Imperialism is launching ‘Tiananmen Square’ massacres in Syria
Arms the masses in Syria-We call for international brigades to fight side by side with the masses against the hated Al Assad regime
World imperialism is working hand in hand with world Stalinism, the Arab League and the hated Al-Assad regime to smash the Syrian masses. Why? If the working class comes to power through armed uprising in Syria, every regime in the region is under threat from being similarly overthrown by the masses. Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, Yemen, Tunisia, etc. In fact the whole world system of capitalism comes immediately under threat from the masses. This is why all the reactionary, capitalist and imperialist forces stand against the Syrian masses. That is why, for the past few weeks, the Assad regime, with the assistance of the imperialists and their puppet regimes in Russia and China, are trying to drown the Syrian revolution in blood, with ‘Tiananmen Square’-type massacres- the regime is bombing Homs, Hama, Deraa, Aleppo, and many other areas –they are even going house to house to slaughter the masses.
This is why the defence of the Syrian revolution should be a task of the international working class. We call for the arming of the Syrian masses; for international worker brigades to join with the Syrian masses in their fight against the imperialist puppet regime of Al-Assad.
The Syrian regime is a puppet of imperialism
The capitalist media and Stalinists deliberately hide the class nature of the Assad regime. In his opening address to the World Federation of Trade Unions president’s meeting, held in Johannesburg (9-12 February), the General Secretary of the WFTU, George Mavrikos, said: ‘ In Syria, the foreign imperialist aggression continues.’ In other words, he repeated the lie of the Syrian Communist parties, that the uprising by the Syrian masses is sponsored by imperialism. The Syrian CP’s are dividing workers by directing the trade unions to directly support the Assad regime against the masses. The WFTU justifies the massacres perpetrated by the Syrian regime. What is worse is that while the massacres of the Syrian masses are intensifying, the SACP and Cosatu leadership are hosting the WFTU, singing praises of its supposedly great role in the struggle for Socialism! We need to draw the lesson that when the masses rise up against any regime, the Stalinist CP’s side with the regime against the masses. We condemn the role of the SA government which currently chairs to UN Security Council- they help to cover the role of imperialism in the slaughter of the Syrian masses. The SA government helps gives the impression that imperialism is really concerned over the Syrian masses- in reality imperialism is directing the Assad regime in the massacres of the Syrian masses.
There is plenty of evidence that the Syrian regime is a puppet of imperialism:
- since 2002 it was exposed that the CIA used to kidnap activists from around the globe, to be taken to prisons in Syria to be tortured by the Assad regime;
- In the 1990 war against Saddam Hussein’s occupation of Kuwait, the Assad regime fought together with US imperialist forces- US imperialism was so impressed with the Assad regime, they awarded Syria arms contracts;
- In 1975-76 the Assad regime supported the Falangist forces in Lebanon- these were the same forces who carried out the Sabra and Shatilla massacres of Palestinians with the help of the Ariel Sharon and the Zionist forces.
- US and Canadian banks are in joint partnerships with the Assad regime for oil exploitation in Syria. Etc.
Drawing the lessons from Libya
Papers that were found in the files of the Gaddafi regime show that it too played host to prisons for the CIA. This confirms that the Gaddafi regime was also an imperialist puppet. The Stalinist CP’s also portrayed the Gaddafi regime as being ‘Socialist’, thereby covering for a brutal anti-worker dictatorship. [incidentally, several of the fake ‘Trotskyists’ also tail-ended the Stalinists by potraying Assad and Gaddafi as ‘Socialist’ leaders].
The Libyan masses armed themselves, disarmed the police, formed militias and won over huge sections of the army. When the Gaddafi regime was about to be defeated, imperialism supplied mercenaries to Gaddafi to beat back the masses. When Gaddafi’s forces reached the outskirts of Benghazi, it was quite possible that they would have been defeated if they invaded the city- the masses had tanks and planes and heavy weapons from the Benghazi barracks. If the masses defeated the Gaddafi regime through armed revolt, the Tunisian, Egyptian and other regimes would also have immediately come under threat. Thus imperialism also created an artificial agency, the TNC, Transitional National Council, made up of ex-ministers of the Gaddafi regime, ex-generals and some exiles who had been trained by the CIA. It was the task of the TNC to sabotage the Libyan revolution from within, to either divide the masses (partition Libya) or to re-establish the Gaddafi regime, even without Gaddafi. With the support of the Arab League, the SA government, the TNC, imperialist Nato launched an aerial invasion of Libya to pre-empt the actions of the masses and to attempt to seize control of the masses. They could not allow the masses to come to power on their own- Nato intervened to help preserve a capitalist regime, a regime of Gaddafi without Gaddafi.
The TNC tried to set up its own ‘army’- indeed many troops with heavy weapons and planes were kept off the battle field by the TNC. The TNC sent the militias with light arms or with few arms into battle. When the militias seized 32 tanks from the Gaddafi forces, they surrounded Brega. Soon the road to Tripoli would have opened. But the TNC gave the co-ordinates of the tanks to Nato, who bombed them with the militias inside. Several times Nato bombed the militias- so-called ‘mistakes’ happened regularly. In other words, from the beginning the TNC was sabotaging the armed masses. This was a second front that imperialism opened up against the masses. A section of the left advised the Libyan masses to not fight the TNC, to concentrate on the fight against the Gaddafi forces- they were advised to fight the TNC later. For months the militias could not advance, being sabotaged from within. Only when the militias killed the TNC head of armed forces, General Younis, was the path opened to the masses to reach Tripoli. In other words, when the masses began to break from a pacifist approach to the TNC was the path open to the defeat of the Gaddafi regime.
While the Muslim Brotherhood was openly mobilising among the militias to try and gain support, the left refused to build cells in the militias to co-ordinate the fight of the working class to seize power.
In Syria, while giving every opportunity to the Assad regime to massacre the masses, imperialism has set up a STC (Syrian Transitional Council) and SNC (Syrian National Council). The STC is made up of academics who have links with imperialism. They have spearheaded the formation of the SNC which include former leaders of the Assad regime and ex-generals. Ex-generals have been tasked to set up the Free Syria Army, to co-opt all soldiers who are defecting from the Assad regime’s armed forces. The aim, under the guise of ‘defence’ of the Syrian people, is to prevent and delay the setting up of armed workers militias. In other words, the Free Syria Army aims to prevent the masses from becoming armed- the task of defence is given to a small group, who are currently directed to ‘defend’ the masses and not to assist the masses in the armed overthrow of the Syrian regime. Imperialism, through their links to the leaders of the Free Syria Army, want to prevent armed militias from becoming widespread as happened in Libya.
As in the case of Libya, we should expect the SNC to give the names and co-ordinates of the fighters to the Assad regime for them to be wiped out. The Arab League, similarly came to source the whereabouts of the fighters, to give that intelligence to imperialism for them to pass on to the Assad regime.
The Arab League ‘monitors’ came to deflect pressure from the masses in their own countries and to provide a cover for imperialism against the working class in their own countries, that they are not supporting the massacres. In fact the Arab League is helping to hide that imperialism is the main force behind the slaughter of the Syrian masses. In recent days, the massacres have accelerated. Imperialism, through the Syrian regime, are intent on wiping out a generation of the masses- they are committing a hundred ‘Tiananmen Square’ massacres.
Tragically, while this is happening, again, a section of the left is promoting a pacifist idea of the SNC- the SNC has run away to Qatar they say, concentrate on fighting the Assad regime, they say, fight against them later, is what they imply. They ignore that the SNC is sabotaging every step of the masses to arm themselves. Their fatal policy in Libya is even more disastrous in Syria. This section of the left help prepare the defeat of the Syrian masses.
Today, the Muslim Brotherhood, in the form of Hezbollah, and indeed in other places as well, together with the Stalinist CP’s are mobilising support for the Assad regime. The left is silent about forming independent cells as a basis for a revolutionary workers party.
The way forward
The first task is the general arming of the Syrian masses. Every street, every district, every factory should set up armed workers militias. Where possible, these workers militias should have directly elected leadership. This leadership should be drawn from the ranks of the fighters, whether trained or untrained, who are on the front-lines of the fight against the Assad regime. Workers committees should be set up in every factory, mine, farm, oil installation, to support the fight against the Assad regime, whether it be food, transport, fuel, weapons, etc. Fighting councils of workers delegates and delegates from the militias and from rank and file soldiers, should be set up, merging with and extending the existing grassroots co-ordinating committees. These councils of armed workers should set up their own command structures, being the base of a new Syrian workers revolutionary government. This implies that those co-ordinating committees that have links with the SNC should break with them. The rank and file of the Free Syria Army should join the armed grassroots councils of the workers, training the masses in the use of arms, arming them, and joining them, side by side in the fight to overthrow the Assad regime- having a passive defensive approach to the Assad regime gives it and imperialism time to organise and mobilise its fascist forces to smash the masses.
Workers should break from the Syrian CP’s, preparing general strike committees as part of the fighting councils of workers, opening the way for the entire working class to join the fight against the regime through a revolutionary general strike, based on workers committees, occupying and taking over the all the oil installations, factories, mines, commercial farms, etc.
Cells of the Fourth International should be set up on the following programme:
- the general arming of the masses;
- setting up of fighting workers councils with armed workers militias under their control- for a workers’ government based on these workers councils
- international worker brigades to support the masses in their fight against imperialism and their puppet, the Assad regime
- No to ‘peace-keepers’ or any imperialist or proxy invasion of Syria- they would only act against the masses to set up another capitalist regime of Assad without Assad.
- Dispersing of the SNC and the overthrow of the Assad regime
- expropriating of all imperialist assets and the local Syrian bourgeoisie, without compensation, placing these under workers control;
- nationalising of the land and all measures to assist the remaining small peasantry
- for the Union of Soviet Socialist workers states of North Africa and the Middle east- for the spread of the Socialist revolution into the imperialist centres; for the blockade of weapons and other support of the Assad regime- arms and general support for the Syrian masses.
- For the mobilisation of mass protests in support of the Syrian masses
- for the world-wide Socialist revolution
We call for widespread and immediate protests against all capitalist regimes, especially those that are directly complicit in the slaughter of the Syrian masses.
Victory to the Syrian masses!