[Marxism] Fwd: The West's lamentable myopia

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Feb 16 15:58:35 MST 2017

Q: You were jailed by the Assad regime for sixteen years. The reason 
given was your membership of the Syrian Communist Party. Can you briefly 
describe what happened to you?

Yassin al-Haj Saleh: Firstly let me explain the historical background of 
communism in Syria. A rift developed in the Syrian Communist Party (SCP) 
in 1972 on issues relating to the dependence on the Soviet Union and the 
understanding of various Syrian and Arab issues. Another important topic 
at that time was the liberation of Palestine and the Arab League. 
Subsequently, the party′s attitude towards the Assad regime also became 
important. One faction sought independence from the Soviet Union and 
adopted a more radical stance towards Israel. The other one towed the 
Soviet line and allied itself with the Assad regime. I belonged to the 

I was a medical student and politically active at the University of 
Aleppo when I was arrested. We were crushed as a party because we 
actively opposed the regime, not because we were communists. People with 
different ideological backgrounds were good for the regime. As long as 
they were obedient, they were free to be communists, Islamists or Arab 
and Kurdish nationalists. As soon as they crossed the line, they were 

For Hafez al-Assad′s regime absolute power over the population of Syria 
and the surrounding region, including Lebanon and Palestine, was top 
priority. Opposing this regime of political slavery was considered the 
gravest crime. I was one of many who rebelled. However, I would never 
have believed that I would end up in jail for sixteen years. I even 
spent one year in Syria′s infamous torture prison, Tadmur.


More information about the Marxism mailing list