[Marxism] Turkey-Russia spat: One standard for murdered Syrian children, another for the warplanes that kill them

Michael Karadjis mkaradjis at gmail.com
Thu Dec 3 08:40:13 MST 2015


Turkey-Russia spat: One standard for murdered Syrian children, another 
for the warplanes that kill them
December 3, 2015
By Michael Karadjis

One small victory for humanity

Naturally enough, when any warplane engaged in mass murder is brought 
down, humanity wins a small battle. The Russian invaders of Syria have 
already slaughtered hundreds of civilians (526 in first 45 days 
have bombed countless hospitals and medical facilities, schools, markets 
(like the 44 killed in the bombing of an open market in Ariha in Idlib 
several days ago 
refugee camps, aid convoys etc; have used cruise missiles 
cluster bombs 
white phosphorus 
on November 28, Russian airstrikes in Idlib “destroyed an aid dispensary 
containing a bakery that produced over 300,000 pounds of bread per month 
and a well providing safe-drinking water to an estimated 50,000 people” 
ten days earlier, they destroyed the bread oven in Atareb, in Aleppo 
province, which served some 120,000 people 

The Russians have targeted the Free Syrian Army (FSA) nearly all the 
time, and have mostly bombed provinces with zero ISIS presence, except 
when slaughtering civilians in Raqqa; and all this to aid a fascist 
regime that has already been bombing its entire country into a moonscape 
for years; in just a three-week period in November, regime bombing 
killed 338 and injured 1607 people in an offensive in the sprawling 
Damascus outer suburbs of East Ghoutta alone 
just one of many theatres of the war; an exterminationist regime.

As such there can be nothing but wild cheers from Syrians for the 
downing of a warplane that has been slaughtering their children. The 
fact that these weeks and weeks of the most gruelling, the most overt, 
targeting of civilians by an invading army of a superpower has only 
resulted in a little chiding by Russia’s imperialist partners, and 
complete indifference (if not support) by the imperial left; yet when 
one of the warplanes killing engaged in this mass homicide comes down it 
is treated as a big deal; is testament to the sick morality of the 
imperialist world order, including some of those within it imagining 
they are not part of it.

But questions of celebration and hypocrisy aside, it is useful to look 
at some specifics here. And I do not mean the irrelevance of which side 
of the Syrian-Turkish border the Russian killer plane was technically 
flying in when shot down; that discussion assumes it had the right to be 
on the Syrian side of the border in the first place, engaged in 
slaughter. “Anti-imperialists” who join in this imperialist discussion 
ought to take a look at a map, and notice that Syria in fact is not part 
of Russia; actually, it is a significant distance away. Therefore there’s 
little point in a discussion about who was technically right or wrong, 
since by any standard, Russia did not have the “right” to be flying 
around killing Syrian people in the first place.

If, for example, it were American warplanes flying around and 
carpet-bombing a country far from home – Iraq for example – and one got 
shot down right on the Iranian border, with a dispute over which set of 
square inches the plane was in, I imagine we would judge the American 
and the Iranian actions somewhat differently, and rightly so.


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