Syria, Imperialism, and the Left

(By Aidan Xavier, Crimes of Colonialism)

“Death a thousand times to the hired Muslim Brotherhood, death a thousand times to the Muslim Brotherhood, the criminal Brotherhood, the corrupt Brotherhood”

– Hafez Al-Assad

Our concern is always of the popular masses against the Imperialists

Crimes of Colonialism stands with the Syrian people and President Assad against Imperialism. The primary contradiction of our era, is the contradiction of Imperialism; for it is Imperialism that brings the contradictions of global poverty, hunger, centralization of wealth, barefaced exploitation and the destitution of the many to the welfare of the few to their very end. It is none other than Imperialism, that is responsible for the rich resources of Africa being allocated to the rich countries while children in Africa die sucking on their mother’s dry breast, it is Imperialism that committed the Iraq genocide, kills little girls in drone strikes in Afghanistan, and deploys CIA insurgents into Syria to topple a democratically elected Government. Imperialism is parasitic – it is repugnant – it is illogical – and if anything were to be given the term “evil” Imperialism would be the first for nomination.

With Syria against American Imperialism

While those such as myself hold a policy of taking the position that goes against the interests of Imperialism – including, but not limited to, supporting National-Bourgeois Governments such as Ba’athist Iraq, Green Libya and in this case, Ba’athist Syria against Imperialism – the American left has, quite devastatingly, been at a crossroads in the face of United States aggression towards the state of Syria. With real unrest growing among Egyptian Proletariat against the stooges of United States Imperialism being put into power to oppress the masses of Egypt, the knee-jerk reaction of many among the American left was to assume that the counter-revolutions in Libya and Syria were, too, genuine, real unrest and tension between the oppressed and down trodden classes of Syria against the Government of Assad. This is, admittedly, although entirely wrong, understandable. Syria and Libya are far-off countries, with Governments heavily propagated against by the American media, ignorance from them is but to be expected.  In their efforts towards internationalism with the oppressed and wretched of the Earth, they have mistakenly taken the side of Imperialism. This is something that must be resolved immediately, for the sake of the people of Syria, we must develop genuinely internationalist positions as enlightened proletarians – to the oppressed peoples of the developing nations, we American left are the representatives of the American Proletariat, and if we are not enlightened to the point of being conscious of, and opposing vehemently, our country’s Imperialist plots globally, the oppressed people of the developing nations cannot look with reverence and inspiration to the proletarian revolution in the American empire.

Supporting National-Bourgeois Governments against Imperialism

Why should we support National-Bourgeois Governments against Imperialism? This was a question asked commonly by the Social-Democrats and Mensheviks of the early 20th Century, whom the Bolshevik Revolutionaries clashed with. Regarding the relevance of supporting National-Bourgeois Governments against Imperialist aggressors, Vladimir Lenin said the following:

“To carry on a war for the overthrow of the international bourgeoisie,” says Lenin, “a war which is a hundred times more difficult, protracted, and complicated than the most stubborn of ordinary wars between states, and to refuse beforehand to manoeuvre, to utilize the conflict of interests (even though temporary) among one’s enemies, to reject agreements and compromises with possible (even though temporary, unstable, vacillating and conditional) allies-is not this ridiculous in the extreme?” (1)

It is the unrealistic attitude of the typical American Quasi-Liberal Leftist who would say that they “Support the Syrian people against Imperialism, but not Assad” for there is no meaning in this statement whatsoever. Imperialism is not defeated by moral force, but by real physical forces that go against their interests. The majority of Syria is in the public sector, that is to say, it is nationalized, which is why it is National-Bourgeois in character – it is opposed to monopoly Capitalism robbing the Nation of it’s natural resources, the Ba’ath Party of Syria says that it’s resources are for the Syrian people, not for the Americans, or anyone, for that matter. In regards to the progressive character of National-Bourgeois Governments, Joseph Stalin spoke on the experience of the Emir of Afghanistan against British Imperialism:

“The unquestionably revolutionary character of the vast majority of national movements is as relative and peculiar as is the possible revolutionary character of certain particular national movements. The revolutionary character of a national movement under the conditions of imperialist oppression does not necessarily presuppose the existence of proletarian elements in the movement, the existence of a revolutionary or a republican programme of the movement, the existence of a democratic basis of the movement. The struggle that the Emir of Afghanistan is waging for the independence of Afghanistan is objectively a revolutionary struggle, despite the monarchist views of the Emir and his associates, for it weakens, disintegrates and undermines imperialism; whereas the struggle waged by such “desperate” democrats and “Socialists,” “revolutionaries” and republicans during the imperialist war was a reactionary struggle, for its results was the embellishment, the strengthening, the victory, of imperialism. For the same reasons, the struggle that the Egyptians merchants and bourgeois intellectuals are waging for the independence of Egypt is objectively a revolutionary struggle, despite the bourgeois origin and bourgeois title of the leaders of Egyptian national movement, despite the fact that they are opposed to socialism.” (2)

The writers for the Trotskyite International Socialist Organization gasp collectively. (3) To them, a quote from a Proletarian leader like Joseph Stalin is worse than a quote from some Fascist brute like Mussolini, or Franco. They consider our use of Stalin’s wisdom as only better reason to support the counter-revolution in Syria, but what would their own hero, Leon Trotsky, say concerning the situation in Syria? This statement from Trotsky, concerning the Bolshevik de-facto position on National-Bourgeois figures against Imperialism, is telling:

“We do not only recognize, but we also give full support to the principle of self-determination, wherever it is directed against feudal, capitalist and imperialist states. But wherever the fiction of self-determination, in the hands of the bourgeoisie, becomes a weapon directed against the proletarian revolution, we have no occasion to treat this fiction differently from the other ‘principles’ of democracy perverted by capitalism.” (4)

Very well, the Trotskyites of today may say, but isn’t the “Oppressive” regime of Assad something to oppose, even when the stakes of Imperialism are high? Trotsky continues, this time, going even further:

“In Brazil there now reigns a semi-fascist regime that every revolutionary can only view with hatred. Let us assume, however, that on the morrow England enters into a military conflict with Brazil. I ask you on whose side of the conflict will the working class be? I will answer for myself personally—in this case I will be on the side of ‘fascist’ Brazil against ‘democratic’ Great Britain. Why? Because in the conflict between them it will not be a question of democracy or fascism. If England should be victorious, she will put another fascist in Rio de Janeiro and will place double chains on Brazil. If Brazil on the contrary should be victorious, it will give a mighty impulse to national and democratic consciousness of the country and will lead to the overthrow of the Vargas dictatorship. The defeat of England will at the same time deliver a blow to British imperialism and will give an impulse to the revolutionary movement of the British proletariat. Truly, one must have an empty head to reduce world antagonisms and military conflicts to the struggle between fascism and democracy. Under all masks one must know how to distinguish exploiters, slave-owners, and robbers!” (5)

It is clear what Trotsky’s position would be concerning the Imperialist conquest towards Syria by the American finance-Capitalists. He, like Lenin, like Stalin, and like nearly any Bolshevik, would stand with Assad and the Syrian State against the aggression from the Imperialist powers. If not from Trotsky, from whom do the Trotskyites of today derive their petty positions on Syria? From their heroes like Hillary Clinton, or Barack Obama. But to the ardent Anti-Imperialist, the Marxist-Leninist, Clinton and Obama are no heroes we look up to. They are nasty, and putrid enemies of the people, who have committed crimes against the masses that stand as unforgivable.

Bashar Al-Assad is no enemy of the people

The Free Syrian Army, which is merely an instrument of the puppet group TheMuslim Brotherhood which has been backed by the United States in Syria since the days of Hafez Al-Assad and the Soviet Union (6), has been responsible for faking videos of Syrian Army abuses, which have been taken up by American media and used to detract dissent to invasion of Syria. Proof of this has been documented. (7)

The irony is that old white men who would normally whimper and squeal at the thought of Armed Struggle against United States Imperialism by groups such as, for example, the Weather Underground, or the May 19th Communist Organization, or an Islamic Taliban squad in Afghanistan fighting United States troops, would welcome the same  Taliban men in Syria, maybe of an even more vicious character, who would attack Syrian citizens at random, (8) who would terrorize whole streets and towns, keeping the civilians fraught with fear, constantly in danger. The United States would prefer we support these “Rebels” who have virtually no popular support among the people, but would cry “Terrorism!” at the Red Army Faction of West Germany, who had civil tactics of opposing Imperialism through armed struggle, and of which more than a quarter of West Germans under forty supported their cause. (9)

The majority of Syrians support Assad and the Ba’ath party of Syria against the United States Insurgents. (10)

The Guardian is reporting that:

“Some 55% of Syrians want Assad to stay, motivated by fear of civil war.” (10)

The article continued to remark, concerning outside Arab forces, not affected by Assad, but clearly involved in the Free Syrian Army and other opposition groups:

“The key finding was that while most Arabs outside Syria feel the president should resign, attitudes in the country are different. Some 55% of Syrians want Assad to stay” (10)

It is clear that it is not in the interests of the Syrian people to oust Assad, but in the interests of the Imperialists, and their manipulated mercenaries, many of which don’t even live in Syria.

Puppet of Russia and China?

A last resort to not support Assad used by the American left, is to conclude that Assad is a puppet of Russian and Chinese “Imperialism” an interesting statement, but an entirely incorrect one.

For one, the economy of Syria, as stated before, is a Nationalized one. (11) Syria is a stooge of no country, it does not devote it’s economy to the benefit of Russia, nor China. Even if the Syrian State was not National-Bourgeois in character, this would not change the fact that China’s interest in defending Syria from United States Imperialism is entirely distinct from the type of disastrous and bloody self-interest of American in Syria. For one, Syria offers China little in the area of natural resources:

“China has had strong trade relations with Syria, and strong economic cooperation with the Bashar al-Assad regime since 2001, after both parties signed an agreement on economic and technical cooperation; this means that China is Syria’s third most important trading partner. However the volume of trade between the two countries, which amounted to $2.2 billion in 2010, is nothing in comparison to the commercial exchange between China and the Gulf States, which exceeds more than $90 billion per year. Therefore China is not too concerned about the loss of Syria as an economic partner, however the issue is not one of profit or loss or business considerations, particularly as many Chinese interests are served by opposing the US and European movement to bring about regime change in the Middle East.” (12)

In regards to the prospect of Chinese Imperialism this too deserves investigation. Firstly, what is Imperialism? Lenin defines the development of Imperialism in his epochal book Imperialism, the last stage of Capitalism saying:

The facts show that differences between capitalist countries, e.g., in the matter of protection or free trade, only give rise to insignificant variations in the form of monopolies or in the moment of their appearance; and that the rise of monopolies, as the result of the concentration of production, is a general and fundamental law of the present stage of development of capitalism.“(13)

Therefore, for a State to be Imperialist on the level America is, it would need to be:

A.) A Capitalist State, a Bourgeois one, that is to say, the organ of organization the Bourgeoisie takes

B.) To have developed to the point where Capitalist competition between corporations transitions into outright monopolies, of which these monopolies use it’s organ, the Bourgeois state, to act out it’s policies of aggressive expropriation of natural resources worldwide

Lenin continues in The State and Revolution on what the Bourgeois state is:

“That the state is an organ of the rule of a definite class which cannot be reconciled with the class opposite to it is something the petty-bourgeois democrats will never be able to understand.” (14)

The prerequisites necessary for China to be an Imperialist state have not been met. China does not remain to be a Bourgeois state, despite my personal view that Rightists have taken control of the Chinese Communist Party, making it akin to the Soviet Union in the late 1980′s around the time of it’s fall, it’s enterprises remains to be, as of 2012, overwhelmingly state-owned, and are the backbone of China’s economy producing over 50% of its goods and services and employing over half of the workers in China, according to Western sources. (15)

As for the minority of the economy that is devoted to Western influence and cooperation in Special Economic Zones, As of 2011, 35% of business activity and 43% of profits in the People’s Republic of China resulted from companies in which the state owned a majority interest. (15)

The conclusion to be made is that the clash between China and America over Syria, in the eyes of China, is a question of opposing United States chauvinism, and not over protecting spheres of influence for an empire. While Russia remains to be a Bourgeois state, because its previous proletarian state organization collapsed along with the Soviet Union, and certainly not a progressive or revolutionary state by any means, Russia has not regressed to monopoly capitalism, and cannot be compared to the United States in regards to foreign policy.


We at Crimes of Colonialism support President Assad and the Syrian Ba’ath party against United States Imperialism. We say that against Imperialism, the people will be successful, and against left opportunism, with the spirit of Lenin and the Bolshevik party, we stand vehemently opposed, upholding concrete and real Anti-Imperialist struggle.

Victory to Syria against United States Imperialism!


(1) The Foundations of Leninism, Section VII, Strategy and Tactics

(2) The Foundations of Leninism, Section VI, The National Question

(3) A stalemate in Syria?, Lee Sustar and Yusef Khalil

(4) Between Red and White, Section IX

(5) Anti-Imperialist struggle is key to Liberation, Interview with Trotsky

(6) http: //


(8) http: //


(10) http: //

(11) http: //

(12) Adel al-Toraifi, al-Majalla, “Does China truly support Bashar al-Assad?” 

(13) Imperialism, the highest stage of Capitalism, I, Concentration of Monopolies

(14) The State and Revolution, Preface

(15) http: //’s_Republic_of_China


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s