Weekly Worker/Letters, 1 July 2021
Gerry Downing’s comment (June 17) on my letter is strange, indeed, and I find it hard to figure out
its logic. Conceding that something has happened implies that one has up till then tried to deny it.
But it is no concession to state that Iran and Russia saved Assad’s murderous tyranny from a
popular uprising, or that the US gave support to the Syrian opposition up to a point without actively
seeking to overthrow the regime. A factual account of events is one thing, value judgments another.'
There was surely a strong aspect of class struggle in the uprisings of the Arab Spring, especially in
Tunisia, Egypt, and Syria. But in the inter-imperialist rivalry, which tore Syria apart, all the
intervening states and their allies from abroad have been on the same side of the barricade.
Unfortunately, a number of people on the left have in recent years thrown out the spirit of
Zimmerwald altogether, and started to look at the world through the lenses of geopolitical campism.