Fazal Rahman, Ph.D. September 28, 2013
In the Syrian crisis, like those of Afghanistan, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Iran, and Libya, Russia and China have again caved in to the Western and US imperialism by imposing a unilateral Syrian chemical weapons removal or destruction, without a shred of evidence that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons during the civil war. All the circumstantial logical and factual evidence indicates that it was the anti-government forces that used these weapons to provoke the Western military strikes against the government forces, strikes that have been threatened in such a scenario for a long time now.
Syrian government forces have been winning the war and had no reason to use these weapons. On the other hand, the anti-government forces have been losing the ground and territories under their control-in spite of substantial military, intelligence, and financial support from the Western powers and their regional puppets in the Middle East, like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other brutal sheikhdoms and dictatorial regimes-and the only way they can gain the momentum would be to involve the Western imperialist militaries directly on their side. Apparently, the Syrian government was forced to accept such an unjust and lopsided agreement, in order to try to prevent the devastating Western military attacks. However, there is no guarantee that it will work. How can anyone forget the fate of President Saddam Hussain and Iraq, under similar circumstances? He had also agreed to the destruction and removal of the so-called weapons of mass destruction. However, after these were destroyed by the UN, Iraq became an easy prey for the imperialist war machines and was utterly devastated by them and the bloodshed and instability continue there unabated. Chemical weapons stockpiles of Syria are a great deterrent against the Israeli and other imperialist attacks against it. Their unilateral removal will also remove that deterrent.
More than anyone else, Russia and China should know, and do know, that the Western imperialists in general, and US imperialists in particular, only understand the brute force, which they take seriously and pay attention to, in their policies and actions. They are only invading and starting wars with countries that are much weaker and no match for them militarily. If they had to face powerful countries, like Russia and China, protecting their interests in those countries, it is almost certain that they would not have taken that risk and would not have invaded those countries or unleashed wars of aggression against them. Hence, Russia and China also bear a great part of the responsibility for those invasions, wars, and destructions. After the betrayal of socialism, their policies and actions now are determined solely by capitalist economic and trade interests. They seem to have lost their souls and principles, and are in a frenzy to accumulate capital for their newly formed capitalist classes. They suffered significant losses in Iraq and Libya. However, it seems that their short-sighted and capitalist costs and benefits calculations led to the conclusions that they would lose more if they took stronger stands. The betrayal of socialism and restoration of capitalism in these countries is quite recent. And yet, we are witnessing such astounding trapezes in the thinking and policy processes of the new leaders there, who were raised under and were the beneficiaries of socialism. Of course, they are now materially benefiting and enriching themselves much more than they could even imagine under socialism, on the expense of the great majority of their people, who have lost most of their substantial human rights after the restoration of capitalism. Such colossal examples of intellectual, moral, and spiritual corruptibility of human nature can erode any remaining hopes, faith, or illusions in it. One is reminded of the great saying of Jesus Christ here, “What is a man profited, if he gained the whole world, but lost his soul?” Marx and Lenin, in spite of being atheists, would certainly have agreed with him. It is not only the individuals who are losing their souls, it is also the whole nations that are losing their national souls in this decadent period of history.
The weak, collaborationist, and double-faced policies and actions of Russia and China were a big factor in the election of the current accommodative and retreating government in Iran, which seems to have forgotten all the huge crimes and conspiracies of imperialism against Iran that caused decades of brutal repression, deprivations, and sufferings of Iranian people. The new bearded charmer leader, Hassan Rouhani, is going out of his way to appease and charm the Western imperialist leaders and powers, in order to avoid military attacks and remove the economic sanctions. The previous president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, also had similar goals. However, he had drawn a clear line of national sovereignty, dignity, and anti-imperialism, behind which he would not retreat. He had also established solidarity relations with other anti-imperialist countries, like Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador etc. Rouhani is likely to reverse those policies.
A great setback to the developing Third World and Latin American anti-imperialist movements also occurred with the untimely death of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, who was in the forefront of creating new alliances and relations for the purpose of enhancing the sovereignty and independence of the Third World nations, especially in Latin America, using significant amounts of national resources for those essential and higher objectives. His chosen successor, President Nicolas Maduro Moros, seems to be a dedicated and sincere person and is trying to follow and develop the policies of President Chavez. However, Venezuela is mired in corruption, bureaucracy, bureaucratic arrogance, high rates of violence and other crimes, overwhelming dependence of its economy on oil exports and imports of essential commodities, astonishing lack of development of its huge agricultural and other potentials, dependence of its educational system on textbooks and other literature published by the advocates and apologists of capitalism and imperialism in the imperialist centers, continued extreme class divisions and dominance of capitalist economic relations in its economy etc. The right-wing political forces, which have been historically responsible for the creation of these problems, are trying to use them against the leftist government that is trying to solve them. In the last elections, they came close to winning them. This time, they lost by a small margin. If they had won, that would have been a mortal blow to the developing Third World and Latin American anti- imperialist movement, as Venezuela is playing a central and powerful role in it. However, the future is quite uncertain in this regard.
In Colombia, FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) and ELN (Ejército de Liberación Nacional)-the continued carriers of revolutionary flames in the world, after the betrayal of socialism in the USSR and China-are also retreating and desperately negotiating their surrender to one of the most reactionary and right-wing governments in the world, which has a long history of being a puppet of US imperialism. Even Cuba and Venezuela are facilitating that surrender, under the guise of a peaceful settlement to the conflict. Such negotiations are taking place in Cuba! What would Che Guevara have thought of that! It is good that he is not here to see this happening. In the current conditions of the all out drive of US imperialism to dominate the entire world and destroy all the remnants of revolutionary forces everywhere, to extinguish even such small revolutionary flames is the worst that can be done. To the contrary, it is most important to keep them alive and to light them up wherever possible.
The US and Western imperialism is facing a humiliating defeat only in Afghanistan, one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world, where anti-imperialist fighters, organized around anti-imperialist Islam-in spite of all the contradictions of such anti-imperialism-could not be defeated, after the longest invasionary war of US imperialism and expenditures of huge human and financial resources. The forces of resistance there are now winning the war, in spite of incomparable superiority of the high-tech military forces of US imperialism and its allies. It has gathered the forces of fifty countries there, which include, in addition to its usual Western European allies, the forces of its numerous client and puppet Third World and even Muslim countries. Pakistan has played the crucial role in this invasion and war, just like it did earlier in the 1980s, by providing its territory for the supplies and other operations of the invaders and unleashing military operations against the supporters of resistance in Afghanistan, in its own territory. And yet, with relatively very meager resources, very primitive weapons, and without the help of any country-but with unmatchable courage, stamina, anti-imperialist patriotism, love of sovereignty and national liberation, and expertise and experience in guerilla warfare-they cannot be defeated and are winning the war against all odds. In this age of universal prostitution of the worst kind-selling out and submitting to imperialism-Afghan resistance is a shining example and hope of the potentials of the positive side of human nature. Why is rest of the world unable to see or learn from that? That is a huge question and answering it fully is not possible here. However, some of the causes are:
1. Prostitution to imperialism.
2. Betrayal of socialism and anti-imperialism in the socialist giants, USSR and China.
3. Fear of military, political, and economic powers of imperialism.
4. Class collaboration of the capitalist and feudal ruling classes and leaders.
5. Disunity, lack of solidarity, and opportunism of the Third World nations, their ruling classes and leaders.
6. Deformations of human nature under thousands of years of class-divided politico-economic systems and centuries of intensified effects of technocratic capitalism and imperialism.
7. Worship of money and things, and dilution and loss of all the higher qualities and values.
8. Mass slavery to totalitarian capital and capitalism and, in the state of extreme alienation and reification, experiencing it as freedom, when, in fact, the whole individual being-mind, body, and soul-as well as the whole social being, are engulfed and regulated by the totalitarian capital. Mass and individual human mental apparatus in such conditions becomes a reflection of the relations of capital and things and their alienated and alienating powers. There is very little, if any, free and unalienated and unreified space left there. The more developed capitalism is in a given society, the more predominant and engulfing this particular type of slavery is in that society.
There is an urgent need for the formation of the International Anti-Imperialist Movement. The Non-Aligned Movement, formed during the era of the national liberation movements, has been thoroughly corrupted and perverted by the prevalence of large numbers of countries in it that are dominated by and aligned with imperialism. It is now a useless organization, only wasting time and resources on its useless and toothless meetings.
This is a nebulous era, in which, underneath the appearance of unprecedented conglomeration of imperialist and wannabe imperialist countries, deep and powerful whirling social storms are in the process of formation, which will blow away and shatter the surface to pieces and consolidate into new formations. It is already very difficult to be caught up in this turmoil and it is going to get much worse before it gets better and results in a new dawn and new beginning, which will leave all the technocratic barbarism and injustices of Advanced Capitalist-Imperialist Technocratic Civilization behind and start a new and radically different civilization and history of mankind that will produce a new and radically different type of human nature. Of course, there is also a possibility that the dark forces of imperialism may annihilate mankind itself, before such transformations take place. However, it all depends on the power and location of the brewing social storms. If such storms are powerful enough within the imperialist centers, then such a catastrophe will be prevented.
If Russia and China fail to stop the military and politico-economic expansion of US and Western imperialism in other countries-even the ones with whom they have had close economic and military relations, like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Iran, and Syria-then they will have to face them at their own borders.
Postscript March 5, 2014:
The new crisis in Ukraine shows the extreme dangers of constant retreats, mentioned above, to Russian security and other interests. It has to face the danger now along its own borders, as predicted and pointed out above. The retreat of Russia seems to have ended there, at least temporarily. Whether this would continue in the future remains to be seen.
The author Dr. Fazal Rahman is an interdisciplinary researcher and writer, with background in many areas of social and biological sciences. He has worked in many countries, like the US, Brazil, Lebanon, Zambia etc., as a scientist and administrator of research and development projects and centers.