[Marxism] Please join us by signing this statement "Hands Off Syria" Applies to Russia Too

Clay Claiborne clayclai at gmail.com
Sun Oct 11 22:37:36 MDT 2015


 From the Critical-Syria group:


      Please join us by signing this statement "Hands Off Syria" Applies
      to Russia Too
      <http://claysbeach.blogspot.com/2015/10/please-join-us-by-signing-this.html>

For a number of years now I have been working with a groups of activists 
and intellectuals involve in various ways in supporting the Syrian 
people's struggles, first against the Assad Regime and now against ISIS 
as well. We have communicated through a private list-serve and become 
known as the Critical-Syria group. After the most recent Russian 
escalation of its support for the Assad Regime, which has included 
Russian air strikes on civilian targets in some of the 80% of Syria no 
longer controlled by the regime, and the introduction of Russian /"boots 
on the ground"/ in Syria, we decided to issue a statement about the 
situation and ask a lot of people to join us in signing it. I was 
involved in drafting it. As you can see from the list below, many people 
beyond the Critical-Syria group have already signed. We are now asking 
you to sign. You may do that by emailing me with your name and 
title/location to cjc at LinuxBeach.net, I will then include in in the list 
that will be published here, on Pulse Media <http://pulsemedia.org/> and 
a number of other places. Below is the statement. I hope you will join 
us in signing it.

Clay Claiborne

------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Hands Off Syria" Applies to Russia Too"

As people and groups from many countries, united by a common commitment 
to peace, justice and human rights, we condemn the military offensive 
that began with air strikes launched by Russia in Syria on 30 September 
2015 and accelerating subsequently.

While the Russian government has said that these operations were 
directed against the Islamic State (ISIS), most were on areas with no 
ISIS presence. The focus of the Russian military offensive appears to 
have been on opposition communities in the northern Homs region, a 
continuing center of resistance to the Assad Regime.

The victims of the Russian aggression on 30 September were predominantly 
civilians, including many children. Humanitarian conditions were dire in 
the area before Russia launched its offensive because it has long been 
under siege by the regime for its resistance.

The Assad Regime has wreaked havoc across Syria. The civil war it 
started by shooting democracy protesters has killed over a 
quarter-million Syrians, forced half the population from their homes and 
made millions of refugees. In the course of doing this, it has lost 
control of half the country. Although peace can never be restored by the 
regime that destroyed it, it would appear that Russia is now going to 
directly use its military might to further prop up a regime that would 
have collapsed years ago without foreign backing. This operation by 
Russian forces can only deepen the agony of the Syrian people, increase 
the flow of refugees, and strengthen the hand of extremist forces like ISIS.

Russian claims that its military escalation is legal are no more true 
that those used by the United States to justify its war against Vietnam. 
When the government that makes the invitation to invade is illegitimate, 
so is the invitation. The United States also bears responsibility for 
the catastrophe, as do all the regional
and international stakeholders who have erased the aspirations and 
sacrifices of the Syrian people out of the narrative and replaced it 
with their own strategic needs and ambitions.

We condemn unequivocally both the brutal repressive actions of the Assad 
regime and these moves by Russia designed to prolong its life. If Russia 
wants a negotiated political transition in Syria, it has to stop 
assisting the regime's brutality and wanton attacks on civilian targets, 
and stop encouraging the Assad regime’s persistent refusal to engage 
with any serious peace process.

Attacks on civilian populations are in violation of international law. 
We call on the international community, national governments, and the 
United Nations - to ensure the enforcement of UNSC Resolution 2139, to 
which Russia is a party, which provides that /“All parties immediately 
cease all attacks against civilians, as well as the indiscriminate 
employment of weapons in populated areas”/. We call on all those who are 
concerned with international peace and the defense of human rights to 
join us in speaking out against Russia’s callous actions by all means at 
your disposal – lobbying of your representatives, public demonstrations, 
public petitions and other forms of protest.

Signed,

*Muhammad Idrees Ahmad* (University of Stirling, Scotland, co-editor, PULSE)
*Bill Fletcher, Jr.* (Writer/Activist, Former President, TransAfrica Forum)
*Yassin al Haj Saleh* (Syrian Writer Living in Exile, Istanbul)
*Mohja Kahf* (Professor of Comparative Literature & Middle Eastern 
Studies, University of Arkansas, Member, Syrian Nonviolence Movement)
*Hussam Ayloush* (National Chair, Syrian American Council)
*Stephen R. Shalom* (Editorial Board, New Politics, USA)
*Paul Woodward* (War in Context, USA)
*​Brian Slocock* (Syria Solidarity UK)
*Gail Daneker* (Friends for a NonViolent World, Minnesota, USA)
*Clay Claiborne* (Linux Beach Productions, Venice, California, USA)
*Terry Burke* (Minnesota Committee in Solidarity with the People of 
Syria, USA)
*Ella Wind* (New York University and MENA Solidarity Network, New York)
*Roxanne Abbas* (Activist, Minnesota, USA)
*Ian Keith* (Public School Teacher, Minnesota, USA)
*Thomas Pierret* (Lecturer, University of Edinburgh, Scotland)
*Jean-Pierre Filiu* (Professor, Sciences Po, Paris School of 
International Affairs)
*Nicolas Hénin* (Journalist, ex-ISIS hostage, author of Jihad Academy)
*Leila Vignal* (Fellow, Refugee Studies Centre, Depart of Intern'l 
Development, Oxford University, UK)
*Nader Hashemi* (Director, Center for Middle East Studies, University of 
Denver)
*Andrew Berman* (Veterans for Peace)
*Mujeeb R. Khan* (Department of Political Science, University of 
California Berkeley)
*Şener Aktürk* (Department of International Relations, Koç University, 
Turkey)
*Omar Qureshi* (Teacher, New York)
*Michael Karadjis* (Teacher, Sydney, Australia)
*Fazal Khan* (Associate Professor, University of Georgia School of Law)
*Abdulaziz Almashi* (Syria Solidarity Movement, UK)
*Kareen El Beyrouty* (Economist and Member, Syria Solidarity Movement, UK)
*Mark Boothroyd* (Syria Solidarity Movement, UK)
*Graham Campbell* (RISE Glasgow East & Glasgow TUC Unite/Scottish TU 
Congress Delegate, UK)
*Clara Connolly* (Immigration and Human Rights Lawyer, UK)
*Soumya Datta* (Assistant Professor, South Asian University, New Delhi, 
India)
*Mike Gapes* (Labour and Co-operative Member of Parliament for Ilford 
South, UK)
*Bronwen Griffiths* (Activist, UK)
*Adina Mutar* (Journalist, Romania)
*Ed Potts* (Socialist, UK)
*Rupert Read* (Reader in Philosophy, University of East Anglia; Chair of 
Green House Think Tank, UK)
*James Sadri* (The Syria Campaign, UK)
*Brian Slocock* (Senior Lecturer in Political Science, University of 
Paisley, Retired, UK)
*Peter Tatchell* (Director, Peter Tatchell Foundation)
*Nina van Krimpen* (Human Rights Activist, The Netherlands)
*Alfonso Vázquez* (Human Rights Activist, Spain)
*Pete Klosterman* (Retired Software Engineer, New York, USA)
*Therese Rickman Bull* (Human Rights Activist, USA)
*David Turpin Jr*. (Antiwar Comm. in Solidarity with the Struggle for 
Self Determination, NW Indiana, USA)
*Mouaz Moustafa* (Exec. Dir., Syrian Emergency Task Force & Political 
Dir, United for a Free Syria, Washington, DC)
*Rana Issa* (University of Oslo, Norway)
*Kelly Grotke* (Ithaca, NY)
*Danny Postel* (Center for Middle East Studies, University of Denver)



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