Will they fall like Libya, or can Syria & Iran Survive?
Or, how to survive a world dominated by imperialist terror
By Sukant Chandan
March 18, 2012
Whatever were the limits of the Soviet Union it is an accepted fact by any student or historian of the post Second World War period that if a small nation was oppressed or colonised by imperialism, that it’s only recourse to any semblance of closing the gap between the empire’s arms and itself would be to make an alliance with the USSR and access the weaponry that they had.
The Vietnamese inspired the world by their militant mass resistance, and this legacy continues to inspire the world today, but it also should be borne in mind that this victory also came not in small part thanks to the USSR that helped to arm and train and also fought in the field with the Vietnamese against imperialism.
This is not to say that struggles should not rely on themselves first, they must. But in the highly imbalanced situation of arms in relation to imperialism’s massive unrivalled military it would but be foolish to think that small nations could have defeated empire without alliances with the USSR, the Eastern Bloc in general and also Socialist China.
The world has recently seen this internationalist dynamic in dramatic action with the veto at the UN by China and Russia that stopped another massive war of aggression against Syria. Russia and China have saved Syria for the time being, much to the chagrin of the warmongers in London, Paris, Washington and Tel-Aviv. Having stopped the war, one would have thought that the western ‘Stop the War’ groups would give full respect to Russia and China for doing so, they dont. But that’s another story.
One lesson from the last century or more of struggle against imperialism is that the only way to get anything approaching respect from imperialism is to let them know that as an independent nation you will not tolerate any violation on yourself without the west getting a bloody nose in the process. The danger of not applying this was most tragically played out in Libya last year, with some of Gadafi’s sons and other elements being allowed to corrupt the state in favour of empire. Gadafi was a militant himself, but those elements which he allowed to dominate the state not only forgot this, but actively lowered their guard, some did so naively as in the case of Saif Al-Islam Gadafi, and some with an outright agenda of counterrevolution in collaboration with nato.
Whereas Gadafi thought he was out-playing the empire, which he was to a certain extent, the two major mistakes made by the regime were that they did not manage to modernise their armed forces and that the regime elite failed to keep in check counterrevolutionary elements. These elements came out of the wood work subsequent to the outbreak of the conflict there last year, it was plain to see that these counterrevolutionary elements were all over the leadership of the Libyan state. One can only ponder of the ‘what ifs’ for Libya, if the Libyan state had managed to purge itself of these elements.
We are no longer living in the post Second World War period in which the USSR’s stated clearly to imperialism that if they were attacked by the usa by nuclear strike and wipe out Soviet society, which the usa were threatening to do, that the USSR would likewise flatten most of the usa in kind. The usa knew this, and this balance between the USSR and the usa kept imperialist aggression in check to a considerable degree.
In the absence of the Soviet anti-imperialist umbrella in the post 1991 period, nations trying to defend themselves against imperialism have a straight forward strategy to pursue for survival:
1. To keep the state purged as much as possible from pro-imperialist counterrevolutionary forces. Compare the sell outs infesting the Libyan regime from the outset of the conflict to the Syrian regime which has seen next to no high profile sell outs going over to the counterrevolution.
2. Modernisation of the nation’s armed forces. This will make imperialism think hard about attacking the nation, as they are thinking hard about attacking Syria and Iran, as Syria and Iran have been and continue to work in modernising their armed forces. Iran especially have done relatively well in doing this with the support of friendly states, but respect to them also for using their own resources to have achieved an impressive level of scientific and military development.
3. International unity,or mutual security/defence pacts. One can have the first two conditions, but without this factor, the state and the masses are most likely have to conduct a protracted, a long term war of resistance by the masses, with final victory, if it will come at all, taking decades to achieve as was the case with Vietnam and Algeria, amongst many others.
In the case of Iran and Syria, we can see that they seem to have achieved these first two preconditions. On the third factor of international unity, Syria and Iran will support each other in the event of open military aggression by imperialism, and they also have the support of one of the strongest anti-imperialist guerilla movements in the world – Lebanese Hizbullah. Just as importantly, some would argue perhaps more importantly, Syria has the support of Russia and China, with former Russian joint chief of staff stating on Russia Today that Russia will just not allow Syria to fall to nato.
Gadafi tried in vain to develop a mutual defence pacts of the nations of the South, a project called SATO – the South Atlantic Treaty Organisation. It is tragic to reflect on what happened to Libya since last year when Gadafi was the ‘third world’ leader, more than any other, who saw the urgency of developing a real meaningful internationalism based on international anti-imperialist defence treaties.
The Latin American progressive states most important ally in Africa – Libya – was decimated, without a finger being lifted by any South American leader including Gadafi’s close brothers who promised that they ‘would not be fickle’ and ‘would not to forsake him’. All anti-imperialists have full respect and support our leadership in South America, but at the same time its all fine and well bestowing unto Gadafi national awards of Bolivar etc, but when your same brother is lynched courtesy of nato and its agents, one would expect a little more than speeches on the telly. ‘Do unto others what you have them do unto you’, is something that chimes in one’s head when thinking about this relationship, or maybe more precisely what is lacking in a relationship. The courage and loyalty displayed by Che Guevara in relation to Korea, Vietnam, Africa, and other places is not always followed through by our leadership today.
When faced with total devastation that imperialism has visited upon Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya most recently, one has to state that Syria and Iran’s position of threatening to open fronts of military resistance against israel and against imperialist military presence and interests in the region is the minimal position for these states to take if they are to survive in this world where imperialist terrorism reigns supreme.
Anyone who seeks a fairer world, a world without imperialism which is the reason for wars across the world, divisions of nations, poverty, especially child poverty, would wish Syria and Iran the very best in resisting but more importantly, defeating imperialism. What will happen in this great confrontation we all will be witnessing in the coming months ahead.