Down with the Great Powers’ Wars! Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution against the Assad Dictatorship! For a Socialist Federation in the Maghreb and Mashreq!
Joint Statement of the Agrupación de Lucha Socialista (ALS) and the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 07.12.2015
1. Since December 2010 the workers and peasants masses in the Maghreb (North Africa) and Mashreq (Middle East) have been rising up for bread and democracy. Beginning five years ago, we have witnessed a wave of revolutions, one after the other, in which the masses overthrew dictatorships which had ruled for decades – like Ben Ali in Tunisia, Mubarak in Egypt, Gaddafi in Libya (who was brought to working class justice) and Saleh in Yemen. All the revolutions were against bloodthirsty dictatorships, demanding bread which had been denied, demanding the fall of the most representative figures of the exploiters and oppressors of the peoples of the Maghreb and Mashreq.
2. In Syria the masses rose up starting in the spring of 2011 and confronted the murderous regime of Bashar al-Assad. Since then up to 400,000 Syrians have been killed and approximately 10 million persons have been forced to flee their homes. The uprising has drawn into the arena intervention from all sides. Russia, Iran and Hezbollah have provided massive support for Assad from the very first day and have sent thousands of tons of weapons and soldiers to help the dictatorship slaughter the Syrian workers and peasants. The US and the EU also favored keeping the Baathist state apparatus in place although for quite some time they preferred personally replacing Assad with someone else. In addition, the Syrian Revolution has had to confront Daesh (the so-called Islamic State), a reactionary terrorist organization and murderous enemy.
3. However, today all counterrevolutionary forces are aligning themselves and are busy coordinating their plans at the negotiation table in Vienna with one purpose in mind: to crush the Syrian Revolution and all other popular uprisings in the Middle East. Naturally, among the various external forces who have intervened in the conflict – the US, France, Britain, Russia, China and other parties – there are a number of conflicting interests. But these differing interests are not manifestations of a conflict between oppressors and oppressed, but only expressions of the rivalry among various powers. Thus we see that, irrespective of such differing interests, when it is a question of crushing the revolting masses, there are no differences between these ruling classes, and they can all find common ground and unite against the popular revolutions to be quelled.
4. The ALS and the RCIT unequivocally denounce the treacherous Stalinist and Bolivarian left which, whether openly or clandestinely, supports the Assad regime. We totally reject their claims that reactionary bourgeois dictators like Assad or Gaddafi have ever been in any way, shape or form “anti-imperialist.” In fact, these brutal dictators were and have always been oppressors of their own peoples, colluding as they have for decades with the Great Powers to maintain the imperialist world order (e.g., Assad the father’s joining Bush senior in waging the First Gulf War against Iraq in 1991; Gaddafi’s continuous assistance to the EU in preventing migrants from crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Europe; and the collaboration of both regimes with the world-wide CIA torture program). Similarly, we utterly reject the idiotic claim that Russia has or is serving some sort of “anti-imperialist” role via its aggression in Syria. Finally, we denounce as total lies all pro-Assadist claims to the effect that the Syrian rebels are “agents of NATO and imperialism.” In truth, all of the Great Powers, Russia and the US, France and the UK, all of them are far less concerned with militarily attacking Daseh. Rather, their principal targets are the various Syrian rebel militias which are in fact the only forces really fighting against Daseh, against Bashar the Butcher, and against the Great Powers! The pro-Assad reformist leftists fail to understand that all the Great Powers and their local lackeys are working together for a common goal: to totally extinguish the flame of revolution still burning in the Middle East. Whether consciously or unconsciously, these “leftists” are objectively supporting these counter-revolutionary efforts!
Who is Responsible for the Terror in Paris?
5. The coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November are serving as a pretext for the US, Russia, Israel, France and others to intensify their imperialist wars. They collectively shed tears about the innocent victims of the terrorist attacks while never mentioning the hundreds of thousands of victims of state-sponsored terror conducted by the US, France, Britain, Germany and others in Afghanistan, Iraq, Central Africa, or that of Russia in Chechnya. The imperialist governments are also utilizing the Paris attacks as a pretext to domestically undermine democratic rights and intensify repression, while ratcheting up their war drive in Maghreb and Mashreq. Currently France is playing the role of the vanguard of this reactionary offensive. The “Socialist” government of President Hollande, with the wall-to-wall consent and support of all parties in parliament (including that of the so-called French “Communist” Party), has imposed a three-month long state of emergency which dramatically limits democratic rights. That this is an obvious Bonapartist measure of the ruling class to suppress popular protests became immediately apparent during the COP 21 summit held in Paris at the end of November. As a result of the ongoing state of emergency, all public demonstrations against the summit were banned. In this context, a demonstration for climate justice “illegally” conducted by 5,000 participants on 29 November was brutally attacked by the police and 200 protestors were arrested. At least 24 climate activists were put under house arrest by the French police before the planned protest. The state also closed three mosques.
6. The ALS and the RCIT denounce the reformist bureaucracy in France which has completely capitulated to “their” imperialist bourgeoisie. The Front de Gauche (FdG) and the “Communist” Party (PCF) as well as the trade union leaderships have treacherously signed onto en masse the “Union Nationale” – just like they did after the attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in January of this year. Without exception, all PCF deputies voted for the three month extension of the state of emergency! Similarly, the Party of the European Left – the international association of the ex-Stalinist parties in Europe which includes, beside the FdG and the PCF, SYRIZA, the German LINKE, B.E. in Portugal, and others – repeated their social-imperialist capitulation in January by entirely failing to condemn either the state of emergency or France’s military aggression. Once again, these reformists have proved to be loyal lackeys of imperialism.
7. True, the centrist left in France has not joined the “Union Nationale” and activists of the NPA, Alternative Libertaire and Ensemble, among them the NPA spokespersons Christine Poupin and Olivier Besancenot, participated in the demonstration against the COP 21 summit on 29 November. However, the centrist left is organically incapable to consistently break with the institutions of French imperialism and to become a tribune of workers and the oppressed people. None of the three big French centrist groups (Mandelist NPA, Lambertist PT/CCI, LO) has dared to call for the defeat of the French troops and for solidarity with the resistance against the occupiers in France’s colonial wars in the past one and a half decades (Afghanistan, Mali, etc.). None of them joined the migrant youth in their uprising in the banlieues in 2005/06. They also all expressed their sympathy for the racist magazine Charlie Hebdo in January 2015 after the attack. The LO has a shameful record of supporting the ban of the veil for young Muslim women from schools. The Lambertist PT/CCI has been inextricably linked with the corrupted trade union bureaucracy, particularly of the FO, which all hail Hollande’s state of emergency.
8. The ALS and the RCIT emphasize that the terrible attacks of Paris, Beirut etc. are a direct result of imperialist intervention. It is the misery and the wars caused by imperialism which drives people to join terrorist organizations. And who has forgotten that it was the Western imperialists themselves which supported anti-communist jihadists in Afghanistan fighting against the Soviet army in the 1980s?!
9. Under the pretext of fighting Daesh, all the Great Powers want to crush the revolution in the Middle East so that they can quietly plunder the region. They are not really fighting Daesh, but when it is convenient they buy oil of them or use them as a weapon of counterrevolution.
10. The current counterrevolutionary offensive also serves to strengthen Israel’s efforts to crush the Palestinian uprising. The Great Powers fear that another upswing of the popular struggles could lead to a revival of the Arab Revolution and provoke new uprisings in the Middle East. They are right to fear such a possibility given the massive turmoil in Europe and the Middle East: the popular resistance in Yemen against the Al-Saud aggression is continuing, the Palestine resistance is standing on the brink of a third Intifada, millions of refugees are coming to Europe, the Greek working class has re-started their mass protests with another general strike.
Stop the Imperialist War and Smash the Counterrevolution!
11. The ALS and the RCIT state unambiguously that in these conflicts, the exploited and oppressed of the world can only stand on one side: with the Arab masses in their struggles against imperialist military interventions and against counter-revolutionary dictatorships. The working class in Europe, and particularly in France, must not provide any support to their own governments. They must denounce the chauvinistic hysteria and hypocrisy organized the Hollande government as a pretext for the imperialist bombing against the Syrian people. Likewise the workers and oppressed must also fight against militarization and the permanent state of emergency within the imperialist countries, as well as against their austerity attacks of the bourgeois governments.
12. The Islamic State is a weapon of the counter-revolution. It will not be defeated by imperialism and their bombs. Imperialism and Daseh can only be defeated by the armed and insurgent masses of the Middle East with all the support and solidarity of the working class of the world. Hence, the ALS and the RCIT call the parties, trade unions and organizations of the working class and oppressed to organize actions of active internationalist solidarity with the Revolution in Syria and the Middle East. They must provide material support for the resistance with all possible means.
13. Finally, the ALS and the RCIT emphasize that the most important task in the coming period is the construction of revolutionary parties in all countries as well as a new World Party of Socialist Revolution!
* Defeat Imperialism – Solidarity with the Resistance! US, Russia, France and any other Great Power: Hands off Syria! Troops out of Afghanistan and Mali! Solidarity with the resistance struggle against the occupiers!
* Solidarity with the Arab Revolution! Support the ongoing Syrian Revolution! Down with the dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad! Down with the reactionary Daesh/IS! Solidarity with popular resistance against the Egypt dictatorship of General al-Sisi! Support the Yemeni resistance against the Al-Saud aggression! Long live the Third Intifada in Occupied Palestine!
* Defend democratic rights! Down with the State of Emergency in France! Down with all repressive laws!
* Stop the harassment of Muslim migrants! Mobilize against racist and Islamophobic campaigns! For self-defense units, organized by organizations of the workers movement and the migrant communities, to protect refugees’ hostels and mosques against racist attacks!
* For a program of revolutionary equality for migrants! For the abolition of the state language and for equal status of the migrants’ native languages in education and public administration! For equal wage and for equal access to housing! Full citizenship rights for migrants! Down with the imperialist border controls - Open the borders for migrants and refugees!
* Stop the austerity policy! For mass demonstrations, strikes up to an indefinite general strike! Build action committees in the work places, schools and neighborhoods in order to organize the struggle! Build a rank and file movement in the trade unions in order to advance the struggle against the bureaucracy and to finally drive them out of the workers movement!
* Down with the Imperialist EU! For the United Socialist States of Europe!
* For Workers and Peasant Republics in Maghreb and Mashreq! For a Socialist Federation!
Note: While the RCIT considers Russia as an imperialist power, the ALS is still in a discussion process on this issue.
Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Israel/Occupied Palestine, Yemen, Tunisia, USA, Germany, Britain and Austria): www.thecommunists.net, firstname.lastname@example.org