Never in human history have a people dared to struggle against such an imposing array of forces as the Syrian people. Ranged against them is the regime of Bashar al-Assad and all its resources – sarin, scud missiles, MiG jets, death squads, allied media outlets, and useful idiots like Robert Fisk. Ranged against them are not only Assad’s armed forces but the armed forces of Hezbollah, Iran, and Iraq’s militias, tens of thousands of Shia men with an unlimited supply of modern Russian weapons, a sophisticated command-and-control system, billions of dollars in funds, and a logistical infrastructure stretching from Tehran to Beirut. Ranged against them is an unholy alliance of imperialist powers (East and West) and their ‘anti-imperialist’ opponents in which Rand Paul and Donald Rumsfeld join hands with George Galloway and Nicolás Maduro to keep the Syrian people politically isolated as they battle the most murderous fascist since Adolf Hitler. Ranged against them are the combined forces of famine, pestilence, cynicism, treachery, paralysis, infighting, indifference, defeatism, fatigue, exhaustion, and death. Continue reading
Some Observations on the Social Roots of Syria’s Ruling, Military Group and the Causes for Its Dominance19 Feb
Author: Hanna Batatu.
Source: Middle East Journal, Vol. 35, No. 3. This essay is a revised version of a talk given at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University, on April 11, 1979.
At the heart of Syria’s regime stands a cluster of military officers. They hold in their hands the crucial threads of power. This much is obvious. Their common military profession, however, does not explain why they cling together and act in concert. Far more significant in this connection is the fact that the ruling element consists at its core of a close kinship group which draws strength simultaneously, but in decreasing intensity, from a tribe, a sect-class, and an ecologic-cultural division of the people.
British group Stop the War Coalition’s (StWC) statement on the Russian invasion of Ukraine is just another example of its pro-imperialist anti-imperialism. Whereas Lenin saw wars as the continuation of political struggle and derived his stance from a thorough analysis of all sides involved and an independent evaluation of where the interests of the workers’ movement lay in a given conflict, StWC leader Lindsey German merely looks at which side has the backing or involvement of Western governments as if Western imperialism were the only imperialism or if Russian imperialism does not exist. She admonishes people who demand that StWC take the same “hands off” position on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that it took regarding a U.S. military strike on Syria: Continue reading