2:45AM EST: Russian-aligned forces have occupied the two key airports in the Crimea region of Ukraine, AP reports. A separate group of gunmen seized the Crimean parliament, hoisting a Russian flag on its roof. It is unknown whether these are Ukrainian sympathizers, or special/advance forces of the Russian Federation. Both airports are reportedly still operating, […]
Does unrest drop from the sky? Most certainly not; like any other political phenomenon, the kind of civil unrest we can observe in Ukraine is a result of determinant economic, social and political factors which in convergence transform into open struggle, which cost the lives of 75 people so far. The main entry point for […]
Last Saturday, December 14, US Senator and former GOP presidential candidate John McCain arrived in Kiev to meet with Ukrainian opposition leaders. The meeting comes during a tumultuous period for Ukrainian politics as hundreds of thousands of anti-government protesters have gathered over the past weeks to express blatant discontent with current President Viktor Yanukovych and […]
Discussion has been sparked by a recent article posted at Anti-Imperialism.com about the situation in Syria. Particularly, some of the feedback questioned to the nature and existence of Russian and Chinese imperialism. The following is part of a correspondence which briefly deals with the development of monopoly capital outside of the post-WWII trilateral bloc of […]
1) Regardless of how the situation developed, the current civil war amounts to a proxy-conflict between decrepit US-led imperialism (represented through the US and its Arabian allies) and a developing bloc of ‘Eastern’ monopoly capital (publicly represented primarily by Russia). 2) Whether Assad or the ‘rebels’ win, a certain debt will be owed and Syria […]
[This interview was sourced from Ideological Fightback. Re-posting is for educational purposes and does not imply endorsement of affiliation. Generally speaking, the USSR during the authors lifetime was not socialist. This is because it was no longer part of the movement for proletarian revolution. Instead it was led by a ruling class which eventually dismantled against the will of the […]
In light of all the hoopla around the election and specifically in response to all the ‘leftist’ and ‘socialist’ tailing and support for Barry Obama and the Demoncratic Party, is it appropriate to repost this short article by V.I. Lenin, entitled ‘Imperialism and the Split in Socialism.’ Lenin was prescience in regards to a phenomena, the ‘labor aristocracy,’ […]
November 7th marks is 95th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. Led by the Bolshevik Party, the Russian Revolution was the first clearly proletarian revolution in which state power was seized, reactionaries vanquished, and socialism built among the hardships of civil conflict and imperialist aggression. Though the history of the Soviet Union, which the Russian Revolution founded, was […]
The following is an excerpt from a recent essay by Andre Vltchek , originally published by Z Net. In it, Vltchek looks into various questions, notably those revolving around hegemonic post-Cold War reactionary rhetoric and internationalist identity. As always, reposting here does not imply endorse or affiliation. “No one is forgotten and nothing is forgotten”. That is what is engraved […]
On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the US and its western allies of using blackmail to secure a UN Security Council resolution on Syria. The draft resolution, circulated my members of the British delegation, included economic sanctions on the Syrian government and could pave the way for a future UN-backed intervention.
A portion of the following quote from Lenin’s 1902 essay, What Is To Be Done, is widely cited as an insight into his thought on revolutionary struggle. Hence, the following excerpt is posted for critical discussion. What did Lenin mean here? Were these casual references to something otherwise apparent today? Or do his statements reflect […]
Since the beginning of the unrest in Syria, “the government has said that while some protesters have legitimate grievances, the uprising is driven by militant Islamists with foreign backing.”  This hardly squares with the view of Western state officials and media commentators who say that an authoritarian regime is killing its people and violently suppressing a largely peaceful movement for democracy.
There’s no question that there has been a longstanding Islamist opposition in Syria to Ba’athist rule. The Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party has been in power since 1963. The party’s roots are in Pan-Arabism, non-Marxist socialism, and liberation from colonialism, imperialism and religious sectarianism. Being secular, socialist (though diminishingly so) and dominated by a heterodox Shiite sect, the Alawi, Syria’s lead party has held no appeal for the Sunni majority, which has leaned toward the Muslim Brotherhood.
Neither is there any question that Islamist uprisings have become a habitual occurrence in Syria. Condemning the Alawi as heretics and resentful of the Ba’athists’ separation of Islam from the state, the Muslim Brotherhood organized riots against the government in 1964, 1965, 1967 and 1969.
On coming to power in 1970, Afiz Assad—the current president’s father– tried to overcome the Sunni opposition by encouraging private enterprise and weakening the party’s commitment to socialism, and by opening space for Islam. This, however, did little to mollify the Muslim Brothers, who organized new riots and called for a Jihad against Assad, denigrating him as “the enemy of Allah.” His “atheist” government was to be brought down and Alawi domination of the state ended. By 1977, the Mujahedeen were engaged in a guerrilla struggle against the Syrian army and its Soviet advisers, culminating in the 1982 occupation of the city of Hama. The Syrian army quelled the occupation, killing 20,000 to 30,000.
In an effort to win the Islamists’ acquiescence, Assad built new mosques, opened Koranic schools, and relaxed restrictions on Islamic dress and publications. At the same time, he forged alliances with pro-Islamic countries and organizations, including Sunni Sudan, Shia Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad. While these measures secured some degree of calm, Islamists remained a perennial source of instability and the government was on continual guard against “a resurgence of Sunni Islamic fundamentalists.” 
The United States hasn’t created an opposition, but it has acted to strengthen it. US funding to the Syrian opposition began flowing under the Bush administration in 2005  if not earlier. The Bush administration had dubbed Syria a member of a “junior varsity axis of evil,” along with Libya and Cuba, and toyed with the idea of making Syria the next target of its regime change agenda after Iraq.  Continue reading
This essay by Bernard D’Mello was published last month by Monthly Review. In it, the author provides a multi-faceted, definite view of Maoism. We are posting it here for critical discussion, in large part because it approaches Maoism from a historical perspective and describes it as an outgrowth and class and ideological struggles. Posting here […]
This article was originally published by Jason Yanowitz for ‘International Socialist Review.’ We republish it here for critical discussion. Republishing does not imply endorsement of the article, its line or the ISR. STARTING IN the 1970s, a new consensus emerged among serious scholars of the Russian Revolution. Instead of seeing the rise of Stalinism as […]