Saturday, 2 August 2014

Is there an 'anti-imperialist camp'? A debate (part 2)

Michael Karadjis: "To compare the US invasion of Iraq, with hundreds of thousands of troops, with US policy on Syria – i.e., to refuse to send even a bullet to the Free Syrian Army (FSA) for three years while the Assad regime destroyed the entire country with every conceivable “conventional” weapon of mass destruction – is too absurd to even begin to take apart; basically, for you to even make such an impossible comparison is in itself a classic example of bogus “anti-imperialist” analysis furiously attempting to push square poles into round holes.
It is fascinating to read a writer like Felipe, who in other ways is very lucid and logical, refer to NATO having “nearly destroyed Syria”. So apparently, the MiG fighter planes, helicopter gunships, ballistic missiles, barrel bombs, cluster bombs, incendiary bombs, tanks, artillery, starvation sieges of whole towns (and for that matter, of Palestinian refugee camps), and chemical weapons, have all been supplied to Assad by NATO! Oh, but no, you don’t mean that, do you. You simply think that the duty of “anti-imperialism” is to look the other way while a regime of mega-capitalists destroys every city of its country, including the working-class sections of Damascus and Aleppo, because condemning a capitalist regime for waging unlimited war on its working people is apparently too difficult for modern-day “anti-imperialist” analysis unless you can somehow show that imperialism is responsible.
And so since the imperialists issue criticisms of the Syrian regime’s genocide, and arm the opposition with … the occasional supportive speech (and even those are laced with jihadist-mongering similar to that of “the left”), therefore we don’t know what to say. So we have to instead create a conspiracy, and pretend that this mass uprising of ordinary Syrians is all a foreign conspiracy involving the US, the Gulf states and al-Qaida (and some even throw in Israel for good measure despite Israel’s quite constant support for the victory of a weakened Assad).
And what exactly has been the role of the US and NATO? As I have continually documented with a great deal of evidence over the last two years, not only has the US sent nothing of any use to the Free Syrian Army, but moreover it has moved operatives into Turkey to actively block the delivery of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles (manpads) and other advanced forms of weaponry to the rebels, when regional states had planned to send a few of these defensive weapons to the rebels to help defend their communities against Assad’s savage air war. (Assad’s air war in comparison to the Kiev regime’s air war in east Ukraine is basically an elephant-to-flea comparison). However, it has promised to maybe, perhaps, if they’re really good, to think about possibly supplying a few arms to a few “vetted” rebels if they agree to use them to launch a frontal attack on Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian wing of al-Qaida. Yet the left conspiracists would imagine that the US supports al-Nusra, in order to “destroy Syria.” You need to question your analysis when it begins to rely on total delusions like this."

Image result for With Syria buried in the news, hopes fade for ending world’s bloodiest war

With Syria buried in the news, hopes fade for ending world’s bloodiest war'After more than three years, the rebels are not ready to lay down their arms. “We started our revolution for dignity and peace,” he said. “Nothing has changed.” '
Also contains quotes from Joshua Landis, "there are no good choices," showing his neutrality between Assad and the opposition, and an endorsement of Hassan Hassan's piece in Foreign Policy* this week.

All religions are suffering in the Middle East mess

Seen from Gaza City, smoke and flames rise from Gaza's electricity distribution company plant after it was hit by Israeli strikes in the Nusseirat refugee camp, central Gaza Strip,Tuesday, July 29, 2014 (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

 In which Eamonn McCann turns into a fucking loon. I don't think there's any element of this story that's true.*

 'In September last year, the Christian village of Saidnaya near Damascus was overrun by Jabhat al-Nusra, one of the multitude of groups fighting to overthrow the Assad dictatorship. Local people begged for and were given weapons by a Syrian army base. They then drove the Islamist rebels out. Now the US was threatening to bomb pro-Assad forces in response to a poison gas attack attributed to Assad's army. The Saidnaya Christians believed with reason that they might well be among the targets.

 "We gave you St Paul," one Christian fighter told a British news programme. "You bomb us in return."

 A Russian-brokered deal led to cancellation of the bombing. Otherwise, the US might well have bombed a Christian village because it had fought off Islamist extremists.'

*Clay Claiborne had the details. "First Assad deployed his troops and tanks at the convent on a hill in Qalamoun. Then they started bombing civilians in Qalamoun from that convent. This forced the FSA to attack the Assad forces there to stop them from slaughtering people."


Friday, 1 August 2014

Girl with a picture of President Bashar al-Assad

Syria 'torture' photos shown in US"This is something that has to matter. And you can't be numb to it."

Syrian Defector: Assad Poised to Torture and Murder 150,000 More

I am not a politician and I don’t like politics,” Caesar said through his translator. “I have come to you honorable Congress to give you a message from the people of Syria… What is going on in Syria is a genocidal massacre that is being led by the worst of all the terrorists, Bashar al Assad.”

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Vigil in solidarity with Gaza, in Aleppo Syria Photo via: Syria Untold

Mutual struggle, mutual solidarity

Ever since the initial uprisings against the government of Bashar al-Assad in spring 2011, women in Syria have organized and participated in peaceful demonstrations and provided vital humanitarian assistance to those in need.

Women and the War in Syria
'Another activist revealed her identity under torture, and government security forces detained her at a Damascus cafe. They beat her during the night with a thick, green hose: “They slapped me on the face. They pulled me by my hair. They hit me on my feet, on my back, all over.”
They eventually took her to a police station, where men in police uniforms sexually harassed and tortured other female detainees. She saw one woman, handcuffed and naked, alone in a cell. “Once they brought her to our cell and made her beat the other women. Her body was defaced. It was all blue,” Maisa said.'

Monday, 28 July 2014

Image result for One of the oldest Christian communities has been destroyed as the Sunni Caliphate spreads

One of the oldest Christian communities has been destroyed as the Sunni Caliphate spreadsWhere to start with Robert Fisk? Perhaps with the suggestion that it was better when the Syrian army was advancing; bombing, torturing and raping as it went.
"For the Saudis lie behind this vast new force of the Caliphate, whose Islamist rulers have brought some of their Iraqi military assets – courtesy of George W again – to Syria and are now giving the Syrian army a tougher fight. Before the Caliphate spread to Mosul, the Syrian army was winning, or at least not losing. Now their soldiers are being executed, just like the Iraqi Shia army units captured near Mosul. And, of course, we continue to buttress this savagery in Syria."

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Children of Syria"Yarmouk, home to some eighteen thousand people, trapped by the siege, and the fight against rebel groups."
Assad's war is one that doesn't distinguish between civilians and rebels, anyone who stays in an opposition area is a target for starvation and bombing, because the régime has so little legitimacy it struggles to win any clash of arms without foreign help despite its massively superior weaponry, and so has to rely as much on inflicting as much horror as it can to force the opposition areas to depopulate. Chemical attacks aid this process too.