“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx
Apr 27, 2015
Since the first of April, ISIS militants have tried to take control of the Palestinian camp at Yarmuk, a suburb of Damascus, the capital of Syria. Media images show haggard, starving refugees – terrorized, recounting horrors.
Few can escape, as the camp is encircled and bombed by the army of president Bashar Assad. The population is chewed up between two warring forces, both of which, ironically, claim to support the Palestinian cause.
The camp at Yarmuk has existed since 1957 and used to have 150,000 inhabitants before this civil war began. It was begun by Palestinian refugees in Syria after they were expelled by the war in 1948 and the terrorism organized by the founders of the Israeli state. Since then, Yarmuk has been a Palestinian quarter with a certain autonomy under the Syrian state, where the population is politicized, and with the presence of international organizations. This super-crowded quarter has its own schools, hospitals, and social centers.
But since the current civil war began, Assad’s army has encircled this camp, bombed it, starved its inhabitants, cut off the electricity and forbidden entry to UN relief convoys.
So the area has emptied out, leaving only about 18,000 people, ones who stay in their own homes, risking starvation, rather than risk getting bombed if they try to flee. In a devastated area where people are already dying of hunger, ISIS militants come to finish the ugly work of reducing to nothing the little bit of autonomous life remaining to the Palestinians.
These little dictators, like all the other ones, want to destroy everything not under their control, even to the point of destroying the population itself.
The UN has demanded access to Yarmuk to evacuate the civilian population that’s left. Western media and diplomats deplore these horrors. Yet it is the big imperialist powers that put in power and armed and supported successive regimes that use torture – against people who at one moment are enemies, the next are allies, changing according to the relationship of forces in the Middle East.
Imperialism must maintain its power in the region, particularly concerning oil, using armaments and dictators, leading now and always to more martyrs like those of Yarmuk – whose fate is what awaits entire peoples, whether in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq or Palestine.