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All posts for tag: Syria

Turkey to let Kurds bleed
7/10/2014 · by Wilhelm Langthaler
YPG Syrian Kurdish militia
The quintessence: none of the regional and global players want Kurdish self-rule in Northern Syria to survive! The decisive role is being played by Turkey: In Kobani Ankara got the final say. The Turkish calculus is obvious. If Rojava held on it would serve as a precedence enormously strengthening PKK. The pressure on Ankara to grant substantial autonomy also to its own millions of Kurds would increase massively. The US, on its part, is pushing Turkey, pillar state for the NATO, to join their alliance against the Islamic State (IS) thus defining the Jihadis to be the main enemy in the regional civil war. The US air campaign is turning Asad into the lesser evil potentially upgrading his regime even into a partner. This is, however, unacceptable for Turkey’s ruling AKP. For them … [read more]
Exclusive elections in Syria
The conversation with Haytham was filled with laughter, as he commented on the numbers of voters in Lebanon. He said to Al-Nahar newspaper that the number of Syrians in Lebanon now represents ¼ of the country’s population. Thus they would need 150 polling stations, while today there are two polling stations for women and four for men. Prompted on whether he thought there was a considerable voter turnout in Lebanon, he responded laughing: “what rate?” pointing to visual tricks that can be used to inflate the presence of people on the streets. He also ridiculed numbers stated in various countries such as the Philippine where reportedly 70% of Syrians voted saying that there probably are only 20 Syrians there. In his view, “these elections are for the current authority and … [read more]
Homs: Pyrrhic victory
19/5/2014 · by Wilhelm Langthaler
Ayman and Zeinat Akhras
1. Militarily and in an immediate sense also politically the success of the government cannot be denied. But it is to be noted that it became possible because of a negotiated withdrawal and not a full-fledged capitulation. This shows how difficult it is for the government to advance militarily and that this does not mean a pacification of the situation. 2. The democratic left insisted that the better solution would have been a ceasefire and pacification leaving the militants in place this opening up spaces for dissent. In this way they would have been turned into a civil political opposition as they had started out three years back. Unfortunately first of all the government continues to be unwilling for such a step and secondly also the rebels seem not ready for that, neither the … [read more]
Committed to ending the Syrian war
26/3/2014 · By Wilhelm Langthaler, Co-convener
Exchange among the people – not power-brokering First of all, let us recall the aim of the “All Sides Consultation for a Political Solution” which took place in the “Peace Castle Schlaining” close to Vienna, Austria, from 7-10 March, 2014. The idea was to give a voice to Syrian society in its full diversity, voices emerging from the people who have been silenced and excluded by the powerful. It was not intended to hold negotiations between the conflicting sides and their global and regional sponsors as has failed in Geneva. A consultative forum of personalities not directly representing the sides involved but indeed representing the societal richness was called upon to explore ways to stop the catastrophic bloodshed. Thus we were not in search of sophisticated and … [read more]
Call for Peace in Syria
21/3/2014 · Initiative for a Political Solution
Participants All Sides Consultation for a Political Solution
Driven by deep worries about the deteriorating developments, the disastrous humanitarian situation and the future of the Syrian people, the All Sides Consultation has been searching for what can be done, by means of a political solution, to stop the war, the violation of human rights causing a huge number of victims, the destruction of infrastructure and culture. This solution should help the Syrians to find a new social contract for the construction of a State based on comprehensive national reconciliation and accountability, guaranteeing the rights and freedom for all Syrians. Recognizing the immense complexity of the situation and the increasing suffering and polarization, following points emerged as consensual during our deliberations. As conveners we are formulating them in the … [read more]
Syrian conference for democratic self-determination
25/1/2014 · by Haytham Manna
De-railing of Geneva II from the Basic Tracks I received several letters from friends of the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change – NCB expressing surprise about the NCB’s boycott of the Geneva II Conference in the context of the arrangements, the formula and the conditions in which it is being held. We were particularly the brave defenders of this conference, and we were accused of all manner of sins after our defense of it even from some people who mounted the platform of the delegation of the Coalition on behalf of the Syrian opposition in Montreux. I wrote in my first notes about “Geneva I”/Geneva Communiqué on 10th July 2012: The Conference has been organised without the Syrians like a meeting of the Security Council, but this negative point has certainly … [read more]
Give a voice to Syrians claiming political solution
9/1/2014 · International Peace Initiative for Syria
Among its main victims there are the democratic rights of the Syrian people, who originally tried to claim these rights by launching a peaceful popular mass protest movement. However their efforts have gradually been thwarted by an increasing influence of sectarian tendencies as well as a growing regional and global involvement. Together with many people inside Syria and across the world our initiative for Peace in Syria continues to insist (see initial call that the only viable solution is a political settlement with a ceasefire paving the way to a transitional government, based on a power sharing agreement between the socio-political, confessional and ethnical blocs maintaining a common State. We are conscious that this is not the ideal solution for … [read more]
Regime and Islamists sectarian in the same way?
Responding to the contribution of Anton Holberg: While it is obvious that Sunni Islamism is exclusivist, the regime’s secularist narrative constitutes a hidden, more covered de facto communalism. It is true that it does not refer to religion in the same way as Islamism does. It is fair enough to notice this difference but politically it does not matter much. We know that even the French role model behind the formal façade of egalitarism is de facto very exclusivist and elitist. In Syria everybody starts from the assumption that loyalty to the leading group is not based on ideology or whatever criteria but on communalist group solidarity provoking counter-reactions by the excluded, exploited and oppressed. Unfortunately under the given conditions the popular rebellion was susceptible … [read more]
Syria talks: mission impossible?
27/12/2013 · by Wilhelm Langthaler
Starving residents leave govt-besieged Moadamiyeh. Truces remain short-lived.
Syria definitely is the focus of conflictivity within the world system. International, regional, political and social fault lines are crossing there producing a tremendous eruption which turned a democratic popular revolt into a sectarian civil war with massive foreign involvement. And the stakes are indeed high, very high. Though the origin and base of the events have been the democratic and social rights of the popular masses, it became also about the redesign of the regional and global order. Let us try to discern the recent tendencies emerging in this conflict against the background of the preparations for the Geneva talks scheduled for January 2014. 1. Why talks – military solution not sustainable for Washington The most obvious fact is that the main global power, the … [read more]
Syria: negotiate a transitional government
15/9/2013 · by Wilhelm Langthaler
From the very beginning of the conflict we have been strongly opposing any foreign meddling let alone military intervention. As anti-systemic opposition in the west we regard it as our main task to fight imperialism and neo-colonialism disguised as humanitarianism, export of democracy, responsibility to protect or similar camouflages. This is an issue of principle which proved valid in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq and many other places. In Syria foreign interference has been crucial in transforming the civil democratic and social movement of the popular masses into a sectarian civil war destroying the hope for victory for the people as subaltern classed opposed to the elite. At the origin of this tragic metamorphosis is certainly the refusal of the Assad leadership to grant … [read more]
No military intervention - for a political solution
31/8/2013 · Peace Initiative for a Political Solution in Syria
When we, representatives of different sectors of civil societies from all continents, started the initiative under the slogan YES TO DEMOCRACY – NO TO MILITARY INTERVENTION we could no t foresee that the nightmare of millions of Syrians could degenerate into a humanitarian catastrophe which not only shakes the whole Middle East, but also threatens world peace on a global level. It is now more than ever facing the danger of an open military intervention on both sides of the conflict that we want to call on the international public opinion to exercise its influence in order to prevent that the daily figures of hundreds of killed victims turn into the worst hecatomb since World War II. And we also want to repeat to the Syrian political and military actors on the … [read more]
Fight the military attack on Syria!
29/8/2013 · Anti-imperialist Camp
That poison gas was used appears undeniable. But who did so, remains unclear. We do not have the forensic means to establish the facts and it is unlikely that it will become possible in the future either – too high are the political stakes from both sides. Nor do we want to add another piece of futile conspiracy theory. The only applicable criteria for us is the political logic behind the event – and this remains difficult to understand. Is it plausible that the regime wanted to deliberately provoke foreign intervention? Does it want to gain anti-imperialist credentials, given the limited military gains the use of combat gas could yield? Are they that much under pressure to resort to such means? Or did the chain of command get out of hands and unleash the nihilistic drive of a … [read more]
Statement Peace Mission to Syria
Delegation meets Kadri Shamil (r), vice premier and minister
This international initiative is composed of prominent civil society figures from Europe and Latin America (list attached) representing all those concerned with peace and justice in Syria. Its aim is to contribute to the end of the war and the suffering by helping create favourable conditions for the advancement of the political process through dialogue and negotiations. In order to achieve such an aim, we met with State officials at high levels and various groups and parties of the opposition inside and outside the country, along with religious organizations and international and non-governmental bodies. We have been received, have been informed on the aspects and essence of the conflict, and have been heard. On the basis of the discussions held, the Initiative identified key … [read more]
Solidarity With the Syrian Struggle for Dignity and Freedom
13/5/2013 · Campaign of Global Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution
We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with the millions of Syrians who have been struggling for dignity and freedom since March 2011. We call on people of the world to pressure the Syrian regime to end its oppression of and war on the Syrian people. We demand that Bashar al-Asad leave immediately without excuses so that Syria can begin a speedy recovery towards a democratic future. Since March 2011, Asad’s regime has steadily escalated its violence against the Syrian people, launching Scud missiles, using weapons banned by the Geneva Convention such as cluster bombs and incendiary munitions, and using aerial bombardment. The regime has detained and tortured tens of thousands of people and committed untold massacres. It has refused political settlements that do not include Asad in … [read more]
Dialogue is possible
S Abulaban (l), L Gabriel, M Sayegh, C. Haydt
Already at the beginning of the day a large consensus was achieved on the need for such a dialogue in order to diminish the suffering of the Syrian population living in fear within the ruins of Daraa, the outskirts of Damascus and the city of Aleppo. The proposals to promote local cease fires by intensifying the interaction with the local population and to give free access to humanitarian organizations were as much accepted by the defenders of the government and of the opposition as the plan to organize, in the near future a peace conference in Vienna, Austria. The discussions dealt also with the problem of the intensification of the civil war-like circumstances along the lines of religious confessions. The participants underlined that also in this respect negotiation and dialogue … [read more]
Syria: from war to peace
No idea and no ideal however heroic it might be can justify the death of thousands of innocent people. No matter can be so important that it deserves that millions are fleeing their homes just because they want to survive. And no war should continue if it is aimed at the destruction of one’s own country. This is the lesson of nearly every war and this is also the lesson of the war in Syria which already cost the lives of 70 000 Syrians. However the big question remains: How to stop this vicious circle of violence, which dominates the country since almost two years? Syria is situated in a multicultural environment there are many people on both sides of the political spectrum who just want democracy and social justice to be built from the bottom up in their urban and rural … [read more]
Democratic Civil Alliance – DCA
4/3/2013 · Committee of Action emerging from the Syrian International Conference for Democratic Syria and Civilian State on 28-29 January 2013
This Alliance seeks to bring together all democratic forces and political parties that are opposed to tyranny and corruption, that reject sectarianism and violence, that rely on the notion, components and execution of the Syrian-based solution, and that accept participation in a political process aimed at ending the Syrian crisis and transition to a democracy through a peaceful political path. The Democratic Civil Alliance sees the necessity for all Syrian parties to participate in creating the solution. The Democratic Civil Alliance does not set preconditions to negotiations with the regime, but maintains that it is necessary for the appropriate climate for this negotiation to be in place, and for this negotiation to have a clear title: to agree on a transitional phase in … [read more]
Damascus shall not become Aleppo
25/2/2013 · by Alfred Klein
For the time being it as been mainly the Tahrir democrats and left around the “National Co-ordination Boy for Democratic Change” (NCB) which systematically warned of the dangerous dialectics unfolding between militarization and sectarianism. From the very beginning they have been calling for a political solution by negotiations and advocating a defensive, de-escalating strategy facing the regime’s repression (option I). Given the rigidity of the ruling apparatus’s reaction the official opposition – “official” because being recognised by the western rulers of the world – could easily sideline and isolate the NCB as “agents of the regime”. This was possible despite their doubtless credentials having spent decades resisting the regime including long-term … [read more]
Negotiations at behest of the bourgeoisie?
14/2/2013 · Revolutionary Left Current in Syria
No sane person can refuse lightly everything that can stop or ease the suffering of our people and their great sacrifices, but this does not mean, that we have to accept and support any initiative claiming it is seeking to do so. The judgment on such initiatives is subject, from our point of view, to the criteria meeting the following conditions: to provide for the masses the ability to re-establish their fight and struggle to topple the dictatorial regime, that does not provide for the latter to prolong its time or survival, and in particular that allow the space for radical change from below in favor of the popular classes and to serve their direct and general interests. (NCCDC) and Sheikh Moaz initiatives both converge in calling for “change from above”, with the difference … [read more]
Geneva declaration on Syria
1. Consider the International Geneva Agreement as a valid basis for implementation, and first and foremost to simultaneously stop the violence. 2. To work on the establishment of a political process though negotiations between the opposition and the regime to implement the International Geneva Agreement, for issuing a constitutional declaration to create on this basis a Government with full power to administrate this stage, and work to bring about fair legislature and Presidential elections, under international supervision. 3. To convene the International Geneva Conference 2, which takes into consideration developments on the ground and requirements on the one hand, with the presence of a binding mechanism on the result of negotiation, from the Security Council under Chapter VI on … [read more]