The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

From Civil War to Open War?

May 13, 2013

For the third time in four months, the Israeli Air Force has carried out a raid over Syria, destroying military installations of the regime in power and causing several dozen deaths. Once again, the pretext given by the Israeli government was Syria’s supplying weapons to the Lebanese party Hezbollah, and, once again, Barack Obama approved the bombing.

At the same time, while new images of massacres come out of Syria, a United Nations official affirmed that the Syrian opposition might have used sarin gas against parts of the population thought to be loyal to Bashar al-Assad. The U.N. quickly denied it, in light of the U.S. government’s recent announcement of Western intervention to arm the rebels IF the use of chemical weapons by the regime were proven.

This civil war catches the Syrian population between the violent repression of Assad’s regime and an armed opposition, which, it seems, is no better.

The United States and the other imperialist powers are concerned only insofar as their interests in the region are protected. For them, it matters little if they must monitor oil fields, pipelines, and sea routes by relying on terrible dictators and by shoving entire peoples behind barbed wire. As long as his regime was stable, Assad was satisfactory in their view, even though he was an ally of Iran and Russia and an enemy–if not with open hostilities–to their ally Israel.

However, Assad is currently opposed by armed groups that are clearly supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which are faithful allies of the West in other respects. Despite the countless massacres, he has not been able to silence the opposition.

Added to this unstable situation is the complication that the armed opposition consists of groups disunited and uncontrolled. They present no guarantee of stability in the future.

Finally, Israel, the guardian of imperialist interests in the region, ignores the fate of the Syrian population, concerned only to weaken its enemies Hezbollah and Iran.

The Israeli Air Force’s raid can in this sense be understood as a warning–or even as a full-scale test prepared with the U.S. Army–addressed not only to Assad but to Iran and Hezbollah.

In this way, the peoples of the region seem trapped under the heel of imperialism, either directly or through the intermediary of secular or religious dictatorships fighting among each other.