Statement by the CRFI: Hands off Syria and it’s people

Stop the imperialist aggression!

Imperialist troops, fleets, bases and mercenaries out of the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean!

The Coordinating Committee for the Refoundation of the Fourth International (CRFI) condemns and opposes resolutely the impending aggression led by US imperialism against Syria and its people. We call on the working class, the poor peasants, the youth and all oppressed peoples in the region and internationally to mobilize against this new crime against the Arab peoples and against humanity, to fight back and defeat imperialism and its plans.

Permanent war and devastation of entire populations in country after country are manifestations of the unprecedented economic crisis without a foreseeable end that has plunged world capitalism in its historic decay for six years now.

At the same time, the crisis manifests the political and strategic impasse facing the ruling classes and the imperialist forces due to the mobilizations of millions of people to fight the catastrophic impact of the measures of social cannibalism taken both in the metropolitan centres and in the periphery of the capitalist world by the capitalist governments, the IMF, the EU, the US and their servants to make the masses to pay for the crisis of the capitalists themselves.

The Arab revolution that started with the overthrow of the tyrants Ben Ali and Mubarak in 2011, despite all the setbacks and blows, is still the biggest threat to the rule of imperialism, Zionism, and of all the corrupt regimes of the Middle East. Imperialism has tried and is still trying desperately to restore its order by all means- military intervention in Libya, electoral manoeuvres, playing the Islamist card, either with the Muslim Brotherhood or with the Salafists, al Nusra and al Qaeda itself, the launching barbaric State repression by the local tyrannies, counter-revolutionary coups d’état as in Egypt, wars by proxy, use of mercenaries, hijacking the mass movements. Despite the blows that the popular masses and the revolution has suffered so far, imperialism and the local reactionary regimes have failed to re-establish their control in a volcanic region at the doors of a shaken Europe that has become a centre of the world crisis.

The imperialist war plans by the US Obama administration, supported openly by the British Prime Minister Cameron, by the social democrat President Hollande in France, and by other governments and regimes in the region, including the governments in Italy, Greece, and Turkey, have as their source this insoluble crisis and in turn feed it. The negative vote in the British parliament and the divisions inside the US ruling bodies themselves reflect this deepening of the splits within the capitalist class and its political governing bodies and institutions. No veil of lies and hypocrisy can hide the “humanitarian “barbarism of the aggressors.

Ten years after then US Secretary of State Colin Powell stared the world in the eye and lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to justify war on that country, imperialism has once again grabbed a most dubious opportunity to wage war against Syria. Even the agents of US imperialism cannot produce the slightest reason why Bashar El Assad would choose to use chemical weapons at this very moment, when he has the upper hand against the opposition in the military sphere, when Geneva II is being prepared, and when UN experts have just arrived in the country to inquire into the use of chemical weapons. Assad may very well have used chemical weapons. It is just that it remains to be demonstrated that he really has in this concrete situation.

In the 1980s, the US condoned the use of chemical weapons by Saddam first against the Iranians in his war against that country and subsequently on the Kurdish people of his own country. Later, in 1988-89, the US even supported the Iraqi army in its chemical operations through the provision of tactical intelligence, as was made clear only days ago on the basis of declassified CIA documents. That same US government is now hypocritically pretending that it is out to defend the Syrian masses from chemical weapons for humanitarian reasons!

The real motives behind the impending imperialist aggression on Syria are twofold. On the one hand, this is a revival, after the debacles of Iraq and Afghanistan, of imperialist policy to desperately control the sources of oil and natural gas from the Persian Gulf all the way to Central Asia so as to contain the rise of China and Russia. On the other, it is a tactical war in the strategic quest to crush the threat posed by Iran to Zionist Israel. Syria, along with Hezbollah in Lebanon and increasingly Shia-dominated Iraq, is the major ally of Iran in the region. That is why the imperialists are trying to topple the Baath regime in Syria, with Israel waiting in the wings.

The reactionary local forces of the Middle East have their own agenda as well. Saudi Arabia, the centre of reaction in the Arab world with, moreover its own brand of the most sclerotic Sunni fundamentalism of all, Wahhabism, and Qatar, the patron of the pan-Arab Muslim Brotherhood, are the leading lights of the fight against Iran. For this they adopt the mantle of the defenders of Sunni Islam as against the supposed onslaught of Shiism in the Middle East, provoking sectarian strife wherever possible. The Erdogan government in Turkey has become the executor of this policy concocted in those centres of reaction. It is these three countries that have benefited from an uprising of the dispossessed of Syria that started in March 2011 to wage their reactionary, pro-imperialist, sectarian war in that country.

The Erdogan government in Turkey has the further goal of using the impending war to quash the autonomous Kurdish region formed in the north of Syria in July 2012, a region now named Rojava (“West”, after the fact that this is the Western part of Kurdistan, a stateless country divided between and oppressed by Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria). Turkey has been impatient to wage war against Syria, both to destroy Rojava and to bring to power the Muslim Brotherhood so as to create a client state in its southern neighbour.

Citing humanitarian reasons for this imperialist intervention is laughable. The war in Iraq, waged on totally trumped up reasons, led to more than a million fatalities, leaving behind a legacy of covert sectarian war. The war on Syria is likely, either immediately or over time, to spread like wildfire all over the Middle East and beyond, with a potential threat of sectarian massacres of civilians in different countries.

The CRFI is totally opposed to the waging of an imperialist war on Syria. We have supported the uprising of the poor and dispossessed of Syria and will side with the revolution against the Assad regime in the future as well. But the war that is being prepared now has nothing in common with either the progressive goals or the forces of that insurrection. The CRFI stands on the side of Syria and its people and will do whatever is possible so that imperialism and Zionism, as well as the reactionary states of the region allying themselves with those forces, are defeated.


No to war on Syria!

Imperialism out of the Middle East!

Stop destroying the Middle East in the interests of Zionist Israel!

For the national rights of the Palestinian people!

Freedom to Rojava and self-determination for Kurdistan!

Stop preparations for a Sunni-Shia sectarian war in the Middle East!

For the Socialist Federation of the Middle East and North Africa!


September 2013

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