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Wishing for the Syrian civil war to be a revolution doesn’t make it so.

category international | anti-war / imperialism | other press author Tuesday September 17, 2013 19:06author by Turing Report this post to the editors

Tariq Ali: What Is A Revolution?

Tariq Ali looks at the various "revolutions" in the Middle East and writes: The idea that the Saudis, Qatar, and Turkey backed by NATO are going to create a revolutionary democracy or even a democratic set-up is challenged by what is happening elsewhere in the Arab world. Full text at link.

Ever since the beginning of the Arab Spring there has been much talk of revolutions. Not from me. I’ve argued against the position that mass uprisings on their own constitute a revolution, i.e., a transfer of power from one social class (or even a layer) to another that leads to fundamental change. The actual size of the crowd is not a determinant—members of a crowd become a revolution only when they have, in their majority, a clear set of social and political aims. If they do not, they will always be outflanked by those who do, or by the state that will recapture lost ground very rapidly.

In Libya, the old state was destroyed by NATO after a six-month bombing spree. Nearly two years later, armed tribal gangs of one sort or another still roam the country, demanding their share of the loot. Hardly a revolution according to any criteria.

The notion that the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) is the carrier of a Syrian revolution is as risible as the idea that the Brotherhood was doing the same in Egypt. A brutal civil war with atrocities by both sides is currently being fought. Did the regime use gas or other chemical weapons? We do not know with certainty. The strikes envisaged by the United States are designed to prevent Assad’s military advances from defeating the opposition and re-taking the country. That is what is at stake in Syria.

Related Link: http://www.guernicamag.com/daily/tariq-ali-what-is-a-revolution/
author by Turingpublication date Thu Sep 19, 2013 00:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Jonathan Cook author of “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East”, analyses Israels ongoing plans for war.Full text at link.

As Iraq imploded into sectarian violence, Iran’s fortunes rose. Tehran strengthened its role as regional sponsor of resistance against Israel – or what became Washington’s new “axis of evil” – that included Hizbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.

Israel and the US both regard Syria as the geographical “keystone” of that axis, as Israel’s outgoing ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, told the Jerusalem Post this week, and one that needs to be removed if Iran is to be isolated, weakened or attacked.

But Israel and the US drew different lessons from Iraq. Washington is now wary of its ground forces becoming bogged down again, as well as fearful of reviving a cold war confrontation with Moscow. It prefers instead to rely on proxies to contain and exhaust the Syrian regime.

Israel, on the other hand, understands the danger of manoeuvring its patron into a showdown with Damascus without ensuring this time that Iran is tied into the plan. Toppling Assad alone would simply add emboldened jihadists to the troubles on its doorstep.

Given these assessments, Israel and the US have struggled to envision a realistic endgame that would satisfy them both. Obama fears setting the region, and possibly the world, ablaze with a direct attack on Iran; Israel is worried about stretching its patron’s patience by openly pushing it into another catastrophic venture to guarantee its regional hegemony.


Related Link: http://www.countercurrents.org/cook180913.htm
author by Joe McIvorpublication date Thu Sep 19, 2013 06:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Ever since the beginning of the Arab Spring there has been much talk of revolutions. Not from me. "
"Whatever else may or may not be happening in Syria, it is far removed from a revolution. Only the most blinkered sectarian fantasist could imagine this to be the case."

Tariq Ali is one of the signatories of the petition adopted by delegates to the World Social Forum held in Tunis in May this year. The petition was organised under the name of the "Campaign of Global Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution" .Only a blinkered sectarian fantasist could sign up to such a pro-imperialist petition indeed , but Tariq Ali (Writer, journalist, and filmmaker, United Kingdom/ Pakistan) did precisely that.

"Yet, the revolution for freedom and dignity remains steadfast. It is for this reason that we, the undersigned, appeal to those of you in the global civil society, not to ineffective and manipulative governments, to defend the gains of the Syrian revolutionaries, and to spread our vision: freedom from authoritarianism and support of Syrians’ revolution as an integral part of the struggles for freedom and dignity in the region and around the world."

"As intellectuals, academics, activists, artists, concerned citizens, and social movements we stand in solidarity with the Syrian people to emphasize the revolutionary dimension of their struggle and to prevent the geopolitical battles and proxy wars taking place in their country."
see:
https://www.change.org/petitions/solidarity-with-the-sy...eedom

author by old donkeypublication date Thu Sep 19, 2013 09:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In 1968, after a protest near the Soviet embassy in London against the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia, one Tariq Ali declared in a speech: "We are revolutionary socialists." Lots of cheers from his admiring fourth internationalists in the crowd. Now, several decades on, the former president of the Oxford Union and roving international socialist journalist is still spouting sentences about revolution and revolutionaries. The word has become a rhetorical buzzword, and that is all it amounts to.

author by Turingpublication date Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks for the info.

I have posted it on Tariq Ali's FB page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tariq-Ali/482842271800314

 
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