Support Syria

THREE weeks ago the imperialists were poised to launch missile strikes on Syria. Now the threat of war has receded thanks to the efforts of Russian diplomacy and the anti-war movement in Britain and the rest of the imperialist heartlands that successfully mobilised public opinion against the war-mongers.

That mass movement, which led to the defeat of the Cameron Coalition’s war plans in Parliament and stiffened the hands of those opposed to the war-party in the US Congress, also exposed the fissures within the imperialist camp on both sides of the Atlantic. That the claim that Syrian loyalist forces were responsible for last month’s poison gas attack has been openly challenged by retired senior US military and intelligence officers reflects the divisions over Syria within the ruling circles of the United States.

These divisions reflect concern over the wisdom of supporting rebels who are now largely drawn from the ranks of the Al Qaeda fanatics who have not hesitated in the past to bite the hand that feeds them, as the Americans learnt to their cost in Afghanistan. It comes from those who would prefer to compromise with Iran over the nuclear issue rather than move head-on into direct confrontation with the Islamic Republic and from those aware of the growing isolation of the United States in the face a Russian stand that was supported by People’s China and most of the Third World including giants like India and Brazil.

Syria’s Baathist-led popular front government has welcomed and endorsed the proposals. It has also agreed to sign the global Chemical Weapons Convention and it will fully comply with its terms.

The Russian-American agreement provides a realistic timetable for the international supervision of the elimination of all chemical weapons in Syria. It also paves the way for the reconvening of the Geneva Peace Conference that was set up last year under the auspices of the United Nations with the support of the super-powers to end the civil war in Syria and help establish a government of national reconciliation to rebuild the defiant Arab country’s shattered economy.

Though the immediate threat of imperialist aggression has receded for the moment the conflict continues as the Syrian army fights to drive out the Nato-backed rebels who are trying to oust the elected government of Bashar al Assad. Even while the Russian and American foreign ministers were talking peace in Geneva last weekend, the CIA was sending more arms and money to the rebels who are spreading terror and sectarian violence across the country.

The Assad government is supported by Syria’s communist movements that have appealed to the masses to close ranks around the government and army and make every effort to combat imperialist aggression, sectarian violence and the terrorist bands that are armed and funded by US-led imperialism and the feudal Arab oil princes.

But the Syrian people are not alone in this battle. They are backed by the masses throughout the Arab world and all those struggling for peace throughout the world. The world communist movement stands by its Syrian comrades fighting against the reactionary and brutal Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda militias and it stands by the popular Assad government that is defending the democratic constitution, which guarantees the rights of trade unionists, political parties and all the religious minorities in the country.

We stand for peace but we also stand for solidarity and in the days and months to come. British communists must work to build solidarity with Syria and the working people of Syria defending tolerance, independence and their chosen social system.