ISTANBUL – Friday’s “Understanding the Syrian Revolution” conference was a rousing success, with presentations by many Trotskyist organisations from English-speaking countries, and a strong turnout from many left-wing organisations in Istanbul, glad to finally understand the Syrian context thanks to the informed work of the Trotskyists.
An older EMEP member who chose to remain anonymous revealed his impressions to our correspondent: “I had always thought Trotskyists were idiots, but now that I’ve seen the brilliant analysis they do in English-speaking countries, I suddenly see that I’ve been on the wrong path all along. Truly they are right, and the primary contradiction is Assad, and not the jihadists. How could we, from right next to Syria, have been so blind, and the Anglos’ eyes been so wide open? For this I blame Stalin, who I renounce at once, forever.”
The most heated moment came in the form of a debate between the Spartacist League of the UK and the ISO from the US on the subject: “ISIS: Harmless or Heroic?” While both sides agreed that the biggest danger to Syrian civilians was the Assad regime, the ISO’s position was that ISIS didn’t kill so many civilians and would be easily defeated by the famous progressive secular Arab rebels, who were much more powerful on the ground, and therefore needn’t factor into our calculations, whereas the Spartacist position was that ISIS was the only powerful anti-imperialist force on the ground, and would easily wipe out all their rivals, including the regime, rival rebel groups, and the PYD.
The debate ended with the Spartacist representative referring to her counterpart from the ISO as a “CIA agent”, and the ISO representative defended himself by saying that while his position didn’t differ from the CIA’s, the lack of a paycheque from Langley should absolve him of all responsibility. Both sides then took questions, to which they provided generic answers about the need for proletarian revolution.
Around 3 PM, there was deep interest by various Alawite organisations in a presentation by representatives of a small Trotskyist organisation from the US called League for the Revolutionary Party, entitled “Why Salih Muslim is Wrong about Assad.” All Alawites in attendance, who were predominantly affiliated with DHF, ESP, TÖPG, and DHKP-C, listened with keen interest as it was explained to them that it was sectarian to be concerned with the safety of Arab Alawites in Syria, and that real internationalist revolutionaries would support “the secular Syrian Revolution” without resorting to “petty tribalism”.
“The same goes for the Kurds. They need to stop worrying about the balance of the forces or national liberation and stand behind the real democratic forces in Syria.”
“They really opened our eyes,” explained Heval Şoreş, a Kurdish student in attendence. “Before I saw the Australian ‘Socialist Alternative’s talk entitled ‘Kurds Hate Freedom’, I had been blinded by the leadership of the Kurdish movement. Now I understand that I must become a real internationalist revolutionary, like the heroes in London and New York, and not tail behind a dead-end nationalist movement like the one we see in Rojava.”
Fearing that the anti-revisionist hegemony of the Turkish left has been shaken by the masterful propaganda coup by their Trotskyist counterparts, an emergency meeting of various anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninist groups in the US was called. So great are the fears of the anti-revisionists that Trotskyist hegemony will be extended from the Anglosphere into Turkey and North Kurdistan, that even hyper-sectarians like the RCPUSA attended and took an active role. At the meeting, they determined that a counter-conference would be held next week in Istanbul, entitled “We are not worthy! We worship you, o Turkish and Kurdish revolutionaries, who carry guns for the revolution! We are unworthy even to kiss your feet!”
Explaining that the situation was dire indeed, and nothing was off the table, a representative of the RCPUSA spoke to our correspondent.
“We’re all in this together, yeah?” said the RCPUSA representative. “We’ve already booked a ticket to fly Bob Avakian from… wherever he is… we won’t say, but probably the flight is gonna be out of JFK.”
“Besides, we’re sure if we can get some of our people into Gazi Mahallesi, MKP and TKP/ML will reconsider their position on the New Synthesis.”