Syria: Defeat imperialism, down with Assad!


On the tasks of Syrian revolutionaries and the character of the Syrian civil war



Joint Statement of Dördüncü Blok and Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), July 2016,,




  1. In 2011, after many decades of brutal rule, the capitalist and sectarian Assad dictatorship started to crumble. Inspired by the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions, the multinational masses of workers and peasants in Syria started to stand up against the injustices imposed on them by the Assad dictatorship and the world economic crisis. We characterize this uprising as a justified attempt to foment a democratic revolution and at the same time to fight for important social demands.



  1. Because of the treacherous bourgeois or petty-bourgeois leaderships of the uprising, the first attempt to topple Assad failed. At the same time, the Western Great Powers (the US and EU) in conjunction with the Gulf monarchies and Turkey, tried to exploit the Syrian Revolution for their own particular interests. Assad, for them a puppet of Russian imperialism, was an obstacle to implementing the various plans they had for the region. Western imperialism tried to buy off the anti-Assad rebels, but they were unsuccessful in this and even today they do not have any reliable allies among the rebel movements.



  1. As a result of the failure of the official Arab left, which was mostly in bed with Assad (both of Syria’s Stalinist parties are part of the Assad’s National Front) and corrupt liberals, many poor Sunni Syrians joined radical Islamist forces. They did so because of the absence of an alternative leadership, because the Islamist forces provided food for the poor, and because these reactionary forces did most of the fighting. We don’t judge a mass movement exclusively by its leadership; it is also important to examine the essence of a movement and the classes standing behind it. The Syrian Revolution is not a CIA conspiracy; it is a legitimate mass movement of the workers and peasants against a corrupt, pro-imperialist dictatorship.



  1. Syrian revolutionaries should oppose and criticize the political forces who are now leading the Syrian Revolution, but at the same time they must also demonstrate to the workers and peasants what a revolutionary struggle against Assad looks like. They must show the masses that a red Syria is worth fighting for.



  1. When the Syrian Revolution started, it was multinational: Sunnis, Shias, Kurds, Alawites, Christians, Turkmens and Druze all participated in the uprising against the Assad. But both Assad and the reactionary Islamists (who were aided by the Gulf monarchies) had a vast material interest in splitting the masses along ethnic and religious lines. The reason that Assad released many Salafists in 2011 was precisely to undermine the revolution! We must understand Assad’s action for what it was and reaffirm that it is the role of true revolutionaries not only to struggle against oppression, but to do so by fighting for the unity of all oppressed peoples.



  1. Since 2014 and the rise of Daesh/IS, the western Great Powers have entirely dropped even limited rhetorical support for the Syrian Revolution. While still skeptical of Assad, the West nevertheless intervened in the fighting in Syria alongside the regime by bombing not only Daesh/IS but also the forces of anti-western-rebels. Revolutionaries must unequivocally oppose intervention by any imperialist Great Power in the region, regardless of whether this be the US, the EU, Russia or China (or of any of their respective lackeys).



  1. Daesh/IS is an arch-reactionary mass movement, which arose in the wake of the horrific crimes by US/EU imperialism in Iraq and Russia/Assad in Syria. While opposing the imperialist bombing campaign, revolutionaries should do everything in their power to encourage Daesh/IS’s being smashed by the masses.



  1. We oppose an imperialist peace that will try to carve up Syria between the Great Powers who want to establish different protectorates for themselves. We demand the opening of the borders for all refugees from the conflict in Syria to Turkey and from there to Europe!



  1. All revolutionaries must support the right of the Kurdish people for self-determination. We defend the Kurdish people against the reactionary attacks of the Turkish army, Daesh/IS and Iran. But at the same time we criticize the pro-imperialist leadership of the PYD/YPG and the petty-bourgeois ideology of Apoism. We are for a united, socialist Kurdistan from Rojava to Orumiyeh and from Bakhtaran to Qers.



  1. In Syria we are for the formation of popular councils of the workers, peasants and poor. These councils should organize the defense against Assad and topple him. Following their victory, these councils will be able to rebuild Syria, ensure that it is not dived by the Great Imperialist Powers and abolish capitalism. This will reignite the fire that first broke out in 2011, revitalize it and spark workers’ and popular rebellions throughout the entire region.



  1. The first urgent step to this is to found genuinely revolutionary party organizations throughout the Middle East, incorporating revolutionaries who have learned the respective lessons from the failures of Arab nationalism, Stalinism and Kurdish left-nationalism. Only such parties can liberate the masses of the region from the horrors of imperialism and their regional allies – the Arab dictatorships; only such parties can lead the workers and poor towards the abolishment of capitalism; and only such parties will be able to liberate the oppressed peoples – form Palestine, to Kurdistan, from Ahwaz to the Southern Sahara!






About RCIT Britain

What the RCIT stands for Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT)is a revolutionary combat organisation fighting for the liberation of the working class and all oppressed. It has national sections in a number of countries. The working class is composed of all those (and their families) who are forced to sell their labor power as wage earners to the capitalists. The RCIT stands on the theory and practice of the revolutionary workers’ movement associated with the names of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Trotsky. Capitalism endangers our lives and the future of humanity. Unemployment, war, environmental disasters, hunger, and exploitation are all part of everyday life under capitalism as are the imperialistic oppression of nations, the national oppression of migrants, and the oppression of women, young people, and homosexuals. Therefore, we want to eliminate capitalism. The liberation of the working class and all oppressed is possible only in a classless society without exploitation and oppression. Such a society can only be established internationally. Therefore, the RCIT is fighting for a socialist revolution at home and around the world. This revolution must be carried out and lead by the working class, for only this class has the collective power to bring down the ruling class and build a socialist society. The revolution cannot proceed peacefully because a ruling class never has nor ever will voluntarily surrender its power. By necessity, therefore, the road to liberation includes armed rebellion and civil war against the capitalists. The RCIT is fighting for the establishment of workers’ and peasants’ republics, where the oppressed organize themselves in councils democratically elected in rank-and-file meetings in factories, neighbourhoods, and schools. These councils, in turn, elect and control the government and all other statue authorities, and always retain the right to recall them. Authentic socialism and communism have nothing to do with the so-called “socialism” that ruled in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and which continues to do so in China and Cuba, for example. In these countries, the proletariat was and is dominated and oppressed by a privileged party bureaucracy. Under capitalism, the RCIT supports all efforts to improve the living conditions of the workers and oppressed, while simultaneously striving to overthrow this system based on economic exploitation of the masses. Towards these ends, we work from within the trade unions where we advocate class struggle, socialism, and workers’ democracy. But trade unions and social democracy are controlled by a bureaucracy perniciously connected with the state and capital via status, high-paying jobs, and other privileges. Thus, the trade union bureaucracy is far from the interests and living conditions of its members, based as it is on the top, privileged layers of the working class – a labor aristocracy which has no real interest in replacing capitalism. Therefore, the true struggle for the liberation of the working class, the toppling of capitalism and the establishment of socialism, must be based on the broad mass of the proletariat rather than their “representative” from the upper trade union strata. We also fight for the expropriation of the big land owners as well as for the nationalisation of the land and its distribution to the poor and landless peasants. Towards this goal we struggle for the independent organisation of the rural workers. We support national liberation movements against oppression. We also support the anti-imperialist struggles of oppressed peoples against the great powers. Within these movements we advocate a revolutionary leadership as an alternative to nationalist or reformist forces. While the RCIT strives for unity of action with other organizations, we are acutely aware that the policies of social democrats and pseudo-revolutionary groups are dangerous, and ultimately represent an obstacle to the emancipation of the working class, peasants, and the otherwise oppressed. In wars between imperialist states we take a revolutionary defeatist position: we do not support either side, but rather advocate the transformation of the war into a civil war against the ruling class in each of the warring states. In wars between imperialist powers (or their stooges) and a semi-colonial countries we stand for the defeat of the former and the victory of the oppressed countries. As communists, we maintain that the struggle against national oppression and all types of social oppression (women, youth, sexual minorities etc.) must be lead by the working class, because only the latter is capable of fomenting a revolutionarily change in society . Therefore, we consistently support working class-based revolutionary movements of the socially oppressed, while opposing the leadership of petty-bourgeois forces (feminism, nationalism, Islamism, etc.), who ultimately dance to the tune of the capitalists, and strive to replace them with revolutionary communist leadership. Only with a revolutionary party fighting as its leadership can the working class be victorious in its struggle for liberation. The establishment of such a party and the execution of a successful revolution, as it was demonstrated by the Bolsheviks in Russia under Lenin and Trotsky remain the models for revolutionary parties and revolutions in the 21st century. For new, revolutionary workers' parties in all countries! For a 5th Workers International to be founded on a revolutionary program! Join the RCIT! No future without socialism! No socialism without revolution! No revolution without a revolutionary party!
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