Agence France-Presse (France), July 3, 2013 — Syria: Morsi’s Departure Key to Solving Egypt Crisis…..Egypt will overcome its current crisis if President Mohamed Morsi leaves office, Syria’s Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi said on Wednesday, as massive protests against the Islamist leader went into their fourth day….Egypt’s “security and unity are a national responsibility”, Zohbi told a news conference broadcast by state television….”Egypt will be able to overcome its crisis if Morsi realizes that the vast majority of the Egyptian people refuse his presence and are calling for his departure,” he added….”Those who are loyal to the (Egyptian) nation should side by the people, and against the terrorism of the Muslim Brotherhood” movement from which Morsi hails….There is long-standing animosity between the Syrian regime and the Muslim Brotherhood, and membership in the group has been punishable by death in Syria since the 1980s….The Syrian branch of the Brotherhood today plays a key role in the exiled opposition National Coalition, which is recognized by more than 100 states and organizations as legitimate representative of the Syrian people….Zohbi launched a verbal attack on Monday as well against Morsi — who last month severed ties with Syria — saying the Brotherhood had proven a failure in Egypt….Egypt is Sunni Muslim, as a are the vast majority of rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar Assad whose Alawite sect is an offhshoot of Shiite Islam….Morsi has repeatedly called for Assad to step down….More than 100,000 people have been killed in Syria’s war, says the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Haaretz (Israel), July 3 — U.S. urges Morsi to listen to Egyptian people; Israeli diplomats to stay away….In phone call at end of an African tour, President Obama told Morsi that the political crisis can only be resolved by talking with his opponents; Israeli Embassy staff in Cairo to remain in Israel due to unrest.
Politico.com (US), July 3 — The U.S. Government Wednesday panned Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s most recent speech to the Egyptian people, saying the address fell short of detailing the reforms the Egyptian leader needed to promise to quell massive street protests….The comments expressed a greater degree of U.S. dissatisfaction with Morsi than previously acknowledged by U.S. officials. However, Psaki insisted that the criticism did not reflect a U.S. decision to back the opposition or the military….”We haven’t taken sides and don’t plan to take sides,” Psaki said. She acknowledged that she had no criticism to offer of the Egyptian military, despite a warning from military leaders that they would step in if Morsi’s government and protesters did not come to an accomodation….Psaki declined to outline specific steps the U.S. would like Morsi to take, beyond avoiding violence. However, she disputed claims by many protesters that U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson had sided with the government over the opposition….In a speech two weeks ago, Patterson said she and the U.S. were “deeply skeptical” that protests would bring about positive change in Egypt.
The Voice of Russia,16 June, 2012 – Morsi’s renouncement of ties with Assad accords with Western polices – analysts…..The recent decision of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to cut diplomatic ties with Syria is “harmonious” with the Western policies against Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad
The Telegraph (UK), 30 Aug 2012– Morsi tells Iran that Syria’s Assad must go….In a key diplomatic snub, Egypt’s new leader used his first visit to Iran to tell his hosts they had chosen the wrong side in the Syrian civil war…..Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood official who became Egypt’s first democratically elected president in June, aroused concern in the west that his decision to attend a meeting of the non-aligned movement in Tehran marked a shift in the country’s pro-western foreign policy….But he used his keynote speech to the meeting to call on the Assad regime in Syria, Iran’s closest ally, to step down. “We should all express our full support to the struggle of those who are demanding freedom and justice in Syria and translate our sympathies into a clear political vision that supports peaceful transfer to a democratic system,” he said….As he spoke, the Syrian foreign minister, Walid al-Muallem, walked out. He told state television that Mr Morsi’s speech interfered in Syrian internal affairs and “incited continued bloodshed”….Mr Morsi’s attendance at the conference represented the first visit by an Egyptian president to Tehran since the 1979 Iranian revolution put the two countries on opposite sides in the struggle between America and its allies and the so-called “axis of resistance”….But he has also been keen to insist that while the new Egypt will be open to all countries in the Middle East, it will stick to old agreements, including the peace deal with Israel.
Published on Feb 8, 2013
DemocracyNow.org – President Obama’s nominee to run the CIA, John Brennan, forcefully defended Obama’s counterterrorism policies, including the increase use of armed drones and the targeted killings of American citizens during his confirmation hearing Thursday. “None of the central questions that should have been asked of John Brennan were asked in an effective way,” says Jeremy Scahill, author of the forthcoming book “Dirty Wars.” “In the cases where people like Sen. Angus King or Sen. Ron Wyden would ask a real question, for instance, about whether or not the CIA has the right to kill U.S. citizens on U.S. soil. The questions were very good — Brennan would then offer up a non-answer. Then there would be almost a no follow-up.” Scahill went on to say, “[Brennan has] served for more than four years as the assassination czar, and it basically looked like they’re discussing purchasing a used car on Capitol hill. And it was total kabuki oversight. And that’s a devastating commentary on where things stand.
[The conflict in Syria has been the subject of much twisted coverage by the US and EU and its surrogates, by supporters of anti-US bourgeois nationalists, by partisans of Russian imperialism against US hegemonists, by advocates of the regional power of the Iranian Islamic Republic, and by “pragmatic opportunists” who wink at the role of Saudi Arabia/Bahrain/GCC. Many people, outraged at the mass suffering and mass killing of Syrian people, have been justifiably confused, especially as the issues have been distorted by imperialist and reactionary medias which serve these interests. And to confuse even more, many of the reactionary medias proclaim themselves as anti-imperialist, though careful reading reveals these to be promoting one reactionary power versus another.
We recently received the following statement and analysis of the situation in Syria from revolutionary Maoists in Brazil. Views of revolutionary internationalists have too rarely been heard on this issue, and so we present these views as a good counterpoint to the prevailing revisionist and reactionary accounts. We believe these comrades in Brazil have done significant groundwork toward the analysis needed.
There are some aspects of this analysis which require more work and debate, in our view. In particular, their argument that People’s War–if defined as China’s revolutionary military strategy–is universally applicable to all countries, is a view we do not share. Our understanding that the Maoist strategic conception of People’s War, (as summarized by the phrase, “surrounding the cities from the countryside”), only applies to feudal, semi-feudal, colonial and semi-colonial societies, where repressive power in the countryside is sufficiently weak that people’s revolutionary war, seizing and expanding significant liberated areas is an accurately applied historic strategem. In other countries, where reactionary state power is effectively deployed everywhere, a long period of amassing revolutionary political forces through primarily political , not military, struggle, must precede the armed struggle for state power. These general categories and strategies have often been taken literally, without detailed investigation and analysis, at great and disastrous cost to revolutionary forces. The need for detailed study of concrete conditions is especially indicated by the ongoing changes in capitalist-imperialist production, distribution, and state power–and the distribution and growth of people’s forces.
But some use the term People’s War, not in the sense of the “countryside-overtaking-city” strategem, but synonymous with people’s armed struggle for power in all variety of circumstance–as a statement of principle, in opposition to the revisionist and social-democratic notion of the “peaceful, electoral” road to power. In this sense, People’s War (where the masses take up the gun against reactionary power, and where the gun is led by revolutionary politics) is a universal revolutionary principle. — Frontlines ed.]
Proletarian and oppressed peoples of the whole world, united!
Statement of the Revolutionary Front in Defence of the People’s Rights, RFDPR, Brasil, on the present situation in Syria
DOWN THE IMPERIALIST ALLOTMENT IN SYRIA!
LONG LIVE THE PEOPLE’S WAR OF THE PEOPLES IN ALL COUNTRIES!
“The combat to imperialism and reaction without the inseparable combat to opportunism is nothing but empty phraseology”.
Lenin: “Imperialism and the splitting of socialism”.
The nation of Syria has been suffering a bloody imperialist plundering war in the shape of a civil war. Assad’s armed forces and the so-called free army of Syria are the contestants of this inter-imperialist dispute for the Syrian territory. Syria has been converted into a new treachery for the anti-imperialist world resistance and the newest enclave of the inter-imperialist struggles.
At the present conditions of this struggle development any result will not bring any advance for the Syrian people and nation; it will only deepen the imperialist dominance over the country and oppression on the people since until now an independent and organized intervention of the armed masses has lacked of a proletarian vanguard even very little constituted.
The March 2011 revolt was a spontaneous mass uprising against a fascist regime led by Bashar al Assad and it is part of an overwhelming wave of people’s rebellions that happened all over the North of Africa and Middle East. The mass rebellions awakened in those countries, despite being developed in an unconscious form and not having a proletarian leadership, have the same root: they are antifascist, anti-feudal and anti-imperialist ones.
The revolt is a just rebellion against a bureaucratic comprador regime at the service of imperialism mostly Russian that has been controlled for decades by the Assad dynasty.
The Yankee imperialism has taken advantage from the situation, as for instance in all Arabic countries rebellions, manipulating the mass struggle, deviating them from the revolutionary path, to guarantee their interests in the region. The intelligentsia services for the imperialist coalition forces have formed and armed a mercenary army self-named Syria’s Free Army –SFA, directed commanded by their agents with the aim of changing the Syrian regime. Thus the USA wants to change the Russian control over Syria, breaking with the relationship with Hezbollah, surround and isolate Iran and prepare the grounds to attack it.
All this complex plan in the Middle East and North of Africa is part of a new war of imperialist plundering and allotment against the peoples. The Yankee imperialism, still being an unique and hegemonic superpower in the world, has declared its objective to create a map of a “New Middle East”, that is, a Middle East totally controlled by the USA, without the influence and interference of other imperialist powers and mostly without the people’s armed resistance of the masses.
The Yankee imperialism, amidst a deep and protracted crises, hit by the people of the world, mostly in the main front of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and by the people’s wars in India, the Philippines, Turkey and Peru, with its hegemony questioned by the inter-imperialist struggle, is more and more at the verge of an unprecedented war.
In this context, the events in Syria are firstly and mostly part of the contradiction between oppressed peoples/countries and imperialist powers; secondly, the inter-imperialist contradiction that could convert into the principal contradiction. This one happens through the dispute for the control of colonies and semi-colonies accumulating and being able to develop into a direct confront in the form of a new world imperialist war. Continue reading
[The views and voice of the Syrian revolutionary left has been difficult to hear amidst the clamor of contending distortions by international media–whether Western, Russian, Chinese, or from within the Middle East. We are seeking more information from popular secular forces involved in the uprising–including more information about the revolutionary left forces. The following is an important statement and analysis by the Revolutionary Left in Syria, detailing the role and relations of the various forces within Syria and of the world imperialist and regional forces who have been attempting to seize control of the uprising. We will report further materials confirming and contextualizing this, as they become available. — Frontlines ed.]
“The major Western imperialists powers, and other world imperialist powers such as Russia and China, as well as regional ones such as Iran and Turkey, in their entirety and without exception, continue to try to implement a Yemeni-type solution in Syria – in other words, to cut off the head of the regime, the dictator Bashar Al Assad, while keeping its structure intact, as was witnessed during meetings between U.S. and Russian officials, or at the international conference in June 30 in Geneva. The only sticking point is the Russian position of still trying by all means to keep Assad in power, but Russia may sacrifice this in the near future to protect its interests in Syria. The United States in turn has repeatedly expressed its desire to preserve the structure of the military and security services intact.” – from the Open Letter of the Syrian Revolutionary left
The resistance of the Syrian people has not ceased to grow since the revolutionary process began in March 2011. The struggle of the Syrian people is part of the popular struggles in Tunisia and Egypt, which has spread to other countries in the region.
Similarly, the Syrian revolutionary process is part of the global anti-capitalist struggles. The “Indignados” or “occupied” movements and occupations have taken their inspiration from the Arab revolutions. More than 700 cities in over 70 countries have resonated and for some still resonate of slogans and demands of a movement that demonstrates against poverty and the power of finance. In the same time, the resistance of the Greek people against the dictates imposed by financial agencies and notations is also a battle for dignity and social justice, but also the emancipation against the capitalist order and not its submission, joining the struggles of the peoples of the region.
The Syrian uprising, arising out of the global financial and economic crisis is also a revolt against the neoliberal policies imposed by the authoritarian regime, and encouraged by international financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB).
The neoliberal policies were used to dismantle and to weaken increasingly the public services in the country, to the removal of subsidies, especially for basic necessities, while accelerating the privatization process, often in favor of the ruling and bourgeois classes linked to the political power.
The neoliberal reforms of the regime have encouraged a policy based on the reception and the welcoming of foreign direct investment, the development of exports and of the service sector, especially tourism. The repressive apparatus of this country has served as a “security agent” for these companies, protecting them of all disorders or social demands. This State has played the role of matchmaker for foreign capital and multinationals, while ensuring the enrichment of a bourgeois class linked to the regime.
The ills and consequences of these neoliberal policies in Syria are numerous. This includes the high rate of unemployment, particularly among young university graduates who cannot find opportunities in an economy now focused on low value-added jobs, and where skilled labor is scarce, or characterized by underemployment, a direct consequence of these measures. Continue reading
Report denounces weapons to Israel as AIPAC assembles
by News Sources on March 5, 2012
The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation just released its first policy paper, “U.S. Military Aid to Israel: Policy Implications & Options,” [PDF] which calls for the United States to end military aid to Israel.
The paper highlights the following facts, among others:
- From 2000 to 2009, the United States appropriated $24.1 billion of military aid to Israel, transferring more than 670 million weapons, rounds of ammunition, and related equipment.
- From 2000 to 2009, Israel killed at least 2,969 unarmed Palestinians, including 1,128 children, often with U.S. weapons in violation of the Foreign Assistance Act and Arms Export Control Act.
- From 2009 to 2018, the United States is scheduled to give Israel $30 billion in military aid, a 25 percent annual average increase over previous levels of military aid, despite its negative political and strategic ramifications.
- From the Eisenhower to Bush, Sr. Administrations, at least 10 times the United States conditioned aid to Israel, threatened to cut off aid to Israel, or sanctioned Israel for violating U.S. laws and/or working against foreign policy objectives.
- Since 2000, Members of Congress and/or the State Department have investigated or requested investigations into Israel’s potential misuse of U.S. weapons at least five times; however, no public action has been taken to hold Israel accountable for its violations of U.S. laws.
- With the same amount of money that the United States gives each year to fund weapons for Israel, the federal government could instead fund affordable housing vouchers for 350,000 low-income families, or green jobs training for 500,000 unemployed workers, or early reading programs for 900,000 at-risk students, or primary health care to 24 million people without insurance.
Source: War in Context
[It may be that most war criminals do not talk much about war crimes and international law, for obvious reasons. But this is not true for imperialists, who, along with their dictatorial friends and Zionist allies, carry out the largest crimes against humanity, yet arrogantly claim the mantle of “humanitarian” wars and occupations “to spread democracy and justice.” The US and Israel do not submit to the authority of international law, or of the International Criminal Court, which they nevertheless invoke against defiant warlords, bullies, and petty criminals who refuse to serve imperial designs. In fact, the Iraqi regime, however much their roots were as puppets of the US occupation, were unwilling to further extend the immunity of US soldiers from prosecution for war crimes, under Iraqi law. And this was the reason for the withdrawal of US troops–and why the “democratic” claims of the US ring hollow, around the world. So, too, are the claims of Israel to be “the only democracy in the middle east”–far too many know the history of the removal of Palestinians from historic Palestine–ethnic cleansing–and of Israeli’s apartheid “double standard” toward Palestinians, to even consider that phony, arrogant, and racist claim. This article by Joe Catron in Ma’an breaks this down. — Frontlines ed.]
As Israeli Apartheid Week unfolds around the world, apologists for Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people scramble to defend their chosen regime’s system of racism, ethnic cleansing, and occupation, against the charge of apartheid.
“The apartheid analogy is fatally flawed,” the Jerusalem Connection’s Shelley Neese writes. The David Project’s David Bernstein says, “The apartheid analogy is specious and absurd.” The Anti-Defamation League has even circulated an old report: “The Apartheid Analogy: Wrong for Israel.”
These commentators are right, but not for the reasons they claim. An apartheid ‘analogy’ is fatally flawed, specious, absurd, and wrong for Israel because apartheid is not an analogy, but a crime as well-defined in law as embezzlement or kidnapping.
The most relevant statute, the 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, perhaps muddies the waters by stating that “the term ‘the crime of apartheid’ … shall include similar practices of racial segregation and discrimination as practiced in southern Africa.”
But it goes on to define exactly what those and other “inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them” are.
Most will sound familiar to anyone who follows news from Palestine. The ban on “arbitrary arrest and illegal imprisonment of the members of a racial group or groups” should bring to mind Hana Shalabi, Khader Adnan, and 307 other administrative detainees held indefinitely without charges, evidence, or trials. This is further to the 4,078 Palestinian political prisoners sentenced by military courts or facing the imminent prospect, all under occupation laws no Jew will ever face.
The prohibition of “measures calculated to prevent a racial group or groups from participation in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the country” could have been meant to describe discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel. Continue reading
[Those who were encouraged by the Arab Spring extending from country to country early this year–including into Libya, against the corrupt and brutal Gaddafi regime–have been sobered by the apparent suppression of the most democratic and revolutionary currents among the rebels, and the growing power of former Gaddafi officials, gangs, and neo-compradors in leading ranks of the rebel military fighters. We can hope the revolutionary forces driven underground will surface again, and soon, and struggle to put Libya on course for truly revolutionary transformations. But today, our hearts go out to the vast numbers who have suffered untold tragedies at the hands of vindictive, non-democratic, and non-revolutionary forces. — Frontlines ed.]
Oct 27 2011
by Seumas Milne
As the most hopeful offshoot of the “Arab spring” so far flowered this week in successful elections in Tunisia, its ugliest underside has been laid bare in Libya. That’s not only, or even mainly, about the YouTube lynching of Qaddafi, courtesy of a NATO attack on his convoy.
The grisly killing of the Libyan despot after his captors had sodomised him with a knife, was certainly a war crime. But many inside and outside Libya doubtless also felt it was an understandable act of revenge after years of regime violence. Perhaps that was Hillary Clinton’s reaction, when she joked about it on camera, until global revulsion pushed the US to call for an investigation.
As the reality of what western media have hailed as Libya’s “liberation” becomes clearer, however, the butchering of Qaddafi has been revealed as only a reflection of a much bigger picture. On Tuesday, Human Rights Watch reported the discovery of 53 bodies, military and civilian, in Qaddafi’s last stronghold of Sirte, apparently executed – with their hands tied – by former rebel militia.
Its investigator in Libya, Peter Bouckaert, told me yesterday that more bodies are continuing to be discovered in Sirte, where evidence suggests about 500 people, civilians and fighters, have been killed in the last 10 days alone by shooting, shelling and Nato bombing. Continue reading