Against imperialist regime-change intervention in Syria and the Middle East
Annis, Roger; Courneyeur, Felipe Stuarthttp://links.org.au/against-imperialist-regime-change-intervention-syria-middle-east
Publisher: LINKS-international journal of socialist renewal
Date Written: 07/01/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20170
David Bush has published an appeal for reasoned and informed discussion in Canada of the war and humanitarian disaster in Syria. Roger and Courneyeur write this essay as a contribution to the discussion David suggests be opened.
A war of national self-defense in Syria
A discussion of Syria should begin by recognizing the form that the war there has taken since 2012. We disagree with David's characterization of the war in Syria as fundamentally a civil war. Yes, the war can be traced chronologically to the social protests (civil conflict) that erupted in Syria in early 2011, paralleling social protests in other Middle East countries, notably in Tunisia, Egypt and the authoritarian Gulf states. But, as David acknowledges, the protests in Syria were soon overwhelmed and pushed aside by a conscious turn of leading elements to armed conflict, complete with heavy foreign backing, aiming to overthrow the Syrian government. He writes, "The turn to armed struggle was a product of the regime's strategy to smash the movement by force. It [the turn to armed struggle] weakened rather than strengthened the forces of the popular revolt."