Page 139 of 183 FirstFirst ... 3989129137138139140141149 ... LastLast
Results 2,071 to 2,085 of 2745

Thread: Prospect of Invasion of Syria

  1. #2071
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Rockall
    Posts
    78,412

    Default Re: Prospect of Invasion of Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by A Marxist Historian View Post
    If nothing else, the Assad statement proves that Assad at least thinks it is possible that Trump will as you put it "sign up for this."

    As for "national bourgeois" leaders like Assad, in the era of imperialism the bourgeoisies of backward countries [B]inevitably[B] can only be lackeys of foreign imperialism, compradors, in the last analysis. You have praised Trotsky in the past. Do you agree with Trotsky's "theory of permanent revolution," which asserts this? Of course, you have every right to disagree with Trotsky, Trotsky one-upmanship is certainly no more useful here than Marx one-upmanship. But if you disagree with Trotsky's ideas, and this was one of his central ones, as many of your posts make it seem to appear, you should say so for clarity purposes at any rate. Assad, whom not so long ago Bush Jr. was sending prisoners to for torture, something his secret police are notoriously talented at, is a perfect example of this.
    Perhaps if you quoted one of the many posts you are thinking of, I might be able to work out what you are talking about ?

    I don't go in for 'praising' political figures. But if I'm looking for some help in understanding what's going on in the world, Lenin's works would be my first port of call.

    On Assad's interview, yes, I think he is putting a feeler out to Trump, but tbh, it doesn't look as though he is holding his breath waiting for a response. It is not a matter of principle for him, either way, purely political opportunism.

    I think it's pretty obvious that there aren't any. Any more than Assad is "anti-imperialist," which he most certainly isn't.
    Syria is a state that emerged out of a long anti-Imperialist struggle, only to be arrested by its own national bourgeoisie. But I don't believe for one moment that there aren't deep anti-Imperialst tendencies and awareness in Syria, because of this history. They have been suppressed I suppose by Assad and co on the one hand and by the false promise of 'democratic revolution' as a gambit of colonialist thieves on the other. And knocked back by the collapse of the USSR and the apparent capacities of modern capitalism to give everyone a smart phone and university education (although not always a job).

    In the era of imperialism, objectively speaking (whether workers realise it or not, too often they don't) the working class is the only anti-imperialist class. And the battered working class of Syria, whose main objective seems to be to flee the country for someplace, anyplace, better, has been absent from the Syrian civil war.
    The working class - or at least the miners - also stood aside in the Ukraine. In Egypt, they were active, but didn't produce political organisations and leadership that adequately represented their interests.

    There is plenty of spade work ahead, to turn this around.

    fyi, a good piece by your Trotsky -

    Of the very same import was the Eighteenth Brumaire of Bonaparte, the next important stage on the road of reaction. In both instances, it was a question not of restoring either the old forms of property or the power of the former ruling estates but of dividing the gains of the new social regime among the different sections of the victorious “Third Estate.” The bourgeoisie appropriated more and more property and power (either directly and immediately or through special agents like Bonaparte) but made no attempt whatever against the social conquests of the revolution; on the contrary, it solicitously sought to strengthen, organize and stabilize them. Napoleon guarded bourgeois property, including that of the peasant, against both the “rabble” and the claims of the expropriated proprietors. Feudal Europe hated Napoleon as the living embodiment of the revolution, and it was correct according to its standards.
    Last edited by C. Flower; 12-02-2017 at 08:04 PM.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  2. #2072
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Rockall
    Posts
    78,412

    Default Re: Prospect of Invasion of Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by A Marxist Historian View Post
    If nothing else, the Assad statement proves that Assad at least thinks it is possible that Trump will as you put it "sign up for this."

    As for "national bourgeois" leaders like Assad, in the era of imperialism the bourgeoisies of backward countries [B]inevitably[B] can only be lackeys of foreign imperialism, compradors, in the last analysis. You have praised Trotsky in the past. Do you agree with Trotsky's "theory of permanent revolution," which asserts this? Of course, you have every right to disagree with Trotsky, Trotsky one-upmanship is certainly no more useful here than Marx one-upmanship. But if you disagree with Trotsky's ideas, and this was one of his central ones, as many of your posts make it seem to appear, you should say so for clarity purposes at any rate.

    Assad, whom not so long ago Bush Jr. was sending prisoners to for torture, something his secret police are notoriously talented at, is a perfect example of this.



    I think it's pretty obvious that there aren't any. Any more than Assad is "anti-imperialist," which he most certainly isn't.

    In the era of imperialism, objectively speaking (whether workers realise it or not, too often they don't) the working class is the only anti-imperialist class. And the battered working class of Syria, whose main objective seems to be to flee the country for someplace, anyplace, better, has been absent from the Syrian civil war.

    -AMH-
    I have to again profoundly disagree with this. Every time there is a cease fire there are popular protests - there are protests both against Assad and against the Salafists. Armed local groups, notwithstanding whoever from the outside has attempted to control them, have also defended themselves from the Salafists and have resisted Assad's forces.

    On the other hand, there have been no visible signs of an independent political objective of the left/progressives who need their own goals to be clear and to be known. "Freedom and dignity" is not an adequate slogan and has been signed up to by everyone from far right/reactionary to left. The activists who think the US is going to depose Assad and install a new regime of prosperity and democratic rights are in a dream world. They can't have looked at Libya. The Salafists and Assad are both using war conditions to suppress protest and social unrest. An end to the war would open things up, in time, for organisation and action by the working class and left groups. But the whole situation is fraught with difficulties and dangers.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  3. #2073
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Rockall
    Posts
    78,412

    Default Re: Prospect of Invasion of Syria

    In the last week ISIS has blown up two gas plants one of which had been supplying one third of Syria's energy needs.

    The damages plants reportedly would take years to reinstate. It reminds me of the way that Iraq's infrastructure was destroyed in the US/coalition invasion.

    https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/ne...in-syrias-homs
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  4. #2074
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    1,953

    Default Re: Prospect of Invasion of Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Lord View Post
    Lying Southfront, of course, claims that the opposition started the fighting:

    Most informed observers of the conflict will be very surprised to discover that JFS had any units in Daara .. never mind ones strong enough to form a "striking force".

    Typical brazen lying .... they should be called liefront instead of southfront.
    Apparently the New York Times has been printing Russian propaganda about Daara too. By way of that notorious Putin front, Reuters. Maybe the NTT's Hillary, not Trump, was the real brainwashed Manchurian candidate dangling like puppets from Putin's strings? According to the NYT, in Daara

    "Rebels drawn from both moderate Free Syrian Army (FSA) and jihadist groups launched the assault on Sunday on the strategic district of Manshiya in a bid to seize it."

    https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2017...ref=middleeast

    -AMH-

  5. #2075
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    1,953

    Default Re: Prospect of Invasion of Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Perhaps if you quoted one of the many posts you are thinking of, I might be able to work out what you are talking about ?

    I don't go in for 'praising' political figures. But if I'm looking for some help in understanding what's going on in the world, Lenin's works would be my first port of call.

    On Assad's interview, yes, I think he is putting a feeler out to Trump, but tbh, it doesn't look as though he is holding his breath waiting for a response. It is not a matter of principle for him, either way, purely political opportunism.



    Syria is a state that emerged out of a long anti-Imperialist struggle, only to be arrested by its own national bourgeoisie. But I don't believe for one moment that there aren't deep anti-Imperialst tendencies and awareness in Syria, because of this history. They have been suppressed I suppose by Assad and co on the one hand and by the false promise of 'democratic revolution' as a gambit of colonialist thieves on the other. And knocked back by the collapse of the USSR and the apparent capacities of modern capitalism to give everyone a smart phone and university education (although not always a job).



    The working class - or at least the miners - also stood aside in the Ukraine. In Egypt, they were active, but didn't produce political organisations and leadership that adequately represented their interests.

    There is plenty of spade work ahead, to turn this around.

    fyi, a good piece by your Trotsky -
    In this post, #2068, and others as well, you have referred to Assad as a leader of the "national bourgeoisie." That's what led to my question. According to Trotsky's theory of permanent revolution, as I understand it at least, the bourgeoisies of colonial and neo-colonial countries, as classes, are comprador rather than truly national in the era of imperialism as Lenin defined it.

    You haven't answered my question directly, but since you say Lenin and not Trotsky (a distinction I don't make) is your guiding star, that implies that you may not accept Trotsky's concept, since Lenin never formally and publicly accepted the theory, though he did so in practice as to Russia at any rate. For the rest of the world he never did-nor did Trotsky consider it to be universally applicable until the experience of the failed Chinese Revolution in the 1920s, which Trotsky thought proved it was universally applicable in this era.

    The piece by Trotsky you quote was about Bonaparte the Third in France, before the era of imperialism that Lenin defined so well. In the 19th Century, the bourgeoisie was sometimes capable of playing a revolutionary role, and indeed did so in the American Civil War. Lincoln was a genuine revolutionary bourgeois nationalist. There have been no equivalents since his day.

    And Bonaparte the Third was not. He was indeed a Bonapartist, balancing between the conflicting classes to be the arbitrator and dictator over them. Not incapable of "pro worker" measures when convenient.

    And his modern equivalents, like Assad in Syria, could under certain circumstances do what the bourgeoisies in the Third World objectively no longer can, namely balance between foreign imperialism and the domestic masses. The actual capitalists in the neo-colonial world are simply too weak and dependent to stand up to their imperial masters.

    The classic example being Cardenas in Mexico, the founder of the dictatorial PRI regime, nationalizing US oil companies with support from the popular masses mobilized in the Mexican Revolution (And, not coincidentally, independent minded enough to welcome Trotsky to Mexico and be his host.) This was particularly possible after World War II, when Third World Bonapartes could balance between Western imperialism and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Now this is no longer possible except in exceptional circumstances. Chavez spitting in the face of US imperialism was possible due to the combination of oil wealth, support from Cuba and populist measures which while he was alive Venezuela could afford-an unlikely combination in the 21st Century, and with oil prices down Maduro is in big trouble.

    Did I read too much into your comments, interpreting them as disagreement with Trotsky's permanent revolution theory? Perhaps. If you'd like to clarify that would be nice.

    This is all pretty abstract theoretical, but highly relevant to any analysis of Syria and the Assad regime--a particularly loathesome example of neocolonial Bonapartism, but ultimately of the same species as Cardenas in Mexico or the late Chavez's regime in Venezuela. Which is why Chavez's successor Maduro supports Assad fulsomely.

    -AMH-

  6. #2076
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    1,953

    Default Re: Prospect of Invasion of Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    I have to again profoundly disagree with this. Every time there is a cease fire there are popular protests - there are protests both against Assad and against the Salafists. Armed local groups, notwithstanding whoever from the outside has attempted to control them, have also defended themselves from the Salafists and have resisted Assad's forces.

    On the other hand, there have been no visible signs of an independent political objective of the left/progressives who need their own goals to be clear and to be known. "Freedom and dignity" is not an adequate slogan and has been signed up to by everyone from far right/reactionary to left. The activists who think the US is going to depose Assad and install a new regime of prosperity and democratic rights are in a dream world. They can't have looked at Libya. The Salafists and Assad are both using war conditions to suppress protest and social unrest. An end to the war would open things up, in time, for organisation and action by the working class and left groups. But the whole situation is fraught with difficulties and dangers.
    Popular protests yes. But the working class as such has been absent from them.

    Guerilla bands by their very nature are petty bourgeois, even if they start out as factory militias, as they are disconnected from production. Longstanding guerilla bands, even if formed by leftists and/or workers, transform into petty bourgeois guerilla groups living off the population, in a certain sense exploiting them. If they do not win, sooner or later to survive they become bandits. Something Guevara never understood-but in a certain sense Mao did. The leaders of Mao's Red Army were a Stalinist bureaucracy in formation even before they took power. A superior alternative to banditry.


    In America you had Occupy, with its populist non-class character and petty bourgeois leadership and program. In Syria you have in some sense a Syrian equivalent--albeit with a far, far higher degree of outside manipulation.

    So these protests in Syria you mention are, well, good things and supportable, but should not be confused with working class mobilization. The response of the working class as such in Syria has been the entirely sensible one of trying to flee the country, just like everyone else without a gun in hand.

    -AMH-

  7. #2077
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    1,953

    Default Re: Prospect of Invasion of Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by A Marxist Historian View Post
    ...

    The piece by Trotsky you quote was about Bonaparte the Third in France...

    -AMH-
    And of course it wasn't. Carelessness on my part, posting in too much of a hurry.

    But the general points I made are quite valid I do believe.

    -AMH-

  8. #2078
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Rockall
    Posts
    78,412

    Default Re: Prospect of Invasion of Syria

    General Mike Flynn, Trump's National Security Advisor - gone - dramatically - for chatting to the Russians about sanctions before the election (and not remembering he had done it) . Of course the CIA were listening in.

    A few days before that, a military intelligence advisor Flynn wanted on board was knocked out as the CIA refused him a security clearance - although he already had a high level security clearance in his present function.

    In the CIA - FBI/Pentagon war, the CIA is back on top. This puts the Deir el Ezzor centred Caliphate right back on track.

    Whose to know where it will be next week.

    (for those who haven't read the detailed posts on this, Flynn is the former head of the DIA which had the wikileaked view that "Western powers" favour a caliphate. The DIA and Flynn concluded that this was an incredibly risky course of action and vehemently opposed it.)

    How long before the CIA attempt to take down Trump ? He will either buckle and comply, or they will try.
    Last edited by C. Flower; 14-02-2017 at 10:15 AM.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  9. #2079
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Rockall
    Posts
    78,412

    Default Re: Prospect of Invasion of Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by A Marxist Historian View Post
    Popular protests yes. But the working class as such has been absent from them.

    Guerilla bands by their very nature are petty bourgeois, even if they start out as factory militias, as they are disconnected from production. Longstanding guerilla bands, even if formed by leftists and/or workers, transform into petty bourgeois guerilla groups living off the population, in a certain sense exploiting them. If they do not win, sooner or later to survive they become bandits. Something Guevara never understood-but in a certain sense Mao did. The leaders of Mao's Red Army were a Stalinist bureaucracy in formation even before they took power. A superior alternative to banditry.


    In America you had Occupy, with its populist non-class character and petty bourgeois leadership and program. In Syria you have in some sense a Syrian equivalent--albeit with a far, far higher degree of outside manipulation.

    So these protests in Syria you mention are, well, good things and supportable, but should not be confused with working class mobilization. The response of the working class as such in Syria has been the entirely sensible one of trying to flee the country, just like everyone else without a gun in hand.

    -AMH-
    I don't confuse them with working class mobilisation.

    Globalism has created a petty bourgeois society in the west and Middle East.

    Numbers of graduates have mushroomed - the majory with their heads well packed with dross in the process, in terms of lack of understanding of the world and how it develops.

    They believe that ideas are what shape the world primarily and are systematically sucked into single issue cause politics.

    In Syria as elsewhere there is a layer of young graduates who are deeply frustrated by lack of opportunity in the system, with high levels of underemployment and unemployment. They may technically live from their labour but are not class conscious and are individualist in outlook.

    The "revolution" in Syria came about from an alliance between this layer (who were keenly funded and trained by USAID et al) and the layer of better-off Sunni MB supporters in S.W. Syria, who had a history of revolt, and the ultra-reactionary Gulf and Western powers-supported Salafists.

    The radical youth were more or less completely cut off from the parties who (whatever their lousy positions) considered themselves socialist or communist. Assad had severely supressed any genuine lefts or Trade Unions. In that vacuum, the petty bourgeois youth and young people were sucked into the wake of and mainly overwhelmed by those extremely reactionary Salafist and other US backed proxies. They have no political perspective it appears beyond "Assad must go" and give no idea how if Assad goes the Salafists will be prevented from taking over.

    The Syrian people who protest against the Salafists, against sectarianism, and also against Assad must be considered to be on the nail and supported.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  10. #2080
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    2,833

    Default Re: Prospect of Invasion of Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    General Mike Flynn, Trump's National Security Advisor - gone - dramatically - for chatting to the Russians about sanctions before the election (and not remembering he had done it) . Of course the CIA were listening in.

    A few days before that, a military intelligence advisor Flynn wanted on board was knocked out as the CIA refused him a security clearance - although he already had a high level security clearance in his present function.

    In the CIA - FBI/Pentagon war, the CIA is back on top. This puts the Deir el Ezzor centred Caliphate right back on track.

    Whose to know where it will be next week.

    (for those who haven't read the detailed posts on this, Flynn is the former head of the DIA which had the wikileaked view that "Western powers" favour a caliphate. The DIA and Flynn concluded that this was an incredibly risky course of action and vehemently opposed it.)

    How long before the CIA attempt to take down Trump ? He will either buckle and comply, or they will try.
    In fairness they won't have to try hard as Trump seems like he could bluster himself into his own downfall. You don't exactly get the wiley fox vibe from him.

  11. #2081
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Rockall
    Posts
    78,412

    Default Re: Prospect of Invasion of Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by Fraxinus View Post
    In fairness they won't have to try hard as Trump seems like he could bluster himself into his own downfall. You don't exactly get the wiley fox vibe from him.
    Still, the US generals in cahoots with the KGB against the CIA (and vice versa) is quite a global political development.....
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  12. #2082
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    1,953

    Default Re: Prospect of Invasion of Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    I don't confuse them with working class mobilisation.

    Globalism has created a petty bourgeois society in the west and Middle East.

    Numbers of graduates have mushroomed - the majory with their heads well packed with dross in the process, in terms of lack of understanding of the world and how it develops.

    They believe that ideas are what shape the world primarily and are systematically sucked into single issue cause politics.

    In Syria as elsewhere there is a layer of young graduates who are deeply frustrated by lack of opportunity in the system, with high levels of underemployment and unemployment. They may technically live from their labour but are not class conscious and are individualist in outlook.

    The "revolution" in Syria came about from an alliance between this layer (who were keenly funded and trained by USAID et al) and the layer of better-off Sunni MB supporters in S.W. Syria, who had a history of revolt, and the ultra-reactionary Gulf and Western powers-supported Salafists.

    The radical youth were more or less completely cut off from the parties who (whatever their lousy positions) considered themselves socialist or communist. Assad had severely supressed any genuine lefts or Trade Unions. In that vacuum, the petty bourgeois youth and young people were sucked into the wake of and mainly overwhelmed by those extremely reactionary Salafist and other US backed proxies. They have no political perspective it appears beyond "Assad must go" and give no idea how if Assad goes the Salafists will be prevented from taking over.

    The Syrian people who protest against the Salafists, against sectarianism, and also against Assad must be considered to be on the nail and supported.
    Yes, that all sounds right-as long as it is clear that "the Syrian people protesting against Salafists, sectarianism & Assad" are largely a subset, the best subset, of the radical youth you describe. In Tunisia and Egypt, the "Arab Spring" was powered by working class mobilization-but nonetheless went bad in Egypt due to the absence of revolutionary leadership, and simply sputtered out in Tunisia. Not in Syria or Libya, where it went bad quicker and worse.

    -AMH-

  13. #2083
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    1,953

    Default Re: Prospect of Invasion of Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by Fraxinus View Post
    In fairness they won't have to try hard as Trump seems like he could bluster himself into his own downfall. You don't exactly get the wiley fox vibe from him.
    True that. Remarkable profiles in ineptitude. The latest amusing development was Abe's visit from Japan, during which they had a lengthy press conference together, with a speech from Abe in Japanese, Trump nodding and smiling through it but with his translator earpiece turned off!

    It's all getting rather comic.

    -AMH-

  14. #2084
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Rockall
    Posts
    78,412

    Default Re: Prospect of Invasion of Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by A Marxist Historian View Post
    Popular protests yes. But the working class as such has been absent from them.
    Yes it has. Who are these people ? They seem to have it completely wrong / back to front in the first sentences. Deraa and Homs where the revolt started are in an area with good land and local wealth. The area has a history of MB risings, with external backing . Also, next to Jordan and handy for arms transfers.

    Aleppo and Damascus have large working class populations, and by and large have adhered to Assad or stayed quiet.

    Guerilla bands by their very nature are petty bourgeois, even if they start out as factory militias, as they are disconnected from production. Longstanding guerilla bands, even if formed by leftists and/or workers, transform into petty bourgeois guerilla groups living off the population, in a certain sense exploiting them. If they do not win, sooner or later to survive they become bandits.
    I think this is a somewhat mechanical /economic determinist analysis.

    Marxists are not inclined to fight long drawn out guerilla wars and are opposed to individual terror, because the essence of Marxism is mass action in the interests of the working masses. Not because they don't want to give up their day job.

    Underground revolutionary organisers in states where socialists are suppressed are generally unarmed and are focused on building organisations and on building support for Marxism. They try to stick to rising when the conditions are there to win.
    ...
    In America you had Occupy, with its populist non-class character and petty bourgeois leadership and program. In Syria you have in some sense a Syrian equivalent--albeit with a far, far higher degree of outside manipulation.
    In both cases there was documented Colour Revolution type support and incitement.

    Of all people, it was Robert Fisk who pointed out that the countries with the most organised working classes / trade unions were the ones who weathered the Arab Spring events best.

    I don't think it is even a question of revolutionary leadership - basic working class organisation and class consciousness can be enough to hold on to gains and prevent a petty-bourgeois led debacle. A revolutionary leadership is needed for a revolution.

    Globalisation and the shift of manufacturing jobs to the east is a lot to do with the events in the Middle East. The working class of the east seems to have mainly been dealing with wage increase actions. When it inevitably breaks through into class questions of power, it will have an enormous impact on thinking amongst 'service sector' workers in the west.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  15. #2085
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Rockall
    Posts
    78,412

    Default Re: Prospect of Invasion of Syria

    I don't agree with the whole of this analysis, but its account of how in 2011 a US-backed Muslim Brotherhood / jihadist sectarian violent uprising against a secular Arab State was dressed up in the Western media as its opposite, (told in contemporary quotations from mainstream US media) is a clear and useful piece of work.

    https://gowans.wordpress.com/2016/10...ia-that-wasnt/
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

Page 139 of 183 FirstFirst ... 3989129137138139140141149 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Share us
Follow Us