By Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 23.02.2018, www.thecommunists.net
In the last days the ongoing massacre in East Ghouta at the hands of the terrorist regime of Bashar al-Assad has received global attention. The dictator’s forces, supported by Iranian militias and Russian Air Force, have intensified the bombardment of about 400,000 Syrians who are besieged in the enclave at Damascus. At least 416 people have been killed in eastern Ghouta since Sunday night, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor, with more than 2,100 wounded. The people, besieged since years, are starving and many have resigned to certain death. Meanwhile, the Syrian regime forces continue to use chlorine gas to shell residential areas.
In a symbolic act, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) published a one-sentence press release on 20 February, saying, “No words will do justice to the children killed, their mothers, their fathers and their loved ones.” The rest of the statement was blank with a footnote at the bottom: “UNICEF is issuing this blank statement. We no longer have the words to describe children’s suffering and our outrage. Do those inflicting the suffering still have words to justify their barbaric acts?” (1)
It is obvious that the Assad tyranny is determined to annihilate this enclave – one of the last remaining pockets of resistance.
The unspeakable massacre in East Ghouta has provoked outrage among people around the world. Solidarity demonstrations are taking place in many countries. The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) and indeed all forces around the world supporting the struggle for freedom denounce this bloodbath in East Ghouta and stand in solidarity with the resistance of the Syrian people against the Assad tyranny and its imperialist masters.
In a case of extraordinary cynicism, Western politicians are trying to exploit this situation to advance their own interest. In press releases and in public meetings of the UN Security Council they cry crocodile tears about the people in East Ghouta. Nikki Haley, Trump’s hatchet woman to the UN, said: "It’s time to take immediate action in the hopes of saving the lives of the men, women, and children who are under attack by the barbaric Assad regime." (2) The French foreign ministry said in a statement on 20 February that the massacre in East Ghouta "constitutes a grave violation of international humanitarian law." UK's Minister for the Middle East and North Africa Alistair Burt denounced "Assad regime's brutal siege of Eastern Ghouta, coupled with escalating bombardment and reports of chemical weapons use, is causing unprecedented levels of suffering". (3)
This is a prime example of hypocrisy! First, let us not forget: what Assad and Putin are doing now to the people in East Ghouta is not so much different from what the Americans did, with the help of their foot soldiers of the Kurdish Stalinist-nationalist YPG, some months ago in Raqqa. They even used the same label to justify these war crimes: “the war against terrorism”! When this unholy alliance of US imperialism and Öcalan bigots besieged and leveled the city in East Syria, no one of these politicians uttered a word of protest. Neither did the Stalinist and semi-Stalinist champions of fake anti-imperialism which are cheering the YPG – even now when it marches hand-in-hand with pro-Assad troops in Afrin! (4)
Secondly, the current massacre in East Ghouta is just the latest escalation of a drama which is going on since years! East Ghouta is under siege since 2013! Since years do the Assad army, the Iranian militias and the Russian Air Force kill the Syrian people in this enclave! Where have these politicians been in all these years?!
If the liberation fighters in East Ghouta and in the rest of Syria would have modern weapons – in particular effective anti-air craft weapons (Man-Portable Air Defense System or MANPADS in military language) – they could have stopped the lethal air force long time ago!
Why did the US or the EU not send such weapons to the Syrian liberation fighters? The reason is very clear and we have said so since years: the Western imperialists never had any real interest to support a successful defense – or even victory – of the rebels. They don’t like Assad because he is a puppet of Russian imperialism – a rival of the West in the global theatre of world politics. But they prefer his regime to any government resulting from a successful liberation war. (5)
As a result the Syrian people are more or less defenseless against the daily terror from the regime’s air force. Only in exceptional cases when the liberation fighters manage to organize a MANPAD through bribery or smuggling are they able to bring down one of these killer machines. A few weeks ago, the HTS fighters fortunately succeeded to shot down a Russian warplane. (6)
No, the truth is that the Syrian Revolution has no and never had a friend in the Western imperialist governments. They are jockeying with Russian imperialism for spheres of influence in Syria. This is why Western politicians sometimes pretend to support the Syrian people.
But the only real friend of the Syrian liberation struggle are those without money and power; those who are suffering from dictatorship and misery like the Syrians; those who are also rising up against the reactionary regime like the Palestinian people, the Iranian people, the Tunisian people and all the others laboring masses who strive for freedom!
No alliance with any Western or Eastern imperialist power, no alliance with Turkey’s Erdoğan, Saudi’s Crown Prince or any other bigmouth will help the Syrian workers and poor peasants fighting for liberation. Only a perspective of building an international alliance with the workers and oppressed in other countries on the basis of a socialist program and led by a revolutionary world party will show the way forward!
We repeat once more our urgent call to all supporters of the just liberation struggle of the Syrian people to double their efforts in order to build international solidarity.
The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency will continue its support for the liberation struggle of the Syrian workers and peasants. In this difficult hour when the Revolution is under attack from all sides – the Assad dictatorship, Russian as well as US imperialism, the Turkish and the Iranian regime – it is all the more important to maintain international solidarity with the struggle of the Syrian people!
(1) Reuters: U.N. issues blank statement on Syria, says it has run out of words, February 20, 2018 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-unicef/u-n-issues-blank-statement-on-syria-says-it-has-run-out-of-words-idUSKCN1G415A
(2) Al-Jazeera: Haley: UN must end 'barbaric' attacks in Eastern Ghouta, 2018-02-22 http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/02/demands-halt-monstrous-campaign-syrian-town-180221183144792.html
(3) The New Arab: #SaveGhouta: World leaders react to Eastern Ghouta bombardment, 21 February, 2018 https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/blog/2018/2/21/saveghouta-world-leaders-react-to-eastern-ghouta-bombardment
(4) On the current conflict in Afrin see the RCIT statement: Syria: No to Turkey’s Attack on Afrin! Defend the Syrian Revolution against Annihilation! The Syrian Revolution must reject sectarianism and strive to create multinational unity among Arabs, Turks and Kurds! Rally all forces against the Assadist-Iranian-Russian Aggression in Idlib! 22.01.2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/no-to-turkey-s-attack-on-afrin/
(5) See on this e.g. Yossi Schwartz: The Myth of Assad’s Syria as an Anti-Imperialist Regime, November 2013, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/myth-of-assad-s-anti-imperialism/; Michael Pröbsting: US Administration: “Rebels fighting the Assad regime wouldn't support American interests if they were to seize power”, 22.8.2013, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/us-opposes-syrian-rebels/
(6) Michael Pröbsting: Syrian Liberation Fighters Shot Down Russian Warplane – A Small Victory, 4 February 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/syrian-liberation-fighters-shot-down-russian-warplane-a-small-victory/
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For the RCIT’s analysis, reportage and perspectives of the Syrian Revolution, we refer readers to our numerous articles and documents which can be accessed at a special section of our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/collection-of-articles-on-the-syrian-revolution/
Furthermore we refer readers to the following documents:
Michael Pröbsting: World Perspectives 2018: A World Pregnant with Wars and Popular Uprisings. Theses on the World Situation, the Perspectives for Class Struggle and the Tasks of Revolutionaries, Chapter V. Middle East and North Africa: Reactionary Offensive, Wars and Popular Uprisings, 10 February 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2018/chapter-v/
Michael Pröbsting: Is the Syrian Revolution at its End? Is Third Camp Abstentionism Justified? An essay on the organs of popular power in the liberated area of Syria, on the character of the different sectors of the Syrian rebels, and on the failure of those leftists who deserted the Syrian Revolution, 5 April 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/syrian-revolution-not-dead/
RCIT: Revolution and Counterrevolution in the Arab World: An Acid Test for Revolutionaries, 31 May 2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/theses-arab-revolution/