[Marxism] Syrian Coalition: Assad Squandered Syria’s Sovereignty to Israeli, Russian and Iranian Aggressors

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Oct 19 07:17:07 MDT 2015

On 10/19/15 12:30 AM, Mark Richey via Marxism wrote:
> Allowing transit  is a far different thing than BRINGING the
> jihadists to Syria, and Assad's alowing transit was secndary to the
> US sponsorship of jihadist networks deriving from the US campaign in
> Afghanistan.  Together with Saudi sponsorship.  Assad just played
> along.

The point of the article is to show that Assad's opposition to jihadis 
is bullshit. When his cops facilitated their entry into Syria when it 
served his ends, that should have put the kibosh on the idea that he is 
fighting al-Qaeda, etc. The only thing he is fighting are poor Sunnis 
who flocked to the city when rural misery forced an internal migration 
not much different than the one that makes Mexicans come to the USA. If 
you had the slightest familiarity with Syrian society. Like all members 
of the Baathist amen corner, you could care less about such matters.


After Bashar al-Asad succeeded his father in 2000, the architects of 
Syria’s economic policy sought to reverse the downturn by liberalizing 
the economy further, for instance by reducing state subsidies. Private 
banks were permitted for the first time in nearly 40 years and a stock 
market was on the drawing board. After 2005, the state-business bonds 
were strengthened by the announcement of the Social Market Economy, a 
mixture of state and market approaches that ultimately privileged the 
market, but a market without robust institutions or accountability. 
Again, the regime had consolidated its alliance with big business at the 
expense of smaller businesses as well as the Syrian majority who 
depended on the state for services, subsidies and welfare. It had 
perpetuated cronyism, but dressed it in new garb. Families associated 
with the regime in one way or another came to dominate the private 
sector, in addition to exercising considerable control over public 
economic assets. These clans include the Asads and Makhloufs, but also 
the Shalish, al-Hassan, Najib, Hamsho, Hambouba, Shawkat and al-As‘ad 
families, to name a few. The reconstituted business community, which now 
included regime officials, close supporters and a thick sliver of the 
traditional bourgeoisie, effected a deeper (and, for the regime, more 
dangerous) polarization of Syrian society along lines of income and region.

Successive years of scant rainfall and drought after 2003 produced 
massive rural in-migration to the cities -- more than 1 million people 
had moved by 2009 -- widening the social and regional gaps still 
further. Major cities, such as Damascus and Aleppo, absorbed that 
migration more easily than smaller ones, which were increasingly starved 
of infrastructural investment. Provincial cities like Dir‘a, Idlib, Homs 
and Hama, along with their hinterlands, are now the main battlegrounds 
of the rebellion. Those living in rural areas have seen their 
livelihoods gutted by reduction of subsidies, disinvestment and the 
effects of urbanization, as well as decades of corrupt authoritarian 
rule. The Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings motivated them to express 
their discontent openly and together.

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