[Marxism] The End of Taking the Syrian Revolution at Face Value

Jeff meisner at xs4all.nl
Thu Mar 1 15:10:43 MST 2012

At 09:36 01/03/12 -0800, Eli Stephens wrote:
>Considering that the regime just conducted a referendum with a relatively
>high turnout.....

I used to think Eli was just being argumentative, but now I think he really
believes this shit (or he wouldn't have offered such an absurd statement).
An amazing case of self-deception.......

>Reasonable estimates would say that the ratio of deaths of anti-regime
>fighters (and civilians) to regime defenders is of the order of 3 or 4 to 1

There are no reasonable estimates because there's no way of properly
gathering and verifying such information. But my guess is that it's more
like 20:1 or 100:1. First because the revolutionaries have no reason
whatsoever to aim their guns against members of a conscript army which they
were until recently members of themselves, perhaps with the exception of
certain hated figures (who wouldn't be easy targets), and except for
self-defense as has been occurring in Homs.

Secondly, because according to the Syrian regime "armed gangs" have been
killing members of its army since day one of the uprising, LONG before
there was any armed resistance or any appetite for taking up arms at all,
with the revolutionaries instead attempting to duplicate the non-violent
approach of the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions (and avoid another
Libya). What has been widely believed and which I strongly suspect is that
the deaths among the Syrian army at that time were done by the regime
itself against soldiers who were wanting to or trying to defect, and then
(thus justifying the repression) claiming that these deaths were the result
of "armed gangs" which at that time certainly didn't exist. And that sort
of killing wouldn't have stopped and additionally acts as a threat against
the many/majority of soldiers who do want to defect but can't be sure if
the person they talk to about defecting is a sincere revolutionary or one
who will turn them in. The numbers of such deaths wouldn't be known to
anyone who would be inclined to reveal them.

But qualitatively, the original reference to the "atmosphere of continuous
killing (overwhelmingly by the
regime)" is so plainly true that only someone in complete denial like Eli
would dare challenge it.

> Indeed, the fact that
>it has taken months for the Syrian government forces to retake Homs suggests
>rather strongly that the rebels holding areas of Homs were rather well

It clearly indicates that they have overwhelming popular support in their
neighborhoods. When Damascus finally falls, it will be as swift as the fall
of Tripoli where there was almost no rebel activity up until that point and
a supposed force of 65,000 Gaddafi troops prepared to defend it. 

- Jeff

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