Syria and the broken Arab Spring: how NATO eclipsed the peaceful protest movement

Sami Ramadani - Red Pepper

The democratic, anti-imperialist organisations that led the peaceful protest movement initially in Syria have been eclipsed by Nato-backed forces.

This is a sequel to my June 2011 article, ‘After the spring’, on the upheavals in the Arab world. It is an article that has been painful to write, because it brings bad tidings and offers a pessimistic analysis of the upheavals, at least in the short term, in a number of Arab countries.

The outcomes and potential outcomes of these uprisings have also acquired new, very significant dimensions.

These include a complex entanglement with the accelerated preparations for a possible attack on Iran, and a poisonous, sectarian aspect that could have the consequence of ripping Syria and the Middle East apart.

But I am also relieved to report that it is not all bad news.


The Egyptian people’s uprising is far from over and the workers, students and women activists are still engaged in a relentless struggle to remove military rule and gain genuine democratic rights, despite the Islamic organisations’ efforts to dampen popular anger and demands.

In Tunisia, the trade unions and left organisations are still strong and engaged in political and social struggles on a daily basis. They have also succeeded in securing a significant voice in parliament and are opposed to the pro-Nato direction of the newly elected Islamic government.

In Bahrain, the heroic popular movement is still defying the ruthless royal family and the Saudi tanks. Hundreds of thousands of people in Yemen still control the streets despite Saudi and US efforts to crush the uprising.

Be careful what you wish for: the Friends of Syria are no friends at all

Be careful what you wish for: the Friends of Syria are no friends at all

11 April 2012
Lindsey German
Middle East and North Africa

What the hell, let's have another intervention. That is the message from the liberal press which has learnt nothing from its craven support for past wars.
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By Lindsey German
Stop the War Coalition
11 April 2012

Obama's ally for bringing "democracy" to Syria: the King of Saudi Arabia, one of the world's most tyrannical regimes.

The pressure is growing again for outside intervention in Syria despite – or perhaps because of – Kofi Annan's calls for a ceasefire.

While Western politicians have appeared to draw back from full frontal military assault in recent weeks, their policies are being activated through the back door.

Syria's neighbour, Turkey, is talking of invading Syria in order to create 'safe havens' and 'humanitarian corridors' to protect the Syrian opposition.

They are being egged on by the forces who have drummed up war in Iraq and Libya. Hawkish US senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman yesterday visited Syrian refugee camps in Turkey.

They are joined by a chorus of media commentators who are growing more strident in their demands that the US government and its allies 'do something'. Simon Tisdall in today's Guardian berates Barack Obama and David Cameron for shrugging their shoulders over events in Syria and denounces the 'do-nothing Nato crew'.

Fri 30th March 8pm Cassidy’s Hotel Parnell Square East Dublin - Public Meeting - Iran and Syria

30/03/2012 - 20:00
30/03/2012 - 22:00

Irish Anti-War Movement - Public Meeting:

'Solidarity with The People of Syria & Iran -

Guest speakers to include;

Simon Assaf
Dr. Abbas Edalet

Plus live link-up with Shirin Shafaie.

All are very welcome to attend. plus Facebook & #Twitter




There is real imminent danger of another war in the Middle East. The US and Britain are attempting to engineer a regime change in Syria while crippling sanctions have been imposed on Iran and its scientists have been executed as a prelude to war.

The Irish Anti-war Movement (IAWM) supports the right of the peoples in the countries of the Middle East to determine their own future but we are critical of any attempt by western powers to intervene there. As we have seen in Libya, the regime change veiled as ‘humanitarian intervention’ has cost at least 30,000 lives and reports from NGO’s tell of continued reprisals and torture. Military intervention only brings more deaths, division and misery.

Syria: between revolution and imperialism

Jamie Allinson - Socialist Review

Both those who call for intervention and those who condemn the revolution in Syria are wrong. Jamie Allinson argues that Syrians can liberate themselves

On 23 February the self-appointed "Friends of Syria" met in Tunis to demand, in the words of Barack Obama, that "the international community...send a clear message to President Assad that it is time for a transition". Given that this group includes the US, UK and France, who have never rallied anyone to demand Israel's withdrawal from occupied Syrian territory, and Saudi Arabia, whose troops have enforced a bloody terror against the Bahraini revolution, Syrian activists might think that with friends like these they don't need enemies. But where is the Syrian uprising to go, apparently trapped between a regime determined to bring the country down around it and imperialist projects to deflect the revolution?


The question of foreign intervention divides both the Syrian opposition and the left in the region and beyond. In the face of the regime's brutal response to the uprising, which has seen 6,000 people killed and tens of thousands injured or imprisoned, some in the Syrian opposition and in besieged cities such as Homs have come to see foreign intervention as a shortcut to the ousting of Assad. The opposition is not homogeneous, however. There are three main organised elements to it: the Syrian National Council (SNC), the Local Coordinating Committees (LCC) and the "Free Syrian Army" (FSA).




Can the Syrian Revolution Succeed - Simon Assaf - 1st March 2012

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