Meetings of the opposition in Cairo, Istanbul and Moscow have caused great excitement in the media. Opaque and contradictory statements have emerged concerning the opposition and its participation in the “Moscow talks” that the Russian government intends on organizing towards the end of January between representatives of the regime and “opposition” figures. Among the latter are individuals well known for their loyalty and total subservience to the regime.
These talks have met with US blessing, according to statements by Secretary of State John Kerry. As the regime has made its approval and participation in these talks very clear, the “setting of the final date” and the sending of “personal” invitations to members of the opposition has caused confusion amongst that opposition which has offered the revolution nothing but disarray and countless disappointments. Much of that “opposition” is dependent on regional governments and states that are by no means concerned with the interests of the Syrian people who have risen against the junta regime. This subservient and corrupt opposition has never, since its inception, been capable of holding a clear and independent position on the events or on the proposed political solutions for the Syrian crisis.
What is certain is that any “political solution” in Syria proposed by regional and international forces does not – and never did- include the removal of the ruling regime or its head; it includes the participation of sections of the opposition in the government so that both the regime and the opposition can fight ISIS and terrorism.
There is therefore a quasi unanimous regional and international agreement on the question of the political solution, which is being slowly prepared and matured. The subservient opposition, which has irresponsibly used and abused irresponsible ‘revolutionary’ and sectarian rhetoric in the recent years, has no notable role to play in this process except that of bit-players and miserable, obedient hacks. After exploiting the revolutionary movements for its own ends and the ends of its regional, counter-revolutionary sponsors, it is now, in a context of silenced and suppressed revolutionary movements, in obedience to the same sponsors. And in order to preserve its petty gains, it is in the process of engaging in a “political solution” that will merge it with the very regime it pretended to be fighting.
It is the current situation and balance of power in the Syrian revolution that is allowing for this process to take place; indeed, the regime is not only still in place four years after the start of the revolution, but it is now stronger and has made significant advances on the ground. What is more, due to the regime’s brutality and its scorched earth policy, social devastation has taken epic proportions with the destruction of towns and cities, and half the Syrian population turned into refugees inside Syria or in neighbouring countries; we had addressed this issue and its consequences in earlier publications. This social devastation has led to the weakening and exhaustion of the popular movements, and has opened the door to the expansion of reactionary and fascist forces like ISIS, the Nusra Front and Ahrar Al-Sham that enjoy considerable regional reactionary support. These reactionary counter-revolutionary forces have been able to take control of most of the regions that have fallen out of the regime’s hands, at the expense of the Free Syrian Army and popular resistance factions. On the other hand, the regime has been capable, to a great extent, of suppressing any hostile popular agitation in the regions it controls, in addition to the impoverishment and starvation policies that have exhausted the whole of the Syrian people.
Therefore, the so-called political solution is effectively a refurbishment of the regime in the context of a significant retreat of the popular revolution, despite the many popular revolutionary pockets of resistance here and there. This retreat and suppression of the revolutionary movement, in the present moment, practically amounts to a defeat.
It appears to us that whoever is under the illusion that the meetings between the “opposition” and the regime – from Geneva to Moscow and Cairo- will yield a solution that is in phase with the demands of the Syrian people’s revolution and its interests, is only working towards the re-enactment of the same politics by the same regime. For the revolutionary forces to get involved in these political games would be of no use, and would amount to a fatal political mistake. Those talks in which the bourgeois opposition is bogged down are in fact run by the regional and international powers that either support the regime or have pretended to be friends of the Syrian people. But the bitter experience has exposed all of these governments as enemies of our people’s revolution, whose victory would have served as an inspiring example to the peoples under the yoke of those same regimes: therefore, they have all worked to terminate it by any possible means, in spite of competing and contradictory interests from time to time.
What must be our prime focus now is to ease the suffering of the majority of the masses so that they can regain their composure and their capacity to pursue their struggle for emancipation. Foremost, this means the fast return of the refugees to their homes, the lifting of the starvation sieges on the revolutionary regions, an end to the bombing and destruction of towns and cities and the freeing of tens of thousands of prisoners. At the same time, it is necessary to demand and work towards securing the highest possible democratic achievements, meaning pressuring for the building of a democratic, secular and pluralistic Syria. That can be achieved via the convocation of a constituent assembly, directly elected through a free and secret ballot, with proportional representation and Syria as a single constituency, as proposed by the Revolutionary Left Current in its transitional program of November 2011.
Any “political solution”, be it through an allegiance of the bourgeois opposition to the regime, or a superficial change in the latter, or any other form it may take, will not solve the deep political, economic and social roots of the revolutions that have erupted during the last four years in our region. Indeed, what we are witnessing is a protracted revolutionary process that will not come to an end before the social and economic motives of the masses have been addressed and solved. This means that more revolutionary waves are yet to come for which we must be prepared, having learned from our previous experiences, from our failures and defeats, as well as our victories, however small they may be; we must organize from today to build for the victory of the revolution, in the interests of the vast majority of the citizens, in the interests of the popular classes.
Ghayath Na’isse, Revolutionary Left Movement in Syria
Published: 26 January 2015 in Arabic