Resolution on the Civil War in Syria

While most of the resolutions which were passed at the SDUSA National Convention were regarding issues of constitution and bylaws, the organization was able to passed one resolution with some limited opposition regarding the current civil war in Syria. While some of the details of  events on the ground are different now than on August 1, 2012 when the resolution was first written, on the whole the situation is the same.



SDUSA resolution on the Syrian Conflict – proposed August 1, 2012 passed at the National Convention on August 27, 2012


Currently the rebel groups confronting the Assad regime are actually challenging the regime in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city. A few weeks ago they were able to confront the regime in Damascus. The Free Syrian Army also holds substantial parts of the country side in certain areas of the country. Because of this a widespread belief is shared by many Western commentators that President Bashir Assad’s dictatorship over Syria is due to end soon. A popular corollary to this point of view is that the Obama administration and the rest of the West need therefore do little more to help the Syrian people to over throw the brutal regime.

The Social Democrats USA does not share this rosy view. Wars often tend to be long bloody and drawn out affairs. They are generally won by those who have the best weapons and are trained to use them. Given the current imbalance between the light weaponry of the fighters of the Syrian Free Army and other opponents of the Assad regime and the sustainable military power of the Assad regime, the odds of victory are still on the side of the regime. Thus Washington and general western inaction will probably guarantee a long continuation of life for the Assad dictatorship.

If, however, in spite of the probabilities after years of fighting and the deaths of tens of thousands of people; the revolutionary forces do achieve victory in Syria the situation of the 12% of Alawite Syrians, the 10% of Syrian Christians and others who now support the Assad government will be incomparably worse than if victory comes to the rebel forces now. The longer the conflict lasts the greater will be the revenge killings and payoffs when the present power relationships are reversed.

Therefore In contrast to conventional thinking on the Syrian crisis, the Social Democrats USA does not believe that the United States should continue its current weak policy in relation to the Syrian conflict. While the SDUSA does not support the John McCain option of unilaterally creating a Libyan style “no fly zone” in Syria, we do believe that the United States should begin to make real contact with Syrian revolutionary forces and to begin giving strong military, intelligence, and economic aid to responsible rebel groups. We should also initiate a diplomatic offensive to rally support to the Syrian revolutionary forces globally.

This aid should be tied to realistic guarantees by rebel groups that they will support both democratic and human rights for all groups of Syrians. Recipients of US aid in particular should by their actions show evidence that they will not upon victory plan massive acts of revenge on the Alawite and Christian and other minority communities.


Thus the United States at this time has basically two alliterative policy options toward Syria. It can continue its present policy of making strong rhetorical statements against the regime but do little to aid the forces opposing that regime or it can go several steps forward and realistically aid the people of Syria in their struggle. Obviously dangers exist for both policies. If the Obama administration takes an activist policy toward Syria there is no guarantee that all will be well. We cannot absolutely guarantee that anti-democratic forces will not take over the revolution. We cannot guarantee that revenge killing and massacres of the current regime’s perceived supporters will not occur. However it is much more probable that American involvement in support of the Syrian revolution will minimize these risks.

If on the other hand the Obama administration does nothing then the results are very dismal. We have lots of evidence of what the regime will do to its enemies once its dictatorship is fully reestablished. It will of course insure the future of a regime of suppression over the Syrian people for decades to come.

If on the contrary the rebel forces would triumph over the regime thanks in large part to aid from Saudi Arabia and other gulf states than the victorious anti Assad regime could easily be the type of totalitarian, Islamic regime that Washington fears most. As a result of all of these facts, the Social Democrats USA calls on the United States government to work actively to end the Assad dictatorship.

4 thoughts on “Resolution on the Civil War in Syria

  1. .. of course, we’d all like to see the Syrian people win this struggle against this tyrant, but we in the U.S. are in the middle of our own political struggle.. and I can’t see us putting much effort into helping the Syrian’s revolution until after the November elections… and without our participation, I’m afraid no one else in the West is going to send aid . . .

  2. John, I am sure you are correct in your analysis. However I am sure that the war in Syria will be going strong after the November elections.


  3. Once social-imperialists, always social-imperialists, I see.

    There is no logic here, you say more or less, “A rebel victory might not be so good for the Christians and Alawis and other non-standard Sunnis, so let’s hasten it”. We know the main fighters for the ‘opposition’ are imported Jihadis funded by the Saudis and Qataris. You admit this is a problem at the end. Your solution? A US-imposed war and new regime. Wow! You don’t learn anything do you? What a decadent position – Western pseudo-socialists argue a Western ultra-liberal capitalist regime needs to take out an Eastern Arab socialist regime to impose … a more Western-friendly, weaker capitalist regime!

    Be honest. SDUSA was always packed with neocons and Zionists and so you want to take out Assad to weaken the Iran-Iraq-Syria-Hizbollah alliance and give Israel a free path to Iran. In the process, you play the toadies for the decadent Gulf Arabs who fund Hariri in Lebanon, who want to control a new Syrian govt, and who want to take out the Iranians as well.

    • Thomas so the Social Democrats USA is a “social- imperialist” organization? It is a curious historic fact that the Stalinist German Communist Party at the direction of the Comintern used to describe the German Social Democrats as Social- Fascists. I guess that you share their view of correct political rhetoric. I also suspect that you share their views regarding the nature of socialism. You describe the Assad regime as being a “socialist regime.” Clearly your definition of socialism differs from mine. The Assad regime’s butchery of its people has caused the deaths of over 30,000 people. If this is socialism you are welcome to it.

      Now to some of the more pertinent points that you did raise. I doubt that any one knows what percentage of the fighters against the Assad regime are jihadis. Of course most of these so-called jihadis are Syrian born not “imported.” However I will grant that the Saudis and Qataris are probably supporting the most conservative of the Syrian opponents of the Assad dictatorship. The most liberal and moderate of the opposition groups are not receiving the support that they need. So of course the best way to insure that the Syria has a democratic future would be to support the more moderate forces. If the West does nothing then any post Assad future that Syria has will be Islamic

      .A final point. You argue that our concern regarding the fate of the Alawite and Christian minorities under a primarily Sunni post-Assad government is an inconsistency. It is not. We believe that the future of a Syria continuing to be dominated by the brutal Assad dictatorship is the worse possible outcome to the current Syrian civil war. An Assad victory would be a decisive defeat for the Syrian people and guerintee their future enslavement. While we recognize that a victory for the Sunni majority of the Syrian people may bring negative consequences for the non-Sunni minority we do not view this possibility to outweigh the horrors that an Assad victory would inevitably bring. What we believe is that US support of the rebel cause will in fact lessen the possibility that the revolution’s victory will lead to a major repression of Syria’s minorities.


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