11/10/2015 by socialistfight
Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad: targeting of Syria shows Moscow gives priority to strengthening Damascus against near enemies rather than striking Islamic State. Photograph: Sana via Reuters
Socialist Fight Statement on the bombing of Syria 10-10-15
We unequivocally oppose the imperialist bombing of Syria and Iraq to defeat the ISIS, to defend the Kurds or other nationalities or for any other reason they give. We recognise as always that the main enemy is at home, and we are for the defeat of our own ruling class in this war. We know that US-dominated global imperialism is the enemy of the global working class and oppressed and any ‘humanitarian’ short-term benefit that might accrue from bombing operations for Kurdish or other minority rights only covers up for the longer-term strategic aims of Imperialism in this region and everywhere else. This aim is to overthrow all governments and movements that present even the smallest opposition to the dominations of their great finance houses and their allied global transnational corporations. Right now the strategic aims are regime change to seize control of Syria, Iran, the Donbass region of Ukraine, Venezuela, the deformed workers’ states of Cuba and North Korea and ultimately regime change and break up of Russia and China.
But confusion arises in rapidly changing situations when US-sponsored proxy armies fail to behave according to plan, ‘blowback’ happens and yesterday’s ally becomes today’s enemy. This had been the story repeatedly with the fundamentalists militias sponsored by the CIA in Afghanistan, Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa. The Mujahedeen allies in Afghanistan against the Soviets became the Taliban and Al Qaeda opponents of the US War on Terror after 9/11 2001. The US sponsored Jihadists in Libya and Syria became the ISIS opponents there and in Iraq and Syria. When ISIS emerged it was initially supported by the US and Israel to overthrow Assad but it developed its own agenda. It wants to build a region-wide Caliphate including the Kurdish oil-rich province of Iraq and Kurdish Syria. Although supported by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf reactionary regimes it nonetheless came into conflict with US strategic and economic interests in the region.
The rise of Islamic fundamentalism like the Taliban, Al Qaeda and ISIS is fundamentally caused by the reactionary nature of imperialism itself and its methods of defending and expanding its influences. However the rise of Islamic fundamentalist reaction in Afghanistan in the 1980s and in the Middle East and North Africa since is partly a consequence of the bureaucratic and reactionary methods of struggle of Stalinism against reaction historically in the degenerate and deformed workers’ states and the bourgeois nationalists in semi-colonial countries. There is no political attempts to liberate the oppressed peasants and women from the domination of the landlords and misogynist Mullahs. Mass indiscriminate bombings causes big civilian casualties and consolidates their hold over them.
Both Stalinism historically and bourgeois nationalists are ‘anti-imperialist’ through necessity only when they are under economic or military attack either directly by imperialism itself or by its proxy forces. Joseph Stalin pioneered this ‘anti-imperialist’ ideology whose apogee was the wartime ‘anti-fascist’ bloc with Roosevelt and Churchill. The essence of this popular front alliance was to prevent the victory of revolutions after WWII as we had seen in the Russian Revolution after WWI. The aim of the struggles by these forces are always to avoid an existential political struggle with imperialism itself and to seek a better settlement with it. They seek to persuade imperialism that they will be its best regional representatives if only they are allowed:
1. The latitude to enjoy their own corrupt privileges in the case of the remaining Stalinist regimes in Cuba and North Korea. The Castro brothers in Cuba and Kim Jong-un in North Korea continue to seek settlements with imperialism that maintain their own privileges whilst conducting no global struggle against it. Nevertheless we defend the gains of the workers and oppressed in these deformed workers’ states and fight for political and not social revolutions there.
2. The semi-colonial bourgeoisie also seek a settlement with imperialism to allow them to exploit their own working class and oppressed people on their own terms in closer alliance with global imperialism. Assad, Putin and the Donbass leaders are seeking a deal with imperialism to sell out the struggles that is now forced upon them.
Only revolutionary Trotskyism has a coherent programme of struggle and an integrated worldwide ideology to defeat imperialism on a global scale; that programme is Permanent Revolution allied with the Anti-Imperialist United Front as one coherent strategy. Our anti-imperialism has nothing in common with Stalinist, bourgeois and petty-bourgeois third world anti-imperialism which seeks only its own national and regional privileges. This is fundamentally opposed to mobilising the working class as a global force to overthrow capitalism in world revolution, the only ultimate solution to all national problems. Permanent Revolution as theorised by Trotsky after 1927 and the Anti-Imperialist United Front as elaborated by the revolutionary Comintern up to 1922 are united in the Transitional Programme and the method that flows from that as outlined by Trotsky in 1938.Front as elaborated by the revolutionary Comintern up to 1922 and its development, the Transitional Programme and the method that flows from that as outlined by Trotsky in 1938.
It is clear from this analysis that, whilst we must support Assad and Russia against imperialism and its puppets the approach to Islamic fundamentalism is so bureaucratic and brutal that there is no hope that Assad can win the allegiance of the rural Sunni population now.
What is the current political line-up?
Russia’s deployment of war planes, missile systems, tanks, and armoured troop carriers has dramatically changed the shape of the conflict on the ground in Syria and stepped up political pressure on western and Arab governments to come to terms with president Bashar al-Assad.
Russia’s airstrikes have altered the situation because they have been against sites where Syrian military forces are under pressure from anti-regime insurgents linked to or co-operating with al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, or locations hosting concentrations of Russian rebel Chechen fighters.
This strategic targeting shows Moscow gives priority to strengthening Damascus against near enemies rather than striking Islamic State. Furthermore, by hitting al-Nusra and its allies, which have the support of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Russia has made it clear al-Qaeda is not off-limits and cannot be considered part of the “moderate” camp.
According to Michael Jansen in the Irish Times Oct 5, 2015:
Russia’s involvement coincides with shifts in the positions of key Arab and western governments. The hardliners in the anti-Assad camp are Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, France, the expatriate National Coalition and insurgent groups. Last week, however, following a meeting in Moscow with Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan conceded Assad could be involved in transition negotiations. This was later dismissed by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, architect of Turkey’s increasingly unpopular anti-Assad campaign launched in 2011.
Under pressure to end the Syrian war in light of the refugee crisis in Europe, the US, UK and other European countries have moved from the hardline camp. The US and Britain contend Assad cannot “be part of Syria’s future” but may not have to step down before talks on a transition begin.
Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel calls for talks with “many actors”, including Assad, the US, Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia. This places Germany between the weakening US/UK and the pro-Assad camp which consists of Russia, Iran, Lebanon’s Hizbullah, Iraq and Egypt. Last week Iraq formed a joint command centre with Russia, Syria and Iran to share data on IS. 
1. No support for Imperialist bombing of ISIS in Syria!
2. Critical support for Russian military assistance to Assad!
 Michael Jansen: West and Arab states being forced to rethink Assad, Military action by Moscow places political pressure on other players, http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/middle-east/west-and-arab-states-being-forced-to-rethink-assad-1.2379834#utm_sguid=159148,2f34bf83-2946-14c4-8f93-e8e077bfee23