1- The Syrian Revolt Enters New Phase published on LENIN’S TOMB:
Finally, there is the question of the FSA’s human rights record. Those who want to oppose the revolt say that the armed insurgents are a bunch of thugs or even – some will actually use this propaganda term – ‘terrorists’. Well, the fact is that the armies have captured and tortured and killed people they believed to be regime supporters or informants. I believe they have blown up regime apparatuses and probably have killed civilians in the process. My answer? You can criticise this or that attack, you can say that the Islamists who bombed Damascus and issued a sectarian statement are not allies of revolution. But you can’t keep saying this is a ‘civil war’ and then express shock when one side, the weaker side, the side that has been attacked and provoked, the side that is ranged against a repressive dictatorship, actually fights a war.
2- Assad Apologists: The Ostrich Syndrome published by Hicham Safieddine:
instead of invoking Fanon, apologists will go so far as to invoke Lenin’s quote about third-party politics, which is really a language trick no different than someone quoting Tony Blair’s own reference to a “third way” in order to undermine third-way politics in Syria. Lenin was at times more than willing to compromise when it came to dealing with imperialist forces (i.e., the Brest Liovsk treaty). In the instance of his critique of third-way politics, the communist leader was actually more concerned with class struggle and was contemptuous of those, like liberal socialists, who did not take a firm and uncompromising position in this struggle against the bourgeois class. In fact, a reference that would have better served Assad apologists is Lenin’s disagreement with Rosa Luxemburg over backing the third-world bourgeoisie. Lenin’s critique of third-way politics may thus ironically lend itself more to backing calls for no compromise with Assad, given that the Syrian uprising’s class composition is largely made up of the countryside peasantry and suburban working class. It is true that the peasantry have a very dubious representation in the intellectual history of Marxism. In the case of Syria, the dominant political expression of their uprising has not only taken on a reactionary form (read “religious” in Marxist terms). It is in fact, contrary to what many pro-uprising folks want us to believe for romantic or more sinister reasons, backed by imperialist and reactionary regional regimes. However, admitting this problematic political expression of the uprising necessitates a third way, not a stance that is apologetic for the Assad regime.