[Marxism] Anarchist speaks from Afrin
1999wildcat at gmail.com
Mon Dec 31 06:22:09 MST 2018
In the first place, it's clear from what *wasn't* said in the article that
there was a "settlement" of sorts all along with Assad. The settlement was
an agreement that we'll leave you alone if you leave us alone. What
necessarily must have gone along with that agreement was that "we" - the
PYD/YPG - will make sure that no sort of anti-Assad activity is carried out
in the territory we control. Otherwise, there is no way that Assad would
have accepted this agreement. That means that the PYD/YPG would have had to
have been acting as the enforcers for Assad to some degree or another.
This, of course, would have suited their backers - US imperialism - to a T
What will happen if and when Assad's forces move into NE Syria?
They are not going to just move in and leave the situation as is. Over time
they will have to gradually tighten their grip on the area. There must be
anti-Assad elements in the area, ones that maybe were forced to be more or
less silent up until now, but ones that exist anyway. Assad's forces will
have to search them out. In any case, given how his forces operate, given
the corruption, the brutality, over time an ant-Assad sentiment will start
to develop, and Assad's forces know it. There are probably some in the
region who have relatives in Assad's prisons, or relatives who have been
killed by Assad elsewhere. They will immediately be suspect.
The supporters of the PYD can argue that given the situation, inviting
Assad's forces in is the least bad alternative. For the PYD that might be
true, although I'm not sure for many others in the region if it is. This
argument just shows the disastrously mistaken (and that's putting it
mildly) position they took right from the start. And in any case, it is
even questionable even from their strictly limited, nationalist point of
view. After all, the Assad regime brutally persecuted the Kurds in the
past. Will it not return to that policy once the time is right?
"Yes, but the revolution failed and wold have failed with or without the
PYD, so what choice did they have?" it could be argued. We didn't know that
in 2011 or 2012. There never has been a revolution in all of history what
was guaranteed victory at the outset, nor will there ever be. Nor was there
ever a revolution in which the majority embarked with a clearly thought out
plan and clear goals. But the PYD did have a more or less clear goals and a
more or less clear plan - to use the situation to create a situation of
semi-autonomy in their region and let the rest of the Syrian people go to
That is not something that any socialist should support.
On Mon, Dec 31, 2018 at 4:50 AM Chris Slee <chris_w_slee at hotmail.com> wrote:
> A "settlement" with Assad seems likely to be necessary, for three
> Firstly, there seems no realistic prospect of militarily defeating him, so
> long as he retains the support of Russia and Iran.
> Secondly, he has support (if only as a lesser evil) from a significant
> section of the population, particularly the religious minorities who fear
> persecution by sectarian elements of the rebel movement. A peace agreement
> would ease their fears and might make them more open to a political
> critique of the Assad regime.
> Thirdly, a peace agreement would make it more difficult for Turkey to
> continue its occupation of parts of northern Syria, and invade new areas.
> This does not mean that a peace agreement would be a panacea. Colombia is
> a case where a peace agreement has so far failed to end the violence.
> Still, it seems better than the alternative of continued war with little
> prospect of success.
> Things could change if mass protests in Iran and Russia forced the
> withdrawal of Iranian and Russian military forces from Syria. In Iran this
> may be possible, but in Russia it seems very unlikely.
> Chris Slee
> From: Marxism <marxism-bounces at lists.csbs.utah.edu> on behalf of John
> Reimann via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu>
> Sent: Sunday, 30 December 2018 5:43:22 PM
> To: Chris Slee
> Subject: [Marxism] Anarchist speaks from Afrin
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> Here is a report from a US or European anarchist in Afrin. Notice that his
> entire narrative is about fighting ISIS and Turkey. Not a hint that the
> PUD/YPG opposes Assad. And it's clear that he got this from the PYD/YPG.
> Here's the best he can say: "
> *Overthrowing Assad by military means is a dead project—or, at least, the
> things that would have to happen to make it plausible again in the near
> future are even more horrifying than the regime is. I hope that somehow,
> someday, there can be some kind of settlement between the regime and
> YPG/YPJ, and the regime and the rebels in Idlib, and everyone else who has
> been suffering here."*
> A "settlement" with Assad? Really?
> John Reimann
> *“In politics, abstract terms conceal treachery.” *from "The Black
> Jacobins" by C. L. R. James
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