A Palestinian denounces the anti-imperialism of fools

To: Detroit Workers' Voice mailing list
October 28, 2014
RE: The anti-imperialism of fools

In the latter nineteenth century, as socialist ideas spread among the working class in Germany and Austria, certain anti-semitic groups posed as socialists. The German Marxists of the time rebuffed these groups with contempt and declared that "anti-semitism was the socialism of fools".

Today anti-imperialism plays an important role in progressive movements around the world. But a large section of the left supports reactionary regimes around the world as allegedly anti-imperialist. They regard that any regime which has closer relations with Russian imperialism than US imperialism as "anti-imperialist", and they lie about the mass struggles and uprisings against these regimes and declare that these struggles are the creations of imperialism.

Such a repulsive stand is what we at the Communist Voice Organization call "non-class anti-imperialism". Such a stand doesn't see anti-imperialism as based in the working class, but in this or that bourgeois regime. It doesn't have faith in democratic rights for the masses, but in the empty declarations and posturings of blood-stained tyrants.

Such a repulsive stand, as applied to Syria, means direct or indirect support for the Assad dictatorship, and a Palestinian student, Mahmoud E., has declared it to be "the anti-imperialism of fools". He has a  website entitled "Palestinian Reflections" and characterizes  himself as "a Palestinian Marxist, Anti-Imperialist student living in the Diaspora."
(http://palestinianreflections.wordpress.com/about/) I don't know anything about Mahmoud other than what we have seen on his website, but his first article is a memorable start.  (I do not, however, necessarily endorse everything he says about the Syrian left-wing; nevertheless, his list of left-wing groups shows that those who take anti-imperialism seriously in Syria are bitterly opposed to the Assad regime.)

-- Joseph Green, editor, "Communist Voice"

Below is an excerpt from the article, with some grammatical corrections.
The full article may be found at

From "The Anti-Imperialism of Fools"
by Mahmoud E.
August 26, 2014

As we all witnessed yesterday, Syria's foreign minister Walid Muallem said that Syria will offer to help the US fight the Islamic State (IS) militant group. This of course has left the so- called Anti-war camp and "Anti-Imperialist" left in the U.S/West, and even Arab Assadists that support Assad, either confused or silent on the matter. It's important to note these are the same leftists, or as some call them "tankies", that support Russian imperialism and Iranian mini-imperialism in the Middle East and don't even care whether Russia is a capitalist oligarchy or if Iran has communist political prisoners in its jails or has killed them because of their ideas. ...

I. Understanding the Assad regime and Syria

In order to understand what led to the masses in Syria rising up against the regime we must look into the social,economic and material conditions in Syria. ...

Beginning in the 1980's Hafez Al-Assad began implementing neoliberal policies, and especially in 2005 where the "social-market economy" was introduced, which was - according to Professor Omar S. Dahi - ... "more market than social". This type of authoritarian neoliberalism caused a crisis and mass poverty and unemployment ...  [this includes] the rise of informal housing or slums which people were forced into because of the skyrocketing rent and housing prices and gentrification in Syrian cities. The people were left in despair. And it's not surprising that when the protests broke out in Tunisia and Egypt, the Syrian people saw that they had nothing to lose and rose up against the regime.

II. The Assad regime has always been a servant of Imperialism and Zionism

According to the Syrian regime's narrative, it has always been a "resistance" and "objector to Zionism and U.S Western Imperialism";... we know from it's history that it is far from that. Beginning with the Golan Heights, a Syrian territory occupied by Israel, Hafez-Al Assad never bothered to fight to return it... During the Lebanese Civil War, Hafez-Al Assad and the Syrian Army led a war on Palestinian refugee camps, which resulted in the deaths of many Palestinian civilians and was condemned by Palestinian revolutionaries like George Habash, the founder of the PFLP, who was critical of the regime in this video [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6ojBDBSNcQ]; he criticizes the Syrian regime for being a tool of zionism and imperialism and ... being a killer of the Palestinian people ... . Now recently his son Bashar Al-Assad launched his own war on the [Palestinian] camps in Syria with the siege and shelling of the Yarmouk refugee camp and other camps. ...

III. The Assad regime is Anti-Communist

This has to be always repeated: the Assad regime is a bourgeois nationalist, capitalist and social-chauvinist state that has always repressed any dissent against it with the use of its Mukhabarat (intelligence services) and especially the air force intelligence, Army and Shabiha (regime-backed death squads). ...  The regime has cracked down on many communist groups ... Also the regime heavily repressed Palestinian groups like the Palestinian Popular committees which was established in the 80's and supported the Syrian Communist Action Party and other leftist and communist militants - the group had many of its cadres killed, arrested and  tortured in Syrian regime prisons. ... Regarding the Kurdish people the Syrian regime prisons have always been filled with Kurdish political prisoners, and the regime itself denied Kurds citizenship and cultural and linguistic rights. ... The Assad regime is no different from the Somoza, Pinochet, Suharto and Kuomintang regimes: it should be condemned by every Marxist-Leninist, Anti-Imperialist, leftist and socialist.

IV. There are progressive forces in Syria

The Syrian Communist Action Party is part of the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change, a front of left-wing parties and organizations who oppose the regime and seek to overthrow it. There is also the PYD (People's Protection Units),  the military wing of the Kurdish leftist Democratic Unity Party ... Regarding non-Kurdish leftist groups who gave taken up armed struggle, the Syrian Revolutionary left Current established the People's Liberation Faction to commemorate the third anniversary of the Syrian revolution. ...  All these parties and organizations are anti-imperialist... Usually an Assadist leftist will tell you that there is a communist party in the Syrian parliament, yet fails to understand that the Syrian Communist Party-Bakdash is a reactionary tool of the regime and the ruling class in Syria.

V. An end of the Anti-Imperialism of Fools

Comrades and friends, let's put an end to this Anti-Imperialism of fools, and be principled to our ideals, and not fall into supporting those who blindly back the fascist, social-chauvinist and bourgeois nationalist Assad regime that is oppressing the Syrian masses. We have to unite and support the Syrian people's struggle, and the progressive forces of Syria against the Assad regime and Imperialism - whether it is US/Western Imperialism, Russian imperialism or the Iranian and Arab gulf countries interventions in Syria.  <>

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Posted on October 29, 2014.
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