Anti-Assad Alawites Call for Brave and Fearless Commander

Mon 01 Sep 2014
By Zaman al-Wasl (Opposition website)  

Regime supporters have turned to social media to reflect their rage over the Islamic State’s humiliating defeats against the armed forces in eastern Syria

A decline in Bashar al-Assad’s popularity amid traditional supporters, reflected on social media, has gained momentum, with new calls for him to be replaced with one of his brutal commanders.

 

Online activists from Assad’s Alawite sect said that Colonel Suhail al-Hassan, who leads the military operations in Hama province is the most suitable man to replace Assad, saying Syria is in need of a strong leader who is brave and fearless.

 

Veteran British journalist Robert Fisk praised Hassan’s achievements in a report, calling him ‘Tiger’ and saying that he refused to take credit for a promotion to brigadier.

 

Regime supporters have turned to social media to reflect their rage and anger at Assad over the radical Islamic State’s (IS) humiliating defeats against the armed forces in eastern Syria.

 

The execution of scores of Syrian soldiers taken captive by IS at an airbase in Raqqa province has triggered unusually harsh social media criticism of the Damascus government by people who have taken its side in the civil war, Reuters reported.

 

Footage subsequently released on YouTube and broadcast by Arab news channels showed Islamic State fighters executing scores of Syrian soldiers after forcing them to march in the desert in nothing but their underwear.

 

Ahmed al-Ahmed, a Syrian writer from the Alawite sect, said on Facebook that “for who we should die, our sons are not puppets and they are not for sale or slaughter.”

 

Alawites are worried by both the Islamic State and recent attempts by Al-Qaeda’s Syrian arm, the Nusra Front, to advance closer to their areas, said an anti-Assad Alawite who lives near the coast, speaking via Skype to Reuters.

 

“The Alawite community is afraid. People here are angry. They’re upset that the government abandoned those soldiers. They are also worried now that the battles are coming so close,” Reuters quoted an activist, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of fears for his safety.

 

Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer

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Hajo Meyer 2003 Interview – East Jerusalem

Ilan Pappe : My good friend Hajo Meyer died last week. He was an outstanding fighter for the freedom of Palestine. A Holocaust survivor who believed strongly the universal legacy of what he experienced was to struggle against human oppression, even if, and particularly if, the oppressors, are Jews.

Fox Dives Headfirst Into Snow | North America

Muhammad Ali -Then And Now (Documentary with David Frost)

The Anti-Imperialism of Fools

معاً ضد الديكتاتورية Juntxs contra la dictadura Together against    Dictatorship (Kurdish woman fighter of PYD "Rpkan" in Aleppo)معاً ضد الديكتاتورية. Juntxs contra la dictadura. Together Against Dictatorship (Poster featuring Rokan a Kurdish PYD fighter from Aleppo)

As we all witnessed yesterday Syria’s foreign minister Walid Muallem said thatSyria will offer to help the US fight the Islamic State (IS) militant group. This of course has left the so called Anti-war camp and “Anti-Imperialist” left in the U.S/West and even Arab assadists that support Assad either confused or silent on the matter. It’s important to note these are the same leftists or as some call them ‘tankies’ that support Russian imperialism and Iranian mini-imperialism in the Middle East and don’t even care whether Russia is a capitalist oligarchy or if Iran has communist political prisoners in its jails or killed because of their ideas this shows you how unprincipled they can be by becoming reactionary by supporting bourgeois nationalism and fascism. This article will focus on the many ways to break the regime’s “resistance” and “rejection of U.S/Western Imperialism” narrative and a way for critically think about Syria and the peoples mobilization against the regime.

I. Understanding the Assad regime and Syria 

In order to understand what led to the masses in Syria rising up against the regime we must look into the social,economic and material conditions in Syria. I will provide a short introduction from comrade Yasmeen Mobayed:

the ba’ath party staged its first military coup in syria in 1963. in 1966, hafez al-assad participated in the second military coup, which brought salah jadid to power. from 1950-1970, hafez al-assad was a lieutenant in the syrian air force, the head commander of the syrian air force, and the minister of defense. then in 1970, hafez al-assad led the third military coup to topple salah jadid, finally forcing himself into power. hafez al-assad actively used sectarianism as a method of consolidating and maintaining his power – he greatly increased alawite dominance in the regime’s security and intelligence branches, though his elite class was of all sects. the core of the assad regime, however, consisted (and still consists) of assad family members/relatives who control everything from the army to the economy (ex. rami makhlouf, bashar al-assad’s cousin, controls 60% of syria’s economy).  an introduction to syria – its history and its present revolutionary struggles

Beginning in the 1980’s Hafez Al-Assad began implementing neoliberal policies and especially in 2005 where the “social-market economy” was introduced which was according to Professor Omar S. Dahi This “was more market than social”. This type of authoritarian neoliberalism caused a crisis and mass poverty and unemployment where the peasants in the country side and the proletariat in the city suburbs and working class neighbourhoods suffered and these include the rise of “informal housing” or slums where people were forced in because the rent and housing prices and gentrification rocketed in Syrian cities they people were left in despair and it’s not surprising that when the protests broke out in Tunisia, Egypt the Syrian people saw that they had nothing to lose and rose up against the regime.

II. The Assad regime has always been a servant of Imperialism and Zionism

According to syrian regime narrative it has always been a “resistance” and “Objector to Zionism and U.S Western Imperialism” now we know from it’s history that it is far from that. Beginning with the Golan Heights a Syrian territory occupied by Israel Hafez-Al Assad never bothered to fight to return it and left it under occupation and zionist settler-colonisation. During the Lebanese Civil War Hafez-Al Assad and the Syrian Army led a war on Palestinian refugee camps which resulted in the deaths of many Palestinian civilians and was condemned by Palestinian revolutionaries like George Habash the founder of the PFLP who was critical of the regime in this video he criticizes the syrian regime for being a tool of zionism and imperialism and the regime being a killer of the Palestinian people next to israel. Now recently his son Bashar Al-Assad launched his own war on the camps in Syria with siege and shelling of Yarmouk Refugee camp and other camps. like Ramel in Lattakia and Dar’aa camp in southern Syria, Homs Al’Aiddeen camp and Handarat Aleppo camp where many of the inhabitants were killed, starved and made refugees again. The Assad regime has always served U.S/Western Imperialism besides the recent offer to aid to U.S strikes on I.S it collaborated with the U.S in the gulf war and under Bashar looked to re-establish ties with Israel. Also we can’t forget that the Syrian regime and it’s mukhabarat (intelligence services) worked with the C.I.A to torture on people on “extraordinary rendition” like the case of the Syrian-Canadian citizen Maher Arar who was kidnapped, deported and sent to be tortured by the syrian mukhabarat.

III. The Assad regime is Anti-Communist

This has to be always repeated the Assad regime is a bourgeois nationalist, capitalist and social chauvinist state that has always repressed any dissent against it with the use of it’s Mukhabarat (intelligence services) and especially the air force intelligence, Army and Shabiha (Regime backed Death Squads). Yes the Assad regime is Anti-Communist which is not surprising since the 1970 coup by Hafez Al-Assad was a right-opportunist and reactionary takeover against the Marxist and leftist Salah Jadid. The Regime has cracked down on many communist groups especially the Syrian Communist Action Party it has a Maoist tendency and was heavily repressed in the 70’s and 80’s by the Syrian regime and many of its cadres were militants in the 70’s student radicalism especially in Aleppo University where it was centre of a revolutionary organization. Also the regime heavily repressed Palestinian groups like the Palestinian Popular committees which was established in the 80’s and supported the Syrian communist action party and other leftist and communist militants the group had many of its cadres killed,arrested and  tortured in Syrian regime prisons. And many of these militants were from all sects especially the Alawite, Sunni, Ismaili, Druze,Shia and Christian sects. Regarding the Kurdish people the syrian regime prisons have always been filled with  Kurdish political prisoners and the regime itself denied Kurds citizenship and cultural and linguistic rights. Syrian communists in jail include Abd al Aziz al KhatyyerJihad As’ad. Also the Palestinian filmaker from Yarmouk camp Hassan Hassan who was tortured to death by the regime. The Assad regime is no different from the Somoza, Pinochet, Suharto and Kuomintang regimes it should be condemned by every Marxist-Leninist, Anti-Imperialist, leftist and socialist.

IV. There are progressive forces in Syria 

The Syrian Communist Action Party is part of the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change a front of left-wing parties and organizations who oppose the regime and seek to overthrow it. There is also the PYD (People’s Protection Unit the military wing of the Kurdish leftist Democratic Unity Party which has declared peoples war on the regime taken control of Kurdish neighbourhoods in Aleppo and northern Syria or Western Kurdistan (Rojava) and built an autonomous self-governed region and has been fighting both the Assad regime and (I.S). Regarding non-Kurdish leftist groups who gave taken up armed struggle the Syrian Revolutionary left Current established the People’s Liberation Faction to commemorate the third anniversary of the Syrian revolution. Also these include the L.C.C (Local coordination committees), Left-wing and communist organizations like the Syrian leftist coalition and Syrian Communists. All these parties and organizations are Anti-Imperialist opposing U.S/Western Imperialism and the Arab Gulf states are part of this and Iranian-Russian Imperialism in the country and are struggling against them. Usually an assadist “leftist” will tell you that there is a communist party in the Syrian parliament yet fails to understand that the syrian communist party-Bakdash is a reactionary tool of the regime and the ruling class in Syria.

V. An end of the Anti-Imperialism of Fools 

Comrades and friends, let’s put an end to this Anti-Imperialism of fools and be principled to our ideals and not fall into supporting those who blindly back the fascist,social chauvinist and bourgeois nationalist Assad regime that is oppressing the Syrian masses we have to unite and support the syrian people’s struggle and progressive forces of Syria against the Assad regime and Imperialism whether it is US/Western Imperialism, Russian imperialism or Iranian and Arab gulf countries interventions in Syria.

- Mahmoud E.

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What it’s like to be the most hated man in Israel

 

Gideon Levy finds it impossible not to wonder: How did one journalist – and not the country’s most widely read or most widely distributed – become an object of such rage and hatred?

By Gideon Levy | Aug. 27, 2014 | 7:25 PM |  40

Gideon Levy speaks at Haaretz's Israel Conference on Peace, July 8, 2014. Photo by Tomer Appelbaum

Gideon Levy speaks at Haaretz’s Israel Conference on Peace, July 8, 2014. Photo by Tomer Appelbaum

By Gideon Levy | Aug. 27, 2014 | 11:32 AM |  1

It was four years ago. The British newspaper The Independent published an interview under the title: “Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?” The question was groundless – I wasn’t the most hated, and certainly not the most heroic. In the summer of 2014 the answer would be more succinct – I’m the most hated, second only to Khaled Meshal. Unpleasant, but not too terrible, at this point. The narrator must not become the story; a journalist is always the means, not the end.

And yet, it’s impossible to ignore the troubling question: How did one journalist – and not the most widely read or the most widely distributed – become an object of such rage and hatred? How is one small cracked mirror, a tiny pocket flashlight, capable of evoking so much fury? How is it that one voice made so many Israelis, from left and right, north and south, blow their top?

It can only be that even the last of the inciters are conscientious people. They too feel, apparently, that something is burning under their feet, under the rugs of justifications and defenses they laid for themselves. Otherwise, why are they seething with such rage? And why are they no longer sure they’re in the right?

The truth is, I’m very proud of what I wrote in this wretched war and I’m ashamed of the responses – which said more about Israeli society than they did about anything I wrote. It’s a society that is denying itself to death, fleeing from the news and lying to itself in its propaganda and its hatred.

No other war had turned my stomach, every day and every hour, like this one did. The horrific pictures of Gaza haunted me. They were almost not shown in the Israeli media, the greatest voluntary collaborator of this war. I thought it was impossible to not be appalled by the crimes in Gaza, that it was okay to express compassion for its residents, that 2,200 killed people are an outrageous matter – regardless whether they’re Palestinians or Israelis. I thought it was okay to be ashamed, that it was necessary to remind ourselves that some people bear responsibility for the brutality, and these people aren’t only Hamas, but first and foremost the Israelis, their leaders, commanders and even their pilots.

For the average Israeli, who has become accustomed to blame the Arabs and the whole world for all his country’s wrongs, it was too much, certainly at a time of war. I thought it was my duty to express my sentiments in real time, in the time of truth. I knew it wouldn’t make much difference, but I felt the things had to be said. The absolute majority of Israelis thought otherwise. They thought that comparing between the blood of Israelis and Palestinians is a sin. That feeling dismay is treason, compassion is heresy and that placing responsibility is an inexpiable crime.

Well, dear friends, history has proved long ago that the brainwashed majority isn’t always right, certainly not when it falls on the negligible minority with such ferocious aggression.

I’ve been covering the Israeli occupation for some 30 years. I’ve seen possibly more occupation than any other Israeli (excluding Amira Hass). That’s my original sin. That is also what forged my awareness more than anything else. I’ve heard all the lies, seen the ongoing injustices from point-blank range. Now they’ve reached another of their ignoble nadirs in this damned war. That’s what I’ve written about and that’s what Haaretz reported, thus becoming another target of hatred. It wasn’t only our right; it was our professional obligation.

The spiteful looks in the street, the curses and attacks have made no difference. Nor will they. The thuggish right wing, the complacent, indifferent, doubt-free center, even the always smug so-called left, which claimed that I was “ruining the left,” all joined in one shrill choir, proving that the differences between them are smaller than they had appeared.

There were enough people who wrote and spoke, ad nauseam, about Israel’s right of way, which is always absolute and about the Jewish victim, which is the only victim in the world. I wanted to say something else as well – and the majority opinion almost went berserk. So let them get angry, let them hate me,  let them attack and ostracize me – I’ll go on doing my thing.

 

By Haaretz | Aug. 18, 2014 | 7:06 PM

 

 

Syria : Life After Theory

I felt a sense of sorrow seeing the Syrian regime soldiers being herded into the desert by ISIS. They were stripped of their uniforms and weapons. In the video they looked naked and weak. It wasn’t without a sense of irony that I recalled similar videos of Syrian civilians being herded off a bus, naked, hands tied and blindfolded as they were rushed off to whatever horrors lay in store for them. But I can’t bring myself to mock. I can’t look at a human being getting degraded in that way and not feeling something. Isn’t that why this whole affair kicked off? Wasn’t our outrage and horror at the way protesters were being treated the reason why we all broke the fear barrier and spoke out?

I can feel empathy for the regime soldiers, though perhaps less for the hardcore of the regime itself, and I’m free to do so. There is nobody compelling me to, and I feel no worry about holding my opinion, which is something that a pro-regime Syrian could never do. They can feel outrage only for certain victims, certain injustices, and certain types of suffering. And now that this ISIS has reared its head, what? Do we abandon everything as a hopeless dilemma? As a choice between two barbarisms? Between bearded and non-bearded butchers and torturers? No, I choose instead to believe in our decency and kind heartedness. Since the start of the Syrian revolution I’ve felt a resurgent humanism in my thinking and understanding and it tugs away at my feelings constantly. I know I’m not alone. It’s there if you look for it within every Syrian person who took the difficult and frightening first steps to stand up for what they believe in and say no to injustice. We had to overcome obstacles at every level to do that and anybody who hasn’t gone through that wouldn’t understand. Instead they would hide behind lofty talk of geo-politics and “great games”. But the dusty narratives about colonialism, post-colonialism, occupation and liberation are no longer relevant, if they ever were. There is something stronger, more powerful than all of that, and it’s something I choose to believe in.

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