How can we characterise what is going on in Syria?
It was correct to see it initially as part of the Arab Spring - then the capitalist predators finally got their acts together, to (in some way) intervene, in an attempt to turn the situation to their own advantage, and are now playing an increasingly determining role.
Their first effort in Libya certainly didn't work out as hoped, so the second effort in Syria had to be more circumspect, and the genuine nascent popular revolution had to be distorted into something very different.
Of course, it has all happened before in the case of the Russian Revolution, with devastating failure as the result. First of all, there was support for the Monarchists and White Armies of the ensuing civil war, which was then followed by the invasion of armies from 14 different nations, with the sole purpose of defeating the revolution. But they failed completely and had to switch to a very different long-term objective, latterly termed the Cold War, to undermine the revolutionary regime.
So with the Arab Spring things had to be different - and considerably cheaper! Nevertheless, the results, so far, have been, if anything, a great deal worse.
For, who are those who are interfering, what are their intentions and how are they doing it?
First of all you have the reactionary monarchies of the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia, who pour money and arms into Syria, but pick and chose who gets it - primarily Islamic fundamentalist groups intent upon establishing an Islamic State.
Then you have the western capitalists states, which pretend that they only have humanitarian motives, which is clearly untrue!
Indeed all sorts of individuals from all sorts of countries associated into many different kinds of groups (including terrorist organisations) have poured into Syria. The result has been a multiplicity of armed groups fighting the regime, with looting the only way of financing their actions and maintaining their forces, and these are rapidly turning the situation into total chaos.
But what of the other side - the supporters of President Assad? They will be those who benefit from his largesse internally, and from his buffer-state role externally.
In this melee there is no revolutionary party armed with the essential Marxist theory to correctly interpret what is going on, and organise a secular alternative to both sides of this conflict, based upon the mass of the population.
For the interventionists have no understanding of the dynamic of a revolution: and only know about the ebbs and flows within a stable society, and the single alternative of repression and war to re-establish their required hegemony. In a revolution everything they do only makes things worse, and their methods (particularly the local monarchies) have been repressive for centuries.
Indeed, if you want to characterise the process, there are many exemplars throughout history. Whenever a particular stability became undermined and began to collapse, the positive outcome via Revolution to a new and higher Level, was never guaranteed. And with powerful, but uncomprehending forces smashing against one another, for their own interests only, the most likely outcome was always what we term a Dark Age. Only losses of a major nature could possibly result with Mankind taking a giant step backwards.
While the capitalist powers are arranging conferences to decide the kind of future they require for Syria, where are the revolutionary parties worldwide doing the same? Even humanitarian interventions can be achieved better than the symbolic gestures of the western charities. Does anyone remember Workers' Aid in Bosnia Herzegovina?