Syria: an indigenous uprising shakes an indigenous dictator

7 Aug

NHK, 5 August 2012


by Grant Morgan

editor of

7 August 2012

A widely distributed video clip (see above) shows four dozen Iranians captured by the Free Syrian Army in Damascus. The FSA claim proof that at least some of them are members of Iran’s elite military force, the Revolutionary Guard. Iranian authorities assert that the group are merely “religious pilgrims”.

Meanwhile, the official Iranian news agency is reporting that the Syrian military have arrested a Turkish general in the fiercely contested commercial hub of Aleppo, according to a low credibility conspiracy website, which says Turkish authorities are contesting the claim.

Every state agency running a covert operation manufactures a cover story, which the CIA calls “plausible deniability”. To uncover the truth behind allegations about Iranian mercenaries and a Turkish general is obviously beyond the resources of

Never mind, whether it’s fact or fiction doesn’t actually matter all that much. Even if there were Iranian killers in Syria, the Assad regime is still an indigenous dictatorship. Even if there was a Turkish general in Aleppo, the Syrian democracy movement and its armed wing are still an indigenous uprising. 

Of course, both Syria’s indigenous dictatorship and the country’s indigenous uprising must operate in a global context where there’s a continual struggle for advantage among all imperial powers and their regional allies, such as Iran (closely linked to Russia) and Turkey (a member of the US-led Nato military pact).

But those imperial powers have to contend with the Arab Spring’s democracy revolutions, South America’s “pink wave” against neoliberalism, grassroots rebellions against austerity  in Western Europe, armed resistance fronts from Iraq to central Asia, the Occupy movement rippling out from Wall Street, the revenge of nature as seen in climate change and, most crippling of all in a social sense, an erosion of legitimacy among the managerial elites. Just think of the increasingly divergent voices emerging from senior positions in the corporations and states of imperial powers.

In short, while the imperial powers have a lot of clout, they are definitely not all powerful. Look at the US state: on paper, its military could dominate the world, yet Washington’s forces have been pushed out of Iraq and are stymied in Afghanistan.

So, rather than looking at the struggle in Syria as a foreign-orchestrated conflict, it seems much more credible to flip that picture the other way round.

Both Washington and Moscow are being thrust onto the back foot by the Syrian people’s revolution. It’s the insurgent people, not the imperial powers, that are calling the shots in Syria, so far at least. Even Assad is clinging to power in his Damascus principality despite the Kremlin’s evident wish to replace him with another strongman.

That could change. After all, the imperial blocs possess immense military firepower and economic leverage, which will be used without mercy if they think the masses can be steamrollered. 

So it’s important for the world’s multitudes to side with their own kind when they rise in revolt against dictators, as in Syria today. And, thankfully, that sense of solidarity appears to be alive and well among the majority.

One Response to “Syria: an indigenous uprising shakes an indigenous dictator”

  1. Jenny August 8, 2012 at 6:40 am #

    “Flipping” the revolution.

    Supplied anonymously by someone who aptly calls themselves Colonial Viper.

    Struggling to keep a straight face Gayane Chichakyan for ‘Russia Today’ Portentiously intones “Al Qaida (pause) has infiltrated”

    Everyone has to see this ridiculous effort from ‘Russia Today’ to believe it.

    It starts with a small intro with some serious news. Before segueing to Washington DC, for an incredible case of interviewing your typewriter type commentary. Aided with some disjointed editing of a US senate hearing on Syria. Interrupted by clumsily cutting away to some “experts on terrorism”. And more on the streets (of Washington) commentary.

    Adding to the whole air of unreality of this piece, is the body language of the front person, which seems to suggest that she is uncomfortable reading her ridiculous script.

    What this video actually reveals, is that the Russian and American ‘Big Powers’ have been caught completely flat footed by the revolution in Syria.

    What the senate hearing seems to be discussing, (though it is hard to tell due to the crap editing), is the ‘possibility’ of intervening.

    The Russian Today announcer indignantly cries “America has already intervened”.

    Russia Today claims that both Al Qaida and the US are currently working together in Syria.

    “Large number of Al Qaida linked fighters are reportedly bolstering the opposition’s ranks and these groups are being supported by the US”, Russia Today.

    (Despite being at each other’s throats everywhere else.) We are being asked to believe by Russia Today that America and Al Qaida are working together in Syria.

    This is highly unlikely while the US is spending vast amounts of money and thousands of lives (including New Zealand lives) fighting Al Qaida in Afghanistan.

    What is really happening here is that the outside Russian and American powers, inexplicably finding themselves on the sidelines, are both trying to talk up an Al Qaida presence as an excuse to intervene.

    Make no mistake, an intervention in Syria, by either the Russians, or the US will be with the purpose of strangling this genuine people’s revolt.

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