Syria: Down with the Imperialist Geneva Accord!

Stop US and Russian imperialist interference in Syria! No imperialist-controlled “peace” negotiations which can only result in a defeat for the Revolution! International Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution against the murderous Assad Dictatorship!

Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 15.9.2013,

1. The U.S.-Russian accord on chemical weapons in Syria is a counter-revolutionary deal which must be rejected by the Syrian popular resistance as well as by the international workers movement. It is a threat to the Syrian Revolution because it increases the grip of the Great Powers to interfere in Syria under the pretext of the “control of chemical weapons”. It reflects the determination of the unholy alliance of the Great Powers – despite their rivalry about whose lackey rules in Damascus – to contain and liquidate the Syrian Revolution and to arrange a controlled transition towards a pro-imperialist regime which would retain the old Baathist state apparatus. Finally the Geneva accord reflects the diminished hegemony of US imperialist hegemony and the rise of Russian and Chinese imperialisms.

2. The US and Russian foreign ministers John Kerry and Sergey Lavrov agreed after three-day negotiations a six-point plan. It aims to eliminate Syria’s stockpiles of chemical weapons by mid-2014. According to the US-Russian deal, the Assad regime has a week to declare its chemical weapons and must allow international inspections. UN weapons inspectors should be on the ground in Syria by November with the goal of eliminating the stockpiles by mid-2014. Despite several weeks of saber-rattling of Obama and Holland, the agreement did not mention any threat of force if Syria failed to comply, instead stating that the regime would become the subject of an as-yet unwritten UN Security Council resolution.

3. While revolutionaries of course welcome the enforced retreat of the Obama administration which wanted to teach Assad and the world “a lesson” by launching a limited military strike, the workers and oppressed should have no illusions about the Geneva accord. There is nothing progressive in it. As all authentic socialist and democratic forces around the world, the RCIT wants to see the Assad regime incapable to direct chemical weapons against its population. But the truth is that neither the Western nor the Eastern imperialists care about this. This was only a pretext for their power game to expand their influence in Syria and the region. If the imperialists would seriously care about Assad’s chemical weapons, why did they sell it to him?! British corporations – sanctioned by the government of Prime Minister David Cameron – sold the regime in Damascus chemical weapons even 10 months after the Syrian uprising began! (1) Why don’t they send gas masks for free to the Syrian population?! Why don’t they aid the Syrian popular resistance with arms, medicine and shelter without strings so that it can defeat the murderous Assad regime which has already slaughtered 100.000 people since the beginning of the Revolution on 15 March 2011?! In addition, only paid lackeys of the bourgeois media can fail to notice the hypocrisy of the two powers with the biggest arsenals of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons in the world decry Assad’s stockpiles. However the people have not forgotten that US imperialism has deployed massively chemical, biological and uranium-enriched weapons in all its wars in the past decades (Vietnam, Bosnia, Kosova, Afghanistan, Iraq) causing much more death than Assad killed in East Ghouta. And who can forget the genocide which Russian troops have committed in Chechnya in the two wars in the 1990s and 2000s where they killed at least 150.000 people (out of a population of 1.2 million people!) with all kind of weapons?!

4. The real background for the recent crisis and the Geneva accord – as we explained in our statement of 27 August and other documents before (2) – is a) the desire of all imperialists to contain the Syrian Revolution as well as b) their rivalry for which Great Power controls Syria and can expand its influence in the Middle East. Contrary to the hallucinations of Stalinist and Bolivarian Assad supporters, U.S. and EU imperialism never had the intention to support the Syrian Revolution and to overthrow the Assad regime by a civil war. They made this clear in declarations and by their lack of any serious support for the rebels. (3) What they did and do desire is to bribe the bourgeois leadership of the rebels and to get influence amongst the rebels in order to have a better starting position in future negotiations. This is particularly important for the U.S. and the EU since the Assad regime is basically a semi-colonial lackey of Russian and Chinese imperialism.

5. The Geneva accord also destroys once more another myth of wide sectors of the left: that Russia and China are not imperialist powers but a) either progressive (Russia) or even socialist (China) states as many Stalinists and Bolivarians claim or b) that Russia and China are weak semi-colonial countries which serve as lackeys of US imperialism (as many centrists claim). While US imperialism remains the biggest imperialist force until now, the course of the Syria crisis demonstrated that the Eastern imperialists have been strong enough to stop Obama’s military adventure.

6. The Westerns as well as the Eastern imperialist’s primary interest is to contain the Arab Revolution in general and the Syrian Revolution in particular. A popular revolutionary overthrow of the Assad regime would have tremendous ramifications in the whole Middle East and could open a second wave of the revolutionary process after the counter-revolutionary setback by the 3rd July military coup in Egypt. It would be a particular threat to the small imperialist power Israel – an arch-reactionary bridge head of Western imperialism since its foundation. We remark as a side note that the foundation of Israel in 1947/48 was supported by the Stalinist Soviet Union both in the UN negotiations as well as by sending arms to the Zionists which used them to slaughter and expel the Palestinian people. (4) Getting rid of Syria’s chemical weapons also means that any future government after Assad would be a military weaker enemy for the Zionist Apartheid regime as US foreign minister John Kerry indicated on 14 September. (5)

7. The Geneva accord increases the danger of a negotiated settlement imposed by the Great Powers which would change some figures (probably including Assad) but leave the reactionary, thoroughly anti-democratic Baathist state apparatus by and large intact. Such a reactionary deal would of course include the integration of sectors of the rebel leadership. At the same time it would unavoidable lead to a crackdown against the radical and popular forces of the resistance movement. Sectors of the official leadership of the rebels are already preparing for such a counter-revolutionary settlement.

8. The RCIT denounces the bourgeois leadership of the Syrian National Coalition which submissively makes advances to Western imperialism. This leadership is the inner enemy of the Syrian Revolution. Immediately after the Geneva accord it elected a new provisional prime minister, Ahmad Tumeh, “with hopes he will boost the opposition’s credibility as international efforts are increased to restart a peace process to end the country’s civil war.” (6)

9. The RCIT warns that the Geneva accord is another threat not only to the Syrian but also the whole Arab Revolution. The Revolution already suffered a defeat with the bloody 3rd July coup in of General Al-Sisi in Egypt. An imperialist settlement of the Syrian civil war – imposed by US and Russian imperialism – would present another important defeat for the working class and the oppressed. It would – as the coup did in Egypt – weaken the popular militant forces which are fighting against bourgeois dictatorships and for democratic rights. It would push back further the unfinished democratic revolution. All this demonstrates once more that if the democratic revolution remains unfinished, the counter-revolutionary forces of the old regime and the imperialist lackeys will recover and roll back the revolution. Only if the working class – in alliance with the poor peasantry and the urban poor – advances the democratic revolution to its end, i.e. only if it takes power and combines the democratic with the socialist revolution, only then can real democracy and social justice be won.

10. However, nothing is lost so far. The chief task of revolutionaries and all socialists and democrats is to double their efforts to support the Syrian Revolution. The RCIT calls for an international solidarity movement which organizes actions against the imperialist interference in Syria (like stopping the deliveries of arms by Russia and other states to Assad, opposing US military strikes, protesting against an imperialist settlement of the Syrian Revolution). Such a solidarity movement must rally to support the Syrian Revolution. Our solidarity must include the call for arms, medicine, gas masks, shelter etc. for the rebel movement. At the same time such a material support must be combined with sharp criticism against the petty bourgeois and bourgeois, Islamist and secular leaderships of the rebel movements. The Revolution must be led by workers and peasants councils and militias to bring down the Assad dictatorship and open the road for a consistent democratic revolution which can only be a permanent revolution leading towards socialism. In other words, the task is to get rid of the treacherous leaderships like the SNC and FSA imperialist lackey and to transform the civil war into an authentic revolutionary liberation war

11. The dangers for the Syrian Revolution as well as the counter-revolution in Egypt demonstrate once more the bankruptcy of reformism and centrism. Many of them either openly joined the camp of the counter-revolution (as many hailed the Al-Sisi coup or the Assad regime) or take a neutral position claiming this is just a quarrel between two bourgeois rivals. Others, who managed to choose the correct camp, do so without the necessary warning and criticism against the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois leaderships of the rebel movement. Important world events like Syria and Egypt are decisive tests for programs and organizations. Most of the left have completely failed this test. This makes serious discussion and collaboration between revolutionaries even more urgent. The goal must be to advance in building a strong revolutionary, i.e. Bolshevik, international organization. In this manner we can impel the formation of revolutionary workers parties in Syria and other countries as part of the future World Party of Socialist Revolution (which will be the Fifth International in our opinion). Only such a party is capable to lead the workers and oppressed to power and to open the road to socialism.

* Down with the imperialist Geneva accord!

* Stop the Russian and Chinese support for the murderous Assad dictatorship!

* USA, UK, and France: No military attacks against Syria!

* Victory to the Syrian Revolution! Down with the Assad Dictatorship!

* For international solidarity with the Syrian rebel and popular movement! Military Aid without strings for the rebel movement!

* Down with the Zionist Apartheid State!

* Solidarity with the Palestinian liberation struggle! Support the resistance against the imperialist-backed military dictatorship in Egypt!

* For Workers and Peasants councils and militias! For a Workers Government allied with the Peasants and Urban Poor and based on local councils and militias!

International Secretariat of the RCIT

(1) See Reuters/Nour Fourat: Revealed: Britain sold nerve gas chemicals to Syria 10 months after ‘civil unrest’ began, 1 Sep 2013.

(2) See the RCIT statements and articles below in the Appendix.

(3) See on this for example the RCIT’s article by Michael Pröbsting: US Administration: “Rebels fighting the Assad regime wouldn’t support American interests if they were to seize power”, 22.8.2013.

(4) See on this the RCIT’s document by Yossi Schwartz: Israel’s War of 1948 and the Degeneration of the Fourth International, May 2013.

(5) “Providing this framework is fully implemented it can end the threat these weapons pose not only to the Syrian people but also to their neighbours. (…) Because of the threat of proliferation this framework can provide greater protection and security to the world.” (John Kerry in a statement on 14.9.; see: Al Jazeera: Syria given week to declare chemical weapons. Russia and US agree fast-track plan to eliminate stockpiles from war-torn country, 14 Sep 2013.

(6) Al Jazeera: Syrian opposition elects new provisional PM. Former political prisoner Ahmad Tumeh says his priority is restoring order in opposition-held areas of country, 14 Sep 2013.

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For further reading on the RCIT’s position on the Syrian Revolution and imperialist interference we refer readers to various English-language statements and articles on the RCIT website:

* RCIT: Syria: Against Assad and Against Imperialism – Victory to the Revolution! For International Solidarity with the Popular Revolution against the murderous Assad Dictatorship! But Without and Against any Western Imperialist Military Intervention!, 27.8.2013.

* Michael Pröbsting: US Administration: “Rebels fighting the Assad regime wouldn’t support American interests if they were to seize power”, 22.8.2013.

* Yossi Schwartz: Class struggle and religious sectarianism in Syria, 12.6.2013.

* Yossi Schwartz: Syria: After the defeat in Qusayr and ahead of the Battle for Aleppo, 11.6.2013.

* ISL-Leaflet: Victory to the Revolution in Syria!

* RCIT: Israel: Hands Off Lebanon and Syria!, 6.5.2013.

* Yossi Schwartz: Turkey, Syria and Egypt: No Political Support for Bourgeois Forces Secular or Islamists, April 2013.

* Yossi Schwartz: Victory to the Revolution in Syria! The second anniversary of the uprising in Syria, March 2013.

* RKOB: Austria: Demonstration in Solidarity with the Revolution in Syria on 15.3.2013, with pictures and videos.

* RCIT: Victory to the Revolution! Down with the dog Assad! All Power to the Workers and Peasants! For the Socialist Revolution in Maghreb and Mashreq! January 2013.

* Michael Pröbsting: The Coup d’État in Egypt and the Bankruptcy of the Left’s “Army Socialism”. A Balance Sheet of the coup and another Reply to our Critics (LCC, WIVP, SF/LCFI), Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 8.8.2013.

* Michael Pröbsting: Liberation struggles and imperialist interference.

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