The Syrian revolution is still alive, as well as its objectives for democracy, social justice and no to confessionals. The Syrian revolution has not stopped to struggle against the criminal and authoritarian Assad regime and other forms of tyrannies, such as represented by “Da3ech” (word used to make reference of the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham ISIS) and other jihadists groups.
Contrary to what is believed by the intellectual Tareq Ali, who once more betrays the Syrian popular revolution (see his interview http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/11/01/on-libya-the-arab-spring-and-syria/ and a previous article following an interview of Tareq Ali on Russia TV https://syriafreedomforever.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/response-to-tareq-ali-what-is-really-happening-in-syria/), who believe that popular movement has been “ overtaken by the Muslim Brotherhood and groups to its Right, backed by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Deserters from Assad were taken over by Turkey and France. So the character of the uprising changed by the end of the first twelve months. How can one not register this fact? The relationship of forces today does not favour any secular or progressive groups. To pretend otherwise is to be blinded by illusions or the requirements of intra-sectarian left politics”. This is in addition to denying the responsibility of the Syrian regime in the chemical massacre of al Ghouta in August 2013 by saying “We do not know. Even Washington admits there is no proof that Assad ordered the attacks. It could have been a rogue general. Well it could have been anyone.” Tareq Ali also says that Israel prefer by citing Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, that Israel always wanted Bashar Assad to go, because he is backed by Iran. He there implies that Syria would be an actor opposed to Israel, which is far from the truth as we have shown on numerous occasions: Syria’s military intervention in Lebanon in 1976 too crush the Palestinian resistance and Lebanese Left with the consent of the USA and Israel, or even that not a single bullet has been shot at Israel since 1974 and resistance has actually been prevented from the Syrian territory, in addition to other actions convenient to imperialist powers.
Tareq Ali should ask Palestinians of Syria that have suffered few hundreds of martyrs killed by the Syrian regime, as well as refugee camps bombarded by this latter, if they believe the Assad regime is beneficial to their cause. We can see below Yarmouk Street in the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus beginning of November. This is the result of Assad’s ongoing ‘reforms’ via bombs, missiles, mortars and rocket launchers. This is Assad’s ‘resistance.’ The residents of the Yarmouk camp, like those across south Damascus and across the rest of Syria, are not only being bombed daily, but starved by an ongoing siege, with a number of residents, mostly infants and children, already dying of hunger.
Tareq Ali’s role is not only hopeless, but to condemn. Instead of playing his role as a progressive intellectual backing popular revolutions and people in struggle, he withdraws from these battles and actually tries to undermine the people’s struggles.
We have shown that despite the difficulties faced by the Syrian revolution, both from the Assad regime and jihadists groups on a local level on one side and the opposition of the whole world and great imperialists powers on the international level on the other side, to claim that the Syrian revolution is still alive are not dreamy words or wishful thinking, but based on analysis rooted in material conditions and reality of the Syrian popular movement still very active. We have shown in past articles numerous examples of the self organisation of the Syrian people (see previous articles on this blog), which has been at the basis of the permanence of the popular movement in Syria.
The Syrian revolution has not fallen in violent sectarian war, despite continuous attempts from the Syrian regime and its allies Iran and Hezbollah on one side and jihadists groups supported by the Gulf reactionary monarchies on the other side. The best examples are that the popular movement still chants songs for freedom and dignity, songs that were sang at the beginning of the revolution such as “ The Syrian people will not kneel or will not be humiliated”, “the Syrian people want the overthrow of the regime”, and “Allah, Syria, Freedom and that’s all” in opposition to the Bashar’s supporters “Allah, Syria, Bashar and that’s all”. We could also hear songs of the “Syrian people are one and united”.
Following several sectarian acts from jihadists groups against Christians these past several weeks, and especially after the video showing a jihadist member breaking a statue of virgin Mary, we have seen many actions in solidarity with the Syrian Christian Community as we have shown in previous articles (including https://syriafreedomforever.wordpress.com/2013/09/25/statement-of-the-revolutionary-left-current-in-syria-on-the-events-of-raqqa/). These actions of solidarity have continued, above all from the revolutionaries in the city of Kafranbel, where we could read pancards saying:
– “ Christians are an essential part of Syria and those who think otherwise are not Syrians”
– “My Christian brother: the one who insults your temple is insulting ours. The one who violates your temple doesn’t belong to us and we should learn the great moral the Prophet and His companions taught us.”
– Omar’s pact: “Neither to inhabit or demolish their churches, Don’t underestimate the church nor the cross, don’t force them to change their religion, and don’t harm any of them.”
These past few weeks we have also witnessed in the city of Raqqa the launch of the Campaign of tolerance by various popular and youth organisations ( see https://syriafreedomforever.wordpress.com/2013/10/19/حملة-تسامحوا-في-مدينة-الرقة-الرشيد-campaign-of-tolera/ )
In the same time, we should not forget that this revolutionary process is also the result of neo liberal policies, particularly accelerated since 2000 with the arrival of Bachar Al Assad to power, leading to increase social ineqalities and poverty of the syrian society. We can see this by social demands that are still raised until today :
- We will struggle to achieve the economic demands of the revolution: to eliminate unemployment, ensure genuine health insurance, and organize the economy to produce humane conditions for all.” Syrian Rebel Youth, Damascus, 11/1/2013
Nevertheless the best example of the permanence of the Syrian revolution is the will of the Syrian people to refuse any deal that would allow the maintenance of the Assad regime and of its structure. This is symbolized by the rejection by revolutionaries of Geneva II conference that the West and the allies of the Syrian regime, Iran and Russia, are pushing forward. To remind everyone, Geneva II conference has as objective to gather the Assad regime and different sections of the opposition to start a dialogue, but which actually seek a Yemeni solution that has been put numerous times on the table, which takes model with what happened in Yemen by the withdrawal of the dictator Ali Abdallah Saleh and the complete remaining of the structure of the regime inherited by this latter. The Geneva Conference II, is one more attempt by all international imperialist forces, the United States and Europe on the one hand and Russia and China on the other, to maintain the structure of Syrian regime and include sectors of the Syrian opposition (National Council and the Syrian National Council in the lead) that are not representative of the Syrian revolutionary popular movement. This solution has been rejected by the Syrian revolutionary masses on numerous occasions and continue to be until now.
We can see this video of Kafranbel revolutionaries, Geneva 2: A Dialogue Stained with Blood ( see https://syriafreedomforever.wordpress.com/2013/11/04/geneva-2-a-dialogue-stained-with-blood-جنيف٢حوار-ملطخ-بالدماء/) or also different placards saying “the solution is not in Geneva but in The Hague”, expressing its willingness to judge Assad and leaders of the regime guilty of crimes against humanity. Even people in besieged areas organised protests chanting “it is better to starve than to surrender.”
We could see drawings criticizing opposition representatives, especially the National Coalition of Syrian forces, who were willing to go to the Geneva II Conference and as being controlled by Western and foreign countries.
The revolutionaries have also condemned the possibility of Rifaat al Assad, uncle of Bachar al Assad and main headsman behind Hama massacre in 1982, participating in Geneva II conference.
The popular movement wants to overthrow the regime and confirms its continual struggle to build a country based on freedom, equality and social justice.
The dynamism and courage of the popular movement, whether civil or armed, is not to be underestimated, which is often the case. Its importance is real,
Whoever can believe that it is not the refusal of the popular movement in Syria that is pushing the Syrian National Council to reject Geneva II conference, this same SNC that was few months ago ready to accept Farouk al Shareh, vice president of Syria, to lead a so called peaceful transition that would maintained the structure of the regime? Whoever cannot believe that the very recent decision, Friday November 8 2013, of Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri to disband the ISIS is not also linked with the important and growing opposition and demonstrations that never ceased to increase in the popular movement these past few months? Whoever cannot believe that the continual campaigns of repression, killings, arrests and tortures led by the Assad regime mostly and to a lesser extent jihadist groups against are not made against the threat to these authoritarian system pose by civil revolutionaries in their role in the popular movement and popular self organisation of the masses?
To deny the role of the popular movement in these events and more generally its continuous role to keeping alive the revolution is to deny the possibility of people being able to build their own future and emancipate on their own. To intellectuals like Tareq Ai, and Slavok Zizek, and other leftist currents that have tried to undermine, unsuccessfully and with great shame, the Syrian popular revolution, you are just paying lip service to progressive concepts and radical political thoughts, because you promote these ideas theoretically, but you actually betray them in practice when people are struggling for a new society based on Freedom and Dignity. They have forgotten the sentence of Karl Marx “the emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves”. Of course some evils of the past are threats to the revolution and will be threats in the future even when the regime is overthrown, but the road to make them disappear are explained by Italian Marxist Gramsci “subaltern groups are always subject to the activity of the ruling groups, even when they rebel and rise up: only permanent victory breaks their subordination, and that not immediately”. In other words only permanent revolution can be the solution, and this goes through the overthrow of the regime on one side, which presence and massacres nurtures jihadists groups and sectarian feeling, and on the other side the struggle against jihadists and sectarianism. We repeat it once again, the revolutionary cannot accept the defeat of the revolution until objectives facts leave no room for doubt. The revolutionaries are the last to leave the battlefield. For all those that have leave the battlefield, while Syrian revolutionary masses are teaching us the meaning of words such as resistance, determination and courage, like Palestinians for more than 60 years, Algerians in the past against French colonizer and other people in struggle for their emancipation throughout the world, you will join the long list of opportunists that have abandoned people in struggle.
The popular revolution in Syria continues, and it needs our solidarity.
Glory to our martyrs, freedom to all our prisonners,
Viva a Free Syria, Viva people in struggle for their liberation and their emancipation.