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No Imperialist Attacks on Syria – Victory to the Syrian Revolution!

The League for the Fifth International totally condemns the preparations by the US administration, warmly supported by the British and French imperialists, to launch missile attacks on Syria. We call on the labour movements and progressive forces of all countries to mobilise to prevent such attacks and to make the perpetrators pay heavily for it politically if they go ahead.

We do so despite our strongest condemnation of Bashar al-Assad’s regime’s likely responsibility for the murderous use of chemical weapons against both civilians and rebel fighters in the suburbs of Damascus on 21 August and, indeed, the many other massacres it has perpetrated in its attempt to cling on to power.

Irrespective of any UN resolution, US, UK or Nato attacks will neither protect the Syrian people against Assad’s attacks nor aid their just struggle for freedom. Indeed, that is not the imperialists’ intention. US military figures have made it clear that any attacks will be carefully calibrated so that they do not tip the strategic balance in favour of the rebels. The US fears a rebel victory even more than the prospect of Assad clinging on to power.

This is more or less the open opinion of leading figures in the government of Israel, the US gendarme in the region. They know that Assad’s regime was, and is, no anti-imperialist or anti-Zionist bulwark, any more than was Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

Both the US and the Israelis fear that Syria, liberated from  the Ba’athist dictatorship, could become a gathering point for those wanting to aid the liberation of Palestine. Indeed, a democratic Syria would hardly have stood by and watched the horrors that Israel has perpetrated in Southern Lebanon and Gaza in recent years.

Whilst it is true that the Syrian revolution has turned into a bloody civil war with horrific atrocities and poisonous elements of religious and ethnic hatreds, it is the Assad regime that bears the primary responsibility for this development. To sustain a social base for waging a war of extermination against the mass uprising and the lightly armed rebel fighters, it has stoked up the fears of the Sunni majority that are held by the minority religious communities. Likewise, its use of substantial numbers of Shia battle-hardened Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon, and Revolutionary Guards from Iran, has added to this sectarian character.

Assad’s tactics encouraged the entry of numbers of Sunni jihadis from across the Arab/Muslim world, whose murderous reactionary attacks on Alawites, Christians and Kurds, have obviously reinforced the danger of an Iraq scenario. At the same time, we condemn the Syrian National Council’s calls for military intervention by its imperialist backers. These not only provide a pretext for imperialist intervention but also serve to reinforce Assad’s fraudulent pretensions to anti-imperialism.

However, despite all such considerations, the war still retains overwhelmingly the character of a struggle for freedom on one side and for a totalitarian dictatorship on the other. If the western imperialists are very hesitantly supporting the opposition – following, rather than leading, their Turkish and Saudi/Gulf state allies, then Assad is receiving far more material support from the rival imperialists, Russia and China. Neither imperialist camp, nor any of their regional allies, is progressive, and if either were to achieve control over Syria, or the region, it would be a catastrophe for its peoples and their democratic and social aspirations.

Revolutionary socialists are duty bound to support a victory for the Syrian rebels and to call for all means of support that do not subordinate their struggle to the goals of western imperialism or any of its allies in the region; Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, etc.

Therefore, we call not only for humanitarian aid for the refugees suffering tremendously inside and outside Syria; for food, medical supplies, and shelter for the civilians, but also for arms without strings for the freedom fighters.

Revolutionaries in Europe and North America, in particular, should organise protests against their governments’ preparations for what could turn into a new war of intervention in the Middle East – even if, at present, the Obama Administration, still embroiled in Afghanistan, hesitates at the prospect and seeks “only” a punitive raid.

We say

  • No to any imperialist intervention – mass demonstrations and direct action to prevent it.
  • Full support to the Syrian resistance  – medicine, food, shelter, and arms.
  • Open the borders of the European Union to all Syrian refugees who wish to flee there.
  • From the river to the sea, Palestine must be free.
  • Victory to the Syrian, Egyptian and Arab revolutions against their military regimes and monarchies.

International Secretariat, League for the Fifth International

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