[Marxism] Syria...

Ron Jacobs ronj1955 at gmail.com
Tue Feb 21 12:42:20 MST 2012

When I read the debates here and on other lists regarding the current
situation in Syria, I wonder what causes the debaters to place those that
disagree with them in the camp of Assad or the Salafists/Sunni/etc.?  The
situation is certainly more complex than that dichotomy.  Just like in
Libya with Qaddafi, it seems clear that the protest movement represents the
desire of a large number of Syrians to end the Assad regime.  As anybody
who knows even some of the history of the Assads and their rule, this is
not surprising, given its years of repression, accumulation of wealth, and
varying levels of despotism.  Like the Baath regime of Saddam Hussein in
Iraq, the manipulation of internal power and international support by the
Baath regime in Syria was/is more likley than not bound to end in something
ugly.  After all, it is rare that a modern government can continue to
repress certain elements of its population over generations and expect to

To draw on LIbya's recent civil war for an example, it seems that the
divided opposition there was an alliance held together primarily by its
hatred of Qaddafi.  Now that the dust is beginning to settle and the
agencies that supported different elements of the opposition are calling in
their favors, the biggest losers are those that were not part of any
opposition element.  They are the people being tortured and killed by some
of the victors.  I continue to believe that there could have been a
compromise worked out with the Qadaffi regime that would have prevented
much of the current rancor, but Washington, the EU and the GCC was not
interested in such a compromise.  The reason?  Plain and simple--oil.

If those who want military intervention in Syria (whether that is done
under a humanitarian guise, a peacekeeping guise or some other guise) get
what they want, the Syrian people will most likely suffer the same fate as
the Libyans.  However, there may still be time for some kind of compromise
that sees Assad and his people leave.  I admit that likelihood seems less
likely each day, but the Assads are survivors.  Why hasn't there been
Western/NATO intervention yet?  Because Syria doesn't have any oil
resources to speak of.

My question for those that seem to support the opposition without
reservation is:  Do you want US/NATO/GCC military intervention?  If so, how
can you call yourselves anti-imperialist?

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