[Marxism] A Response to Another Insult | P U L S E

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Nov 23 08:45:05 MST 2013

First of all, can we please dispel any illusions that the Assad regime 
is still in power because it still has a support base? This is a regime 
that is totally insulated from any popular support it still has. Any 
areas it still controls it does by militarization and force, that is, 
setting up several checkpoints and controlling movement of people. Thus, 
it owes its continued survival to regime cohesion, intervention by its 
allies, and military might, not some ‘mandate’ from its support base. 
Furthermore, if you follow the moves Assad took in the initial months of 
the uprising, you will see that Assad indeed made calculated moves in 
order to posit himself as a lesser evil. For example, in late 2011, 
Assad released 1400 political prisoners from prison in what was seen as 
a concession to the revolutionary movement. These 1400 prisoners turned 
out to be mostly Salafist activists, many of whom had fought in Iraq 
previously. The Islamist military leadership is filled with people who 
were released from prison in that amnesty. Are they Assadist agents? I 
don’t believe so. But was releasing them a calculated move by Assad? 
Definitely. Those prisoners he released have come to dominate the armed 
opposition, most notably Zahran Alloush, who is now the leader of the 
newly-formed Army of Islam.

full: http://pulsemedia.org/2013/11/23/a-response-to-another-insult/

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