[Marxism] An Egyptian comments on the Assadist left

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Mar 5 07:20:06 MST 2017

(Omar Sabbour on FB)
I think the epitome of literally how pro-Assad leftists have zero 
substance by their own standards was once put to me by a member of 
CPGB-ML (not that I set much store by them). It was after a Stop the War 
event in Birmingham and I talked to a few of them after, trying to 
discuss everything. I went into the entire history of the Assads with 
the West, from being French collaborators to allying with Israel and the 
US in Lebanon and the Gulf War to rendition and torture in the war on 
terror etc etc. I then went into the socio-economics and how the 
regime's support is mainly minorities and the Sunni urban bourgeoisie.

The two things that really summarised how there is NO position there 
whatsoever was these:

1) I asked how could the regime be against the US when it actually 
welcomed the intervention in 2014, has been bragging about sharing 
intelligence with it since then, and has been carrying out joint 
airstrikes beyond sharing the skies for more than three years? The 
regime's OWN STATEMENTS admitted being quietly allied with the US.

The guy replied, and I swear I'm not making this up, saying that "should 
we blame the Irish population for standing against the Irish rebels when 
they revolted against the British crown?". When I said that that's not 
similar whatsoever, he kept repeating it, saying "no no, we should be 
blaming the Irish instead of the British". The irony as someone later 
pointed out to me was that his very own analogy would condemn Assad as a 
colonial puppet - the loyalist Irish populace did not claim to be 
"anti-British", they proclaimed loyalty to it. How is that the same as 
Assad who says that his whole counter-revolution is against a Western plot?

2) I asked that how as Communists did they support the Syrian 
bourgeoisie against a revolt overwhelmingly of the working class 
suburbs, neglected provinces and rural countrysides? A right-wing 
neoliberal regime etc. First, one idiot piped up by saying that I'm 
being deceptive: "ha right wing? It's called the Arab Socialist Ba'ath 
Party [you fool]". I replied saying by that standard New Labour was also 
socialist as that technically was what its constitution said. Another 
guy subsequently accurately said "yes, we're in no illusions that Syria 
is a capitalist state", before our "Assad's like the Irish" friend came 
out and replied to me "Yes, its okay to ally with the bourgeoisie if 
they're backed by a lesser imperialist sphere" - i.e. supposedly Russia 
instead of the United States. Beyond this being nonsensical, of course 
it also contradicted exactly what he had admitted before: that the 
regime was actually backed by the US as well.

I remember all of this like it was yesterday, and you can be assured 
I've not left anything out. What struck me was that these people weren't 
disputing what I was saying (as "fake news", which would've been more 
difficult to argue against), they were acknowledging all of it. So in 
short, there literally was no metric of "socialism" that these people 
*admittedly* were abiding by. The regime was a bourgeoise regime - 
check. The regime was allied with the US (though they apparently 
shouldn't be blamed as they're forced to ally with the US to react to a 
conspiracy by...the US) - check.

So when I see today those idiots disrupt a White Helmets showing, it 
just strikes me as "How could this even be happening". How could people 
literally have such an upside down vacuous conception of reality yet 
still be able to do shit like this. Assad's "anti-imperialists" are 
HIDING US IMPERIALISM. It is simply surreal.

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