[Marxism] The "Two Sides" in Syria are Oppressors and Oppressed

mkaradjis . mkaradjis at gmail.com
Tue Mar 6 06:49:39 MST 2018

The "Two Sides" in Syria are Oppressors and Oppressed

By Sam Hamad


05-03-2018: Articles about Ghouta that have at the heart of them 'both
sides' narratives are lapped up by Assad and Russia- even if such
articles decry the crimes of the Assad regime They're happy with 'both
sides' - Israel is happy for people to see Hamas as its equal, even in
vague terms. But no Syrian rebel force in East Ghouta has carried out
anything close to the kind of crimes carried out by Assad. And they
never will. It's not in their nature.

This isn't a silly argument. One side is committing genocide, the
other is not. One side deliberately targets and massacres civilians
the better to cleanse them, the other does not. One side has two
airforces, one of which is technically the second most powerful
airforce on earth, the other has none. One side has two sovereign
states fighting on its behalf, one a world superpower and the other a
regional superpower, the other does not. One side runs extermination
camps, the other does not. One side has genocide as its purpose, the
other has liberation (with all the contained contradictions that might
arise) as its goal. But genocide is how it Assad aims 'win' this war.

One of the problems here is the old dynamic that we saw in Egypt - the
one that saw rich, privileged, leftist 'activists' side with
counter-revolution. You have people from a certain social class or a
certain background viewing the Syrian revolution through a fantasy
lens, one where 'The Revolution' that occurred in 2011 was some
utopian event that had nothing to with bearded Muslims- it was
actually all about westernised left-liberals etc. etc. It's perhaps a
comforting fantasy to some, but it's not the reality - they were
marginal from day one. Syrians are bearded Muslims. They are
hijab-wearing women. They are in general quite poor and haven't had
access to western-style education. They aren't all liberals and
photogenic Good Arabs. Sorry. This belief obscures everything and
reflects an internalised racism and Islamophobia. For the majority of
the population, like Egyptians or Jordanians or Tunisians etc., their
default point of orientation in life, coexisting with other points of
belief, is their faith.

The armed revolutionaries to a huge extent reflect this because they
*are* Syrians. They aren't from Mars. They're overwhelmingly from
Syria - most of them took up arms to fight for Syria. It's why since
day one the armed revolutionaries have been, whether defected SAA or
otherwise, a combination of Syrian nationalism and moderate Islamism
(that's what it would be termed as such was the stifling of meaningful
opposition in Baathist Syria, there's no political group or coherent
'Islamist' ideology that truly suffices). Even the less moderate
Islamists have gone on a huge journey of moderation (see Ahrar
ash-Sham, as the biggest and best example).

These groups have been fighting a revolutionary war. Have they carried
out 'crimes'? Yes, but the crimes of the oppressed can never be
equated with the criminals. The crimes of the partisans cannot be
equated either in quality or quantity with the crimes of the Nazis.
There is no equality in force or intent. People shouldn't obscure this
by saying otherwise

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