Support the people of Syria. Stand against war.
The ongoing wars in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq have produced human suffering on an unimaginable scale, with hundreds of thousands killed, millions displaced, and many millions more continuing to face starvation, sickness, poverty, and violence.
Consistent with longstanding US foreign policy, the Trump administration has demonstrated a commitment to furthering US imperialism by bolstering the military budget to nearly half the total federal budget, now 1.45 trillion dollars. This continued aggression, the US bombing of Syria, and continuing military escalation in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq will only lead to further the destabilization, violence, displacement, and suffering that the US, Apartheid Israel, and their western allies have sown in the region for decades.
The Arab Resource and Organizing Center stands with all victims of these conflicts. As an organization committed to the liberation and self-determination of all oppressed people, we recognize that the mass uprisings that precipitated the conflicts in Syria and Yemen were genuine demonstrations of popular anger against corruption and repression, the absence of mechanisms for political empowerment, and the continuing impoverishment of the Arab working class through ever-expanding imperialist and neoliberal policies.
Syria today is devastatingly unrecognizable from what it was in 2011. Through covert and overt foreign intervention of the US and its allies on the one hand, to the two years and counting of Russian strikes on the other, Syria and its people became the ground for an all-out proxy war for world powers. These interventions have only served the geopolitical, financial, and military interests of these powers, against the interests, dignity, and livelihood of the Syrian people.
AROC firmly rejects the oppressive and exploitive role that Western or Gulf powers, and the US in particular, have played in the lives of Arab people. The long and bloody history of US colonialism of the Americas, interventions in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Arab World, its unwavering support for the Zionist state of Israel, backing for the Saudi military bombardment of Yemen, direct and indirect financing of right-wing hardline militias in Syria, and destruction of Libya and Iraq point clearly to ambitions opposed to the struggles of oppressed people. We also hold the US responsible for historically playing a central role, both directly and indirectly, in the rise of extremist groups to quell popular movements in Latin America, Africa, and Asia – a trend continued in the Arab World with the rise of groups like Daesh in Iraq and Syria. We stand with those enduring such violence, the latest carried out by Daesh in Egypt against two Coptic Churches on Palm Sunday, killing 44 people. Egyptian President Sisi has already exploited this tragedy to expand his repressive rule by declaring a state of emergency for three months – repression funded by the US.
AROC therefore both condemns the brutality of the repressive regimes in the Arab World, and stands against the imperial powers that seek to replace them, choosing instead to side with the Arab people themselves and their legitimate demands for a future free of the oppressive hand of any regime – local or international – that seeks to subdue or undermine them.
For us in the US, what does solidarity with Arab people look like during such devastation? Though we may not have all the answers, we know this for certain. That our freedom and self determination relies on building a broad movement that connects the struggle against racism, xenophobia, and economic oppression in the US to war and occupation across the world. We cannot resist the Muslim Ban, ICE raids, attacks on women and LGBTQ people, economic devastation of communities, and plunder of the environment without taking action against war, and the displacement, violence, and instability that it imposes on millions of people in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Arab World.
Hands off Syria. Hands off Yemen. Hands off Iraq. Self-determination and dignity for all oppressed people.
For more resources visit the Jadaliyya’s Syria roundup page.