[Marxism] The Resilience of Moderate Syrian Rebels

Michael Karadjis mkaradjis at gmail.com
Fri Sep 26 09:39:53 MDT 2014

The article says "Moderate groups, starved of proper equipment for over 
three years, began to receive small
numbers of advanced weapons in spring and summer 2014."

Yes, we know. It is widely known that the very first US weapons in the 
entire war, these handful of TOWs, began arriving for some select FSA 
groups in April 2014. What most of us have written about, that the FSA 
was "starved of proper equipment for over three years," is shown here to 
be correct.

The US began to send some TOWs to select groups in the context of the 
FSA's magnificent attack on ISIS from January 2014. The US had always 
insisted the FSA had to first attack ISIS *and Nusra* before the US 
would consider sending any arms. The FSA had always refused to be the 
Sawha. But since ISIS fascism became unbearable, the FSA and its allies 
decided, based on their own needs and not those of the US, to launch a 
frontal attack on ISIS (but not on Nusra, which in fact joined the 
FSA/IF attack on ISIS).

The US decided it was time to test them out. The TOWs were never very 
many (here's a good article on the reality of these shipments: 
in some cases the US tried to get them to attack Nusra as well as ISIS, 
but they refused; in other cases they explicitly gave them weapons to 
fight ISIS *but not the regime* (I have documented all this here: 

The outcome? Nearly all these groups that go a few TOWs have condemned 
the current US bombing of Syria as an attack on the revolution, and 
stand in solidarity (even if holding their noses) with Nusra. Above all, 
the 7000-strong FSA militia Harakat Hazm - the first to famously receive 
TOWS, discussed in that LA Times piece I just linked to, came out with 
the best and strongest anti-imperialist statement condemning the US 
bombings (see my new article detailing the reactions of the bulk of FSA 
and allied rebel units to these strikes: 

Revolutionaries that face the actual heat of the double battle against a 
fascist regime that dwarfs most of the Latin American tyrants of the 
1970s-1980s and a clerical-fascist ISIS, who have to make real decisions 
in these circumstances, receive a handful of half-useful arms after 
being "starved" of them for years against such massively armed 
opponents, and then when the US attacks their country "to help them" 
they take a principled revolutionary stance. Meanwhile other 
"revolutionaries" who have never had to make these kinds of decisions in 
their lives and never will content themselves with sitting back and 
condemning the revolutionaries in Syria for dirtying their hands by 
finally receiving a little something (never mind that what they need for 
defense against the regime's mostly air war is Manpads, which the US 
Congress explicitly forbade sending, whereas TOWs could only be useful 
against ISIS).

We've come a long way when that is the distinction between 
revolutionaries and "revolutionaries". Or perhaps David didn't really 
mean it in the way his contribution came across. I'll got for the second 


-----Original Message----- 
From: DW via Marxism
Sent: Saturday, September 27, 2014 1:03 AM
To: Michael Karadjis
Subject: [Marxism] The Resilience of Moderate Syrian Rebels

Rule #1: YOU MUST clip all extraneous text when replying to a message.

I suggest readers of this list go to this link and download this small 
What it argues contridicts many of those on this list that say the FSA 
other rebels don't receive US arms. In fact, they are receiving in
*effective quantities* TOW anti-tank missiles. These are sophisticated 
guided anti-tank weapons that can destroy any tank in existence and
according the paper pointed to by Louis, the Rebels are getting training
from outside of Syria and coming back in and used to blow up Syrain 
armor (perhaps ISIS armor as well?). The authors are gushing at the 
they are reciving. These weapons have to be supplied by the US and 
no doubt takes place in Turkey under NATO oversight (that's an 
on my part). But the paper says this:

"To ensure complete control over these weapons, donors are brought 
in the Military Operation Command (MOC)18 based in Turkey and Jordan, 
deal directly with the brigades of their choosing, bypassing the 
and military leadership of the opposition."

Of course the paper could be a pro-Assad hoax to show the rebels getting
US/EU support but I think not. Thanks Louis for posting this.

Send list submissions to: Marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu
Set your options at: 

More information about the Marxism mailing list