[As part of our ongoing coverage of people’s struggles against reactionary and oppressive regimes in the middle east, we are posting this new statement from Partizan, a revolutionary periodical from Turkey, which analyzes the current struggles in the middle east, focused on Syria, Turkey, borders, and Kurdish areas. — Frontlines ed.]
AGAINST IMPERIALISM, FASCISM, COMPRADOR CAPITALISM AND ALL KINDS OF REACTIONARIES
The Arab uprisings and the opposition against Assad in Syria -- The correct position in the light of a class analysis!
In North Africa and the Middle East a period, also expressed as the “Arab spring”, arised and still continues. In many occasions we have expressed our approach about the situation in these areas and towards the people’s movement. Current Syria based agenda is advancing fast with an inclusion of and shaping in direct relation with our country.
Hence, from the ruling classe front to the front of the revolutionaries, democrats and patriots all express their views, formulations and evaluations on this issue. Also the Marxist‐-Leninist-‐Maoists have shared their views with the public about Syria in the context of the Assa d government, the oppositional movement and the triangle of the imperialist occupation together with its subcontractors. Nevertheless, as Maoists from our country we feel the need that we must once more state our comments on this issue in a period in which many facts become interlocked with each other.
…There cannot be any just reason for such an intervention, and reasons given from imperialism are definitely not convincing nor can they be accepted…
After expressing this aim, we can start with some general definitions on the specifics of the topic: to have a country that faces an attack from the outside and which has been designed by the imperialist states, needs without a doubt, an open and clear opposition from all revolutionaries, democrats and patriots. Besides this, there cannot be any just reasons for such a intervention, reasons given from imperialism are definitely not convincing nor can they be accepted. We would like to begin with stressing that this is unquestionable. Furthermore, in a situation of an imperialist occupation, in standing firm in concern of the characteristic of the aspiration and the struggle for independence, in a national front policy’ it becomes a fundamental task to form an alliance of anti-‐occupation forces. The position behind this is the fundamental principal that all people and every nation have a right to determine their own future.
Together with this, the main point of the discussion of many problems we are facing is that such a situation isn’t there. We can say that the interventions of imperialism, their effort to cover the reality of what really happens, makes it complicated for us to understand the essence of what happens. “Anti-‐imperialism” could be a strut to underestimate the revolts of the people against the tyrannical powers. Thus it is beneficial to look at the current developments in Syria from that perspective.
An example from history: the Sheikh Sait Rebellion
We are against projects of imperialism that designs countries according to their profits! So, what should be our approach towards the revolutionary, democratic struggle in this country? Without falling into nationalism, chauvinism, or reconcile with the collaborationists, what should be our consideration of a movement merging from the masses, and thereby what could be the most convenient action for it? Just as it is wrong to comprehend that the people’s movement against the reactionary-‐tyranny system in Iran as a n extension of the US and just because of such propaganda the state of Iran gains legitimacy and is able to continue its tyranny, in Syria we face a very similar situation and our analyse on Syria is the same.
Many years ago when the Sheikh Sait Rebellion was discussed many factors were included into the discussion like the ideology of the sheikhs that were in leadership during the rebellion or the claim that this rebellion was supported by English imperialism actually detracted from the fact that this “national upraise” conceded the specifics of national democracy. Many “intellectuals”, “democrats” were behind the TKP of that time who declared this rebellion as “reactionary” and supported the annihilation aggression of the state. When Kaypakkaya analysed the rebellion and the behaviours he openly extracted the specific of the topic.
It is of vital importance that it is defined from whom and against what this rebellion advanced and the attitude towards this issue will start from that point. Because of that Kaypakkaya started his analysis with the critic to say that this rebellion of the Kurdish nation was a rebellion against national oppression. Of course the rebellion didn’t consist of this but it was the main forte of the rebellion. Kaypakkaya was able to see this forte and acted accordingly. Even if England had “their hands” in this, it doesn’t change the specialty of the rebellion. Of course it is an important question to unmask England and acknowledge the masses about this. Communists’ follows a policy in where it supports the democratic content of the rebellion of an oppressed nation and on the other hand is against the support of imperialism; because, ultimately the primary task is to struggle against forcible suppression against the national rebellion. To unmask the games of imperialism and to eliminate it is a task that comes afterwards. Let’s remember when comrade Kaypakkaya made this commentary he moved dissent to the reality of the assertion that this rebellion was led by the English he only accepted it as an assumption. To not to mention the civil war in a country and the positioning in the war are incoherent to revolutionary responsibilities. This is something that needs to be given priority.
What is going on in Syria?
For many years a very strict and tight BAAS regime is being implemented. A minority belonging to the Nusari communion rules over the Syrian people. Though it is known that the BAAS regime besides its denominational relation was claiming to be “left” and “secular”. The right of the people to decide their own future is systematically violated in every stage. The regime has everything under its control and has made a strong net all over the place. This net, which can solely be destroyed by a organized people’s movement still can stand on its feed because of the external help (the reactionary states in the region, in the past Russian Social imperialism-‐RSI-‐ now Russia, until a certain degree the European states) and also internally from the militarist forces of the feudal-‐bureaucrat bourgeois sector.
Even though Assad’s family belongs to the Nusari communion who is a minority, because they interiorize secularism (to organize the functioning of society life, administration and law independently from religion) has given them an opportunity of an moderately balance and quite a big number of military and secret agency structures have taken effective roles in the observing of this balance; and it has been by the courtesy of them that the balance has been protected.
A big majority of the people has not been very comfortable with the living standards and violations to their rights, but due to intensive repression this has been kept cowed for many years. Although the people in Syria are from different communions and nationalities it is to be regretted that until today there has never been a common resistance and struggle against the minority in power and even today such level has not been reached.
Religious communities generally prefer the allegiance with the state power through the fear of being destroyed and denied, especially the Kurds due to the common policies of the states in the area have not been granted any status and they have not been able to strongly go against the violations towards them. Of course herein, because the Kurds that live here mainly focus on the other matters of the national question play an important role. The most distinct weakness of the left forces in the country is their reconciliatory line towards the reactionaries and imperialism. Of course RSI has contributed a lot to this line, indubitable themain elements are those who defend and promote this line. It can be seen clearly that they take their position around the power.
The people have started to mobilize for change
What finally has started to advance within the Arab people as a movement with democratic character had a serious impact on the dynamics in many countries. The people were affected by the peoples’ rebellion in Tunisia and Egypt and in many countries in Africa and the Middle East, the masses started to bring out their dissatisfaction against the powers of their countries, for this reason many states were forced to apply other options. Of course those options are not independent from the profits of the ruling classes and the imperialist forces of which they are lackeys to.
At the same time the people’s rebellions were not successful under these forcible options, they weren’t able to change their regimes and even were purposely directed towards collaborationist forces in order to be defeated. Though this cannot be a reason to ignore how starting the rebellions showed themselves in the beginning and how many mass actions took place and how many slogans were chanted, and we also cannot ignore the existence of the just, revolutionary and democratic demands brought forward during those actions.
The people, have not explained the people’s rebellion, or organized it, with all its many specialities it didn’t focus on victory, it didn’t prepare for it even if it had a revolutionary understanding it had the aspiration for change for this it started to mobilize and for this took actions. This reality cannot be changed through the fact that they are without a communist leadership-‐ this means that this is already a question of communist line and even it is a universal question-‐ the masses don’t mover rather if there is a communist line or not. When the masses are in a rebellion under very heavy conditions whenever they find an opportunity they can revolt. This situation doesn’t detract from the revolutionary character of the rebellion but it can affect its success and sustainability.
Two convulsive examples; Bin Ali and Mubarak!
When the first rage of the Syrian people against the government together with the movement of the rebellion in the region marched into the streets the reactionary forces and imperialism were not there. On the contrary, as everybody knows, through the Turkish state (TR) the imperialists started a period of “chasten” endeavour and for this a possibility of an agreement was there! Can we ever forget that Basher Assad is one of the closest friends of PM R.T. Erdogan’s family? The Annapolis negotiations and the period afterwards are mainly known. That period was set on the concept to isolate Iran, to leave the Hezbollah without any support, and to agree on the hegemony of the Saudi regime, and to comply with the profits of the US in the region.
Now, with the new atmosphere created by the Arab rebellions, putting the ‘despot’ Assad regime in the target with its weakness in the dynamics it relies on does not and should not make us believe that imperialism is the creator of the current people’s movement.
As a matter of fact all the periods immediately follow after are not compatible with this situation. The demands and desires of the people from Assad, are not the same as the demands of the imperialists, the Arab reactionaries or what the Turkish state wants. This is the only reason in explaining why some of the forces (rebels) on an important degree contravene with the “popular opposition”! On the other side, we do not believe that international organizations that go back even to Al-‐Qaida are a dynamic or generate one of the dynamics of these rebellions.
We should not be convinced by the classic explanations of the ruling classes against the popular! Of course these forces are part of this period, they are descend/swarm upon the popular opposition/movement that posses the real dynamics. In order to use the present “movement” in their own interest these groups participated in this period afterwards. This is how the reactionaries and imperialism works, it’s their mode of moving. We are not a stranger to such policies of imperialism if a power, which is about to break -‐ even if it is a puppet of imperialism-‐ the imperialists, would for a new and relatively dynamic overthrow the present power. Two staggering and close examples are still very up-‐to-‐date; Bin Ali and Mubarak!
If there is no occupation the sharp arrowhead should turn against the reactionary power! Considering all of this; our main and primary responsibility towards Syria is it to defend the masses that revolt and support their demands for freedom, a life with dignity, secured work etc. To try to gather the masses around Assad would be a concern of revolutionaries, to put it mildly it would be very oversight and careless!
Imperialism and the regional reactionary forces (call themselves “friends of Syria”, but in reality all they want is to take benefit for their own profits out of this chaos) and they claim that they are against Assad, but their real intention is to intervene to the “change” and to secure their profits. Imperialism is not solid as a whole. In the region and in Syria there are conflicts amongst imperialist cliques. Basher Assad, as a leader of a dictatorship, doesn’t take its power from the people. He, right now, is busy suppressing the people’s demands and rebellion. He cannot say yes to the cease -‐fire call of the imperialists, because he has to suppress the peoples’ rebellion. The imperialists are not against this kind of suppression, if Assad is overthrown they still want a loyal lackey to be in power. And although a certain majority of some people who claim to be in support of Assad and do not approve to these collaborators demand a change from Assad.
The Kurds in Syria have declared Autonomy
In Syria there is a Kurdish population of about 600 thousand (Kürt dağı-‐Kobani, Afrin, Haseki, Halep) who mainly came in the 1920’s to escape the oppression of the TR, virtually are “not there” today. These people do not have any official status and was denied by the Assad regime and faced destruction and assimilation. Though the Kurds in Syria had started especially in the 1950’s to advance their organizations. This struggle of existence and to proof their existence and to get themselves accepted has continued until this day. When the Arab rebellions were hitting Syria, the Kurds there speed up their organizing on their demands. The Syrian Kurds had a distance relationship to the National Council of Syria (SUK) which is mainly compound by the Muslim Brotherhood and who denied the Kurds, but Kurds also never headed towards any actions directly against the Assad regime too, they have preferred to advance their own organizations.
Assad on one side aimed to destroy the opposition and on the other side was holding the Kurdish issue like a trump in response to the TR by being more flexible in its policies towards the Kurds, this brought new opportunities and the Syrian Kurds evaluated these opportunities well. In that period the Kurds were continuing their negotiations on their demands with SUK and on the other side putted all their forces to work for autonomy.
With the affect that the population relatively lives small and disconnected from each other in the cities and the villages brought the decision of the Syrian Kurds to define their fundamental struggle for a democratic, administrative autonomy, instead for a independent state. In this axis schools teaching native tongue were promoted, hospitals were built, and regional governing was advanced and their unity was strengthened. Within this context on July 9th-‐12th the Kurdish National Council, which has about 12 Kurdish organizations, and the Democratic Unity Party that is ideologically close to the PKK found the North Kurdistan Council in Erbil.
The most important actor inside these forces is the PYD whose tradition goes all the way back to the 1950’s and that has an armed militia force and is the most massive force. The PYD that has until today expressed the demands of the Syrian Kurds has watched an imperturbable policy and stayed out of the clashes. With the weakening of the central state authority the Kurds in Syria took over the administration. Even if the future of Syria is indefinite yet the Syrian Kurds to not intend to step back from their self -‐administrations.
The Turkish state is more royalist than the King!
Since the first day the people’s movement has started in Syria the main topic that has been important for Turkey, the lackey of US imperialism was the Kurdish agenda. No one should think that the Turkish state would stand idle. The Turkish ruling classes are not comfortable with the present developments in the neighbouring country.
The present developments have become an inspiration source for the Kurdish nation and the Kurdish movement has been motivated and it has created a concrete example that the Kurdish people can be mobilized. Turkey, which suppressed the situation in Iraq Kurdistan in the past, will not be able to suppress the situation in Syria Kurdistan.
In our country the Turkish ruling class, which are the biggest hindrance in front of the “Kurdish question”, is going to be pushed more into a corner. This situation is going to increase the aggression. We can foresee that the recent developments on the border to Turkey and the “clashes/encounters” will be used by the Turkish state to incite the people in Turkey against Syria through Turkish nationalism. We must unmask all the games of Turkey over Syria and its relations with imperialism, but on the other hand we cannot make the mistake to defend and support the Assad regime just because he claims to be “against imperialism”.
On Thursday thousands of people in many regions in Turkey have protested against an upcoming resolution by the Turkish state to intervene in Syria. Demonstrators were arrested and beaten by police forces. It is important to be in solidarity with the people in Syria and protest against the Turkish fascist state and also the Assad regime and the imperialists.
Partizan – October 2012