A commentary on a joint international initiative of Stalinist parties
By Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 3 July 2019, www.thecommunists.net
A large number of major Stalinist parties have recently published a joint statement on Syria.  It is an undisguised declaration of support for the Assad regime. This capitalist dictatorship, based on the Assad family clan and stemming from a small sect, has ruled Syria with an iron fist for almost fifty years. Since the beginning of the popular uprising in March 2011 – a component part of the Arab Revolution – the regime has massacred hundreds of thousands of people in order to keep itself in power. 
The 50 signatories to the statement include the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, AKEL in Cyprus, the official Communist Parties of Brazil, Britain, Bangladesh, Chile, Czech Republic, Greece, Israel, Portugal, Turkey and the USA. Other signatories are the Tudeh Party of Iran and, significantly, the Syrian Communist Party and the Syrian Communist Party (Unified). Many of these parties have a presence in national parliaments or have been part of government coalitions. Even small groups like the Communist Party (Italy), the German Communist Party, or the Party of Labor of Austria are among the signatories. 
This statement is significant as it demonstrates once more the counter-revolutionary nature of Stalinism. The statement begins with the bizarre assertion: “For the past eight years, the people of Syria have defended their motherland, decisively and heroically. They have manifested a remarkable and honourable resistance, that hasn’t ceased for one moment in these years, despite the unmeasurable suffering they have been dragged into. It has already had its place in the great history of humanity.”
As a matter of fact, the Syrian people peacefully demonstrated in spring and summer 2011 to bring down a dictatorship fronted by the Assad family. This was part of a region-wide process – from Morocco and Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Bahrain to Yemen. But the Assad tyranny was determined to fanatically drown the protests in blood. As a result, the revolution has been transformed into a civil war against the regime. It is characteristic of their anti-popular character that the Stalinist signatories of this statement cravenly slander the mass uprising and praise the state terrorist repression as “heroically defense of their motherland”.
The Stalinists’ support for the Assad regime is also reflected in the following sentence: “We express our deep and unconditional solidarity with the working people of Syria, and their vanguard communist parties.” These two “vanguard communist parties” are the Syrian co-signatories of the joint statement – the Syrian Communist Party (Bakdash) and the Syrian Communist Party (Unified). These parties have nothing to do with socialism. They have loyally supported the capitalist dictatorship of Assad for decades. They have a few seats in parliament as they are part of the ruling “National Progressive Front” – a coalition of parties dominated by Assad’s Baath party. This parliament is, of course, a caricature even by bourgeois standards. The ruling coalition has 200 of the 250 seats and the rest are held by so-called “independents”. There is not even a pseudo-opposition in Assad’s parliament.
It is beyond doubt that the Stalinists’ plan to send a “solidarity mission” to Damascus will be another cheerleading effort for Assad’s tyranny.
Another instance of Stalinist hypocrisy is the statement: “As the following communist and workers’ parties, we denounce in the strongest way possible the imperialist intervention of US and its allies, that has created one of the greatest tragedies of the 21st century. (...) We demand the end of imperialist aggression and we fully respect the independence, full sovereignty and the integrity of the national territory of Syria. We emphasize once again that the decision regarding the future of Syria belongs only to peoples of Syria.”
Indeed, there is an ongoing aggression of US imperialism and its allies in Syria taking place. This includes their military support for the Kurdish YPG/SDF in Eastern Syria under the pretext of the struggle against “ISIS terrorism”. Using the cover of “war against terror”, the Western imperialists destroyed a number of cities in Syria and Iraq (Mosul and Raqqa have been largely annihilated) and killed thousands of civilians. 
However, the Stalinists never protested this Western aggression! Quite the opposite, they – as well as many liberals, anarchists and pseudo-Trotskyists – have consistently hailed the YPG/SDF despite their character as foot soldiers of U.S. imperialism. 
No, for the Stalinists this is not “imperialist aggression”. Such aggression only occurs when Trump denounces the regime in Damascus and lobs a few rockets that wind up destroying a few empty Syrian Army warehouses! 
The Stalinists also slanderously claim that the popular rebellion since 2011 has been a “CIA conspiracy” and an “imperialist proxy war”. As we have demonstrated repeatedly U.S. imperialism never lent any significant support to the rebels and has no interest in a popular revolution against the regime. 
There is, however, another ongoing and massive imperialist aggression in Syria. This is the never-ending bombing campaign conducted by Russia against the insurrectional Syrian people. But, unsurprisingly, such a military aggression is not denounced by these “defenders of working people” but rather hailed and supported! As we have shown in various publications, many of these parties openly cheer Russia’s military intervention in Syria! This is not surprising since most of the Stalinists claim that the regimes in Russia and China are “anti-imperialist” and “progressive”. As a result they support their political and military interventions. 
The close relationship of the Stalinist parties with capitalist and imperialist regimes is also evident from the composition of the leadership of the Stalinist international association. At a meeting of the “Working Group of the International Communist and Workers' Meeting” in early June delegations from the ruling parties of China, Vietnam, Cuba, South Africa and North Korea were present together with a number of the parties that signed the Syria statement. 
The Stalinists’ song of praise for Syria’s “independence and full sovereignty” contains a touch of the absurd. In actual fact, it’s the Assad regime that is selling the country to Russia, Iran and China. It is this regime that has brought hundreds of thousands of Iranian and Russian troops into the country and handed over to them military, air and naval bases, etc.! 
We conclude by reaffirming once more that the Syrian Revolution has been and remains a legitimate popular uprising. The RCIT has supported this war of liberation from the beginning and continues to do so. 
In contrast, the latest statement of the Stalinists confirms once more the utterly counter-revolutionary character of this current. Stalinism is the antithesis to socialism. These parties are social-imperialist supporters of Russia and China as well as flag bearers of capitalist dictatorship like the one of the Assad clan. The Stalinist tumor within the international workers movement must be excised once and for all!
 Joint Statement on Syria, 18.6.2019, http://solidnet.org/article/Joint-Statement-on-Syria/
 See on this e.g. Michael Pröbsting: Syria: Who is Responsible for the Civilian Death Toll from March 2011 to September 2018? A Revealing Statistic Shows Who are the Real Terrorists in the Syrian Civil War, 10.10.2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/syria-who-is-responsible-for-the-civilian-death-toll-from-march-2011-to-september-2018/
 For a complete list of the signatories see at the end of the statement at the link provided above.
 See on this e.g. Yossi Schwartz: Raqqa: Defeat the US Imperialist Offensive! An assessment of the US/SDF/YPG war against Daesh, April 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/us-offensive-in-raqqa/; Yossi Schwartz: Down With the New Imperialist Attack on Iraq and Syria! The Renewal of the Imperialist War and the Tasks of the Workers Movement, 2.10.2014, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/us-war-in-iraq-and-syria/
 See on this e.g. Michael Pröbsting: The Revelations of a U.S. General on Washington’s Allies in Syria. Another Blow to the Stalinist Myths about the Character of Syrian Liberation Fighters and the Role of the Kurdish SDF/YPG, 27.10.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/revelations-of-u-s-general-on-washington-s-allies-in-syria/; Kissing the Feet of the Saudi Chainsaw-Crown Prince. On the Shameful Response of the Kurdish YPG on the Killing of the Saudi Journalist Kashoggi, 20.10.2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/the-shameful-response-of-the-kurdish-ypg-on-the-killing-of-the-saudi-journalist-kashoggi/
 See on this e.g. RCIT: Down with Imperialist Warmongering of All Great Powers! Syria attack, Protectionist Tariffs and Salisbury poisoning: Against all imperialist diplomatic, economic and military aggression! In U.S., EU, Russia and China: The Main Enemy is at Home! Support democratic and national liberation struggles of oppressed people! 13.04.2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/syria-down-with-imperialist-warmongering-of-all-great-powers/; ISL: On Trump’s attack on Syria, 15.04.2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/on-trump-s-attack-on-syria/;
 See on this e.g. Michael Pröbsting: “We Worried that the Assad Regime Might Finally Collapse”. New revelations about the approach of U.S. imperialism to the Assad regime, 15.05.2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/us-official-we-worried-that-the-assad-regime-might-finally-collapse/; How U.S. Strategists View the Syrian Revolution. Revealing Insights from some Documents of the U.S. Military Intelligence Establishment – Another Confirmation of Our Warnings, 25.09.2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/how-u-s-strategists-view-the-syrian-revolution/; High-Ranking U.S. Delegation Meets Assad’s Security Chief. How Big Gangsters and Small Gangsters Negotiate to Get a Deal, 30.08.2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/high-ranking-u-s-delegation-meets-assad-s-security-chief/; U.S. Imperialism Wants to “Re-Engage” with the Assad Tyranny. Comment on an Article by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter published in the New York Times, 28.08.2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/u-s-imperialism-wants-to-re-engage-with-the-assad-tyranny/
 See on this e.g. chapter XXIV. “The Left Facing Great Power Rivalry: Pro-Eastern Social-Imperialists (Stalinists)” in Michael Pröbsting: Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry. The Factors behind the Accelerating Rivalry between the U.S., China, Russia, EU and Japan. A Critique of the Left’s Analysis and an Outline of the Marxist Perspective, RCIT Books, January 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/anti-imperialism-in-the-age-of-great-power-rivalry/; see also part 2 of Michael Pröbsting: Syria and Great Power Rivalry: The Failure of the „Left“. The bleeding Syrian Revolution and the recent Escalation of Inter-Imperialist Rivalry between the US and Russia – A Marxist Critique of Social Democracy, Stalinism and Centrism, 21 April 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/syria-great-power-rivalry-and-the-failure-of-the-left/
 CP of Turkey - CP of Greece, Ιn Izmir, the 21st International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties, 12.6.2019 http://www.solidnet.org/article/CP-of-Turkey-CP-of-Greece-n-Izmir-the-21st-International-Meeting-of-Communist-and-Workers-Parties/
 See on this e.g. Ahmad Rafat: IRGC Commander Claims 200,000 Iran-backed Troops In Syria, December 31, 2016 https://kayhanlife.com/translated-features/irgc-commander-claims-200000-iran-backed-troops-in-syria/; AFP: Russia says over 63,000 troops have fought in Syria, August 22, 2018, https://www.yahoo.com/news/russia-says-over-63-000-troops-fought-syria-141424820.html; see also Michael Pröbsting: 63,000 Troops. Russian Imperialist Forces back up the Reactionary Assad Regime in Syria, 27.08.2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/63-000-russian-troops-in-syria/
 The RCIT has published a number of booklets, statements, and articles on the Syrian Revolution that can be accessed on a special sub-section of this website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/collection-of-articles-on-the-syrian-revolution/. In particular we refer to RCIT: Save the Syrian Revolution! A call for international solidarity with the Syrian people in Idlib suffering from the barbarous onslaught by Assad and Putin! 04 June 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/call-save-the-syrian-revolution/; 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/; Michael Pröbsting: World Perspectives 2018: A World Pregnant with Wars and Popular Uprisings, February 2018, Chapter V, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/worldperspectives-2018/chapter-v/; Michael Pröbsting: Syria and Great Power Rivalry: The Failure of the „Left“. The bleeding Syrian Revolution and the recent Escalation of Inter-Imperialist Rivalry between the US and Russia – A Marxist Critique of Social Democracy, Stalinism and Centrism, 21 April 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/syria-great-power-rivalry-and-the-failure-of-the-left/.