Syria’s Civil War really isn’t that difficult to understand. For the past four decades Syria was a totalitarian dictatorship. It was a fascist police state, institutionally racist, corrupt, free-market capitalist and run by an elite of rich cronies – the Assad dynasty. By 2011, many Syrians were fed up with this shite state of affairs and, inspired by similar uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia against the ruling class, hit the streets demanding change. They were fed up of never-ending corruption and unemployment. They were fed up of skyrocketing poverty and social subsidies for the poor being slashed. They were angry that schoolkids had been tortured just for spraying anti-government graffiti. They were yearning for an end to oppressive dictatorship and for the freedom to control their country’s destiny. However the Assad government weren’t keen on this vision and shot back at the pro-democracy protesters. This provoked outrage across Syria. Assad’s murderous response to the protests gave dissidents no choice but to engage in armed struggle for freedom. What started off as protests for mild democratic reforms ended up being a full-blown revolution, led by peasants, workers, young people and the urban poor. For the past half-decade Syrian guerillas in the FSA have been fighting to topple the Assad dictatorship, but their insurrection has been met with many setbacks and betrayals. The rise of Daesh (which can be attributed to Assad’s brutality), the grubby deals between some sell-out Kurdish militias and the regime, international indifference to the suffering and imperialist bombing raids in the sky have caused untold complications. Added to the fact half a million (!!) Syrians have been killed, 12 million are domestically uprooted, millions have risked watery graves to get to Europe, and ancient cities have been blown to smithereens, it’s a sorry and desperate situation. Definitely the most pressing political issue of our time!
Sadly for much of the European left, it’s a different story. They’re not concerned with actual Syrian lives. They merely look through the ice-cold lens of geopolitics. They’ve lapped up a bullshit narrative about Assad being an anti-imperialist lionheart resisting foreign powers hellbent on regime change. Apparently there’s no moderate forces in Syria, just CIA sponsored, liver-eating jihadists. This annoys me. Incredible Syrian revolutionaries, opposition fighters and guerillas DO exist – obviously! They are diverse politically, ethnically, culturally, and religiously with Arabs, Kurds, Assyrians and Turkmen all involved in the fight for a new Syria. And whilst some reactionary, more fundamentalist factions do exist, the majority want democracy, civil liberties and an end to Assad’s tyranny. The Free Syrian Army is one of the primary armed wings of the opposition forces. It is made up of local self-defence militias and deserters from Assad’s army, and is largely committed to non-sectarianism and social justice. Some ‘woke’ Stalinist losers slander them as American proxies led by ‘Islamist fanatics’, but they’re pig-ignorant racists and can be forgotten.
The FSA are the good people in this whole situation. They are supported on the ground by local coordinating committees and revolutionary councils that organise demonstrations and strikes. Many are led by women and former political prisoners. The very fact these councils still exist and are delivering survival services to people in spite of the bombing raids, chaos on the streets and repressive political climate is amazing and a testament to the Syrian people’s resolve. It should also be noted, the Free Syrian Army aren’t just battling the Assad regime. They’re also effectively fighting Daesh and Al-Nusra as well, which is incredible considering the world has totally snubbed their pleas for weapons. There are some trashy leftists who’d have you believe the FSA and ISIL are in cahoots together, but we can take comfort in the stupidity of such people and ignore their delirious ill-informed ways. They’re simply wrong! The real baddies in Syria are the Assad government and the sectarian militias that have been imported to prop it up. Of course, Daesh are horrible and need to be defeated. They’re barbarians with a puritanical agenda who enslave women, throw gays off buildings, kill activists and massacre religious minorities. They are rightly portrayed as evil, but the largely-unknown reality is, Assad is FAR more brutal and murderous. He has killed way more civilians and displaced way more refugees. He basically allowed Daesh to flourish in the first place, and far from fighting them, he slyly cooperates with them against the pro-democracy rebels. Disgusting!
Assad is a textbook fascist. His murder weapons of choice include illegal barrel bombs, scud missiles, sarin gas and he’s no stranger to pulverising refugee camps either. And because his support base has been so diminished in recent years, he’s had to ship in a cabal of fighters from abroad to sustain him. You won’t find that many proper Syrians in his army now – but lots of revolutionary guards from Iran and Shia mercenaries from Iraq, shielded in the skies by Russian bombers instead. What a weird coalition! Lets not forget he also has unsavoury cheerleaders in the West too, like the BNP’s Nick Griffin, Front National’s Marine Le Pen and basically EVERY other neo-Nazi leader in Europe. You’d think, for the scores of gormless communists who idolise Assad these nauseating bedfellows would be a big wake-up call! But nooo. I’m also SO DONE with these lousy socialists defending Russia’s intervention. They’re idiots. If they had any sense they’d realise Russia is not ‘fighting terrorism’ but actually dropping deadly incendiary bombs on civilians. Why is there no leftist outrage about this? When America destroys a hospital, the world is livid, and rightly so. But when Russia does it, idiot left-wingers (who have the CHEEK to call themselves ‘internationalists’) shrug their shoulders and dismiss it as collateral damage! It makes me so mad. I just wish we could kill off this cringey love affair with Putin’s Russia full-stop. ‘He challenges American dominance!’, I hear the fascist apologist bleat. Fuck off. Who cares about his baseless ‘anti-imperialist’ credentials when he’s perpetuating a genocidal conflict in Syria. And back home in Mother Russia, Putin is destroying the free media, killing journalists and democracy activists, pouring cash into breakaway military juntas in East Ukraine, repressing Chechen nationalists and colluding with your ACTUAL Nazis in the persecution of LGBTQ Russians. If ‘the left’ had any sense or principles, they wouldn’t touch him with a 6ft bargepole. But they do. Hence, they’re idiots.
I don’t know what the solution to Syria’s civil war is. I’m obviously not a military strategist. But I think it’s blindingly fucking obvious that none of the world’s predatory powers, like America and Russia, want this courageous revolution to succeed. They want it quashed. They want the Assad regime stabilised, or for a fresh-faced despot to be installed as a replacement. Hell no! I say arm the Syrian revolutionaries and guerillas. Give them the quality weaponry and intelligence they need to consign Assad and Daesh to the dustbin of history. Push for the civilian protection measures, like a no-fly zone, to stop civilian neighbourhoods, hospitals, schools, mosques and bakeries being flattened. But lets face it – with Russia having a veto at the UN, a no-fly zone won’t be happening. They have developed an insatiable taste for bombing Syrian people to smithereens and won’t give that up easily. Therefore because of the sad political realities of our time I think it’s crucial rebels get anti-aircraft weaponry so they can shoot Russian-Syrian regime jets out the sky and protect their hard-won territories. We should also be having a way more generous response to the refugee crisis. We need well-regulated passages into Europe so that people don’t drown on dangerous routes or fall into the hands of traffickers and kidnappers. We need to fully fund rescue missions in the Med and Aegean seas, and demand local NATO navies stop sitting on their asses, get out there and actually save people! I would also like to see Scotland accept more refugees. The SNP government is positively committed to taking in 2,000 people, which is good, but our country is basically empty and we could easily manage to resettle way more – 10,000 at the very least, but I’m an open borders-kinda guy, so I would accept as many as possible.
In the mean time, all self-respecting leftists must reject the Assad dictatorship, Daesh and imperialist aggression in Syria. The Syrian police state must be dismantled, and the terrorist insurgency groups that have blossomed from its wickedness must be defeated as well. There will not be peace in Syria until both are gone. We must show total solidarity with the revolutionaries, human rights activists and ordinary Syrian civilians fighting for a free, pluralistic and democratic Syria, and in the mean time warmly welcome all displaced Syrians who arrive on European shores seeking safety and sanctuary.