The Syria Thread 2011 - Present

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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby minime » Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:58 pm

bks » Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:19 am wrote:And I'd like to see in that argument a call for the invasion of the US that should have begun 200 years ago on behalf of the 13%+ percent of the population that has suffered historic, brutal forms of oppression that continue to this day in the form of the "criminal justice system" and other institutions, an oppession which remains a moral imperative to intervene against.


Saw this in the quotes thread. Sorry, but is this the true spirit of RI?

This is madness. Is madness the true spirit of RI? I've often wondered.
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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby bks » Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:10 pm

Do you have difficulty understanding how analogies work in arguments, minime? Just ask if you need assistance.
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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby minime » Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:15 pm

I have seen so many actual calls for such action on RI (suicide, murder, assassination and genocide from core members--they must be Americans, surely) that I overreacted.

I won't do it again.
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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby minime » Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:26 pm

Most of this military and political activity was outlined in broad strokes in white papers on the PNAC website as long ago as 1998-1999.

It can hardly be a surprise. Pakistan is next. Just waiting for the appropriate Pearl Harbor-type event to galvanize the American public, not that it's even necessary any more.

Free pot for everyone!
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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby liminalOyster » Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:29 pm

Offered with no commentary, endorsement, credulity, platforming opportunism or acerbic debunking. Did you know animals can drive?

"It's not rocket surgery." - Elvis
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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby American Dream » Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:47 pm

I've never felt that "Enemy of my enemy" approaches were a good basis for political praxis. They once informed a politics bent on revering Stalinoid and Maoist agenda. More recently, they provide the basis for politics that may elevate the Assad Regime, Putin's reactionary nationalism, even sometimes Kim Jong Un's nightmare politics as representing positive social struggle. I don't buy it. Baathism is a piss poor excuse for good politics. Putin's homophobic chauvinism provides cover for a kleptocracy with imperial designs. Iran is way too authoritarian and theocratic for my taste. Campism is just not an adequate basis for political action.

I like an approach that is more internationalist, anti-authoritarian, libertarian, broadly anti-imperialist and anti-State.

On April 14th, 2018, the big bourgeois media (which express and materialize the class interests of our exploiters and oppressors, all factions taken into account despite the conjuncture divergences that differentiate them from each other) announced to us with great blows of war propaganda that a coalition of three among the world’s largest powers (the US, Britain and France) have conducted night airstrikes on various “strategic” targets in Syria, in retaliation for the chemical attack allegedly perpetrated by the Baathist regime, supported militarily, economically, politically and diplomatically by Russia and Iran. It is quite“comical” and “outrageous” that these capitalist gangsters put forward the defence of “civilian populations”, victims of the morbid logic that leads this world, especially when we know very well that for example the US have the most powerful military-industrial complex of the planet, as well as the most gigantic reserves of weapons of mass destruction. The US have in recent years not only contaminated whole regions of the former Yugoslavia and Iraq with widespread use of “depleted uranium” ammunition, causing a drastic increase in the number of cancers for local populations, but they also sacrificed their own soldiers exposed to the devastating effects of such weapons.

Once again, on that occasion, the spectre of a third world war was brandished in front of the astonished eyes of billions of proletarians, by putting forward the possibility of a US-Russian military conflagration. It seems obvious to all healthy and somewhat critical minds that the official version to be used as a justification for these airstrikes does not hold water and is meaningless. Neither American, British and French capitalists nor the Russian, Syrian or Iranian capitalists certainly give a damn about the fate of proletarians crushed under floods of bombs, missiles, bullets, gas and others merry gimmicks produced by the capitalist Eden. The fundamental reason for all this performance is the ideological, psychological preparation of the masses of proletarians atomized in their condition of citizens to the future and inevitable reality of generalized war.

Rather than to rewrite for the umpteenth time a specific text on this important issue, we decided urgently to publish a bulletin containing the essential passages of two texts released a few years ago but which have not lost any of their “current” character. So let’s start with the text “Airstrikes Threats On Syria! Third World War? No War But The Class War!”, published in September 2013 after a first major chemical attack in Syria:

More than 110,000 dead, two million of refugees in nearby countries, more than three million internally displaced, 130,000 arrested or missing, tons of bombs, missiles, shells, cluster bombs… This is the reality of war in Syria since two and a half years! [Since then, today in 2018, these morbid figures have obviously rocketed!]

And as if this materialization of permanent war of capitalism against the proletariat was not enough, the mainstream bourgeois media announced us on August 21st[2013]the “ultimate horror”: chemical weapons were used in a suburb of Damascus, killing more than 1,300 people, some 3,600 others were wounded.

The Syrian regime is accused of this, and it’s true that it would not be its first slaughter since it had already proven what it is able to do in terms of repression. Others accuse groups of “rebels”, and more precisely jihadists militarily supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

We, the communists, do not want to enter in any way into this debate, and even less to endorse the ravings of “conspiracy theories”, very fashionable in some “militant” and “ultra-leftist” circles. Because fundamentally, whether it was the capitalist State in Syria represented by the Ba’ath regime who did it or it was done by one of the fighting factions of the bourgeois “opposition” with the support of regional and international powers, it is ultimately State terrorism, the capitalists’ terrorist State, which is responsible for this antihuman and anti-proletarian gassing, as it is responsible for all this war, as for any war…
But today, when capitalism is facing its worst crisis of valorisation since the end of the second world slaughter, its only alternative is once again the mass destruction of surplus productive forces (of commodities, dead labour, but also of labour force commodities, thus of living labour, thus of proletarians!)… The only viable solution for capitalism (to boost subsequently a new cycle of valorisation) is therefore a generalized war […]. Its only problem (which is a major problem!) is how to mobilize the proletariat all over the world so to recruit it in whatever ideological campaign to justify the massacres to come.

Present war drum roll announcing a military intervention of some Western powers in Syria partakes in this ideological campaign. Especially since Syria is in the heart of a region which is a geostrategic issue of capitalists’ voracious appetites. Two major constellations of States already share the ground and participate in the reorganization of the region: on one hand Russia, China and Iran, which support the current regime (but to which extent this support won’t threaten the whole of their interests?), and on the other hand the U.S.A., France, Great Britain and their regional allies Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar…

Threat of military intervention strengthens this polarization and also backs up in their analysis the public opinion, bourgeois propaganda, “experts” of the question, and even groups and organizations which claim social revolution, anti-capitalist struggle, proletarian insurrection, struggle for communism and/or anarchy, all of them continually repeating ad nauseam[…] that the events in Syria is nothing but a proxy war (between these various State powers), or at least a civil war between two bourgeois camps (with the support of these same State powers): Ba’ath regime against “democratic opposition” (which in some cases is reduced to its simplest jihadist expression)…

However, this version and grasping of history, and therefore of the facts taking place in front of our eyes, although it covers a part of the reality on the ground, purely and simply eliminates another aspect of this social matter in motion, which is essential for us communists: the class struggle which had sparked off what has been going on now. In March 2011, a significant movement of struggle, an uprising of a proletarian nature, against poverty, against the rising of prices, against unemployment, against the drastic austerity measures imposed during the previous decade in Syria, against repression, broke out… Since the beginning proletarians have tried to go beyond spontaneity of the movement, various structuring of struggle have been set up, among others hundreds of coordinating committees (Tansiqyat) that try to respond in the practice to needs of the struggle, its organization on the ground, its coordination, its centralization, its consolidation, its spreading and its self-defence, although they develop very contradictory levels of radicalism as for the perspectives of the struggle. Very quickly also the movement of our class countered State terror with direct action, encouraging defeatism within the central apparatuses of repression…

Because of lack of developing its perspectives, because of lack of revolutionary direction, and under the influence of the direction given by different bourgeois factions, who try to achieve their own interests while taking profit of the proletarian struggle, this class struggle, this class war, partially turned into an inter-bourgeois struggle, into an internal civil war and into a proxy war. This doesn’t in any way detract from the importance of the fundamental proletarian nature of the movement. Always and everywhere in the history where the both antagonistic classes clashed, bourgeois factions either temporarily united against a common enemy or they continued to oppose each other so that only one strong counterrevolutionary pole emerges, able to defeat the class historically determined to put an end to this age-old nightmare that is capitalism and its social relation (as the insurgent proletariat in Commune of Paris, Russia, Germany, Spain… tried to do). Everywhere and always in this same history, “foreign powers” intervened either to directly suppress the movement of our class (operations of international gendarmerie) or to support a bourgeois camp against another (e.g. “Russian Civil War” from 1918 to 1921 during which various Western armies militarily supported the “Whites” against the “Reds”) or even to wage a proxy war (Spain 1936-1939)… And it will be like this in all future conflicts which will set the world of value ablaze till its violent abolition by force of social revolution.

Let’s come back to Syria and recall what we wrote […] in another text: “there is no doubt that the bombing of cities and the massacres, the terrible State repression and its militarization, represent a nagging strength that tries to recruit proletarians in struggle (…) for one or the other bourgeois factions opposing each other in the attempt to conquer the power and the management of social antagonism. All the international and regional State powers (…) push the class confrontation to militarization, in order to make it losing its dynamics of subversion of this world of misery, in brief to deprive the proletariat of its class autonomy… The third camp in Syria (that is to say the proletariat opposed to both poles of the counterrevolution) is on the road to ruin and to be recruited if isolation which it is plunged in is not broken, if the universal content of its struggle (which appears in all the struggles of our class) is not put forward, if it doesn’t quickly find an echo to its struggles, if new insurrectional hotbeds don’t develop elsewhere in order to not give a single moment of rest to the voracious bourgeois anymore…”

Every movement of struggle and subversion of social relations in history has its own dynamics, which, if it doesn’t grow, if it doesn’t expand, then fades away and finally withers away. Certainly […], the dynamics of the struggle movement of our class in Syria runs out of steam, on one hand because of simultaneous thrusts of bombings, killings, massacres, imprisonments, on the other hand because of the action of various reformist policies that use the proletarians as cannon fodder in their war between bourgeois factions, but also because of the influence of jihadist tendencies that are turning the class war into a sectarian war, despite the strong resistance of the proletariat.

This resistance of the proletariat to the various jihadist factions trying to confiscate our struggle and to force the restoring of law and order (among other things through moral and religious order) in the “liberated zones” […] expressed itself […], through a series of actions that the bourgeois media obviously ignored. […]

To all fighting proletarians in Syria!

Finally, we want to warn the proletarians in struggle in Syria who are on their knees while suffering endless bombings and massacres orchestrated by the current regime, and who yet develop illusions about an intervention of the “international community” (which is nothing but a bunch of capitalist gangsters), who call for airstrikes or a “no-fly zone”… There is nothing to expect from any State power, all of them have always fought and suppressed proletarian revolts in history. Whether in Indochina and Algeria during the fifties or in Vietnam later, the French and American armies left the battlefield with piles of corpses… Whether in Iraq, Somalia, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, or very recently in Libya, whether on the pretext of “war on terror” or “humanitarian relief”, the imperialist issues meant nothing but a reorganization of exploitation and the replacement of a dictator by another or by a bunch of more presentable and more “respectable” torturers… No, there is nothing to expect for the development of our struggles while choosing a “lesser evil” against a “worse”…


Airstrikes On Syria! Third World War? Show Or Reality? No War But The Class War!
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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby Rory » Sat Apr 21, 2018 3:51 pm

On edit. Deleted.

Voight-Kampf were right
Last edited by Rory on Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby seemslikeadream » Sat Apr 21, 2018 5:25 pm

Russia: We told US where in Syria they could not bomb
https://news.sky.com/story/amp/russia-w ... ssion=true


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Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby minime » Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:04 pm



From the above link...

Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov is reported to have said that officials in Washington were contacted before last weekend's strikes by the US, UK and France.

Mr Lavrov said: "There were military leadership contacts, between generals, between our representatives and the coalition leadership.

"They were informed about where our red lines are, including red lines on the ground, geographically. And the results show that they did not cross these red lines."

Some 105 missiles were launched in response to a suspected chemical attack in the Syrian city of Douma on 7 April that killed more than 40 people.

The Kremlin had threatened retaliatory action if strikes were launched - but it now appears there was at least some level of cooperation.


Why the photo instead? Beats the hell out of me. Bizarre.
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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby seemslikeadream » Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:08 pm

cooperation
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby minime » Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:13 pm

Thanks. I'm trying.
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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby seemslikeadream » Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:56 pm

trump is doing EXACTLY what Putin wants him to do
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby JackRiddler » Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:58 pm

minime » Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:58 pm wrote:This is madness. Is madness the true spirit of RI? I've often wondered.


I know! It's just like when that guy wrote a pamphlet calling on the English to cook and eat Irish children! I think he even gave recipes. Sicko! Madness!
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The highest Wisdom and the first Love.

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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby minime » Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:50 pm

Jack, you're right.

Not too swift.
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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby American Dream » Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:38 am

Reply to a friend: How much can geopolitics tell us about Syria?

Image

Below is a reply I wrote to an old friend who asked some questions about Syria. He is far from being an Assadist, indeed he notes that Assad is a horrible dictator, and states that the Assad-Russia-Iran alliance should not be given any support at all. However, like a great many who don’t have time to read deeply on the issue, he view is partially informed by the simplistic geopolitics as presented in the mainstream media, and unfortunately, by much of the “alternative” media that should know better. I have decided to put my Facebook reply up here as an article because, in order to reply, I wrote a substantial summary of the Syria issue, both challenging the idea that geopolitics can be our main guide to analysing Syria, but also showing how much more complex the geopolitics of Syria in fact is. In fact, these two aspects are related: it is precisely because of the fact that in Syria we are dealing with real social forces, with real revolution and counterrevolution, that the geopolitics is messy, because all the different imperialist and local reactionary states seek to crush, control, co-opt or divert the revolution in different ways, which end up having little to do with traditional “alliances”.

As initially a Facebook reply, I have not filled this article with referencing as I usually do; those who read my work know that everything I write is normally fully referenced, and most of what I write here has already been covered in countless articles on this site.

First, the question I am replying to:

“Give us some more backgound on this Mike. I see the US supporting Saudi Arabia and Israel. The Russians supporting Assad and Iran. Neither are right or supportable in any way. While Assad is a horrible dictator, at least some among the Syrian opposition are Jihadists, and not a good alternative. Let me know if this is not correct mate. You are in a better position than me on this area.”

My response:

I’m not sure how to summarise the last 7 years in one Facebook reply, but I’ll give it a go and provide you some links to articles on my site below.

The first thing is that Assad is not merely “a horrible dictator” like countless others; this is a tyrannical regime that has bombed every city and town in its country to pieces, including all the surrounding (ie, working class, semi-proletarian, semi-rural) suburbs of the capital, reduced its entire country to rubble, in its attempt to keep itself and its narrow oligarchic clique in power. I’m not sure when we’ve ever seen such massive and long-term use of an air-force against its own people; not that it is better when it is used this way against another country (eg the US in Vietnam), or people under occupation (eg, Israel in Gaza), or a secessionist part of a country; just that precisely this underlines the nature of the conflict in Syria: to the regime, the people are an enemy nation, to the people, the Assad clique is similar to a foreign occupation – even before it became little more than the local sheriff for Russian imperialism and the Iranian theocracy. The last count of 470,000 killed was from January 2016, so we need to stop quoting this ancient figure as if no-one had been killed in the last two plus years; one can only imagine how high the figure must be by now. Half the population has been uprooted from their homes, including 5.5 million (a quarter of the Syrian population) outside Syria, mostly in massive concentrations in neighbouring Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, a new al-Nakbah on a colossal scale.

The second thing I want to say is that there is a problem with method: while I disagree with your presentation of the geopolitics of the conflict (as I will outline below), even if I agreed, I think it is the wrong way to analyse Syria. The fundamental issue is that the Syrian people rose up against a bloodthirsty tyrant, who used massive murderous violence against them for months until some started taking arms to defend their demonstrations and their communities, and some troops began deciding to protect their brothers and sisters instead of killing them, ie, defecting, and formed the Free Syrian Army. After that the regime resorted to a genocidal level of violence, and as you say, this also provoked a degree of Islamic extremism on the fringes of the anti-Assad movement as well (similar to what happened in the resistance to the US invasion of Iraq, in Palestine and so on). But the fundamental issue is the people’s uprising; the rebels are merely the armed reflection of it. But armed struggle in itself then creates its own issues, and so many rebel groups are often a very imperfect reflection of the uprising, which nevertheless continues behind all the fighting. Overwhelmingly, the armed formations play a defensive role, defending the revolution-held towns against being overrun by the regime; there is no “military solution” by which they would ever be able to “take power” in their own name, and indeed they have never claimed that is their aim. The aim is defensive, and to pressure Assad into honest negotiations. Therefore, exaggerated and often wildly inaccurate descriptions of the politics of the rebel leaderships (which in fact vary wildly from democratic-secular to hard Islamist) have much less relevance than is often made out.

By the way, just one that question, when you say that at least part of the armed opposition are “jihadists”, I can only assume you mean Jabhat al-Nusra (now HTS) and ISIS – other Islamists range from very moderate to much harder but are not in any sense “jihadists”. Of these, only Nusra can be considered to be in any sense a part of the armed opposition, and always at an arm’s length. ISIS of course has nothing to do with the anti-Assad rebellion, rather it is an open enemy of it – it always fought the rebels much more than it fights Assad; and the rebels have fought ISIS much more than Assad ever has. In fact, for the first year and a half of ISIS in Syria (essentially an invasion from Iraq), from March 2013 to September 2014, the Assad regime barely touched it; rather, both Assad and ISIS overwhelmingly fought the rebels, often enough in tandem. In January 2014, the rebels launched a coordinated nationwide attack on ISIS, driving it out permanently from the whole of western Syria, and temporarily even from most of north-eastern Syria (briefly even from its capital Raqqa). ISIS only made a comeback in north-eastern Syria after it captured the entire US-supplied military arsenal of the US/Iran-backed Iraqi army, which ran away, in in Mosul in June 2014.

In September 2014, the US began bombing ISIS in Syria, and has been bombing them for 3.5 years, finally driving them almost completely from Syria late last year. However, the US also bombed Nusra from Day One, and has since launched hundreds of strikes against Nusra. Nusra is a sectarian and reactionary organisation, but is nothing remotely like ISIS, and is a little mouse compared to the genocidal Assad regime; and unlike ISIS, they are usually in areas adjacent to the rebel groups, so when the US bombs them, it effectively weakens the rebel front militarily against Assad. The rebels themselves often fight Nusra, in acts of resistance against their attempts to impose their reactionary program, and many liberated towns in rebel-held regions also resist Nusra encroachment, but Nusra (unlike ISIS) focuses on fighting Assad, so when the US bombs Nusra, it is seen as an attack on the rebellion, and so it in fact boosts Nusra’s standing as a force seen to be resisting both Assad and the US. Last March, the US bombed a mosque in Idlib, targeting Nusra, and killed 57 worshippers; this was just before the US first ever strike on the Assad regime, when it bombed a half-empty airbase in response to Assad’s use of chemical weapons; no civilians were killed in this strike on Assad. Yet the response of the fake western “anti-war” movement to the murderous strike on the mosque was, meh, whereas when it struck Assad for once ever, it rose up in horror. In any case, the US bombs have also struck mainstream Islamists and even the FSA many times.

In fact, it was only after the US began bombing ISIS that the Assad regime also began bombing ISIS at all, in order to show it could be a partner of the US “war on terror”; often enough they began bombing Raqqa, Deir Ezzor etc in tandem. But it was overwhelmingly a US war. It was only really in 2017 that Assad and Putin joined this US war on ISIS on a large scale, after the US had done most of the softening up. Assad has the US to thank for allowing him to re-take the east of the country from ISIS.

So, does the geopolitical take which you outlined (and I’m not blaming you for it – this is the simplistic way it is often presented in mainstream and “left” media) take into account that the US has actually been bombing Syria for years, but just not bombing Assad, but rather bombing enemies (or in ISIS’ case, ‘frenemies’) of Assad, often enough in semi-alliance and at times in open coordination with Assad? Of course, the US war in eastern Syria has mostly been in alliance not so much with Assad directly (and never with the rebels), but overwhelmingly with the Kurdish-led YPG (ie, the PKK-connected Kurdish militia in Syria); the US chose them as a partner not out of love, but because the YPG prefers to only fight ISIS and not the Assad regime, which thus fits US policy perfectly. The US war on ISIS (and Nusra etc) has killed thousands of civilians, and destroyed 90% of the city of Raqqa, more or less completely. By contrast, this recent US strike on Assad’s chemical plants was over in an hour or so, killed zero civilians, and probably destroyed nothing much anyway, because Trump and Macron had tipped off their mate Putin who tipped off his mate Assad, days before, so the plants were almost certainly emptied (just like the airbase had been, that the US hit a year ago, after Assad’s chemical weapons attack last April). In short, the “anti”-war-o-sphere has been up in arms about this brief piece of elaborate theatre, warning about … “World War III”, while none of them ever had anything to say on the last 3.5 years of actual US war in Syria, including the slaughter of civilians, even the use of white phosphorus etc. That is not anti-war, or anti-imperialist that is just pro-Assad, *even those who do not claim to be*. Otherwise, who can we explain this blatant contradiction?

So again, how can this overall US role fit with the geopolitics outlined above? Yes, the US is allied to Israel and to Saudi Arabia. So what? Yes, the Saudis used to support the Syrian opposition, for their own reasons; part of it would appear to be their geopolitical-sectarian struggle for regional leadership against Iran; part of it is simply that once Assad’s slaughter of mostly Sunni Syrians became a region-wide Nakbha, the supposed head of the Sunni Islamic world felt the need to take a stand or get swept aside by its Sunni jihadist enemies. However, it is unlikely that an absolute monarchy ever actually wanted a victory over Assad (indeed, in the first 6 months of the uprising, the Saudi regime strongly supported Assad, as did Qatar and other Gulf monarchies); they wanted to pressure Assad to compromise, because his war on Syrians was ripping the entire region to bits. Since they launched their own bloody war on Yemen in 2015, however, they have shown far less enthusiasm for Syria, and over the last couple of years have essentially lost all interest, as is widely recognised.

But the Americans were much less enthusiastic than the Saudis from the start, and often held them back, sometimes blocking them from shipping any arms. Of course, the US also wanted some (milder) pressure on Assad to compromise a little, and so their aims partly corresponded with Saudi aims; but the US’ main reason for doling out some arms with an eye-dropper to some select rebel groups was much more about co-opting them in order to *divert them from fighting Assad into fighting ISIS only*. Actually, it is not even clear how much the US has provided at all, despite the hype; for a time it was only whether or not the US would allow the Saudis or Qatar to send anything, or to send which kinds of arms; when the US allowed the Saudis (or Qatar) to send more, that was often interpreted as US arms. The main US role, apart from pushing rebels to quit fighting Assad in order to only fight ISIS, was to *block*, from 2012 till today, anyone – Saudis, Qatar, Turkey, former Libyan rebels, the black market – from sending defensive anti-aircraft weaponry to the rebels, in a war that has been, since 2012, overwhelmingly an air war. I’m not sure what you make of it – I guess I see this is a much more decisive intervention than any other in the war, and I’m unsure why not many others see it the same way, including many anti-Assadists. Anti-aircraft weapons are not a panacea to end all suffering, but the fundamental fact is that in the era of modern air-forces, it is very difficult for a revolution to resist; if the rebels had these decisive *defensive* weapons, it would not allow them to seize Damascus or any region where Assad has a support base, but it would allow the battle on the ground to be on a slightly more levelled playing field, without the overwhelming suffering caused to the rebels’ civilian base by Assad’s air-power.

We can romanticise the Vietnamese victory over US imperialism as much as we want, as long as we remember that at least when the Soviets were also doling out military “aid with an eye-dropper” as we complained at the time, that even the “eye-dropper” allowed through decisive anti-aircraft weapons that the Vietnamese used to great effect, especially during Nixon’s horrific Christmas bombing of 1972, when countless US warplanes were shot out of the sky.

As for Israel, it has never aided the rebels, and has since the outset adopted a rather standoffish, if not hostile stance towards them (and they have never shown any interest in gaining Israeli support either, have always insisted that the Golan is Syrian, and rebel-held Syria erupted in anti-Trump demonstrations when he recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s “capital”); Israel prefers Assad keep power, but has been increasingly drawn in to attacking Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria. Of course, Iran and Hezbollah are major backers of the largely collapsed Syrian army; but Israel’s strikes have tended to have the nature of a parallel war, narrowly focused on its own interests. It has never targeted the regime or Iran or Hezbollah in the context of a battle with the rebels (and, to be fair, the rebels probably didn’t want it either); in fact, the one time it intervened directly in battle was in late 2017, near the Golan, when it prevented the rebels taking a town from the regime. After an Israeli strike on Iranian assets in January 2018 in central Syria, we saw the whole genocidal Assad bombing of Ghouta, killing 1700 people in 4 weeks, with “conventional” weapons of mass destruction rather than chemicals, and so there was not a peep out of Trump, the US, France, the UK etc, and neither was there another peep from Israel – this was of no concern at all. In fact, when Israel did just recently hit Iranian assets again in central Syria, it was after the end of the Ghouta battle, as if this bracketing of Assad’s decisive showdown with the Ghouta opposition at both ends was deliberately aimed at symbolising that it was of no concern to Israel at all, or even that it supported Assad in this.

This shows my problem with a discussion that says on one side is the US allied with Israel and Saudi Arabia and on the other is Russia and Iran allied to Assad!

Continues: https://mkaradjis.wordpress.com/2018/04 ... out-syria/
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