Guest writer Mick Hall who blogs at Organized Rage with some thoughts on the Syrian conflict and the type of loyalties it engenders.
I hope none of us need to be reminded of what side we will be on if NATO forces go into yet another war. However that does not mean we have to be blind or become struck dumb.
Yes, the Palestinian refugee community had enjoyed full integration into Syrian society, and enjoyed the same rights and benefits as many of the Syrians. One of which was to be arrested if Palestinians opposed, or even differed with the Assad regime.
Was that a right worth having? Of course not.
After the USA realised it could not control the Arab awakening, it decided to crash it by encouraging armed struggle. Their aim was to either create a disorganised state made up of armed and warring factions; or where possible a pliable military dictatorship which relied on the USA for weaponry and finance. I believe this is still their aim in Syria, hence the early desertions by high profile military figures. It has to be said the younger Assad's regime has had firmer foundations than most analysts first thought. (The rise of Al-qaeda affiliates has acted like quick drying cement here).
Basically the US/NATO strategy boils down to a repeat of the type of militarisation which took place in Central and South America in the last century. It is worth noting this rarely meant large numbers of US military boots on the ground. It has to be said Libya, Syria and Iraq were all dominoes waiting to fall, so let’s not be blind to where part of the blame lays. The peoples of these states had suffered under the regimes of Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi and Hafez al-Assad's, and then to expect them to put up with their wretched sons' rule in the future was too much for some of them to bear, and who can blame them?
We must not forget that the offspring of all of these dictators had been snarled in the neo liberal web. Christ it was not that long ago the young Assads and Gaddafis were all over the US and UK media with positive coverage.
Slowly, slowly catch the monkey as the saying goes.
What this meant in reality, was if and when they came to power the peoples of these nations could say goodbye to the type of welfare state, free education, job security, etc, which their fathers had established, and which just about made life bearable for the majority of Libyans, Syrians etc. (Looking back it must seem like a golden age for many of them).
We should oppose military intervention in Syria not because the young Assad is a good guy who deserves to run his country because he does not, but because it will make a bad situation worse.
Most British and US citizens oppose intervention for that reason and they are right. As to the argument the Assad regime is a bulwark against Israel, it is plain wrong, bordering on fantasy. That Regime has sat silent for decades whilst Israel has massacred Palestinians, and stolen ever more of their land. They even tried to use Operation Cast Lead as an opportunity to regain the Heights.
There is more than enough arguments to oppose more US and UK military interventions in Syria. Amongst them the cost: at a time of austerity how can government justify the cost of yet another war? It would inflame Lebanon and Jordon, and as I have already said it will make a bad situation worse.
I will oppose intervention because I believe it is the duty of socialist to oppose the main enemy which, given I live in England, is at home.