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All posts for tag: Syria

Syria in travail
16/5/2012 · by Narmin Amir and Yusuf Fakhr ed Din in Damascus**
Abdalaziz al-Khair (c) attacked by SNC supporters in Cairo
Q: You founded the “National Coordination Body’’ with the aim of taking part in the popular movement and to represent it. How did this movement emerge? Why did its demands radicalize into overthrowing the regime? The popular movement is in fact a political revolution, the result of a long political history. The objective conditions have been mounting to transfer the dynamics of this movement from the intellectual space to society at large. We were astonished nevertheless. It was similar to what we had been dreaming of, even though it came about in a different form. The mass movement does not follow routine classifications and preconceptions. It is not a revolution of workers or peasants or organized political forces. This has confused many, for the history of the political … [read more]
Annan plan helps to stop violence
13/5/2012 · by Wilhelm Langthaler
The NCB supports the peace plan by Kofi Annan, as for the time being there is no other solution in sight. “The main obstacle for democratic progress is the violence which has already pushed the country on the brink of civil war. We need to stop it. Only then the popular movement can develop enough power.” Haitham Manna reproached the Syrian National Council (SNC) and the armed groups and said that they wanted to foil the Annan plan in order to further militarize the situation and to provoke a foreign military intervention – something which is categorically refused by his own organisation, the SCB. Some people close to the SNC at the meeting in Vienna replied that the SBC in this way saves the regime which has proved to be unable and unwilling to execute democratic reforms. The … [read more]
Foreign intervention destroys revolution
25/2/2012 · by Abdel-Halim Qandil* (عبد الحليم قنديل)
Abdel-Halim Qandil
Is the crisis in Syria heading down the path of the Libyan scenario? And to what extent are the regime’s stubbornness and bloodiness preparing to open the door to a foreign armed intervention, which would transform the Syrian revolution into a tragedy that would threaten the very survival of the Syrian state? The danger is present, though not very likely, as Syria lacks petrol – the booty that attracted Western greed as in the case of Libya, and Iraq before. America and its satellites act in a very pragmatic way. They are not concerned about tens of thousands of people injured or martyred. They may even prefer the situation as it is: the Arab Syrian army worn out in a bloody war against the people. And the Syrian regime challenged and undermined, but not overthrown, because the … [read more]
"Friends of Syria"?
The National Coordination Body for Democratic Change has been closely following the movements leading to the ‘Friends of Syria’ conference. The NCB acknowledges the noble intentions behind the calling of the conference, especially since it is to be hosted by Tunisia, the country that sparked the Arab spring, whose its officials have always been resolutely against foreign military intervention in Syria and who abhor sectarianism and violence no matter where it emanates from. Tunisia has been dedicated to preserving the unity of Syria. It has sought to do this by attempting to unite the democratic resistance, unifying the efforts of the opposition rather than dividing them or creating tensions through favoritism and marginalization; and maintaining this unity through promoting the Arab … [read more]
Revolutionaries are crazy, not wise
1/1/2012 · by Wilhelm Langthaler
Editorial comment: As Anti-imperialist Camp we absolutely refuse any foreign military intervention as an attempt to destroy the revolutionary popular movement in Syria. It is the Muslim Brotherhood which has asked for such an intervention by Turkey. Following interview does not express our opinion. Q: What do you think of the recent agreement between Syria and the Arab League? The Arab League’s initiative was born disabled. There is no mechanism to follow up. The Syrian regime accepted the agreement unconditionally but so far nothing changed. The massacre continues. Our interest is not to punish Bashar and his regime. We do not want him to have the same dramatic end as Gaddafi or Saddam. What we want is that the killings end, that reforms are undertaken and that the Syrian … [read more]
Geo-politics versus revolution
30/12/2011 · by Wilhelm Langthaler
previous Additionally, given the continued overwhelming supremacy of imperialism there cannot be any doubt for our geo-politicians that whatever regime comes into conflict with the imperial centre must be supported – regardless of its relation to the popular masses. Tertium non datur! During the last two decades this geo-political position did not differ much from the social revolutionary one. Imperial power has been at its highest, unfolding ruthlessly and attacking resisting regimes that represented old gains of long-gone popular struggles. Outstanding examples were Yugoslavia and Iraq, where the popular masses essentially remained passive while only politically advanced sections supported the regimes’ resistance against imperialism. Popular resistance movements like those … [read more]
State of the Arab democratic revolt
30/12/2011 · by Wilhelm Langthaler
previous The Arab ancien regime The Middle East has always been a neuralgic point of the imperialist world system. To simplify: there is Israel and petroleum. It is not by accident that the Palestinian resistance continued while after 1989/1991 nearly all other popular movements against the imperial capitalist elites ceded. Under these extremely unfavourable conditions this continued resistance, however, suffered deformations. In the absence of mass movements there was militarism. The other deformation was culturalism tending towards sectarianism. Its highest expression was al-Qaeda type Jihadism with its gesamtkunstwerk [all-embracing, holistic artwork] 9/11. It could deal some important symbolic blows to imperialism but without the masses it could not win. The old Middle … [read more]
Syria – who is anti-imperialist?
30/12/2011 · by Wilhelm Langthaler
previous First stage: peaceful and anti-interventionist When the democratic movement in Syria started, inspired by the advances in North Africa, there was the hope for quick victory as with its precedents. But the Assad regime refused to take the same road as his homologues in Tunisia and Egypt. The succession of Assad junior had evoked hopes for reform, but they have been frustrated since. All during the last decade the Baath apparatus did not allow them. Why then should they do so now? The only strong explanation for this total inability to respond at least partially to the democratic mass movement is the sectarian Allawi character of the Baath regime encapsulating itself. As in the other Arab countries the Islamist forces played no driving role in this first stage of the … [read more]
Syria, Turkey and the Arab revolt
30/12/2011 · by Wilhelm Langthaler
by Carlos Latuf
While direct military imperialist intervention remains unlikely, mainly Turkey is projecting power onto Syria. Also military means can no longer be excluded within a medium term range. Turkish intervention is, however, limited by the political constraint to appear in line with the Arab spring, for which Ankara wants to serve as a model and take the lead. The Arab revolt comes in the context and is an expression of the crisis of the US-centred imperialist system, which is both an economic and political crisis. The new and decisive factor is the popular mass movement, which scattered the imperialist ancien regime in the region. Thus the US needs to re-organise their order. They essentially try to do so by embracing sections of the movement and by co-opting these sections into the US … [read more]
Syrians reject sectarianism and foreign intervention
26/10/2011 · by Mustafa Ilhan and Wilhelm Langthaler
Khaled Khoja
Editorial comment: As Anti-imperialist Camp we absolutely refuse any foreign military intervention as an attempt to destroy the revolutionary popular movement in Syria. It is the Muslim Brotherhood which has asked for such an intervention by Turkey. Following interview does not express our opinion. (Nov 20, 2011) Q: How you refer to the democratic demands and its highest expression, the constituent assembly? A: By burning himself, Mr. Mohammad Bouzizi lit the torch of freedom in the entire Arab world and opened a window of hope in the public mind. He encouraged the Arab youth to fight for the freedom and dignity that the Arab world has been dreaming of for decades. Since then, thousands of citizens in Syria have sacrificed their lives peacefully against the regime’s death machine … [read more]
Assad will be toppled by the people
30/9/2011 · by Wilhelm Langthaler
On September 16, 2011, he addressed a public meeting in Vienna’s Austrian-Arab Culture Centre (OKAZ) on the “Syrian Intifada between repression and instrumentalisation”. We recount his intervention and the ensuing debate:* The components of the movement The Syrian Intifada is based on the lower strata of society. Its social roots are the same as in Tunisia and Egypt. It is a revolt against unbearable social conditions while the elites close to the regime still make huge fortunes. The initial force of the Intifada has been the poor but educated youth. As the regime is unable to fully control the internet, they used it to organise the protests. Within a few months the local co-ordinations formed two different revolutionary umbrella committees. 90% of the some 30,000 … [read more]
Initiative for the Arab spring
27/9/2011 · Wilhelm Langthaler
Subhi Hadidi addressing the Viennese audience Sept 16, 2011
Kick-off debate: Syria Hadidi expressed full support for the popular movement and explained that its direction is genuinely democratic. It is moving against sectarian strife provoked by the regime that is to say the intifada is secular and liberal in the best sense of the word and is as well anti-imperialist as it is struggling against a western-imposed regional order. Subhi Hadidi categorically refused any foreign military or state intervention. This is why he goes against all attempts in exile to form representations which in the last instance only serve to provide a partner and thus legitimacy for western intervention. A real revolutionary council can – according to Hadidi – only be built inside the country which will take time. He voiced great optimism that the regime of … [read more]
Democratic revolution … against the west
17/9/2011 · Anti-imperialist Camp (Austrian section)
Rally against Assad in Vienna, Sept 4, 2011
The Syrian people has been struggling for democracy for months now. As the Assad regime reveals its incapacity to reform day by day, answering the legitimate popular demands only with brute violence, the movement more and more turns into a revolution for which a death toll will be paid. Revolt against neo-liberalism In Europe (and also among the Syrians in exile) there is talk only about democracy – but this is dangerous, for in the last decades democracy has become a neo-colonial export product (see Iraq and Afghanistan). Without further specification democracy simply means the more or less mediated rule of the western oligarchy excluding the poorer classes, both politically and socially. In Syria as in the Arab world in general we see a popular movement against the capitalist … [read more]
Leading Syrian leftist nominated
Professor Burhan Ghalioun was assigned as chairman. He is one of the leading figures of the exile opposition. He heads the Center for Oriental Studies in Paris (Centre d’Etudes sur l’Orient Contemporain; CEOC) and teaches political science at the Sorbonne. He has been a vocal enemy of a foreign military intervention in Syria. Among the nominated members are Wagdy Mustafa and Riad Seif as vice chairmen as well as renowned oppositionists like Haytham Maleh, Michel Kilo, Suhair Atas, the leader of the Damascus declaration Riad Turk and the cartoonist Ali Farzat. The latter recently got attacked in Damascus and got his arms broken. The personalities nominated enjoy a certain popular consensus. The communiqué of the “Revolutionary Youth” stresses that the lack of a political … [read more]
Syrian uprising needs civil protection, no foreign state intervention
11/9/2011 · by Ali Nasser
Q: September 9 has been named by the Syrian popular movement „Friday of international protection“. Do they really call for international intervention? One must differentiate between international protection by states and governments on one hand and civil organisations on the other hand. The first ones we cannot trust as they follow their own agenda and use double standards regarding human rights. But the second idea means that NGOs like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and human rights groups should send observers. That implies also free movement for the Arab as well as the international media. Their presence across the Syrian towns could significantly curtail the brutality of the regime. This demand is different to calling upon the US or the UN who do not follow unselfish … [read more]
“Anti-imperialist forces will prevail”
3/9/2011 · by Wilhelm Langthaler
Abduljabbar al Kubaysi in Vienna, 2003
With regard to the danger of “regime change” by the imperialists he said that “Syria is quiet different from Libya”. The overwhelming majority of the people will refuse and fight an imperialist military intervention. Even covered and operated by Turkey the political groups and popular trends involved in the revolt “do not accept the Turkish intervention”. Kubaysi advised not to listen to the media reports which are campaigning for Western interests but do not reflect the internal situation properly. Exile politicians disturb the real picture. “We should focus on forces and groups inside Syria and I am sure that the anti-imperialist left is dominating now and will continue to do so in the future.” According to the Iraqi Patriotic Alliance’s leader there are only the … [read more]
Syria as part of Arab popular revolt
19/7/2011 · by Anti-imperialist Camp (Austria) and Initiativ e.V. Duisburg (Germany)
It is this spirit which is the real threat against the comprador regimes of the region, which poses the most serious challenge to the Western hegemony in the region since the 60ies. After the crucial character change in the “democratic spring” caused by the Libyan rebellion, turning from a peaceful mass movement into an armed conflict between elites accompanied with a Western intervention, the outbreak of the protests in Syria lead to further confusion within the progressive and anti-imperialist spectrum. The situation is delicate indeed. In this context, we should emphasise the following: 1. The Syrian uprising can not be observed in an isolated way from the regional developments. It is an authentic popular movement for freedom and social justice against a … [read more]
Will the Syrian exile opposition find its way to the people's movement?
14/7/2011 · Mohammed Aburous
The dummies in the Bernard Henry-Levi show in Paris Organised by Bernard-Henry Levi’s magazine ‘Règles de Jeu’ [Play Rules], a conference of the ‘Syrian opposition’ was held on July 4th in the St. Germain cinema in Paris. The organiser, the character of the prominent participants from the French Elite as well as the speech contents lead to many questions regarding some Syrian opposition parties and groups and their link to the Western and, finally Zionist interests. Sponsored by the same Syrian industrial Brothers Sonqur who had sponsored the Antalya conference, hundred of Syrian political activists met in the third meeting of the Syrian opposition after the parallel conferences of Brussels and Antalya. Opponents of the Assad regimes were divided on the Paris … [read more]
Syria: Peaceful democratic revolution without foreign intervention
Therefore, a number of patriotic Syrians, from all different backgrounds, came together and called for the Syria Conference for Change. Invitations were sent to a wide variety of political and populist Syrian activists with the purpose of stopping the blood shed of our people and to take a decisive stand towards the events in their homeland and towards the insistence of the oppressive regime on using the military and security forces in rejecting the just demands of the people of freedom and democracy. The Syria Conference for Change took place in Antalya, Turkey, May 31 – June 3, 2011, in solidarity with the Syrian Revolution and to search for solutions that would save Syria from oppression and place it on the road to freedom and dignity. As such, participants agreed to the … [read more]
„Assad is provoking civil war and foreign intervention“
18/6/2011 · by Wilhelm Langthaler
Q: Who promoted the Antalya conference and what is its outcome? There have been already several different conferences of the Syrian opposition or parts of it. For example some of the Muslim currents organised their own events. The idea was to stop following separate agendas but to try to reach the broadest possible unity for democracy in Syria. The main promoters were the left and liberal forces around the Damascus Declaration (DD) but the attempt of unification worked out. Out of 31 members of the consulting committee 4 members each are from the DD,  Muslim Brotherhood, the Kurds (who are predominantly leftist) and the tribes. The remaining 15 are independent personalities including also all confessions.   Q: Reports said that Adbul Halim Khaddam and Rifaat al Assad were … [read more]