It does look like the Syrian revolution will soon be defeated by bombers & foreign armies. The Assad dictatorship rallied the darkest & most reactionary forces in world politics & turned antiwar & socialist activists into fellow travelers of fascism. Defeat will strike a blow at the Palestinian & Kurdish struggles & weaken the struggles for democracy throughout the Middle East which reached their apex in the Arab Spring uprisings of which the Syrian revolution is the last one standing. Defeat will hearten Islamophobes, anti-Semites, white supremacists, & fascists throughout the world. In Syria there will be greater repression, more political prisoners, more wrenching sectarian & religious conflicts, greater impoverishment for working people who are the majority of the Syrian revolution. Neoliberal economics will prevail.
The antiwar movement, in its moribund state, will carry on in its sectarian way, holding lilliputian rallies with Assadist & libertarian speakers sputtering triumphal about defeating US imperialism in Syria & led by self-serving grandstanders like Cindy Sheehan, Ajamu Baraka, Jeff Mackler & the “retired” CIA, FBI, & Pentagon officials leading it now into oblivion. It will be a time to grieve one of the greatest betrayals in modern history. But then we move forward undaunted & committed to rebuilding what has been destroyed by political opportunists, professional propagandists, & dirtballs whose names are legion but will prove forgettable. Because we have no other choice.
The Arab uprisings in Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, & Syria, along with the Palestinian, Kashmiri, & Rohingya freedom struggles, show us how much the best of humanity will sacrifice to create a humane, democratic world. It is possible to change the world; that’s not a pipe dream. But we need to learn from what those struggles teach us, including their mistakes, pick ourselves up, dust off any discouragement, & move forward united to rebuild. The lesson to be drawn is not cynicism & defeatism but intransigence against all odds. Those who do not dare, who do not have a vision of humanity’s potential cannot be part of making this world suitable for human beings to live & love in.
Photo is Syrian revolutionists running from Syrian air strikes in Eastern Ghouta. They represent the best of humanity. May those who vilify them as head-chopping terrorists rot in hell.
(Photo by Hamza Al-Ajweh/AFP)