When people fail to agree on naming an event, it is not only because they are approaching it from different angles, it is because the event itself is problematic and debatable. Most of analysts transcend calling what is going on in Arab Homeland as Arab Spring. However, the issue is not the name, but how to follow up and analyze the developments in its dramatic movement.
After eighteen months and a lot of differences between events in various Arab countries, one might pretend that a people’s movements took place in several Arab countries with different social components between one country and another which I adventure to call them Irhasat (mere beginnings of revolution). These Irhasat do not take place in vacuum. It is a social movement challenging counter-revolution (CR) which is entrenched in Arab Homeland for a full and long century. The early existence of the CR on the ground might explain why the CR responded fast and strong.
But, until this point there is no crucial problem. The problem stems from different and but bitter two facts:
- The absence of a leading party or political movement which if it does not ignite the Irhasat, at least is able to jump to the front of the movement and lead it;
- And the absence of political, national, if not class vision.
Unfortunately, since the beginning of Irhasat, many if not all of their leaders, and many Arab commentators, proudly declared that their movement was without political parties and without ideology. This might explain why it was easy for some political parties especially forces of Islamic Politicizing Religion (IPR) for example the Moslem Brotherhood, to hijack the movement through compromise with:
- the imperialist center,
- and the Gulf rentier regimes
- and sacrificing the top of the regime, and compromise with the apparatuses of the same ruling classes and army leadership, the case of Egypt, Yemen and Tunis.
The cases of Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen uncover that CR forces are internally represented by comprador, parasitic classes, and army leadership and indirect coordination with CR at the regional and international levels.
The case of regimes in Libya and Syria were different. While internal forces of CR were the same as it is in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen, they did not have the same power. That is why, the regional CR forces, the Gulf rentier regimes, Turkey, the Zionist Ashkenazi Regime (AZR), and the international CR forces of the US and EU jumped to the forefront of protests in Libya and Syria. In Libya, the CR attacked the country by all means; US/EU, Qatari/Saudi and UAE Air Forces raids destroyed the country’s infrastructure even before targeting Qhaddafi’s forces. The local CR forces appeared just after the destruction making victory signs, shooting in air and raising Salafi, Wahhabi al-Qaida and banners of colonial era.
Developments in Syria are similar and different. It began like Libya were armed gangs squads infiltrated and received weapons from Jordan which shoot civilians in the southern city of Dira’a but the western Gulf media directly accused the regular army for the crime.
All means has been used against Syria except air forces because of the strong veto by Russia and China against the old colonial powers and their lust to re-colonize Syria and the rest of Arab homeland by any means in addition to the fact that the wield imperialists are financially weak because of the financial/economic crisis. Additionally, the Syrian army is well trained and equipped in both spirit and weapons. But, we must consider that the fast response of the CR forces in both Libya and Syria especially the available of large amounts of weapons in the hands of civilians since the very beginning of events meant that the preparation for a long civil war started a long time before the beginning of the events. The surplus weapons in Libya made it now a base for terror in the north and the horn of Africa, a role similar to that of the ZAR but now from “Islamic Israel”.
This CR war by all means strengthens the argument that the mere beginning of demonstrations in Libya and Syria wasn’t popular peaceful protests but armed gangs which started to infiltrate the peaceful protests from its very beginning. This will be uncovered with time.
Targeting Resistance and Arab Nationalism
It is a fatal mistake to deal with each Arab country as an independent case, not only because CR front (US, EU, Gulf, Turkey and ZAR) is launching war jointly, but because many analysts do not consider the big reason behind the joint attack which is the victory of resistance against the ZAR 2000 and 2006, the steadfastness of Gaza 2009 and the resistance in Iraq and the role of Syria and Iran in that victory. The victorious resistance and the nationalist regime of Syria and revolutionary Islam of Iran, the New Block (NB), as a new camp in the region competing with and challenging the traditional dependent comprador regimes and the CR in general.
It must be noted that the conflict between the NB and the CR is an antagonistic one. Accordingly, both camps are going to fight to the end. The CR realized that its domination of the Arab Homeland is vitally challenged by the NB. What motivates the CR to fight fiercely are:
- The interests of US, EU and ZAR in the Arab countries.
- The stubborn economic and financial crisis in the core capitalist center
- And the recently emergence of the BRICS.
- The terrible future of Arab dependent regimes, especially of the Gulf. Those regimes which are absolutely against Arab nationalism deeply know that the Baa’th regime in Syria will never re-limit itself inside that country and they will eventually be its target.
In the last two decades the world witness three main developments which grew simultaneously and parallel to each other. One of them is the NB which grew during a direct challenge and struggle against the CR. But the other two were growing and fighting each other in new form of Cold War, i.e. indirect and gradual manner,
- The slowly decline of the traditional core capitalist center
- And in parallel to the unloudly emergence of the new poles, Russia and China.
Based on the Libyan lesson, Russia and China stand firmly in support of Syria. The emergence of the new poles put an end to the era which follows the collapse of the USSR and provided NATO with the chance to destroy Iraq, Serbia, Afghanistan and lately Libya.
My point here is that the goal of the capitalist West has nothing to do with democracy in Arab countries; the same is the goal of the Gulf client states and most of Arab League members. The West is directly targeting the possible re-emerge of Arab nationalism through targeting resistance in Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine. This policy, at its core, is targeting Syria, and is benefiting all forces of CR front especially Moslem Brothers, al-Qaida, the ZAR and the Gulf rentier regimes.
Nationalist Regimes Must Change
It is not sufficient guarantee for any regime just to be patriotic, nationalist, progressive, and socialist. The sole guarantee for any regime to last is its success to gain popular support. The case of Arab Gulf regimes is peculiar since they are ‘protected’ by colonial military bases, i.e. ’legalized’ occupation.
There is no doubt that it is impossible for any regime to be supported by all social classes. But at least, for a regime to last, it must gain support of popular majority, i.e. the popular classes through some form of hegemony. In a relative manner, the Syrian regime gained this support in the era between 1960’s-1990’s through policies of agrarian reform, creating public sector, implementing some socialist measures, free education and medical services, rejecting normalization with ZAR, maintaining nationalist education from kindergarten until university levels, and staying out of the US/EU umbrella. These policies have contributed to the deepening of patriotism, secularism and Arab nationalism among Syrian masses.
Unfortunately, the last twenty years, especially the last decade, the Syrian regime has failed to continue the same economic policy and started implementing neo-liberal policies, called the policy of social market. The results of this policy were corruption, deep class differentiation, nepotism and high unemployment. Another important consequence of such policy was the large marginalization of young educated and uneducated people.
During the era 1960s-2000, the Syrian regime remained in power due to three main pillars:
- The long tradition of its social and nationalist policies.
- The powerful security apparatuses.
- The existence of the USSR which made foreign invasion difficult.
Following the collapse of the USSR and the adoption of neo-liberal policies, the regime lost a lot of its power. The iron fist can’t alone maintain the regime in power. At least it needs one of the lost two pillars: good economic conditions and/or the foreign superpower ally, i.e. the USSR. Fortunately, the current crisis took place in parallel with the rise of new Russia and China poles on the one hand, and the lesson of Libya, not to mention the Iraq lesson before, on the other hand.
At the regional level, during the last decades, the Syrian regime adopted a moderate even compromising policy towards the dependent and reactionary Arab regimes. This policy reflected the decline of Arab Liberation Movement with its main components the Arab nationalists and Arab Communists. The Ba’ath truce with the anti-nationalist regimes (Iqlimi) especially in the Gulf states gave the latter a golden opportunity to appear like the “good people who donate money” for charitable associations, publishing millions of books, booklets of Wahhabi ideology …etc. Using money in a large ‘charitable, manner enabled the Gulf reactionary and comprador rulers to cover their dangerous relationship with NATO and their indirect normalization with ZAR.
In other words, the revolutionary nationalist and Communist parties and intellectuals have been relatively disappearing since 1970s except for the steadfastness of a few genuine Marxist/Arabist intellectuals who devoted a lot of their work to fight imperialism, globalism, dependency on the West and ZAR. Since that time, the 1970s, there has been a few explanation or criticism to the fundamentalist’s media, the neo-liberal policies, and the client Arab states…etc. This had catastrophic effects on Syria which itself fell in the same shameful truce.
The opposite was the stand of western formal and even leftist media backed by many liberal intellectuals and renegade Arab Communists who continue their campaign again Arab nationalism, unity of the Arab nation, and nationalist regimes, from Nasser of Egypt, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Ghaddifi of Libya and Syrian Assad. The main sign of the success of the CR campaign is demonstrated in the difference between Arab masses demonstrations against the NATO war against Iraq 1991 and 2003 and the current invasion against Libya and Syria.
We witness the result of this wicked campaign which shows the face of Gulf rulers as “nice” people, but the nationalist leaders as evils. This might explain why Arab masses, despite the fact that they are busy with their own problems, did not protest in support of Syria as a country and as people.
In addition to all of that, Syrian regime fell into other fatal mistakes. One of them is the compromise with Arab reactionary regimes that have always been against its policies and ideology. This compromise opened an opportunity for those Gulf rentier regimes to infiltrate the Syrian social fabric through money and politicized religion. These two weapons, money and politicized religion, have penetrated large social fractions of the poor, unemployed and marginalized people whose situation deteriorated following the regime’s adoption of neo-liberal policies. For these social groups, Gulf money was used to provide salaries and even some money for their families in the event of being killed in the war that was being launched by politicized religion against Libya and now against Syria. Gulf’s money and politicized religion provide the naïve al-Qaida, Wahhabis and Salafis fighters with two paradises:
- One of today in the form of money paid to them and their families.
- And the other paradise is in heaven.
In this case, poverty was clearly “bribed” and the direction of the struggle was deviated to the opposite of the real target, i.e. class struggle.
Another fatal mistake is that the Syrian regime attempted to make balance in its regional relationship between Iran and Turkey. The regime dreamt for zero problems with Turkey, paying a heavy price by opening its borders and markets for Turkish goods which badly affected the Syrian industry especially in Aleppo. This policy failed because Turkish Islamists choose to maintain the same vision of Turkey’s role in the twentieth century, i.e. to be an enemy to Arab nationalism as a NATO member and an ally with ZAR since its creation in occupied Palestine in 1948.
Revolution as an Image of Intellectuals
Some Arab writers pretend that the participation of the poorer classes in the current events is promising class struggle. They try to impose arbitrarily their wishful thinking. It is certain that a lot of poorer people are protesting and even fighting, especially in Syria. But to be poor, doesn’t mean that you are a revolutionary or even a potential revolutionary. Without class political consciousness and Communist leading party, the protests of poor people will fall into the hands of upper classes and the bourgeois interests. This might be proved by many cases in the world. But in the current Arab cases, it is worse and dangerous. The popular fluid protests have been used to disintegrate the Qutri state to mini sectarian states as part of the Third Wave of Nationalism. It is the blood of the poor classes which was shed for Qutri and sectarian states not for a united Arab independent state or a socialist one.
Other group of Arab “Marxist” intellectuals, even after 18 months of events is still supporting the CR war against Syria, picking any little mistake of resistance movements especially those of Hezbollah and giving lip services to the dependent Gulf monarchies where women are not counted among human beings. Some of these intellectuals are ridden by dogmatic and strait –jacket Marxism on the one hand, and by their bitter internal feelings of defeat in conducting their revolutionary dreams which put them in a position of hatred against any victories resistance movement on the other, a position which enlarges the gap between them and popular classes. This position places these intellectuals in one or two camps:
- Either indirect supporters of neo-liberalism;
- Or dreamers who believe that the current events are proletarian revolutions despite the fact that they are carried on by men of beards, oil money and NATO weapons.
Syria and CR Plans
The CR plans for Syria are very clear. The West, ZAR and Arab Gulf rulers are in harmony and ready for two possibilities, both of which include the destruction of Syria:
- Either they will succeed and topple the Syrian regime and re-colonize a destroyed country but rich, like Libya. Then they will divide the country and start what so-called business of re-building it by Arab money, a process which is built on corruption and re-colonization in addition to a long period of protection for ZAR. In such a scenario, Syria will be a repetition of Iraq and Libya;
- Or, they will fail to defeat Syria and will leave it in destructive chaos, but will be unable to represent any threat to them (West, ZAR and Arab Gulf rulers) in the region. Here is the same fate of Vietnam.
This shows that there is no difference between the most “modernized western mentality’ and the Gulf rulers who are divided between tribal mentality and controlling trillions of dollars which is a part of the “New Economy”! Another factor that is in common between the western ‘post-modernism’ and Gulf pre-civilization is their joint hatred against Arab nationalism and resistance. This might be reflected in the manner in which both presidents, Saddam Hussein and Ghaddifi were executed.
Most analysts confirm that Syria is the key of the world coming era far from the result of the CR war against Arab nation. Our estimation is that Syria will defeat the mercenaries of the CR. That is why; Arab revolutionary people must go beyond and prepare for a scenario for Syria of tomorrow.
In general, there are at least three approaches, each one of them stems from a political/ideological stand of certain group. These approaches are:
1) The approach of academic intellectuals who tackle the issue from a neutral position. This is the position of the not belonging. It doesn’t matter for them if the victorious is Syria or the CR.
2) The second approach is divided into two groups from the standpoint of timing:
- Those who are contemplating (“the extreme left”) who still consider that what is taking place in Arab countries is a working class ‘revolt”. Accordingly, they are totally against the Syrian regime but in fact they are in the CR camp.
- The other are the “waiting left”. The position of a lot of the traditional Communists who are relatively neutral because they are waiting for the socialist revolution to occur and accordingly they are “advising’ the popular classes to prepare themselves for the future albeit who will be the victorious in the current conflict from the two camps. This position is meaningless when the country is threatened by destruction, re-colonization and partition by ethnic and sectarian groups.
3) The third position is that of Arab Communists who believe that there will never be any form of democracy, socialism and unity without preserving the country itself. A strong unified and developed nation is the real bearer of socialist alternative. Our long and bitter experience with Iqlimi, sectarian, liberal and dependent Communist political currents made it clear that socialists must participate in liberating and defending their countries. It is their duty to participate in the conflict and to be aware that they are Communists and they shouldn’t be tails for the bourgeois. If they fail to fight for the national cause, they will certainly stay as tail for the bourgeois. The Chinese revolution was the most teaching lesson on the role of Communists during colonialism.
It is our understanding, analysis and belief that Syria will defeat CR forces. During the current war, we are able to witness progressive changes in the regime’s social policies, for instance the appointment of a Communist as minister of economic affairs and vice prime minister, the expansion of public sector, the new constitution and parliamentary elections.
Revolutionary forces must as early as possible fight CR and pressure the regime for the implementation of more social change not just reforms. This is vital for just a revolutionary program, but what is important for the struggle of popular classes and strengthening socialist program.
At the same time, Arab revolutionaries must participate in the current crisis. They must agitate popular classes inside their own countries to renew their protests, and rise to people’s war against the CR especially the Arab bourgeois regimes.
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 The tools of counter-revolution were and still are mainly the political elite, the reactionary/semi feudal class which have “developed’ to comprador and partner in internationalized capital. But the most effective and dangerous are the intellectual elite especially today.
 The absence of leading revolutionary parties is due to Arab rulers role in Tajweef al-Waa’i, emptying masses of class and political consciousness through destroying any political opposition, as a necessary step to complete the process towards the final goal of the CR and the regimes which is Tajreef al—tharwah, the theft of peoples wealth and nation’s surplus.
 NATO policy of mass destruction was planned in advance to pretend that imperial powers control Libyan oil to re-build the country!
 Arab and Palestinian liberal, Qutri, Islamists, Trotskyites, and renegade Marxist intellectuals still argue that Ghaddafi’s Air force raided Benghazi, but the Russian satellites proves with photos that it was western false news used to justify the NATO destruction of Libya. The same in Syria, while the former head of Russian intelligence Yevgeny Primakov noted that Syrian conflict started with armed revolts against the authorities, not peaceful demonstrations, the same Arab and Palestinian intellectuals insist on following the western media proofing that they have within themselves a defeated culture and consciousness based on a believe that the west never lies and will always succeed in the end!
 For the sake of comparison, people in Yemen did not use weapons despite of the fact that millions of rifles are in their hands, and even tribes have tanks!
 The military conflict between Fateh and Hamas in Gaza is a good example. The leadership of both are formed of the same class and the fighters in both organizations are of the same other poor classes.
 The third wave of nationalism is the wave of “nationalism’’ which designed by the US/EU in alliance with comprador bourgeois of some ethnicities, sects nations. The entities which resulted from these alliances are client state. Entities which were the results of fragmenting Yugoslavia, the former USSR, Iraq, the Sudan ..etc. The second wave of nationalism was the national liberation movements of the Third World in the middle of 20th century and the first was that of Western Europe in the middle of 19th century.