[Marxism] Didn't Patrick Cockburn say the war in Syria was over?

Michael Karadjis mkaradjis at gmail.com
Sun Mar 19 17:42:20 MDT 2017


Louis' and Tristan's thoughts on the nature of rebel groups and 
alliances are right on target, the fact that membership reflects much 
more who has better access to arms to money in such a desperate 
situation against such a massively armed state-terrorist enemy. This has 
been widely reported and analysed for years, and among those following 
the situation, is not even remotely controversial. The idiocy of shallow 
interpretation of events in actual revolutions, by those with a barrow 
to push, was highlighted when I was once analysing precisely this fact 
about the contradiction between much of the ranks and file troops of 
Nusra and its reactionary sectarian leadership, and Assad bootlicker Tim 
Anderson pulled a quote of mine out of context, which was explicitly 
referring to "many of the ranks" of Nusra, made up up one of his 
amoeba-brained 'memes' with my FB photo and a hacked off a half "quote" 
which tried to say I saw "Nusra" itself as "decent revolutionaries."

While that might be expected of the likes of Anderson, it is sadder to 
see such shallow analysis (without the slander of course) from some SA 
comrades writing here in recent discussion. But I'll leave that for 
another post.

Regarding this current rebel offensive in Damascus, which has linked two 
long-time rebel-held working class bastions in the Damascus suburbs, 
Jobar and Qaboun, there are three main components: Faylaq al-Rahman, 
Ahrar al-Sham and HTS (ie, the JFS-led new coalition) 
(http://en.eldorar.com/node/5159). Not involved in Jaysh al-Islam, which 
dominates certain parts of Ghouta (west Damascus working-class suburbs). 
Neither HTS nor Ahrar are very strong in this region, given the 
traditional strength of Jaysh Islam and Faylaq al-Rahman, but appear to 
be part of this same offensive. The Rahman legion is the known local 
force in Jobar and Qaboun.

Faylaq al-Rahman is a kind of FSA-soft Islamist fusion project, which is 
the main opposition force to the often overbearing Jaysh Islam in the 
region, with which it has regularly clashed 
(http://carnegie-mec.org/diwan/63376?lang=en). It is led by SAA defector 
Cpt. Abd al-Nasr Shmeir from Homs, who claims to be fighting for a 
non-sectarian future Syria (http://civilwaralsham.com/midsized). It was 
formed a a fusion of several groups, including the FSA 1st Brigade 
(https://beyondthelevant.com/2016/04/26/english-statement-first-brigade-in-damascus-has-fully-merged-with-al-rahman-corps/) 
and the soft-Islamist Ajnad al-Sham Islamic Union, which was itself 
formed on the basis of a more moderate interpretation of Islam than that 
offered by Jaysh Islam, and more in line with traditional Damascene 
Islam. It neds to be remembered that the "Damascus suburbs" where the 
revolution dominates are new working class and poor shanties surrounding 
Damascus, composed of hundreds of thousands of recent rural immigrants 
from the neo-liberally-devastated countryside, and soft-Islamist 
politics tends to reflect the traditionalism of these suburbs.

-----Original Message----- 
From: Tristan Sloughter via Marxism
Sent: Monday, March 20, 2017 5:18 AM
To: Michael Karadjis
Subject: Re: [Marxism] Didn't Patrick Cockburn say the war in Syria was 
over?

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Right, that is the case with nationalist jihadist militias that have
access to weapons. They still have to be fighting the same enemy.

It is also why FSA militias would fight along side Nusra. If an armed
group is making progress in fighting the regime and you sit it out, how
does that look to potential recruits? And has been a detriment to any
group accepting Western assistance:

"In the formation of strategic alliances, moderate armed groups face
restrictions due to their reliance on Western donors. As they cannot
formally participate in coalitions that include controversial groups
such as JAN, moderate armed groups have limited opportunities to
increase their military effectiveness through coordination with other
armed groups.[32] Yet, with every military success of coalitions in
which the FSA does not have a visible role, such as the takeover of
Idlib city, the image of moderate factions as a weakening force is
reinforced, making them less attractive to potential recruits."

Just trying to understand the makeup of the current offensive. I haven't
read any detailed reporting/surveys since 2016, and their content was
based on 2014/2015 I think.

-- 
  Tristan Sloughter
  "I am not a crackpot" - Abe Simpson
  t at crashfast.com
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