Against the Imperialist Intervention in Syria

On the morning of Sunday 15th April, the RAF participated in the bombing of several government controlled sites in Syria, in defiance of international law, the sovereignty of parliament over matters of war and peace, and before an Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) delegation arrived at Damascus to investigate the allegations. Shortly after this attack there were reports of ISIS attacked south of Damascus. British imperialism seems determined to play the role of air support for such Wahhabi jihadist thugs. The pretense of preventing chemical weapons attacks could not be more transparent: past claims of such attacks being perpetrated by the Syrian government have been made, and yet in many cases, UN investigators found no evidence of regime blame for these attacks.


British, American, and French imperialism still remain united in opposing Russian imperialism’s influence in the region. The failure of the strategy of arming and funding jihadist rebel groups and the triumph of the Syrian government in this long war assures Russia's continued influence. Yet the western imperialist powers show no signs of giving up. They don’t care about how much more blood is shed, still less how it is shed. Inter-imperialist rivalry over control of the territory, resources, and peoples of the middle east led to this war. It allowed Turkey to occupy Afrin as rival powers attempt to curry favour with the fascist Turkish government. When Turkey was accused of using chemical weapons in it’s colonisation of Afrin, there was collective indifference to the suffering of the Kurds, who sacrificed so much to rid the world of ISIS.


Yet when unconfirmed claims of Syrian government use of chemical weapons are on the table, these western imperialist powers feel no shame in objectively supporting ISIS against the Syrian government!

As the international crisis of capital deepens day by day, the scramble for profits extracted principally by imperialist domination of their colonies and semi-colonies across the globe brings the immense destructive powers of imperialist militaries ever closer to open confrontation.


At these times, there is the temptation for some in the left to ally themselves with members of the nativist right and even far right and fascist elements with the aim of building a broad anti-war front. We must resist this temptation and the tendency in our movement to forge such alliances. Class peace at home will never prevent imperialist war abroad. In fact, it is the very basis of the imperialist bourgeoisies strategy in the imperialist nations. We must point out the palpable absurdity of siding with one side of the imperialist bourgeoisie in its attempt to defeat the other. To do so means appealing to national chauvinist arguments which turn members of our class against themselves.


Strengthening fascist or proto-fascist trends cannot build a strong peace camp: If those who chauvinistically feel closer to these fascist groups have any genuine desire for peace, they will not abandon it because they do not see national flags. But the fascist worldview is one that craves wars that can be won to the benefit of the expansion of the "national" (actually imperialist-minded bourgeois) interest. If they momentarily seek peace in word, we must pay them no heed: the Trump presidency in the US has taught us that the most fierce "critics" of imperialist war "from the right" feel no shame in embracing these same wars the MOMENT they see profit in it for themselves!


We must never align ourselves with those who only don’t want to bomb so they can build the wall, or who’s only concern about the people of the middle east is that they stay there and rot rather than wash up on the beaches of Europe.


The threat to the oppressed people of the world grows ever greater. The only way to prevent this is through discarding bourgeois and petit bourgeois nationalism for the the development of proletarian internationalism which threatens the imperialist bourgeoisie at home and abroad.


We believe this passage from a recent statement by the Socialist Party of the Oppressed. (Turkish: Ezilenlerin Sosyalist Partisi), a socialist party which is part of the People’s Democratic Party (Turkish: Halkların Demokratik Partisi) in Turkey, shows us a vision of what a Middle East free from imperialist incursions could be:

[An] Independent, Democratic, Federal Middle East struggle in which both the American and Russian imperialists are fired and the people of the Middle East, overcoming the conflicts of religion, sect, and nationality, are united on a democratic and socialist basis, is the only anti-imperialist solution of the people against these reactionary options. Just as the US imperialism is moved back by the regional unity path of people in Latin America, the need in the Middle East is to unite Turkish, Kurd, and Arab peoples and all peoples of the region against imperialism and reaction. The Rojava Revolution, where all reactionary forces confronting each other today do not mind defying against it when needed, constitutes the core of this alternative. Syrian people will create this solution with their own hands. There will be no place for imperialist forces in a federal Syria based on democracy and equality of people. Sooner or later, Middle East will be a region of freedom, democracy and socialism, not the place of sectarian conflicts and imperialist competition.


We call on all progressive forces in imperialist countries to unite against their imperialist bourgeoisie, in the knowledge that this is the best form of solidarity we can give to those in the middle east struggling to make this vision a reality.

- The Lever Editorial Group

(Image: Hassan Ammar / AP)