Comment on an Article by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter published in the New York Times
By Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 28.08.2018, www.thecommunists.net
Irrespective of its rivalry with Russia, U.S. imperialism shares Moscow’s desire to pacify the Syrian liberation struggle since years. This has been articulated recently, once more, by the unofficial voice of the ruling class in Washington, former U.S. president Jimmy Carter.
In a well-placed article in the New York Times, published on 24 August, he called for Western support for the Assad regime. He demanded that “Western countries, including the United States, should re-engage incrementally with the Syrian government. (...) In exchange for this re-engagement, Damascus should be required to enact reforms, though the West must keep its demands moderate. Additionally, the West should be prepared to contribute to the reconstruction of Syria, perhaps selectively by sector. (...) Syria’s economy cannot be revived while the country remains under sanctions that hurt ordinary citizens. Lifting sanctions will be crucial to solving the huge challenges of reconstruction, unemployment and economic revival.“ (1)
Carter also welcomed the desire of the U.S. proxy YPG/SDF to strive for a deal with the Assad tyranny. Likewise, he called the rebels to lay down the arms and to open a “political dialogue” with the regime. “In July, a Kurdish delegation met with the Syrian government to negotiate a continuation of the de facto autonomy the Kurds secured early in the war. This was a constructive development, and more such talks should be encouraged. The opposition, which is concentrated in Idlib province, should also explore what is possible through political dialogue. Continuing to fight would be futile.“
This might come as a surprise to those foolish leftists who always claimed that the Syrian rebels were “agents of the U.S.”. In fact, all capitalist powers – despite their rivalry between each other – have desired an end of the revolutionary process in Syria since years. (2)
Surely, the US and the European Union do not like the Assad regime as it is not their but rather Putin’s proxy. Hence, in the first years of the uprising, Washington gave tacit, mainly diplomatic, support for the pro-Western sectors of the rebels in order to create problems in Moscow’s empire. However, when it turned out that Washington could not bring the country into its sphere of influence via a coup against Assad from within the Baathist state apparatus, they reconciled themselves with the prospect of Assad staying in power. In the end, Washington and Brussels always preferred the bloody Assad regime than facing the consequences of a violent popular revolution. (3)
As a consequence U.S. imperialism has never seriously attacked the forces of the Assad regime but rather fought against Daesh/ISIS or the most determined sectors of the anti-Assad rebels (e.g. the petty-bourgeois Islamist HTS which Washington recently classified once more as a “terrorist organization”. (4)
While Washington bombed a few empty ware-houses under control of the Assad regime or an air base after official warning, it carpet bombed Raqqa and assassinated with killer-drones various leaders of the Islamist anti-Assad rebels. (5)
We can expect a similar approach of the U.S. with the upcoming bloody assault on Idlib by the Assadist, Russian and Iranian troops. (6) Surely, Washington will shear a few crocodile tears about the massacres committed by Assad’s mercenaries. One can not exclude one or another symbolic retaliatory strike. But in essence all the Great Powers – the U.S., Russia, EU, China and Japan – share the interest to liquidate the Syrian Revolution and to pacify the country under the bloody bayonets of Assad. (7)
The RCIT denounces the interference and aggression of all imperialist Great Powers in Syria! (8) We call for the immediate withdrawal of the Russian and U.S. troops as well as those of Iran and Turkey. All foreign military bases in Syria must be dissolved! We call the workers and popular mass organizations around the world to rally the support of the Syrian people! Defend Idlib, the last citadel of the Syrian Revolution, against the impending annihilation by the barbaric counter-revolution!
(1) Jimmy Carter: In Syria, an Ugly Peace Is Better Than More War, August 24, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/24/opinion/syria-peace-jimmy-carter.html
(2) See on this e.g. 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/
(3) See on this e.g. Michael Pröbsting: Syria: Assad’s Massacre in East Ghouta and the Western Hypercritics, 23.02.2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/assad-s-massacre-in-east-ghouta-and-the-western-hypercritics/; Michael Pröbsting: Is the Syrian Revolution at its End? Is Third Camp Abstentionism Justified?
(4) See on this e.g. RCIT: Denounce the US terror listing of Syria’s Hayyat Tahrir al-Sham! The Trump Administration delivers another blow to the Syrian Revolution. Continue the Solidarity with the liberation struggle of the Syrian people! 03.06.2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/denounce-the-us-terror-listing-of-syria-s-hts/
(5) See on this e.g. 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! Joint Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) and the Marxist Group ‘Class Politics’ (Russia), 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/
(6) Michael Pröbsting: Syria: Towards the Final Battle in Idlib. Assad, Russia, Iran and Turkey prepare for the final onslaught on the last Citadel of the Syrian Revolution, 04.08.2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/syria-towards-the-final-battle-in-idlib/
(7) See on this various statements which are collected in a special section of our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/collection-of-articles-on-the-syrian-revolution/. In particular we refer to 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/ and chapter V of Michael Pröbsting: World Perspectives 2018: A World Pregnant with Wars and Popular Uprisings, February 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/worldperspectives-2018/chapter-v/
(8) Concerning the Great Power rivalry and imperialist interventions in the Middle East we refer, among others, to a joint statement issued by the RCIT and supported by five other organizations: Warmongering in the Middle East: Down with all Imperialist Great Powers and Capitalist Dictatorships! Joint Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), Alkebulan School of Black Studies (Kenya), Pacesetters Movement (Nigeria), Pan-Afrikan Consciousness Renaissance (Nigeria), Marxist Group ‘Class Politics’ (Russia), and Sınıf Savaşı (Turkey), 13 May 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/joint-statement-warmongering-in-the-middle-east/
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The RCIT has published a number of booklets, statements and articles on the Syrian Revolution which can be read on a special sub-section on this website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/collection-of-articles-on-the-syrian-revolution/.