Sunday, April 9, 2017

Three views on the situation in Syria and a statement from the Syrian Communist Party

Below are three views on the situation in Syria which reflect disagreements on the left. The first statement comes from the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the second from the Communist Party (CPUSA) and the third comes from the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU). I am aware that there are many more left organizations out there with other views, but I think that in broad terms these three positions are the primary lines found on much of the left and are starting points for debate. The main weaknesses in these positions are that we are making this about Assad, we are neglecting or refusing to support the revolution in Rojava, we are coming up short when it comes to foreign policy, we lack a strong anti-imperialist analysis, we're not organizing an antiwar or peace movement, and we're risking falling into what used to be called "big power chauvinism." A statement from the Politbureau of Syrian Communist Party is included here. No statement frrom Kurdish forces is yet available in English

A Statement of the National Political Committee of Democratic Socialists of America

April 8, 2017

Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) has consistently opposed U.S. military intervention in the civil war in Syria and condemns the Tomahawk cruise missile attack by the Trump administration. DSA has also supported from spring 2011 onwards the massive and democratic Syrian uprising against the brutal Assad regime, a regime that has shown no hesitation to use massive force, including chemical weapons, to suppress its people.

The Trump administration has committed an act of war that both violates domestic law (having not been authorized by Congress) and international law (having not been authorized by the United Nations). Foreign power intervention, however, whether by Russia, the United States, Iran or the Gulf States, has only served to militarize the conflict and severely weaken the democratic forces within Syria. As illustrated by the futile U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, United States imperialist and unilateral military power cannot liberate the Syrian people. U.S. air power cannot surgically take out those individuals who develop and deploy chemical weapons; what it has done and will do is kill scores of innocent civilians.

Therefore, we urge our members and friends to protest the Trump administration’s military action and to lobby Congress to halt any further U.S. military intervention. We urge our members and friends to protest all bombings of Syrians and the war waged by the Assad regime through foreign forces against the people of Syria. The U.S. coalition and Russia have been actively bombing Syria for years, as documented by, in effect both siding with the regime, allegedly to fight ISIS (while the context of massive pro-regime violence is the fertile soil on which ISIS has grown). The Trump Tomahawk cruise missile strike continues a long-standing U.S. policy of bombing Syria, which is why Secretary of State Tillerson can state that these attacks are in accord with ongoing U.S. policy.

In opposing all foreign military intervention in Syria we act to end the mass slaughter of civilians and to honor the memory of those civilians who fought for freedom, a fight that might have been won if not for the militarization of the conflict by the Assad regime and by U.S. and other foreign powers. As abhorrent as the use of chemical weapons may be, DSA opposes all forms of mass violence against civilians, including the U.S. bombing of mosques.

The United States should join the international community in condemning the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons and press for a return of United Nations inspectors to monitor the regime’s chemical weapons capacity. The United States must also immediately reverse its policy opposing the intake of Syrian refugees and grant refugee status to at least one hundred thousand Syrian asylum seekers (of all faiths) and challenge the European Union nations to take in proportionate numbers. It is the ultimate hypocrisy to bomb a country while refusing to give shelter to refugees from a carnage to which many foreign powers, including the United States, have contributed.

Furthermore, the United States should join the international community in providing massive humanitarian aid to the millions of Syrian refugees in Jordan, Turkey and elsewhere. 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.

Trump: Stop bombing Syria, stop the deadly war for oil---A People's World editorial

For nearly a century powerful oil companies based in the U.S. and other Western countries have waged a continual struggle to maintain control over the vast energy resources of the Middle East. What Donald Trump did last night was only the latest in that continuing campaign.

He launched an unconstitutional and illegal attack on another sovereign nation, Syria. The president claimed the missile attack, unauthorized by Congress, was conducted in response to a chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians several days earlier.

We agree with Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee who declared right after the attack that it was an act of war and that Congress should come back from its latest spring vacation and do its duty – hold a debate. “Anything less,” Lee said, “is an abdication of our responsibility.”

Millions were justifiably horrified upon seeing pictures of children burned, gasping for breath, and dying after exposure to the chemical weapons. Trump moved fast to make those scenes Part I of a nicely scripted TV show. Part II was footage taken by the Pentagon itself last night of its launching, one by one, of 60 missiles from the deck of a warship off the coast of Syria. “Beautiful, awesome,” said MSNBC’s Brian Williams. Part III of the narrative came with a national appearance on TV by Caesar himself, Donald Trump, claiming victory by saying essentially, “Veni, vidi, vici” – I came I saw, I conquered.

Made for TV. Made for domestic consumption. Made to silence critics of his involvement with Russian oligarchs. Made to split and weaken the resistance to his policies. But most important, made to keep people ignorant of what is really going on in the Middle East – an endless deadly war for oil.

Trump’s show does nothing to explain this cause of the century-old and continually unfolding disaster in the Middle East. The deaths of those children last week were preceded by the deaths of millions of others in the never-ending war for oil. Thousands died in Mosul, Iraq in the weeks before the latest chemical attack. A half million died in Syria’s civil war before that and a million in Iraq before that. The war for oil claimed hundreds of thousands apiece in Iran, Libya, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Egypt, Palestine, and other countries before it claimed the million in Iraq.

Mass killings of progressives, socialists, communists, secular liberals and others often followed the toppling of elected progressive governments and the replacement of them with U.S.-backed autocrats and dictators beholden to the big oil companies. All over the region it has left the people today with two awful choices: An autocratic murderous dictator or rule by dangerous religious fanatics. The progressive, left secular alternatives were always wiped out and today rebuilding them will be a difficult if not impossible task in some places.

There have been different approaches and tactics used to maintain control over the region’s oil resources. President Bush, for example, supported unilateral military action and regime change as he did in Iraq. President Obama eventually moved away from regime change and, along with allies, used carrot and stick diplomacy to alternately engage or punish certain countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Egypt. Although the Obama approach allowed U.S. troops to come home and, with the help of Russia, yielded an Iran nuclear deal, its overall aim was the same – control over the oil resources of the region.

People from parties that disagree on all kinds of things often agree on the Mideast. Only a day before Trump attacked Syria, for example, Hillary Clinton said she would “take out Syrian airfields” if she were president.

Lack of understanding about the underlying cause of the mess in the Middle East – the war for oil – is unfortunately allowing some of the leaders and participants in the Resistance to Trump to fall into a trap he has set for them – a trap designed to split that very resistance itself.

Jumping on the war for oil bandwagon, New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer says it was the right thing to do. A joint statement by Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsay Graham, supposedly “reasonable” Republicans, congratulated Trump, essentially for “coming to his senses.”

“Building on this credible first step we must learn the lesson of history,” they said.

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, who in his role on the House Intelligence Committee has become almost a hero of the Resistance, said he backs the bombing and would work for congressional authorization of additional bombing.

On liberal MSNBC last night, guest after guest praised Trump for his “decisiveness.”

The People’s World, on the other hand, says there should be an end to the war for oil. Far too many have died in the Middle East for far too many decades and none of it has done any good for the vast majority of Americans, thousands of whom have also died fighting in that region.

The People’s World will never join the chorus of folks in the major media who think the main issues are when Trump will become “presidential,” and the status of the latest split in the White House. Our main concern, unlike the major media when it discusses the bombing, is not whether Ivanka and Jared hold sway or whether Bannon or Reince Priebus are calling the shots in the White House.

Our concern is exposing and stopping once and for all the endless war for oil. Our concern is to keep the resistance against the Trump agenda united. Our concern is how to take the trillions spent on the war for oil and divert it into meeting the needs of the American people.

All those in the West Wing care not an iota about this and are betraying the promises Trump made to the American people on jobs, healthcare, and everything else. All of them favor continuing the deadly Middle East strategy of control over that region’s resources by the fossil fuel moguls who back Trump.

We pledge to be a voice for all those who see through this deadly game and for all of those building the movement to end it, once and for all.

The USA role and the bombings in Syria--From the WFTU Secretariat

It is known all over the world that the USA, the European Union, Turkey and the Gulf monarchies have founded, financed and armed the ISIS. Their goal was dismembering Syria and founding new puppet states in order to steal the region’s wealth.

Today, with the USA bombings against Syria, the government of Trump continues the policy of the previous Presidents. Through these bombings, it supports the ISIS. It makes the situation even more dangerous for a generalized war.

The class-oriented trade union movement demands:

– The foreign troops to leave the Region

– To stop the imperialist intervention against Syria and the whole Middle East

– The wealth-producing resources of Syria belong to its people.

– The peoples of the Region are the only ones who have the right to decide freely and democratically on their present and future.

– to stop chemical weapons use by everybody

Statement from the Politbureau of Syrian Communist Party on the American imperialist aggression against Syria 

Shame and shame of the American aggression

Statement of the Syrian Communist Party

On the morning of April 7, 2017, US forces from their ships in the eastern Mediterranean fired a massive missile strike at a Syrian military post.

This attack is a new step from the American imperialist aggression on our homeland Syria, which was preceded by the landing of American military units in the north-east of our country without any accepted justification in international law. This aggression is an embodiment of the general approach adopted by American imperialism in the attack on the sovereignty of states and the freedom of peoples, in order to achieve the permanent expansionist means, which is a form of imperialism.

This aggressive step comes in the context of imperialist and Zionist policy aimed at the depletion and division of Syria, which is a steadfast fortress in the face of total colonial domination over the Eastern Mediterranean and the Arab world in general.

The blatant American aggression against Syria dispels all illusions about the possibility of neutralizing America. American imperialism is the basic enemy of the freedom of peoples, including our Syrian people. America is the largest international terrorist in the world.

The Syrian Communist Party calls upon the masses of our proud people to close ranks more and more in the face of the imperialist aggression and to provide all support to our brave national army in its fierce battle against the aggressors and their accomplices from terrorist gangs.

The Syrian Communist Party goes to the world progressive public opinion, to all the progressive and democratic forces, to the free world, in a call to denounce the American imperialist aggression on Syria and increase their solidarity with the Syrian national steadfastness that contributes effectively to the struggle of global liberation forces against imperialism and imperialism.

Long live the Syrian national steadfastness!

Syria will not kneel!

Damascus, April 7, 2017

Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Syrian Communist Party

No comments:

Post a Comment