariq Ali spoke to Russia Today on March 3, 2012, on the situation in the besieged town of Homs, bombarded by the Syrian military. “The Assad regime carries on as if it doesn’t realise how hated it is by some sections of the population; the opposition, which is armed now increasingly by the West via its conduits in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, are turning nasty.”

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Tariq Ali on Syria: 'Western intervention would be disastrous; Assad must go'; Western hypocrisy condemned

Tariq Ali interviewed on Russia Today, February 15, 2012. Ali warns that the consequences of Western military intervention would be "worse than in Libya". “The fact is that the overwhelming majority of people in Syria want the Assad family out – and that is the key thing that we have to

Syria needs solidarity not Western intervention!

Statement by the Socialist Alliance (Australia)

February 9, 2012 -- Socialist Alliance supports, and expresses its full solidarity with, the Syrian people’s democratic uprising against the tyrant Bashar al-Assad.

We also condemn the interference by Western imperialist powers and the threats of military intervention. Further, we call on the Australian government to extract itself from the US alliance and its involvement in aggressive multinational military operations.

The death toll in Syria is now more than 6000. We condemn the Syrian government’s military repression of protests and Assad’s refusal to yield to the wishes of the Syrian people to step down. We also condemn the four decades of repressive rule by Assad and his father Hefaz al-Assad.

Western policy in the resource-rich and strategically important Middle East remains devoted to maintaining Western global dominance. The West’s very selective opposition to tyranny in the Middle East — opposing some, while propping up the most tyrannical regimes in region — is transparently motivated by how compliant a tyranny is to imperialism’s interests.

Adam Hanieh: 'The Arab revolutions are not over'

Adam Hanieh addresses a meeting in London.

Adam Hanieh interviewed by Farooq Sulehria

February 3, 2012 -- Viewpoint -- Saudi Arabia, along with other Gulf states, have been key protagonists in the counter-revolutionary wave unleashed against the Arab uprisings. Indeed, 2011 has clearly demonstrated that imperialism in the region is articulated with – and largely works through – the Gulf Arab states. "Overall, it is important for the left to support the ongoing struggles in the revolutions as the contradictions of the new regimes continue to sharpen", says Adam Hanieh.

Adam Hanieh is a lecturer in development studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He is author of Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab States (Palgrave-Macmillan 2011) and a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Historical Materialism.

Farooq Sulehria: The outcome of elections in Tunisia and Egypt went in favour of Islamist parties, even though the revolutions in these countries had a secular character. Islamists are also an integral part, if not the dominant force, in the revolutions in Syria, Libya, Yemen and Bahrain. Is the Arab Spring in fact a victory for the Islamist movements?

Syria: Between popular resistance and foreign intervention

By Khalil Habash

January 12, 2012 -- Counterfire via International Socialist Group (Scotland) -- The Syrian popular movement has witnessed an increasing mobilisation in recent weeks – the most important since last summer – despite the continuous violent repression. Defections within the army are still happening on a growing scale. Ten months after the beginning of the revolution – and despite the 6000 martyrs – the popular movement is continuing, though there are profound political divisions among the opposition.

The divisions among the opposition

The two most well-known political opposition groups are Syrian National Council (SNC) and National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change (NCCDC), in addition to the Local Coordinating Committees and other groups on the ground. Many political groups are not yet represented by the two main opposition groups.

Tariq Ali: Western intervention in Syria would be a disaster

Above: December 28, 2011 -- Tariq Ali interviewed on Russia Today.
Below: Tariq Ali interviewed on Russia Today on January 6, 2012: "It has to be said that the Syrian regime has brought this upon itself".

Syria: Interview with the Local Coordination Committees of Syria (audio)

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Please note: Interview starts halfway through the program. Slide the tab to (^) under the player (after it is finished downloading).

August 26, 2011 -- Australia Asia Workers Links/Asia Pacific Currents, via 3CR community radio, Melbourne -- Interview with Hozan Ibrahim, spokesperson from the Local Coordination Committees of Syria. The Local Coordinating Committees of Syria is one of the main co-ordinating bodies behind the uprising in Syria. Asia Pacific Currents is produced by Australia Asia Worker Links.

Ibrahim explains the background to the uprising, how the Syrian people are organising themselves and expresses opposition to any Western military intervention.

The Syrian 'common': an uprising of the working society

By  Yassin Al Haj Saleh

[This an excerpt from an article that first appeared in English at Jadiliyya. For the full article, click HERE.]

August 14, 2011 -- There is a Promethean dimension to the struggle of Syria's protesters to wrench politics away from the self-deifying cabal [who rule] and to attempt to extend politics to all Syrians. The young Marx, who loved grandiose expressions, described Prometheus as “the most noble martyr in the philosophical almanac”, because he stole the fire from the Olympian gods and gave it to humans. The gods punished him by sending the eagles of the Caucuses to tear at his liver forever. Like Prometheus, the uprising represents the most noble rebellion Syria has known since its independence 65 years ago. Like Prometheus, the wrath of the divine cabal is directed against the rebelling multitude. It is murdered, defamed, called names and insulted by the lowliest forces and motives in Syria.

Tariq Ali: The Arab intifada and US power (video)

Tariq Ali presents a talk to the British Socialist Workers Party's Marxism 2011, held in London, June 30-July 4.

Egypt: Left debates the Arab Spring, democracy and imperialism

"For social equality" -- May Day 2011 in Cairo.

By Nicola Pratt

June 29, 2011 -- Jadaliyya -- Egyptian, Arab and international socialists and progressive forces met in Cairo June 3-5, to discuss the future of the Arab revolutions in light of imperialism, Zionism and global capitalism. The Forum in Solidarity with the Arab Revolutions was organised by a number of progressive groups in Egypt and represented the first attempt to revive the annual Cairo Conference against Imperialism and Zionism, which was shut down by the Egyptian authorities in 2009.

The revolt in Syria: Its roots and prospects

This interview with Hassan Khaled Chatila was conducted and first published by the A World to Win News Service. Chatila was born in Damascus in 1944 and holds a doctorate in political philosophy from the University of Paris, a city where he has lived as a refugee for many years. He is a member of the Syrian Communist Action Party, founded in 1975. AWTWNS condensed and edited this material while trying to faithfully represent his views, which are his own.

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By Hassan Khaled Chatila

Will Obama end Bush's `war on terror'?

By Simon Butler

October 31, 2008 -- In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, bombings of the World Trade Center and Pentagon, US President George Bush declared an open-ended, apparently indefinite “war on terror”.

Using the terrorist attacks as an excuse, the “war on terror” has meant a war drive to extend US global domination. The threats were free flowing — at one point as many as seven nations were part of the “axis of evil” and therefore potential military targets as Bush threatened “pre-emptive strikes” against US “enemies”.

The war drive began with the 2001 invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. In 2003, in the face of massive global protests, the US launched its invasion of oil-rich Iraq.

Facing sustained resistance from the Iraqi people, and increasingly unpopular at home, the failure of the Iraqi occupation has contributed to making the Bush presidency one of the least popular in history.

Campaigning for the White House, Democratic Party candidate Barack Obama has made much of his initial vote against the war in 2003.

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