Sunday, June 23, 2013

More austerity to come as Obama gets cozier with Syrian opposition

The Wild Bunch: Friends of Syrian capitalism
by Richard Mellor

Supporters of this blog have made it clear that this blog supports neither side in the Syrian conflict. The nature of the Assad regime is well known but the forces opposed to him are not dominated by friends of the Syrian working class.  Not having contacts on the ground there limits our ability to comment but with the victories the Assad regime have chalked up in the past week or so, supporters of the opposition have been forced to come a little further in to the open. The so-called "Friends of Syria" group is pledging arms and money to the "rebels", and among these friends are USA, Britain, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, and regional flunkies of western capitalism, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE. This crowd would make the line up for mercenary work in Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles look like a bunch of amateurs and should help anyone with doubts make up their minds.  In the Libyan events which were somewhat similar we offered some thoughts on the situation and you can check that out here and here. 

So US capitalism is once again funding and arming Islamic fundamentalists. Prof Michael Chossudovsky:  points out, "While intelligence covert ops continue to perform an important role, Washington’s support to Al Qaeda in Syria is now “out in the open”, within the public domain. It is no longer part of a secret undertaking. It is part of the mainstay of US foreign policy, carried out under the helm of Secretary of State John Kerry."

US capitalism has been successful throughout the Middle East in helping dictators and theocratic regimes eliminate their political opponents; the left and democratic fores in Iraq, the Tudeh in Iran whose secular democratic government of Mohammed Mossadegh was overthrown in a US backed coup and replaced by a the murderous Shah. Mubarak and Ben Ali were both US stooges that fell to the Arab Spring. In Bahrain, the regime there has murdered protesters and those fighting for democratic reforms and the Saudi's ( a proud member of the Syrian friends club) sent troops in to Bahrain to help crush the democratic rights movement as 30,000 US troops sat and watched. The masses will not be cowered.

A crushing defeat for US imperialism in Afghanistan, a failure in Iraq which is sinking deeper in to sectarian violence, and now supporting Islamic fundamentalists in Syria is paving the way for further crises for global capital.  We should consider for a minute the struggles around the world that have arisen in response to global capitalism's war on workers and the poor.  There is no end to it. As movements ebb or step back in one region or country in response to state terror and violence from beefed up security forces, they arise somewhere else.  Brazil is the latest region to be engulfed in struggle immediately following Turkey (It will be interesting to see the effect Turkish events has on that country's "Friend of Syria" status) but we must not lose sight of the fact that in China, Cambodia and other parts of Asia, we have seen huge demonstrations, strikes and protests against global capitalism in the form of land, environmental and industrial struggles. In Latin America and Indonesia, indigenous communities are on the offensive against the global corporations' destruction and polluting of their traditional lands.

It is truly a good time to be alive in that sense as the relative stability of the pre Great Recession era has passed.  It is inconceivable that the US will be exempt from events like these, so far delayed due to the role played by the heads of the workers' organizations and a violent state apparatus.  Deeper penetration in to Syrian events by US imperialism will increase the austerity war at home and hasten the likelihood of further social instability but their choices are limited?

One thing is clear is that only an independent workers' movement/alternative can resolve the crisis.  To what level this exists in Syria is unknown to me but it is also clear that given that workers throughout the Arab world have been in the forefront of the Arab Spring, a leadership that can bring these movements together is crucial as the global struggle against capital continues.

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