[Marxism] Leila al-Shami: Idlib resists
mkaradjis at gmail.com
Sun Nov 10 00:47:45 MST 2019
Leila's latest article is very timely. Just in the last week or so, the
Assad-Putin terror in Idlib and northwest Syria has stepped up, with more
hospitals bombed, countless civilians killed, a refugee camp hit etc, all
the usual. Of course, for most of the world media, and the global left, the
ongoing grisly mass-murder of Arabs by Assad is nowhere near as interesting
as solidarity with "the Kurds" under attack by Erdogan. That's a particular
kind of Orientalism shared by the western left, right and centre.
One of the justifications for essentially supporting the Assadist terror
(which dwarfs the killing during the Turkish invasion even at the height of
the invasion) is the western-media-created discourse that Idlib is a
"terrorist enclave", a neocon/war on terror discourse lapped up by much of
the global left, and especially by Apoists. Even if it were true, why this
would justify massive terror against millions of civilians - an idea the
left has traditionally argued against - is unclear. But of course, it is a
Leila here talks about the ongoing revolutionary movement of the masses,
which challenges not only Assad, but also HTS, the hard-line Islamist group
that dominates much of the province (and that the western media and its
leftist echo call "al-Qaida"). Alongside the ongoing uprising in Deir Ezzor
in the east - which has been under SDF control but is now mobilising to
prevent any return of Assadist forces under the Assad-SDF agreement - and
ongoing assassinations of Assadist officials in Daraa in the south
(formerly revolution territory which was reconquered by Assad last year),
this popular uprising in Idlib reflects the regional revolutionary wave
that has engulfed Lebanon, Iraq and recently Egypt, all pro-Assad regimes.
Incidentally, the slaughter of hundreds of Iraqis by the US/Iran-backed
Iraqi regime and by Iranian-backed death squads, and the violent attacks on
the revolution in Lebanon by Hezbollah and its ally Amal, alongside the
Iran regime's attack on the regional uprising as being a "Zionist"
conspiracy (sadly lacking originality these ancient mullah-brains), are
further evidence (as if we needed it after Syria) that the so-called 'Axis
of Resistance' is merely the Axis of Resistance to Arab freedom.
In September large scale protests erupted against HTS and the continuing
aerial bombardment of the province by the regime and Russia. The regime
intensified its assault on the province in April conducting a
scorched-earth campaign against residential areas which has caused around
half a million to flee, has killed over 1,000 and has directly targeted
civilian infrastructure including over 50 hospitals and medical centres.
The dominant narrative promoted by the regime and supporters of Syrian
fascism is that Idlib is a ‘terrorist enclave’. The presence of a few
thousand extremist militants is presented as justification for the campaign
of extermination waged against Idlib’s civilian population of some 3
million people, which includes 1 million children.
Today’s uprising should challenge this narrative. Syrians have continually
resisted all forms of authoritarianism and sought to defend their autonomy
and desire for freedom and democracy since 2011.
Despite being trapped between the regime and extremists, Idlib remains home
to many inspiring civil initiatives and outpourings of creative resistance.
Just a few weeks ago, 20 year old rapper Amir Al Muarri released the fierce
track ‘On All Fronts’ <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNd8p8ONf2I>produced
in Idlib. The video (which has subtitles in English, Spanish and Russian)
provides a portrait of the province and the diversity of its residents who
continue to survive and resist despite living apocalyptic conditions. He
spares no criticism for the brutality of the regime, the armed factions
which have hijacked the revolution and the foreign interventions of Russia,
Iran and Turkey.
More information about the Marxism