Local elites in the middle east are busy these days , like their western and “international” counterparts ; talking about Putin’s decision to intervene directly in Syria .. In fact , this is how they “understand” and practice politics : to fight their regional opponents for regional hegemony , backed by an international camp against another .. It is clear that Putin’s decision escalated the ongoing conflict between local and international competing camps , in the middle east and especially in Syria .. Iran , and of course Assad , Hezbollah and Iraqi government welcomed the Russian intervention , claiming that it will help to contain “terrorism” , even defeat it .. On the other side , Iranian regime rivals : Erdogan , Gulf states’ kings and princes , condemned the Russian attacks ; and vowed to turn them down .. Some threatened Russia with a similar defeat like they had in Afghanistan before .. In the west it inspired different reactions : some felt furious about the Russian initiative , others felt indifferent .. Soon , religious leaders joined the show : Russian Orthodox church spokesman described this war as a “holy” one . He was followed by the spokesman of Syrian Muslim brotherhood , who declared Jihad from his residence in Istanbul asking the Syrians to fight the aggressors with all possible means .. Some Saudi scholars followed him very soon …. Also , “politicians” and “intellectuals” engaged willingly in the conflict : waging another war on the pages of newspapers and websites , a war that doesn’t shed real blood , but that kills any sign or feeling of human solidarity and natural sympathy among ordinary people , the real victims of all these stupid conflicts .. Libertarians face a dilemma here : a situation where authoritarian forces are fighting each other for the sole purpose of hegemony over the masses … Assad or ISIS , both are ultra-totalitarian powers , almost fascist in the structure of their demagogue or repression …. Their backers : either Iran’s mullahs or their rivals in Saudi Arabia , Turkey and Qatar ; are reactionary despotic rulers .. Whom to support in such conflict ? Of course , this is never a problem for authoritarians : they will follow what they see as their path to power ; claiming that it represents the “actual interests” of the nation or the people , or the Umma , or the class , etc .. Being authoritarian is always easier , a straightforward job …
It was the same situation in the cold war , two authoritarian powers fought for world-wide hegemony , each claiming that it was fighting for “real freedom” ..
And when you are the “good” guy , fighting the “evil” ones ; you do “good” things only , even when you kill and destroy or repress
In this way : Gulag repression system , Moscow show trials , McCarthy witch-hunting , etc ; could be justified
Till now hundreds of thousands of ordinary Syrians died , millions displaced , but still we can hear only two approaches to their sufferings : either simply accusing the enemy of all these atrocities and denying any atrocities committed by “our friends” or talking about it as inevitable collateral damage … US airstrikes kill innocent civilians , like Russian ones .. Assad bombs or ISIS’ suicide bombers kill indiscriminately also .. Since the Syrian revolution degenerated into a civil war , when the revolting masses or its co-ordinating committees and its local decentralized militias firstly known as free Syrian army were substituted by warlords-led semi-regular groups backed by regional despots ; Syrian revolutionaries became in a very difficult situation : cannot accept the victory of the dictator , at the same time they knew very well that his defeat doesn’t mean liberating the masses from dictatorship but substituting a dictator with another ..
What was left of the free Syrian army , the decentralized local militias that started fighting back the military might of Assad’s army paving the way for its weakening and the rise of jihadists ; degenerated into warlord-led gangs that follow their backers ‘ orders ( who are ususally , rich neighbor deposts ) and seek hegemony and wealth even at the account of the same neighborhoods they claim to defend
And with the deteriorating situation of the living of Syrian masses , which was the effect of all those authoritarian powers’ intervention ; their strength and willingness to fight for their own rapidly declined and almost disappeared , as they are struggling now for mere survival .. What a situation for a revolutionary , and of course ; for the masses ?
So as the early high hopes of emancipation slummed , we must be frank with ourselves and with the people and start new building up for future struggles
Neither fighting for Assad or ISIS or other warlord means fighting for ourselves
Neither Iran – led camp or Saudi led one deserve dying for it
Also , we don’t have any illusions also about any possible “peace” agreement …. That would be a new status quo , a new repression , a new dictatorship , which bargain simple safety for submission , as all do now with ordinary Syrians
Instead of sectarianism , that proved to be a strong ; even decisive weapon , in the hands of the dictator or his opposing elite ; we will seek a new liberation movement , not only multi-sectarian as liberals breach , but anti-sectarian ; not merely secular , but standing for libertarian secularism , as opposed , not only to Islamist fundamentalism , but also to “authoritarian” secularism of some well-known dictators , like Ataturk , Nasser , Assad , etc
We won’t take sides , or ask the masses to do so
To take sides means only to justify murder , repression , and authority
We seek freedom , justice , decent life , for all .. Neither authoritarian camp offer any of these to the masses .. They only offer their hegemony .. we oppose all of them , we condemn all of them , hold them all responsible for the critical situation of the Syrian masses today