against any imperialist attack!
International Statement by those unconditionally
opposed to this Imperialist attack: Hands off Syria!
opposed to this Imperialist attack: Hands off Syria!
Liaison Committee for the Fourth International - LCFI
28 August 2013
We oppose unconditionally the imperialist attack on Syria and are for its defeat. The fundamental task of the hour for all serious socialists and anti-Imperialists internationally is to defend the national sovereignty of Syria against this Imperialist attack which is launched with Zionist assistance (a big Israeli military delegation is in Washington right now discussing with Susan Rice) in order to assist their allies, the Free Syrian Army and the various al Qaeda rebels of the Al-Nusra Front etc. There are no revolutionary socialists or anti-Imperialists fighting Assad in Syria, talk of what might have been is to support a phantom revolutionary army in the face of the very obvious reality of this Imperialist war of aggression.
We have every reason to suspect that Sarin and mustard gas (the same as used by the U.S. in Vietnam) which killed hundreds of people was more the work of imperialist terrorism in the region. Obama and the imperialist mass media are seeking to ascribe the blame to the Syrian government and are using this to justify the attack. And the same pro-imperialist forces, this time the KLA, fabricated a bogus tale of the Račak Massacre in Kosovo in 1999 (all the dead were KLA fighters)  to justify the bombing of Yugoslavia, just exactly as they are probably doing now with their Sarin gas “red line” and the Weapons of Mass Destruction lies used to justify invading Iraq in 2003 and the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964 used to justify the war in Vietnam.  It is also reminiscent of the Gleiwitz incident a staged attack by Nazi forces posing as Poles on 31 August 1939, against the German radio station Sender Gleiwitz in Gleiwitz, Upper Silesia, Germany (since 1945: Gliwice, Poland) on the eve of World War II in Europe. This was used to justify the invasion of Poland in 1939. 
It has always been thus; the spiral of imperialist barbarism tries to hide a crime by committing another, greater, crime. The imperialist terror attack using chemical weapons against hundreds of children and adults in Syria occurred immediately in the wake of a blatant coup in Egypt, followed by a bloody massacre of hundreds of the Egyptian oppositionists by the new pro-imperialist coup government. Now, to cover the second crime, imperialism threatens to bomb Syria, accusing it in a great hullabaloo of massacring their own people, when we know that since 2011 the U.S. itself has been supplying arms and other assistance to the terrorist mercenaries in Syria. The U.S. government has enlisted allies in the West and the Middle East and has transported huge killing machines by sea and air to commit genocide against the Arab peoples. They have used lies and media manipulation to accomplish this as in previous operations in Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and more recently in Libya.
We offer the traditional Marxist position of unconditional but critical support to Syria in this assault and in the war against the Imperialist-sponsored rebels. We must follow the tactic of Lenin and Trotsky to the threat of Kornilov in Russia in 1917. We are for crushing the mercenaries of the FSA and the Al-Nusra Front. We are for an Anti Imperialist United Front (AIUF) with Assad. We demand that Assad arms the working class and call for the enlisting of all the people in the army against the mercenaries and imperialism. But we do not support Assad. This is a matter of principle. The Leninist -Trotskyists have not supported in the past, do not support in the present nor will in the future support any capitalist government. As Lenin said:
“Even now we must not support Kerensky’s government. This is unprincipled. We may be asked: aren’t we going to fight against Kornilov? Of course we must! But this is not the same thing; there is a dividing line here, which is being stepped over by some Bolsheviks who fall into compromise and allow themselves to be carried away by the course of events. We shall fight, we are fighting against Kornilov, just as Kerensky’s troops do, but we do not support Kerensky. On the contrary, we expose his weakness. There is the difference. It is rather a subtle difference, but it is highly essential and must not be forgotten.” 
We reject the abject notion that Imperialism is sponsoring any type of a revolution in Syria, no more than it did in sponsoring and militarily assisting the overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya or in covertly supporting the army coup in Egypt. Those who point to the subsequent slaying of the American Ambassador in Libya a year ago or the US support for the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi when he was in office forget that Imperialism has no permanent friends or enemies, only economic and geo-political interests. The Fundamentalists it supported in Afghanistan in the 1980s and 90s fought it later in Iraq and Afghanistan itself, those it sponsored in Libya turned against it in Mali, those it is now sponsoring in Syria via its client states in the Gulf, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, will later fight it in a new arena. But if the US overthrow Assad and defeat the Hezbollah at the same time it will have gained its most important strategic geo-political war aim in the region: it will have removed the threat to Israel posed by Hezbollah, the best guerrilla fighting force in the region, and it will have prepared the next attack for regime change on Iran. That it will have facilitated the imposition of barbaric regimes who may confront Israel later is very much a secondary question for Imperialism; the CIA celebrated the fall of Kabul to the Taliban and the lynching of former President Mohammad Najibullah in Afghanistan in September 1996.
The United Nations is effectively a nursery talking shop whereby the Imperialists allow the assembled nations of the world to play with the toys of diplomacy on secondary questions whilst it gets on with its own business regardless of what they think. Western Imperialism bombed Yugoslavia in 1999 despite the fact that the UN Security Council did not sanction it. US imperialism considers the UN its own thing, because it is the majority funder and provides its HQ. It is nothing but a back office of the Pentagon when it decides to act for world order under US terms. The split on the top table, the Security Council - is unavoidable and can no longer be postponed if Imperialism is not to relinquish its all-encompassing global predatory role - economically, politically and militarily. This must mean war against Russia and China in the medium term. The social consequences on every continent are nothing but collateral damage for this “alliance of robbers” as Lenin described the League of Nations in 1920.
We reject any characterisation of this attack or the war in Syria since 2011 as any type of an inter-Imperialist proxy war between US-led Western Imperialism and Chinese-Russian Eastern Imperialism. The US and its allies in the UK, France, Germany and Japan control the overwhelming majority of the economic and military resources of the planet and are as bellicose now as the Imperialist powers were before WWI and WWII. They are going to war because capitalism’s falling rate of profit means this is the only way to restore a higher rate of profit for their trans-national corporations and finance houses in Wall Street, the City of London, Paris, Hamburg and Tokyo.
Just the announcement of the attack on Syria has boosted oil prices. The commodity hegemony of the “Seven Sisters” oil barons controlled by the U.S. and Britain (Exxon, Mobil, Gulf, Socal, Texaco, Shell, BP), whose main partners in the Middle East, not by chance are Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE the major direct funders of the Syrian mercenaries. “In New York, the price of a barrel of crude oil for October delivery rose $ 3.23 to $112.24 a barrel, the highest since May 3, 2011. Already in London, the price of Brent crude oil for delivery in October, reached a maximum of six months, rising 26% to $ 117.34 a barrel. The United States, France and the UK are close to a military intervention in Syria, after the alleged use of chemical weapons in the country.” 
This war could well be the opening volleys of WWIII in what is essentially a global war for markets between the NATO bloc and the central opposition around Russia and China. The Chinese and Russian bourgeoisies are not strong enough to prevail in the fight for their own areas of influence. We see this in the successive retreats forced on China in Africa, first in Libya, then in Mali and more recently in the Central African Republic.
Compared to Western Imperialism the resources of Russia and China combined are puny indeed. This is a Western Imperialist-sponsored war and a counter-revolution which is currently engaged in ethnically cleansing the Kurds in northern Syria in order to declare an Islamic state based on Sharia law with all the terrible consequences for women, gays and lesbians and all minorities who are not sufficiently of the Sunni Muslim faith. The sponsoring of Sunni Muslim terrorism has been the main strategic orientation for the US via the CIA since the fall of Saddam made Shi’a Iran the main objective opponent in the region. The Special Activities Division of the CIA has carried out much Covert Action and “Special Activities” such as bombings of Shi’a civilians in Iraqi marketplaces to promote communal violence for its own ends. That is the reason for the obviously growing popularity of the Assad government not only among all the ethnic minority communities but also among the urban Sunni Muslims who wish to defend at least the level of secular rights and freedoms they have under Assad. We therefore reject absolutely that this is, or is degenerating into, a sectarian Sunni/Shi’a conflict no more than the conflict in the north of Ireland was/is a religious Catholic/Protestant sectarian conflict, despite many instances of this on both sides in the region. Religion is always an ideological cloak beneath which people fight out their real material economic, social and political interests. The dividing lines in both conflicts, as in the entire semi-colonial world, are between the forces of Imperialism and the forces of anti-Imperialism. Revolutionaries are always unequivocally anti-Imperialist.
Those who cannot seek the defeat of their own Imperialist war-mongers in this attack have fallen at the first hurdle and are of no use to the working class whatsoever. The kindest thing that we can say about them is that they are confusing the concepts of unconditional and uncritical support. Their main motivation in defending the bogus “Syrian Revolution” is to gain acceptance from the trade union bureaucracy, the social-Imperialist layer which is the main pillar of capitalism in the ranks of the working class.
We salute the heroism of the brave soldiers of the Syrian National Army who have suffered terrible casualties in defence of their country’s right to self-determination against this Imperialist-sponsored assault. They have every right to get their arms and other assistance from Iran and Russia; Imperialist Special Forces have been on the ground in Syria since 2011. From the ranks of these anti-Imperialist working class fighters may come the forces for the future revolutionary socialist party which will in its turn deal with Assad and his reactionary bourgeois nationalists whose economic policy was as anti-working class and as neo-liberal as any Imperialist country. We are confident that the pro-Imperialist rebels and their supporters will be consigned to the dustbin of history by these anti-Imperialist forces.
Of course principled revolutionary socialists and anti-Imperialists do not defend the record and practice of reactionary bourgeois nationalist governments like those of the “Supreme Leader” of Iran, Ali Khamenei, Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi or Bashar al-Assad. These were and are all brutal tyrants and as pro-Imperialist as domestic political conditions allow them to be. We can never forget the favour Assad’s father Hafez al-Assad did for the Zionists and Western Imperialism in procuring the terrible massacre of the Palestinian in the Tel al-Zaatar refugee camp during the Lebanese Civil War on August 12, 1976. And they have brutally oppressed their own working class, outlawing strikes and executing and imprisoning trade union leaders and imposing corporate state trade unions to oppress the workers. But there are oppressed and oppressor nations; Imperialist nations and semi-colonial nations. This is the essence of Imperialism according to Lenin. These humanitarian liberal social patriots who point to the terrible deeds of the semi-colonial tyrants and equate their crimes with those of Imperialism itself deserve universal contempt. They stand in the tradition of the “third campists” like Max Shachtman when proclaiming “neither Imperialism nor Assad but the working class”. This tendency now compromises the vast majority of self-proclaimed Trotskyist groups internationally. Very few indeed continue to look on the reactionary rebels as revolutionaries or see a revolution hiding in the tail of that particular comet. We cannot fight for socialism in our own Imperialist country and accept the booty of empire extracted from the brutal oppression of semi-colonial workers and peasants as its source.
We stand unequivocally with Lenin on this question:
“That is why the focal point in the Social-Democratic programme must be that division of nations into oppressor and oppressed which forms the essence of imperialism, and is deceitfully evaded by the social-chauvinists and Kautsky. This division is not significant from the angle of bourgeois pacifism or the philistine Utopia of peaceful competition among independent nations under capitalism, but it is most significant from the angle of the revolutionary struggle against imperialism” 
If the bourgeois governments of Russia, China and Iran do not capitulate again before imperialism, and imperialism is consistent with their own interests we may have a third world war. In this conflict revolutionaries did not seek out an ideal and comfortable third camp, they cannot be mistaken as mere pacifists. Neither do we have illusions in the bourgeoisies of Russia, China, Iran or Syria. The outcome for humanity will be barbarism if we do not prevail in the struggle to defeat the U.S. and its allies. We put our faith in the victory of the oppressed nations and the reconstruction of the Fourth International, the world party of socialist revolution.
Down with the Imperialist attack on Syria!
For the military victory of Syria against any imperialist attack!
Defend Syria’s right to self-determination!
Defeat the Imperialists-sponsored rebels of the Free Syrian Army and the Al-Nusra Front!
Arm the entire working class and poor of the cities to fight Imperialism and its mercenary rebel proxy army!
Form workers committees in the cities and in the army to pursue this war to victory!
Overthrow the Zionist state of Israel, for a Multi ethnic Palestinian workers state!
Forward to a workers government as part of a Socialist Federation of the Middle East!
 NATO’s Illegal War Against Serbia/ The Lies of The Račak Massacre In Kosovo, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-muEj_E0PY
 In 2005, an internal National Security Agency historical study was declassified; it concluded that the Maddox had engaged the North Vietnamese Navy on August 2, but that there were no North Vietnamese Naval vessels present during the incident of August 4. The August 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, where U.S. warships were allegedly attacked by North Vietnamese PT Boats, was cited by President Lyndon B. Johnson as a legitimate provocation mandating U.S. escalation in Vietnam, yet Tonkin was a staged charade that never took place. This is what is an exact repeat of what Bill Clinton did in 1999 and what Bush and Blair did to attack Afghanistan and Iraq in 2001 and 2003 and what we can be sure what Obama is now doing in Syria now. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_of_Tonkin_Incident
 Gleiwitz incident, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gleiwitz_incident
 V. I. Lenin , To the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/aug/30.htm
 Preço do petróleo sobe com receios sobre impacto de intervenção militar na Síria http://www.rtp.pt/noticias/index.php?article=676575&tm=6&layout=121&visual=49
 Lenin, V.I., The Revolutionary Proletariat and the Right of Nations to Self-Determination.
 Lenin, V.I., The Revolutionary Proletariat and the Right of Nations to Self-Determination.