History matters, whether it is the history of 10 years ago or one hundred . That is especially true for the process of revolution and counter revolution. If we completely misunderstand those processes, we will never understand our present situation. And if we don’t understand that, then we are incapable of really dealing with it. It has largely, but not entirely, faded from the news today, but just a few years ago Syria was at the center of a world counter-revolution. That counter revolution has largely although maybe only temporarily triumphed, and it has affected world politics far beyond that particular region.
Yet socialists throughout the “West” actually supported that counter revolution! They closed their eyes to the hundreds of thousands of Syrians who were imprisoned and murdered, including those who were tortured to death. Those same socialists used the same methods of arguing as do the Trump supporters and Covid/science deniers today – finding supposed patterns in unconnected factoids, and simply labeling proven inconvenient facts as a “hoax”. Those methods may serve Trump’s reactionary millions, but socialists will never move forward with such methods. A few days ago, the group 100 Faces of the Syrian Revolution hosted Omar Sabbour and others from that part of the world (including Syrian refugees) to explain what really happened in Syria. Workers, including socialist workers, would do well to watch it. Among other things, Omar clearly proves that the popular narrative – that the whole struggle was about US-inspired “regime change” is nonsense from start to finish. (For those who don’t watch video online, here is one article that oaklandsocialist has published documenting the same thing and here is one putting the issue in a larger historical context.)