U.S./NATO imperialists out of Syria
& the Middle East/North Africa!
For working class struggle to defeat Trump’s war drive!
Russia out of Syria!
Victory to the Syrian Revolution against the Assad regime!
The Communist Workers Group opposes the U.S. bombing and ground war in Syria and Iraq. The main enemy of the working masses and permanent revolution in the Middle East and North Africa (hereafter ‘MENA’) is U.S. imperialism. It is the task of American workers to stop Trump’s war drive and overthrow the capitalist state and build a workers state to fight for world socialism. Just as the driving out of U.S. imperialism in Southeast Asia by the Vietnamese workers and peasants was a victory for the international working class, the defeat of the U.S. military in Syria and throughout MENA would stand as a victory for the workers and oppressed of the world.
Likewise we oppose Russian bombing of Syria and Assad’s ongoing brutal war against the Syrian people. The working class must oppose the Russian and Chinese imperialists backing of the Assad regime, as well as the backing of their proxy Iran. The CWG supports fighters on the ground who defend their communities against the U.S./Russia/ Assad air war and those who fight Assad’s regime on the ground, but give no political support to agents of capital, theocrats and those who seek their mandate from the various imperialisms. The CWG calls on the U.S. working class to engage in labor political strikes against Trump’s war moves, along with hot-cargoing of U.S. war materiel. We call on American workers to provide material aid to the Syrian masses fighting imperialism and Assad in the form of weapons and munitions. We look favorably upon the unity accomplished post-Aleppo by Hay’at Tahrir al Sham; we urge the revolution’s champions to rally to this unity in a military bloc against Assad, his allies and the NATO/U.S. forces and we call on workers in the west to arm HTS. This implies neither mixing banners or sacrificing class-political independence, nor abandoning any organizational independence. Within this bloc revolutionary Marxists must insist on carrying the program of the national democratic revolution through to its conclusion in the region-wide permanent revolution.
With Assad already looking for the negotiations in Geneva scheduled to resume on April 9th to acquiesce in his power, Tillerson has spelled out that U.S. imperialism’s position is to defeat ISIS, not regime change. This emboldened Assad to use Chemical weapons to thumb his nose and say I am in power to stay. While liberals and rightists have been thrown into confusion about what Trump’s policy really is, Tillerson is going to Russia to say we sent a message to your pals the Chinese, and their pals the North Koreans that we are not milquetoast over here and you’re not going to get your Middle East wishes for free. And while the “anti-war” Putinpals have flipped out over the cruise missile strike on one airbase, numerous U.S. troops, so quietly as to almost go unnoticed, have been dispatched to fight on the Syrian border in the south to cut off any ISIS retreat from Mosul and to the North in a cooperation with Russia to crush the revolutionary forces there. This is assurance to Assad that the U.S. is going after the Revolution, not him. The erstwhile U.S. left doesn’t get it that the liberal hue and cry over war powers not being voted on concerns the missile strike and future attacks, not the warfighting powers delegated by Trump to field commanders since January with no such Congressional approvals. Likewise, the rightist Michael Medved interprets the cruise missile strike as a signal the Trump/Putin ‘bromance’ is at an end, when just the opposite is the case. At the G-7 meeting in Italy Tillerson asked ‘why should American taxpayers care about Ukraine’ !!!
Considering the ongoing war by US and Russian imperialism against the social revolution in MENA, Trump’s Tomahawk missile strike against an airfield is small potatoes which we think has more to do with Trump surviving his first 100 days than any love of ‘beautiful babies.’ Mexico is not paying for the wall that will never be built, Michael Flynn is out and Trump’s entire political operation of the last year is under multiple investigations; Bannon is down but not out(?), ACA is still in place while Paul Ryan regathers his troops, the ‘nuclear option’ was required in the Senate, Trump’s little bit of ass kissing of Bill O’Reilly when exposed for being a serial violator of women recalled for the appalled Trump’s own record and the women suing him! Assad’s gas was like manna from heaven for the reeling Trump team as Nunez had to bow out as the head of the Russian influence investigation after throwing it off for three weeks by bringing the White House ‘secret’ information supplied to him by Bannon henchmen. All this was camouflaged by Trump putting on a G.W. Bush suit and getting all the Democrats and Republicans to rally round the flag with a wag-the-dog missile barrage….Nothing like pandering to the arch warhawk Hillary to get most of the bourgeois Feminist leadership on board! From Boxer, Pelosi and Feinstein to Hillary herself and right alongside Republicans like Lindsey Graham and John McCain, flag-waving without a selfconscious blink.
After all, Feinstein and Boxer supported the idea of airstrikes against Syria as far back as 2013. Pelosi stated in regards to Trump’s bombing of Syria that “Last night’s response was fully within the president’s authority” and she simply wants Congress to authorize further imperialist military actions by Trump.
Trump has no greater love for Muslims or Mexicans in April than he had before he snatched at a moment to look presidential for effect with missiles! And his new professions of love for Syrian babies does not extend to the right to seek refuge in the U.S.A. ! Trump says U.S. forces are now fighting like never before, and we note how the civilian casualties from U.S. bombing has recently multiplied!
Scientific Socialism versus Middle Class Muddleheads
The “left” in the U.S. has responded to Trump’s cruise missile attack in various predictable ways. The Robertsonite Internationalist Group’s view of Assad recognizes some truths but loses the historical thread right away. This is largely due to their orientalism when discussing the majority Muslim world:
“The imperialists’ response to this is to portray Syrian strong man Assad as a comic-book ogre and personification of evil, a modernday Hitler who delights in killing babies. In reality, however, Assad is an authoritarian bourgeois ruler who has been able to stay in power through six years of an imperialist-backed uprising because of support from his Alawite base, from other ethnic and religious minorities, and from sectors of the Sunni Muslim bourgeoisie who fear the collapse of Syria in the sectarian civil war. The IG and LFI are for the defeat of all sides in this communal conflict, while calling to defeat and drive out the imperialists.” – “Drive U.S. Imperialism Out of the Middle East!
Many in the Robertsonite tradition take this view. The best part of their contribution is they focus their fire on U.S. imperialism and identify Assad as an authoritarian bourgeois ruler. Their escape from material reality comes where they lump the 1200-organically-linkedto community organizations of civic administration and defense, the Local Coordinating Committees, the masses of workers, peasants and dispossessed who have sustained the popular revolt for 6 years, into one big cabal of U.S.-financed and staged “imperialist backed uprising.” Millions of Syrians have sacrificed themselves on a CIA promise of aid? The same CIA which has worked to thwart every popular uprising around the globe?! So in 2011 the masses are supposed to have come out into the streets in righteous opposition to Assad’s authoritarianism and then just as quickly abandoned their social revolution to CIA control. Really? Control, we are led to believe, exercised through a handful of Syrian military elite defectors, a layer of Syrian capitalist expatriates and the few soldiers loyal to them, while the hundreds of thousands who came out into the streets in 2011 were Al-Qaeda dupes supported by U.S. allies under CIA control in the Emirates.
This is the same rabbit hole the neo-Stalinists dig for themselves, it robs the revolution of international workers solidarity and allows the likes of Party of Socialism and Liberation (PSL), Workers World Party (WWP), many Maoists and the Castroites of all sorts to attempt to sabotage that solidarity and offer up the “democratic anti-imperialist” Assad and by extension the bloc of Syria-Russia-Iran et al. as the “anti-imperialist united front.” This is ahistorical rubbish.
This politics feeds the lie that the Syrian people have no agency in their own history. The Orientalist chauvinism of the left denies the Arab national revolution where it has its sui generis religious context, no less than did the Irish revolution of 1916! Catholicism and nationaldemocratic revolution good—an Islamist content to the national revolution bad? Where HTS, like most predecessor rebel groups, employs the term Jihad, our messrs. ‘Leftists’ run for pacifist cover! As communists we fight for an end to all obscurantism but know the political fight for the consciousness of the workers goes hand in hand with the fight against imperialism and all the ideologues of various strata of the capitalist class.
The anti-war movement in the U.S. is poisoned by a pro-Assadist bias. Groups like the WWP, PSL, Freedom Road and the Communist Party which historically built various anti-war coalitions are stuck in a quagmire of their own Russophilia and obsequiousness toward Assad and their abandonment of the working class both here and in the semicolonies as the agents of their own destiny. American workers generally oppose war, but are not fans of brutal nationalists who exploit, repress and bomb their own people. For the worst among the fake left, the 88% victory of Assad in 2014 was a great defeat for U.S. imperialism and a validation of the extreme popularity of the regime. For example, WWP gives political support to al-Assad, declaring that “Syria election observers at UN: Elections ‘big defeat’ for U.S.”:
“The Syrian elections were the first with competing political parties since the installation of the new constitution of 2012. Incumbent Dr. Bashar al-Assad won the presidency with more than 88 percent of the vote.
Seventy-three percent of all Syrian adults voted, in a country where millions of people are refugees.”
This falls into the trap that bourgeois elections are sacrosanct and truly express the will of the people in a capitalist state. To say nothing of the decades the same regime has remained in power and used mass repressions, slaughter of thousands, and hangings and torture to assure its reign, a level of repression Syria Solidarity Movement’s Robert Roth, author of “What’s really happening in Syria: a consumer fraud lawyer’s mini primer” assures us the Syrian people are happy to trade off for the benefits of secular freedoms (sic).
Socialist Action, in “U.S. missile attack on Syria: ‘First Casualty’ multiplied”, takes a more social democratic, pacifist view by limiting their programmatic demands to “Hands Off Syria!” and “Bring All the Troops, Pilots, and Sailors Home Now!” They do say that “regime change in Syria needs to be accomplished by Syrian workers and peasants—not by more foreign bombs and troops.” The questions raised by this are, how are U.S. imperialist moves to be opposed, how are the troops to be brought home, and what is to replace the Assad regime? Class struggle opposition to war is not raised, material aid to the Syrian Revolution is not presented, and the perspective of permanent revolution in Syria and throughout the region is sidestepped. Until recently, Socialist Action supported Assad “against imperialism,” while maintaining they WOULD support a revolution if one were to come along (!!!)
The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the ‘socialist’ pressure group on the Democrats, condemn the Trump administration’s bombing of Assad’s airbase and also have declared support for the Syrian uprising against Assad. Their perspective is anything and everything EXCEPT class struggle against U.S. imperialist military attacks, instead denouncing Trump for violating “domestic law (having not been authorized by Congress) and international law (having not been authorized by the United Nations (“Democratic Socialists of America Condemns the U.S. Bombing of Syria”).”
We say imperialist butchery is not made more palatable if committed within the embroidery around bourgeois laws. DSA calls for the U.S. to “join the international community in condemning the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons and press for a return of United Nations inspectors….” DSA’s first demand has been realized, as Tomahawk missiles are a pretty sure sign of condemnation. They go on to call for diplomacy, that the “United States and all other countries should engage in the necessary diplomacy to press Russia, Iran and Hezbollah to cease their military aid to the Assad dictatorship, as well as end United States and Gulf State funding of internal Syrian combatants. The Syrian people alone can liberate themselves; the task cannot be accomplished by external powers.” The agency for DSA for opposing imperialist wars is not the working class, but the …Geneva talks (!?!!)
The CWG in contrast fights for class struggle methods to oppose wars and support the Syrian Revolution and the CWG stands for socialist revolution in the Near East and throughout the world. The Syrian masses’ victory ultimately will depend upon the ascendency of their own revolutionary working class party at the head of all the oppressed. But workers in the west must do our part. As we wrote in 2013:
“Workers should come to the defense of the Arab Revolution. Labor in transport should help ensure that military goods are commandeered and delivered to the Syrian working class revolutionaries of the Local Coordinating Committees (LCC) and militias, who are fighting the brutal Assad regime. Organize workers international brigades to fight in Syria alongside our class sisters and brothers! The Syrian Revolution must not be broken by the imperialists! For international labor solidarity! Workers of the world unite!” – “US/NATO HANDS OFF SYRIA! VICTORY TO THE SYRIAN REVOLUTION!”
Victory to the Syrian Revolution!
For Permanent Revolution and a Socialist Federation of the Near East!