In January the NPA published a series of articles on Syria, lining up directly with the propaganda of the imperialist powers which are threatening to launch a war against the country.
The NPA articles written by Gayath Naïssé pile up lies and half-truths, showing the complete integration of the NPA in the French imperialist propaganda machine (See, “French petty-bourgeois “left” plots military intervention in Syria”.)
In his article entitled “Ten Months of Revolution in Syria,” Naïssé writes: “The dictatorship’s ferocious repression of the peaceful protests and the savage treatment of prisoners and the inhabitants of towns in revolt do not merely aim to crush the revolutionary movement, but also to incite the opposition to armed vengeance.”
In fact, Gayath Naïssé knows very well that the most prominent movement against Assad at present inside Syria is neither “peaceful” nor “revolutionary”, but the work of armed groups supported by imperialism. NATO is supporting the Syrian National Council and the Free Syrian Army, a force based in Turkey and which operates in various Syrian towns, to destabilise the Assad regime.
In its struggle against the Arab bourgeoisie and imperialist hegemony, the proletariat in Syria must now confront not only the Assad regime, but also an “opposition” armed by NATO and defended by the NPA.
In its desire to assist the propaganda of the Syrian “opposition”, the NPA shamelessly recycles the tricks of the right-wing press and the French Foreign office at the Quai d’Orsay. Another article by Naïssé, published on January 22 and entitled “Syria: in front of the observers the massacre continues”, echoes the denunciations of the Syrian regime by the bourgeois press, quoting the case of “a French journalist killed by an attack of ‘unknown’ origin, on January 11” in Syria.
In fact, already on the evening of January 20, Le Figaro had revealed that the reporter Gilles Jacquier, killed on January 11 in Homs in a bombardment by the Syrian “opposition” (See, “The French political establishment and Gilles Jacquier’s death in Syria”.)
In the days immediately after Jacquier’s death, Quai d’Orsay diplomats had spoken with the press to arrange that it would avoid mentioning for a few days the likely hypothesis that Jacquier had died in an “opposition” attack, thus implicitly blaming Assad. However, two days before the publication of Naïssé’s article, the responsibility of the “opposition” for Jacquier’s death had been confirmed.
If Naïssé nevertheless described the origin of the attack on Jacquier as being “unknown”, he is clearly not averse to misinforming his readers, in order to incite them to blind anger against the Syrian regime. The purpose of Naïssé’s falsification was to leave the reader politically at the mercy of the bourgeois press, which is attempting to prepare public opinion for an imperialist intervention in Syria.
Although the NPA, for the moment, says it is against a military intervention, because this is not yet openly called for by the Syrian opposition, it nevertheless is trying to convince its readers to support the opponents of the Syrian regime, and behind them, NATO’s manoeuvres to overthrow Assad. The NPA would doubtless be delighted with the overthrow of Assad by NATO, as was the case with Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi on August 22—when the NPA declared “Gaddafi overthrown, the people’s turn to decide.”
This was a reactionary lie. In fact, Libya and its oil resources are now in the hands of NATO, US and European oil companies, and a puppet Islamist regime.
Just as in Libya, the NPA is lending a pseudo-revolutionary gloss to right-wing forces. It talks of the “revolutionary masses” and the “general strike” in describing the operations of NATO’s proxy forces in these wars, while in fact these proxies are armed groups carrying out attacks and bombings.
In the aftermath of the fall of Gaddafi in Libya under NATO bombing, the NPA declared: “A new life is opening up for the Libyan people. Freedom, democratic rights, and the enjoyment of the wealth from natural resources for the satisfaction of the people’s basic needs are now the order of the day.” In fact, the NPA was lying when it said the resources would go to the Libyans.
However, the NPA manifestly does not object to repeating this same experience in Syria, promoting the preparation of another war that would have catastrophic consequences for the Syrian and international working class.
At the conclusion of his article “Ten months of revolution in Syria,” Naïssé speaks of three possible solutions for the political crisis in Syria: the resignation of Assad after a change inside the regime, a civil war, and lastly, military intervention. He continues by expressing his “confident certainty in the victory of the Syrian masses themselves and the fall of the dictatorship. We believe in it and are mobilising all our strength for the triumph of this goal.”
It is important to point out that Naïssé obviously rules out the possibility of a workers’ revolution against both Assad and against imperialism. If Naïssé can only see three outcomes mooted by imperialist diplomats as possible solutions to the Syrian crisis, why does he assert that he feels a “confident certainty in the victory of the Syrian masses?” It would be more correct to say that he feels “confident certainty” of the victory of NATO in an armed confrontation with Syria.
Naïssé, in fact, is mobilising all his strength to carry out pro-imperialist propaganda with the aim of bringing about the triumph of this goal.
Only through the independent intervention of the Syrian working class, led by a real revolutionary party, will the overthrow of the Assad regime be progressive. The “humanitarian” justifications offered by imperialism for military interventions in other countries are merely lies which the NPA retransmits, ignoring all fundamental class questions. Thus the NPA stands exposed as an agent of French imperialism.
In this respect, some details of Naïssé’s political activities need pointing out. He leads the CDF (the Committees for the Defense of Democracy, Freedom, and Human Rights in Syria), an association belonging to the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network set up by the 1995 Barcelona Process, a project which was a forerunner of the present Mediterranean Union promoted by French imperialism. According to its web site, the EMHRN is financed by private foundations and the foreign affairs ministries of several European powers, including France.
By contributing his pro-imperialist articles to the NPA press, Naïssé is in no way deviating from his political career as a mid-level cog in the state machine.