In trying to figure out what is likely to happen in Syria maybe a look at Libya can help. The Libyan central government is practically non existent. The head of a major oil company, Mediterranean International, states bluntly: " there is no central government." This is related to the presence of the dozens of militias, just about one on every village.
But more important is that the working class are taking action. Protests and strikes at several large export terminals and oil fields have throttled Libya's oil production to one tenth of its capacity in recent days. This not only affects Libya but it affects world oil supplies. The Bush friends, those backward scum the Saudia ruling class, have increased production to make up for this and ease downward pressure on the world economy.
Libya Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has issued arrest warrants for the strike leaders but few expect these to be enforced as the police and Government military are largely powerless. The crisis began last month when armed groups of workers seized the country's major oil export terminals, claiming the national oil company had engaged in corrupt sales. To try and keep control the central government announced a 20% wage increase for civil servants and also appointed a crisis committee to go from village to village to discuss with local governing committees and militias.
In spite of the divisions that exist from village to village, tribe to tribe, region to region the working class are striving unconsciously to form their own organizations and unite. The strikes and take overs started first in the East where the anti Ghaddafi movement had been strongest but have now spread to the West. The working class are moving more as a class.
When spewing out their propaganda on the Middle East the capitalist mass media leaves out the role of the working class. And also the role of Stalinism. In the post War 2 period many of the countries in the Middle East had huge Communist Parties. Iraq for example had a huge mass Communist Party. But Stalinism held these parties back and eventually destroyed them in its drive for agreement with imperialism. So the working class were disarmed. Now this new movement the Arab Spring arise with no mass revolutionary parties to use to fight for its interests. The task for the working class is to build mass parties and organizations of the working class throughout the regions and link these together to fight for independent revolutionary socialist policies. The potential for this if a lead was given is shown by the events in Lybia.
If the Assad regime is brought down in Syria there is liable to be very serious sectarian and tribal conflict which could spread to other countries. This is a recipe for disaster for imperialism. This is why Russian imperialism and US imperialism are twisting themselves in knots to try and get a way out of the bind they are in. Especially US imperialism is trying to find a way to bring down the Syrian regime and put some sort of friendly and at least semi stable regime in its place. It is very unlikely to be able to do this. The way the conflict has developed in Syria it seems that the working class has been more damaged than the working class has been in other countries such as Libya. Things could get very nasty.
But what is that we hear? Oh I see. It is the dog that does not bark. It is the international working class movement. Where are they. The US AFL-CIO had its conference here last weekend. What did it have to say about the struggle and the condition of the working class in the Middle East, about the conditions and struggles of its brothers and sisters. Nothing. Not a whimper. The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions has 155 million members and an international apparatus. Its pathetic cowardly leadership chokes the life out its members to make them continue to accept capitalism and imperialism. These systems pay for the fancy suits and big cars and health insurance plans and hotel rooms of these union leaders. Just like capitalism has forfeited its rule to rule, so these leaders have forfeited their right to lead the workers movement. They and their pro capitalist ideas and policies must be removed. In this way the working class in the Middle East and worldwide can find a way forward.
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