Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 06, 2013

Syria: The Feckless Left

by Malooga
lifted from a comment

One must not forget the disgraceful petition put out by what calls itself the "Left" in the name of "dignity and freedom" last week, the so-called "Global Campaign of Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution". The geo-political analysis of the screed would not pass the muster of a child, and the empty verbiage comes straight out of a George W. Bush or Barak Obama speech -- without exaggeration. In any event, don't mislead yourself into thinking the timing was accidental in the face of the collapse of the mercenary Takfiri front. Because it wasn't. When the empire finds its back against wall, it will not hesitate in pulling out all stops -- even if it means trotting out a brigade of tired old leftists in its dirty service.

And if ever there was evidence that the entire moribund left intellectual class is bought and sold, this is surely it. One should carefully examine the list of names and publicly excoriate them for their now public complicity in international war crimes and the use of chemical weaponry. Tariq Ali, Norman Finkelstein!, Richard Seymour (author of "The Liberal Defence of Murder," "tracing the descent of liberal supporters of war..."), Anthony Arnove (Howard Zinn's boy), Fredric Jameson, Vijay Prasad, Ilan Pappe, Stephen R. Shalom, Alice Walker and so on down the line, over 220 Benedict Arnolds in all. Laudable behavior in the past is no excuse for lying while supporting Takfiri murderers in the present. May every single one of them know what it is like to be exposed to DU -- in the name of freedom and democracy, of course!

According to these house puppets, "The revolution in Syria (sic) is ... also an extension of the Zapatista revolt in Mexico, the landless movement in Brazil, the European and North American revolts against neoliberal exploitation", and every other emotional struggle for justice that these betrayers can throw against the wall and hope it sticks, while, like a virus, they live off the suffering of others, with their pompous pontificating and venal obfuscating, as their salaries and position are paid for by the big boys.

I am sorry that do to personal problems I am not at present able to take the time to deconstruct the empty verbiage of that embarrassing petition line by line as I have done with others in the past (The Euston Manifesto). This document's vacuous invocation of democracy, freedom and the Geneva Convention, its selective one-sided claims bereft of any factual evidence whatsoever, its twisting of truth on its head and its transparent Orwellism against "Asad’s regime" should be a deep and enduring embarrassment for any signatory of the document.

In ostensibly "hop(ing) for a free, unified, and independent Syria," (Didn't that exist, albeit with blemishes, as all power structures exhibit, until a few years ago? The same hope was evinced for Iraq after the nation was first destroyed, but why should a few well trained house lackeys quibble over cause and effect?) while "confront(ing) a world upside down" consisting of "Russia, China, and Iran," (the bad guys) and in throwing in their lot and supporting "the US and their Gulf allies" (the good guys -- Saudi Arabia and Qatar for hummus sake!) these ahistorical ignoramuses not only have the blood of innocent Syrians on their heads, but that of the multi-million Iraqis and hundreds of thousands of Libyans, Afghanis, Yemeni, Sudanese and many other nations killed, injured, displaced and dispossessed by the time honored imperial strategy of divide et impera, divide and conquer. Apparently, those who refuse to study the bloody history of the West's destabilization campaigns are consigned (perhaps enlisted?) to support them.

As the election of Barak Obama, supported by similar empty-headed intellectual idealists, has proved, "Hope," in the absence of an honest and rigorous economic and power analysis, a realistic and workable political strategy of opposition, and the building of a viable alternative power structure, is even more destructive than surly apathy. These intellectuals' piteous petition evinces none of the above minimal requirements for successful activism -- except, of course, for Hope, the Orwellian trope of our decade. Their elitist Hope, is misplaced from the get go, of course -- for there is no attempt in the petition to address or assay the hopes and desires of the majority of the Syrian people. Instead, it is all about their precious hope. When your car careens off the road, you momentarily "hope" you won't be killed, although you know it is too late for hope; Intellectual study, attainment and popular acclaim is supposed to provide more effective tools than hope. In this case, like petition signing, apparently.

It simply beggars belief that the Left -- which claims to pride itself on solid structural analysis as opposed to groupcentric conspiracy theory -- betrays its utter ignorance of its purported forte (the former) while buying whole hog into the later, namely into the magical conspiracy theory that the removal of an individual, Assad, rather than the democratic restructuring of a power structure and national political economy, will in any way help solve the Syrians' problems. The undemocratic abdication of the duly elected "Bashar al-Asad," as called for by the petitioners, would clearly leave a prolonged bloody power vacuum, with every interested external and internal party vying in the darkest of ways for support, thereby inaugurating in a reign of terror even worse than at present and destroying the state. The recent bloody examples of Iraq and Libya should be obvious even to the purblind pusillanimous petitioners. One might think… An honest leftist, Stephen Gowans once described this type of thinking among the left as the "Rogue's Gallery" syndrome: the demonization of individual "monsters" like Saddam Hussein, Qaddaffi, Chavez, Castro. As the noted political thinker Noam Chomsky notoriously and repeatedly opined a decade ago, (paraphrased), "Iraqis, and the world, would be much better off without Saddam Hussein." So much for the vaunted structural analysis of the left. But who, especially the tenured left, has time for historical memory in an age of evanescent tweets?

To even imagine that one could throw one's hat in with the US, Zionist Israel, bought off and dying NATO, Saudi Arabian, and Qatari interests and end up with some type of leftist anti-globalist democracy movement complying with the will of the Syrian people is absolutely and utterly laughable. The destruction of Sirte and the ethnic cleansing of Tawergha, as well as the confessional partition of Iraq, come to mind as case examples of more likely consequences, especially for a multi-confessional state such as Syria. Do these people really have academic degrees; do they study history; are they in any way capable of critical thinking? They betray the rankest of historical ignorance, and to my mind, these moronic intellectuals demonstrate the far-sighted perspective of an ostrich with its head in the sand. It is truly a left gone mad.

***2

Of more serious import, is these morons' ignorance of, and complicity in, the process of shock doctrine globalization: How are nations dragooned into debt servitude, the Washington Consensus, by the bankers, the IMF, the WTO, while a few dozens walk away with billions? The destabilization of Iceland, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, a veritable rampage of county after country demonstrates that military means need not be necessary. Politicians are bought, laws are changed without fanfare or understanding by the masses, globalist media lies, populations are mislead, non-democratic agreements are passed, and fewer and fewer corporations run by an interlocking directorate of hundreds gets stronger and stronger. The commons is privatized, safety nets are cut, and unemployment, a form of soft genocide, is abetted. Everything is privatized and centralized into non-accountable, non-democratic global corporatist hands. The entire world has become just one big "externality" for the globalized military to handle. For holdouts, stronger means are necessary: Markets, commodity prices, interest rates, etc. are manipulated by the market makers. Ethnic and confessional destabilization campaigns are funded and fomented. Anger is channeled through unaccountable foreign NGOs, globalist funded faux-democracy movements, neo-liberal and powerless placeholders for the big boys all, but with catchy brands and great graphics, led by cult-like charismatic leaders whose radiant clothes cover their programmatic nakedness: This charade is what the aforementioned signatories, without a trace of awareness or irony refer to in their petition as "civic society," a faux society of profession technicians who manage the now crumbling societies "unrealistic expectations" and resistance. George Soros would be proud!

Peaceful protests against the hapless leader who initially attempted to placate the Globalist neo-liberal order by privatizing the commanding heights of the economy, by providing rent-a-torture services to the empire, are organized by the same globalist powers who forced or bribed the nation's venal leaders into neo-liberal contortions in the first place. It is never enough for the ghouls. Once the International order has their eyes on your country, you're damned if you attempt to comply and damned if you attempt to resist. False flag attacks destabilize, and then the hired hands come in -- in Syria's case, the Takfiris. Apparently, these esteemed intellectuals, so concerned with democracy and dignity, have never read John Perkins, Naomi Klein, or the blog LandDestroyer, among others. The entire process is, as Hannah Arendt might say, banally ordinary. And the feckless left happily signs on to the banality.

Iraq, Libya, Indonesia, Panama, the Philippines, and a dozen other countries. The feckless left should have a grip on the storyline, or what they like to call "the narrative" by now. But no, like the Keystone Cops, they fall for it every time.

And yet, despite the violence and destabilization that is taking down the world, one nation at a time, in a mad, mad race to the bottom -- might one think that this is cause to organize and petition for the feckless structural left. Nay, they say! All problems will be solved once Assad goes, declares the feckless structural, magical thinking left! Get on the bus, sign the magical petition, and go Further!

***3

In 1940, the astrophysicist George Gamow published "The Birth And Death Of The Sun." In it, he described the evolutionary tracks of stars. Stars differ by mass, and composition, and thereby final fate, but their evolutionary sequences, their life paths, could now be reliably predicted, he stated. Without an intelligent, informed, organized global resistance, we are now in the same place with nations within the global world order or more accurately, world system. If they resist, they can be a Haiti, a Honduras, a Yugoslavia, an Iraq, a Libya, a Syria, perhaps even a Soviet Union. Depending on their "mass," the composition of their industries, their constituent ethnicities and religions, and the strength of their resistance to Globalism, their fate can be reliably predicted.

Its nice to talk about dignity and democracy and freedom as the wealthy petition signers do. But the reality is that there is none of that without jobs and economic security for all. And the neo-liberalism of centrally controlled Globalism that is rapidly being rolled out around the world is all about destroying that for everyone (including the petition signatories), in the name of "workplace flexibility." Corporations have freedom and dignity and democracy within globalized trade organizations, not people, these days. That is to say, they now have the legal standing and rights which people once had, no matter how much the petition's signatories may wish or bleat otherwise. To blame Assad for this globalized transfer -- theft, really -- of rights is naive and misplaced, and to expect a seriously destabilized society to provide what their own relatively more stable societies cannot is both illogical and deeply patronizing of the Syrian people.

At the present juncture, the only force strong enough to resist this shock doctrine globalism-at-gunpoint crisis methodology is economic nationalism. Sure, nationalism is a drag, outmoded, and overly narrow in perspective. Many historical complaints can be legitimately set against it. In the long run, it is not the way to go for the planet or its inhabitants. But right now it is the only force strong enough to stand up to neo-liberal globalism. At the moment, as that wicked witch Maggie famously said, "There is no alternative." A movement of a few naive students have not been able to stand up to globalism, and neither have 1 million people occupying a nation's central square. Effective resistance to this global process -- an intentional run-down to the lowest common denominator of wealth, health, security, etc., and a run-up to the highest common denominator of pollution and ecological destruction, all in favor of corporate rights owned by a few people and enforced at the end of a gun -- without an effective global strategy and sustained global support, is merely wishful thinking, i.e., hope. Yet, we are are nowhere near that point of resistance yet, and with the aid of these moribund intellectuals, fecklessly yet sanctimoniously targeting one "monster" at a time, we may never get there. In my humble opinion, economic nationalism must be seen as a stepping stone away from centralized unaccountable globalism towards a more decentralized, economically just world. If I should be mistaken, I welcome any viable alternative strategies. Perhaps the feckless left will invite me to sign their petition!

These great vaunted intellectuals have not come up with an education program of resistance to globalism for their own countries, or one for Syria. Neither have they come up with a game-plan, a strategy for resistance. They lead no great movements of resistance in their own countries. they speak not to the masses, but to other intellectuals, a privileged 10%, if that. Like ostriches all, they deny and ignore the problem. Worse, they misdiagnose it: The problem is Assad (Hussein, Qaddaffi, Aristede, Chavez wasn't good enough) -- whatever -- it is an individual problem, not a systemic and global one. He, (whomever) is a bad leader; he made concessions to the globalists; he made deals with his national elite, whatever. In the end, for these utopians, Castro was not good enough for them, and neither was Chavez. They are all "problematic." In a world with virtually no left, the existing left, such as it is, warts and all, is not worth supporting when one can idealistically envision a Platonic left. Go figure. This is a solipsistic, deeply nihilistic politics of self-absorption. And because they see the problem to be an individual one, rather than a systemic one, they call for individual solutions to the wrong problem -- which clearly will never work. But perhaps that's what these moral geniuses are paid to do: Provide unworkable solutions to fictitious problems. To monkeywrench the resistance. And to do so in a non-holistic manner. Ad hoc -- sort of like Bush v. Gore. Remove the monsters one by one and stand up in feckless disbelief when they are each replaced in turn with worse monsters and worse bloodshed. "Don't blame me, I stood up to the monster," they bleat in astonished sheep-like unison. The feckless left. The non-structural, magical left. What can one expect of a group who supported Obama, because he was marketed as "Hope?"

***4

In examining the behavior of the feckless left, it might help to focus in on one specific example -- in this case, Michael Alpert, not a signatory to this document, but an intellectual of much the same ilk -- and examine how his behavior during the Libyan intervention mirrors that of the feckless left now. Dr. Alpert, a former member of SDS, a co-founder of the well known leftist publisher, South End Press, with a doctorate in economics, is proprietor of the ZNET community, a well known group who generally consider themselves far-left political radicals in the Chomskian mold. There is a high representation of young intellectuals. ZNET has extensive source material, topical articles, blogs and discussion groups, like many other sites. In addition to this bread and butter work, Dr. Alpert fancies himself as a political theorist, particularly as the developer of an idealistic economic vision called participatory economics or parecon. I have spent a fair amount of time studying parecon, and related participatory structures, and, in my opinion, they have a lot to say for themselves in an ideal world.

With that type of background, top-notch intellectual credentials and a life spent in radical politics, along with a doctorate in economics, one might expect Dr. Alpert to understand the processes of globalization. And in theory, he might. But when the rubber hits the road, as it did in with Libya, where I tracked his site closely, he transforms into a card-carrying member of the feckless left.

In other words, he abandoned all pretense of structural analysis. Further, he abandoned any accurate historical discourse: The roots of Qaddafi's politics in nationalism, pan-africanism and socialism, his accomplishments in 42 years of guiding his nation, the war the west has fought against Libya without respite for over 30 years, how his family was bombed and killed, how Libya was falsely blamed for both the 1986 Berlin discotheque bombing and the explosion of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, how Qaddaffi was finally worn down resisting and began a program of neo-liberal privatization in a country of vast wealth and resources.

At this point, as I described above, a leader is in a lose-lose position. If he neo-liberalizes he loses the support of his people, yet it will never be enough for the globalists. And if he doesn't, his nation is worn down by endless destabilization campaigns. Destabilization is almost assured at this point. This is the ubiquitous pattern which should be the basis for any thinking persons analysis of the political situation.

But not for Dr. Alpert, who came down with a bad case of "Rogue's Gallery" syndrome. Qaddafi, he declared, based upon unsubstantiated reports in western corporate media, was killing his own people. It was a close call, he stated, but like the blind umpire, he was assured of getting it wrong. We must support intervention. And what was most striking was that his language was almost exactly, to the word, the language the current petitioners employ: The empire is bad and it acts in "cynical self interest." But in this one case, that cynical self interest magically coincides with the needs of the innocent people to not be slaughtered. So, in this one case, we should support the empire in stopping the monster, but no more. We should not support the empire in intervening militarily.

All of which serves to derail any structural analysis of the left in favor of ad hoc limited complicity based upon a western created crisis designed to appeal to the emotions, and to disarm, or at least divide any leftist resistance, which, as usual, opens the door to western intervention, which magically, never foreseen by the feckless left, always causes more killing and destruction and destabilization, which to any sentient being was the point in the first place. Wash, rinse, repeat.

These are the processes of the feckless left: historically created problem not analyzed, emotional reaction, pre-engineered ad-hoc solution, short-circuiting rational analysis, which are repeated every time. But, to their credit, they always stand firm against the monster du jour.

Here is the Orwellian position of the current petition: "one where states that were allegedly friends of the Arabs such as Russia, China, and Iran have stood in support of the slaughter of people, while states that never supported democracy or independence, especially the US and their Gulf allies, have intervened in support of the revolutionaries. They have done so with clear cynical self interest. In fact, their intervention tried to crush and subvert the uprising, while selling illusions and deceptive lies.

Given that regional and world powers have left the Syrian people alone, we ask you to lend your support to those Syrians still fighting for justice, dignity, and freedom, and who have withstood the deafening sounds of the battle, as well as rejected the illusions sold by the enemies of freedom."

Russia, China and Iran (the bad guys) support the slaughter of people. The US and their gulf allies (the good guys, whose very names are carefully omitted as they have no credibility whatsoever) support the revolutionaries (hurray!), but only after trying to crush -- not support -- them. Got it? But the good guys don't really support the revolutionaries enough because "regional and world powers have left the Syrian people alone" an Orwellian lie on par with one of Hitler's big lies. And the bad guys are responsible for "the illusions sold by the enemies of freedom," a line which apparently fell out of a Reagan speech from 1981.

We are never told exactly how supporting leftist revolutionaries falls within the cynical self interests of the empire, but by then no one is capable of critical thinking anyway.

It is simply impossible to follow this hollywood gobly gook and maintain a rational, historical, and structural analysis of events.

***5

In a sane world, the left would first provide us with honest analysis: Foreign countries are arming, training, infiltrating and paying for an armed mercenary force to destabilize Syria. Honest leftists would call for the cutting off of all support for this foreign destabilization before all else. Until all foreigners are removed from the destabilization scene, stopped from blowing up civilians, mosques and churches, businesses, the industrial infrastructure of the country, how can anyone, in their right mind, talk of dignity, freedom and democracy? What world do these signatories live in?

In a sane world, the left would stand against Israel and the US, attacking other nations unprovoked, dropping depleted uranium on defenseless people to cause injuries and defects for all of future history, perhaps. In this world, the feckless, magical thinking left, petition against Assad.

Finally, the word "revolution" has been bandied about as a propaganda word, preventing meaningful discourse and analysis of the political economic structure of the nation being analyzed. It has all the meaning of "swish!", "goal!", or "home run!" these days; it is fashionable. It has become a media term and stripped of a meaningful descriptive role. And the feckless left promotes this meaningless glamorization: The wanton destruction of a nation through age-old divide and conquer tactics has magically morphed into "the revolution in Syria." What is happening in Syria is as much a revolution as the self-serving, sanctimonious, feckless left is a force for good in the world, that is to say zilch.

***6

As far as the Angry Arab goes, the anger over events from his childhood might be real, but he has generally comes across as a petulant, overstuffed humus eater. He is not known for presenting any viable analysis of the process of globalization, and how it effects the Arab world, nor current day real geo-political possibilities of resistance in a very bleak era, although to his credit, he is excellent at the much easier task of pointing out ever-present political hypocrisy, commentary on long past events and actors, translations of beautiful poetry, and indulging in Utopian dreams. With his position and contacts, it is inconceivable that his stance could have been anything but willful ignorance over the mercenary, mendacious, and intentionally violent and destructive of life forces nature of the Takfiri "revolution." His public mea culpa, while laudable in theory, must be viewed as a rear guard action to preserve any street cred he has left with his audience so that he may mislead them again in the future. If he is not a member of the feckless left, he is still a member of the unprogrammatic, magical left.

If you want to be looked at as a leader and teacher of human beings, a credible human rights advocate or a credible intellectual analyst, you must make the crucial calls correctly when it counts, not two years later. The Angry Arab, by his conscious actions, has condemned tens of thousands of Syrians of all confessions to the fate of his own people in Lebanon a generation ago - the crucible which supposedly formed his moral spine - and that is unforgivable. It is incumbent upon one to learn the lessons of one's own life. His, albeit small, responsibility will be on his head forever, and he will never escape the judgment of it by humane people the world over for the rest of his life. He will never be thought of seriously by any thinking person as a political force for good, a member of a programmatic resistance, and his blog will be considered a mere curiosity, querulous and quixotic, not deeply insightful or moral, more along the lines of titillating political entertainment, like Jon Stewart. There is a difference being "mistaken" and refusing to read the accounts and understand the processes (processes, as I make clear above, which have changed little in intent since time immemorial and which are repeated quite regularly the world over) which every reader of this humble blog has been aware of for well over a year. A very big difference.

***7

What can we do? It is incumbent upon us that the list of petitioner's names and the empty verbiage and puerile analysis should be deconstructed and spread far and wide to discredit these puppets. Their empty program should be exposed for the nihilism that it is and replaced with a viable program of education and resistance.

As has been well documented, for instance at Landdestroyer, geo-political plans are devised years, if not decades, into the future. What has been transpiring in Syria is no surprise to any serious student of geo-politics, and was planned and publicized long ago. The feckless left has no excuse for ignorance if they expect to be a geo-political force for good.

What, one may reasonably ask, is to be the role of intellectuals? (No less a luminary than Noam Chomsky gained renown addressing this question.) Intellectuals are presumably given a voice and widespread exposure and the following and trust of people as leaders so that they can tell the truth to us while confronting those in power. They should take the time and effort to unravel the tortuous and purposely opaque mechanisms of power and explain the process to us mere mortals in simple terms which we can understand. One might expect them to elucidate how the west and its ZATO and Arab puppets has, over several decades, created a world of artificial austerity without meaningful work for millions, a network of fundamentalist schools spitting out nihilistic fanatics devoid of humanism or critical thinking, a pipeline of illegal arms, armies of brainwashed mercenaries provided jobs and cult-like group identity, all focused on destroying nation states one by one -- Syria being the current focus of destabilization. One might expect them to line out this process to those of us who are burdened by simply getting by day-to-day and putting food on our table, a roof over our heads, taking care of our cratering health, so that we can understand and follow them. One might, at the very least, expect them to tell us what Zbigniew Brzezinski (The Grand Chessboard) and Wesley Clark (The US will destabilize seven countries...), partisan political players both, have let on. That is the very least one might expect of a public intellectual, even if they are a member of the feckless left.

However, in these extremely bleak days it seems the so-called "opposition" is given voice, funding, positions of authority and following so that the global mafia can call in their chits when it really counts. They can lie to us and spin meaningless confections of freedom, dignity, and a democratic future for Syria. (What hopes for freedom, dignity, and a democratic future do the unemployed, the underemployed, the great mass of flexible labor have in their own countries these days?) They can lie to us and turn cause and effect on its head: "the regime has pushed for the militarization of the Syrian nonviolent movement", and by implication somehow now has responsibility for the completely unmentioned mercenary Takfiri opposition, as if a non-violent movement could be forced into violence -- sell that analysis to real leaders like Gandhi and Martin Luther King, neither a showboat intellectual.

Real leaders, from Martin Luther King to Hugo Chavez to Gary Webb risked their life to reveal the truth instead of gallivanting with the Rolling Stones, or being feted by some astroturf group, or funded by some globalist foundation or tenured by some pseudo-intellectual organization (university) held afloat by government and corporate contracts in killingry and global domination. These chickenshit, pathetic signatories, as well as other well known "leftists" such as Amy Goodman, Juan Cole, Josh Landis, Michael Alpert, Stephen Zunes, and others, are case examples of weak, pathetic traitors to humanity worldwide. They have willfully traded honest systematic analysis for emotional string pulling -- only real lives (not theirs) are involved. Nobody forced these people to become public intellectuals; they could be greeters at Walmart nation, like the rest of us shmoos.

Those who consciously through their words and actions seek positions of power and privilege within the left are all well aware, as are all activists, union organizers, journalists, etc. of the danger this entails and the courage involved in being a real leader in a land of the deepest imperial and neoliberal reaction, while living in countries which make no pretense whatsoever these days of providing for even the most basic welfare of their own people when it stands in opposition to the needs of multi-national capital. Therefore, these house intellectuals, these whitewashers of extremism, murder and mayhem -- are as guilty as traitors, for when the chit from on high gets called in by those who supported their rise to prominence, they cravenly put their own safety and privilege over the quest for intellectual rigor, truth and justice and the trust put in them by people who only want justice and peace in the world.

Truth is hard-won in times of universal propaganda and deceit, and one must think for oneself, and not blindly follow leftist, or any other, gurus. Rather, one must ruthlessly tear down, expose and destroy the propagandists, the cloaked aiders and abettors of empire. Its the least we can do.

Posted by b on May 6, 2013 at 09:25 AM | Permalink

Comments
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2 thumbs up malooga. I am very happy to see these phonys exposed.

Posted by: hilmi | May 6, 2013 10:04:49 AM | 1

You perform a service by publishing this piece, by malooga, again.
The "left" to which malooga refers may as well depart: it's monumental achievements, in the shape of a globalised empire, are all around us.

There are tens of thousands, millions, of individuals who recognise the incompatibility of the imperial system with humanity, they must learn to think for themselves, to employ no leaders and to rely on no other 'theoreticians' to analyse the world for them.

Right and wrong are easily understood, justice is a concept which is almost instinctive among us, co-operation and the mutual care implied by it, have such a firm grasp on our minds that it takes considerable casuistry and philosophical finessing to devise a world view that denies it.

Such are the building blocks, together with the self respect which teaches us that all are equal, for a movement to reverse the suicidal course of exploitation which gives rise to capitalism and, that very ugly concomitant, celebrity licensed dissent, the court jesters of our culture. It is their names which are signed to the petition- they will not be forgotten.

Posted by: bevin | May 6, 2013 10:20:21 AM | 2

Prensa Latina, as left as you get, has been on it from the start.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CubaNews/message/140140

Posted by: ruralito | May 6, 2013 10:26:04 AM | 3

Thanks for this posting b. If ever there were a relevant posting, this manifesto by malooga simply fucking nails it.
Anyone who frequents this site should take the time to read this, and Dissemitate the message.

Posted by: ben | May 6, 2013 10:27:48 AM | 4

I think there are many more independent intellectuals that are way superior and greater forces of real thought analysis than the whores listed.

Posted by: Fernando | May 6, 2013 10:32:48 AM | 5

Prensa Latina, http://www.plenglish.com/, as left as you get, has been right about Syria from the start.

Posted by: ruralito | May 6, 2013 10:36:45 AM | 6

whats the difference between a leftist and rightwing foreign policy? None.
European leftists parties have supported these thugs in Syria since the beginning.

Posted by: Anyonymous | May 6, 2013 10:53:30 AM | 7

The petition includes the slaughter of people without "horrific" -- these clowns should pay more attention to the state talking points.

The treatise is excellent, and covers all the main points. There wasn't space for everything, but in the (***2) excellent, really good coverage of the process of shock doctrine globalization while there is included The entire world has become just one big "externality" for the globalized military to handle I would add that the US Central Intelligence Agency, beholden to nobody except its inner criminals, has assumed more and more power replacing the feckless & failed Western military forces.

For example, when SecState Clinton complained to then SecDef Panetta (formerly CIA) that CIA agents in-country were part of the country team and should report to the ambassador, which is traditional procedure, Panetta reportedly said "You're wrong." The CIA is a force unto itself, as are the other players in shock doctrine globalization (a formulation made famous by Naomi Klein in her book "Shock Doctrine."

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 6, 2013 11:11:55 AM | 8

@Don Bacon
Actually, technically speaking, I believe Panetta was correct. As far as leaked or declassified US government documents are showing, the Station Chief has never been answerable to the Ambassador.

Posted by: ATH | May 6, 2013 11:27:14 AM | 9

Two other opinions to the same effect:

Beware the Anti-Anti-War Left by JEAN BRICMONT, December 4, 2012

A crass apology for imperialist intervention in Syria by Bill Van Auken, 4 May 2013

Posted by: Petri Krohn | May 6, 2013 11:29:15 AM | 10

I don't get it. Why are the named people so important? Can't you just ignore them instead of "ruthlessly tear down, expose and destroy" them? I did not know that they were supposed to lead us. They just talk and write.
On the more local front, anyone who will lead Syria out of its misery will have to be Syrian. If Syrians rather kill each other, people in other countries can't organize their opposition for them.
On the global front, Americans are collectively guilty. I don't see how destroying people here is the solution. You are very angry with "leftists" that you wish were pure like yourself. So what if they were? What you really want is a leader like the dead guys you list, and that is not the same thing, and you want that leader to avoid assassination too...

Posted by: anon | May 6, 2013 11:33:18 AM | 11

malooga! omg long time no see.

Posted by: annie | May 6, 2013 11:33:45 AM | 12

This is good read. Thanks.

I lost hope in so-called left long ago and do not pay attention to them. There is very few authors with "solid structural analysis" either capability or will. It is more or less about indoctrination and propaganda in its worst. You won't find them in the Government media or "prestigious" universities. Actually, there is some prominent individuals but there are "apolitical".

This would be recommended read too: http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/05/03/imperialism-is-now-murdering-stories/

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 6, 2013 11:39:43 AM | 13

@ATH #9
from State on Country Teams

“Country teams” in embassies are made up of key figures from the State Department and other agencies who work under the direction of the ambassador and meet regularly to share information and coordinate their actions. This practice has been followed since May 29, 1961, when President John F. Kennedy wrote to all U.S. chiefs of mission saying, “You are in charge of the entire United States Diplomatic Mission and I shall expect you to supervise all of its operations. The Mission includes not only the personnel of the Department of State and the Foreign Service, but also the representatives of all other United States agencies which have programs or activities in [your country].”

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 6, 2013 11:46:05 AM | 14

The blue team vs the red team is just a side show, folks. The real tragedy is the Kabuki Theater that keeps Dems and Repubs fighting with each other as if there is ANY significant difference between them. The "The country is going to Hell, and it is because of Obama!" arguments are just as lame as the "The country is going to Hell because of Bush" fantasy was. As long as they can keep this idiocy alive, they can keep the masses distracted from the real issues. Yes, Bush tore up the Constitution, but Obama used the pieces for toilet paper. It is almost guaranteed the next President, REGARDLESS OF PARTY, will fish it out of the sewer and burn the scraps.

The ancient and worn out trick of "the other tribe is the enemy of our tribe" still works because people have still not evolved beyond the tribal stage.

It is like the cruise director of the Titanic staging a cockroach race to distract the passengers from the fact that the lifeboats are being taken by the crew. Of course the owners of the ship (Banks and Elite) were not so stupid as to get on board, knowing the ship was built so poorly. They did however make sure to tell the captain to loot the state rooms and fill any extra lifeboats with stolen goods rather than save any for paying passengers.

It's not about Left or Right. It's about Power and what works to serve Power. The rest is smoke and distraction.

Posted by: Cynthia | May 6, 2013 11:47:46 AM | 15

n'43 @ 13: you're right, it is a good read, thanks.


Cynthia @ 15: "It's not about Left or Right. It's about Power and what works to serve Power. The rest is smoke and distraction."

True, how true. Tribalism is a tough thing to overcome.

Posted by: ben | May 6, 2013 12:03:59 PM | 16

Be thankful for that petition. At this stage of the game, it is unlikely they are being deceived by propaganda. They are working for the Empire or trying to suck up to it.

It is particularly touching to have the bit about being anti-Fascist. Ah, yes. Smashing a country that is an enemy of Israel and, to the extent that it would have a government at all, install al-Qaeda lunatics and unleash serious genocide. Now that is a liberal program. It seems that Fascist means someone on the Left who opposes the Western corporatocracy in some form.

Posted by: Paul | May 6, 2013 12:10:58 PM | 17

@Don Bacon
I won't insist on that since it's not a really big issue, but I would say that the "state" source you are quoting is pro forma, while the reality is intelligence matters in the embassies are solely run under the Station Chief control and no one else.

Posted by: ATH | May 6, 2013 12:17:19 PM | 18

@17 My experience with liberals (and I guess I am one to some extent) suggests they equate any kind of authority (church, police, government etc.) with fascism. They can get behind anything that professes to come from 'the people'. It's an emotional issue that makes them particularly easy to manipulate. 'Usefool idiots' I think Stalin called them

Posted by: dh | May 6, 2013 12:26:17 PM | 19

Usefool + useful.....but I guess either one works.

Posted by: dh | May 6, 2013 12:30:57 PM | 20

The left is feckless because it is powerless and used as a sop to keep ppl quiet, keep them believing in some kind of ‘democratic plurality.’

That state of affairs has attracted pundits and fakers who make a living off lying, prevaricating, posturing, raking in money for their credible oh so heartfelt Uncle Tom role, obeying the masters while in public opposing, objecting, or being so sad, terribly compassionate and haplessly bewildered.

My personal hate figure is Amy Goodman. Naomi Klein is another. Yeah, I know, I take flak for that.

At the present juncture, the only force strong enough to resist this shock doctrine globalism-at-gunpoint crisis methodology is economic nationalism.

Confusedly happening in Europe right now, will continue, but in what way, championed, decided, piloted, by whom?

A local ex. France.

In the last pres. election, neither the Socialists (Hollande) nor the UMP (Sarkozy) published any position papers of any consequence at all. Hollande made a list of promises that he has mostly reneged on. Promises in the line of hopey - changiness do not a political program make.

The only one who published any worked-out content was Marine Le Pen (National Front), sure, as a vilified outsider one has more liberty.

Her program was deeply nationalistic, concentrated on the economy, leaving the Euro, quitting the Schengen accords, and such. While from the far-right wing, her proposals for more redistribution, more stipends for child care, etc. speak to the base of the poor and disempowered, it is all about sharing at home and economic nationalism. The FN is France is no longer a right-wing xenophobic party, on its face, but the political antenna for the poor to join, recent adherents are from the Communist (defunct) party, the struggling, the peri-urban, agricultural class, single mothers...

sidebar: > no fan and we have seen all this before in history.

A recent poll showed that if the national election was held today (ok, fanciful and not too meaningful) the duel would have been between Sarkozy and Le Pen. The determining issue here is Economics, the place of France in the world, taxation and redistribution.

I wonder how ‘economic nationalism’ - will proceed, arise, be implemented.

Posted by: Noirette | May 6, 2013 12:45:58 PM | 21

@ 21 That probably explains the rise of UKIP in the UK. I suspect the average middle-class voter views them with some suspicion.

Posted by: dh | May 6, 2013 12:53:08 PM | 22

I wonder if all these eminent leftists realize that they have been caught with their pants down: "UN's Del Ponte says evidence Syria rebels 'used sarin.'"

Or are they in denial that they may have been exposed as potentially supporting war criminals?

Posted by: JohnH | May 6, 2013 1:02:33 PM | 23

I used to be a "feckless leftist", and the one thing I noticed that is a common denominator among them is prozionism. Mostly of the covert kind. More so than the money and "prestige" of being among the "elite asskissers" to "empire". These people literally align themselves with far right fascists against anti-zionist leftists. They are only leftwing in a public relations sense. They not only promote the wars and regime changes, their leftism is tailored to to help those in power remain in power. It's a left whose purpose is to keep the left disempowered, misinformed, divided, and of course, supportive of the zionist status quo.

Posted by: guest | May 6, 2013 1:16:38 PM | 24

@Cynthia #15

I can see frequently that people referring mafia-capitalism with Kabuki theater. I alway wonder why is that and origin of it?

For example neo-liberal Wikipedia says for Kabuki: "the art of singing and dancing".

I do not won't be sort of "fixer" or something to that end, but comparing ancient art with mafia-capitalism is unacceptable. English language, most likely any language in the world, is already polluted with newspeak and neo-liberal phraseology, I do not think that we need that one.

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 6, 2013 1:31:49 PM | 25

@ 24:

TRENDING NOW
CNN anchor robbed
Scarface actor dies
Justin Bieber attacked
Giulio Andreotti dies
Lauryn Hill sentencing
Honey Boo Boo wedding
Gore 'Romney rich'
Helen Mirren
Lil Wayne dropped
9/11 admission fee

These are all examples in the art of theater, aka "Kabuki", meant to distract people from real news. According to some "news" sources, these are the important stories of the day.

The illegal bombing of Syria, no news there.

Posted by: ben | May 6, 2013 1:57:18 PM | 26

@23 White House says 'highly likely' Assad regime used sarin gas. Check out the few comments, the propaganda is not getting thru.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/white-house-says-its-highly-likely-assad-regime-not-rebels-behind-any-chemical-weapons-use/2013/05/06/7b687c98-b671-11e2-b568-6917f6ac6d9d_story.html

Posted by: TikTok | May 6, 2013 2:07:03 PM | 27

"Turkish doctors say no nerve gas in Syrian victims' blood"

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/syria/130505/syria-chemical-weapons-obama-red-line-turkey-idlib-aleppo-sarin-israel

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 6, 2013 2:10:33 PM | 28

I apologize for my offensive use of the word "Kabuki," Neretva'43. But this still doesn't change the fact that the two political parties have bent together and “merged” at the very top because they serve the same masters. It’s a God damn shame how they are able to exploit the nation’s legitimate cultural, as well as scientific, differences to get away with it with ongoing plunder.

The gate-keeping at DailyKos reminds me of the gate-keeping at RedState, National Review and The American Conservative. Kos’s and Erick Erickson’s “we need to support the lesser of two evils” arguments are damn near interchangeable. Just swap out a few particulars. It’s eerie.

Posted by: Cynthia | May 6, 2013 2:15:11 PM | 29

I only thought analogy is wrong, that's all.:)

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 6, 2013 2:32:50 PM | 30

Excellent piece! But of course Tariq Ali has been calling for this ever since the 'uprising' commenced (See Tariq Ali says Assad has to go: I’m depressed – no, I’m outraged and

Posted by: William Bowles | May 6, 2013 2:34:35 PM | 31

Thanks Malooga. I couldn't agree more.

Posted by: biklett | May 6, 2013 2:36:48 PM | 32

the last link got dropped somehow.

'Assad must go to save Syria from intervention’ By Tariq Ali.

Posted by: William Bowles | May 6, 2013 2:38:51 PM | 33

#32

Tariq Ali, another leftists showing his true color. Despicable.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 6, 2013 2:56:49 PM | 34

That's him! Typical Tarik Ali, first time I saw him he talked some nonsense, like this one, about Yugoslavia. Same thing with Libya.

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 6, 2013 3:13:06 PM | 35

"Assad must go" is not a UN position. It's promoted by the US by arming the opposition, which is why the UN envoy Brahimi has announced that he's quitting. (memories of al-Khatib.) Will the UN then be able to replace Brahimi? Not likely, as war rages.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 6, 2013 3:35:21 PM | 36

@ATH #18
I guess the former US Secretary of State (Clinton) wasn't as well-informed about her authority as you are.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 6, 2013 3:37:13 PM | 37

@tiktok@26

Apparently, the article isn't getting through either. The Zionist WaPo doesn't appear to have any more to hang their provocative title on than wishful thinking (maybe they weren't even able to get their unnamed White House source to go on record as an unnamed source).

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | May 6, 2013 4:11:24 PM | 38

"In examining the behavior of the feckless left, it might help to focus in on one specific example -- in this case, Michael Alpert, not a signatory to this document, but an intellectual of much the same ilk"

Those goddam ilk are everywhere. You get to the bottom of the Syria crisis, and what do you find? Ilk!
It's like people can't tell the difference between round (ilk) and palmate (moose)
And the outcome of that inability is obvious.

Posted by: Mooser | May 6, 2013 4:13:47 PM | 39

"Dissemitate the message."

I'll give it one hell of a try!

Posted by: Mooser | May 6, 2013 4:16:30 PM | 40

What an embarrassment that petition is. Wow, solidarity with ethnic cleansing and the establishment of a Saudi-style Sunni fundamentalist state.

Posted by: fairleft | May 6, 2013 4:31:14 PM | 41

WOW! Don't hold back. I'd be interested to see what you have to say when you "have time to deconstruct".
In the intellectual desert of blogosphere, this site is a cool drink of water. Including commentors.
As they use to say in "radio days" "keep those cards and letters com'n folks"

Posted by: tomv | May 6, 2013 4:38:05 PM | 42

@Don Bacon
And you sound more familiar with the reality of the power than Panetta...

Posted by: ATH | May 6, 2013 4:42:02 PM | 43

Ha, ha they were lured by the Islamist RYK just days before the Israeli strike! I suppose many will regret but this is how academia goes, meuhhhhhhh....

Posted by: Sophia | May 6, 2013 4:46:57 PM | 44

@ATH
This CIA autonomy vs. State was a problem in Pakistan, and it also concerned the over-reaching Panetta. My point is still, that this CIA autonomy -- from my #8 -- "has assumed more and more power replacing the feckless & failed Western military forces."

from an interview in November with ex-ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter.

[Ambassador} Munter wanted the ability to sign off on drone strikes—and, when necessary, block them. Then-CIA director Leon Panetta saw things differently. Munter remembers one particular meeting where they clashed. “He said, ‘I don’t work for you,’ and I said, ‘I don’t work for you,’” the former ambassador recalls.

The question of whether Munter should have had the ability to stop drone strikes was complicated. According to National Defense University’s Christopher Lamb, an ambassador has top authority at an embassy and should therefore be informed of CIA plans for covert action. And there is certainly precedent for this procedure. It is also true, however, that ambassadors historically have rarely objected to such operations when they are told about them.

That made what happened in March 2011 all the more extraordinary. That month, the CIA ordered a drone strike against militants in North Waziristan. Munter tried to stop the strike before it happened, but, according to the Associated Press, Panetta “dismissed” Munter’s request.

Following the strike, President Obama set up a more formal process by which diplomats could have input into these strikes. “I have a yellow card,” Munter recalled, describing the new policy. “I can say ‘no.’ That ‘no’ goes back to the CIA director. Then he has to go to Hillary. If Hillary says ‘no,’ he can still do it, but he has to explain the next day in writing why.”

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 6, 2013 5:04:56 PM | 45

I'm glad somebody finally just came out and said it:

"At the present juncture, the only force strong enough to resist this shock doctrine globalism-at-gunpoint crisis methodology is economic nationalism. Sure, nationalism is a drag, outmoded, and overly narrow in perspective. Many historical complaints can be legitimately set against it. In the long run, it is not the way to go for the planet or its inhabitants. But right now it is the only force strong enough to stand up to neo-liberal globalism."

So true. Yeah, nationalism's got its problems, but it's where the democracy and populism are, what's left of them anyway.

Posted by: fairleft | May 6, 2013 5:08:20 PM | 46

The left vs right vs con vs lib vs whatever
Is all divide to conquer
All of it
Feminism. Conservatism, Socialism. Environmentalism.
Globalism

"Ism's create Schisms"

By design

the solution to all this is be a human being, respect other humans
and remember your rights end where my begin
do as you would have done to you
And if you don't want to be bombed you do not condone the bombing of others
I could go on
Oh and one other thing, get the stars out of your eyes
No one should be on a pedestal
All are prone to errors.

I am going to let someone else take it away for me in a wonderful, lyrical musical fashion


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F69PBQ4ZyNw

a big fave of mine

"We sick an' tired of-a your ism-skism game -
Dyin' 'n' goin' to heaven in-a Jesus' name, Lord.
We know when we understand:
Almighty God is a living man."

Posted by: Penny | May 6, 2013 5:28:56 PM | 47

@Don Bacon
Thanks for the link.
What I get from this, with all the semi-truths, is that: in general the CIA is the boss in it's own domain, even when operating through diplomatic missions. Most of the time they inform the State, i.e. the Ambassador, but not allways, and the don't take no for an answer. In the particular case of the drone attacks in Pakistan, after Munter protested, a special procedure was set-up giving Obama the ultimate decision making, but this didn't alter anything, since we all know (based on NYT story) that the guy signing-up for the list and the strikes and taking the initial decission was the president himself.

Posted by: ATH | May 6, 2013 5:29:56 PM | 48

Sorry to spoil the party with my being bewildered.

The left? Leftists? Righ wing?

Wow. Funny to see how well and reliably divide-et-impera still works. Sure enough the local zio-rabbi has some chocolate and goodies for us; after all this thread proves what good and obedient boys and girls we are.

Don't get me wrong; Maloogas text is impressingly well written and pins down a lot of facts and important ones, too. Compliments.

But there is a big fat BUT.

Science (yes, even the official one) suggests that we humans are co-creators of reality. We lose *immense* powers, not only intellectually, in the second we begin dividing into left and right.

Don't you think there is reason for the phenomenon that democracy (and even others) comes in so many flavours yet reliably have one thing in common: parties; which again will reliably be split in some form of left and right.

One might ask why is it like that? Why, although political parties not only are evil but actually almost guarantee that a system will rot (or is already rotten)? Is it God himself who said "Thou shalt not represent thy voters but thy party into which the voters shall put their vote and faith!"? Is it some yet undiscovered universal natural law?

Or is it, maybe, because certains groups, lets call them the "discret arrangers of things", design and make it happen so?
And is it maybe that being part of some group, like the lefts, the rights, the religious, the secular, etc. give humans a comfy and secure feeling and, even, better, allows us the immense luxury of comfortably picking a mindset out of (the ever same prepared) choices including all the knowns and knowns with certainty ... rather than exasperatingly, laborously examining the world with a hopefully profound, solid and (as far as possible) objective education *but no build in, predetermined results* ourselves.

Those are not academic points, not at all.

Out there a few criminals and their gangs run the whole show and control pretty everything. What realistic chance do we have to change that? Don't forget that they have the weapons, the media, the bank, just about everything.

Russia is not what it is today, Venezuelas admirable progress is not what it is because of democracy, left and right, blah, blah. Nope. They are because of single men, namely Putin and Chavez who did way more than swimming in the left or the right side of the same stream.

So it would seem that we are left with basically two vectors of freedom: Playing lottery, no matter whether hoping to gain a fortune or hoping for men like Putin or Chavez coming up in our regional system. And intellectual freedom.

Remember: They don't control and run zusa because they are so smart or because of their great weapons. No, they control it because the vast majority of people are somewhere between stupid (and desinterested, too) and intellectually rotten (which is not the same as stupid), for instance by thinking (and perceiving and feeling!) in predefined patterns like left and right.

A system is basically a demon that is, is has no power of its own but rather feeds from our fear, lazyness, desorientedness, aso. Principally it works no different than a kids Angst to go alone into the dark cellar; through its very Angst it feeds and empowers the demon to terrorize it.

Chomsky and all those important names and (pseudo)authorities, of course mostly american on top of that. Blah, blah.
We have uncovered them, finally (for the 100th time). Heroes we are.
Chomsky said blah and King said blah and famous "intellectual journalist" Dada said Blah but, smart eggs that we are, we uncovered the bloody thruth that they betrayed the left ideals and now we knowingly say "Brilliant!", "hear, hear!" ... only to put our hopes on and trust in them again tomorrow.
After all, once aquired, we are not easily giving up our mindset and worldview. And as long as no true Jesus-like leftist crosses our way we will continue to read chomsky and associates.

Next week in this series: The striking discovery that water flows downward. ("Brilliant!", "hear, hear!").

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | May 6, 2013 5:41:19 PM | 49

Wow! A powerful piece and spot on. Thanks for posting it b. Been visiting for a few months now and it's great. Thanks to the contributors too. I thought I was pretty well informed till I started coming here. Cheers guys.

Posted by: BillyBoy | May 6, 2013 5:42:38 PM | 50

Thank you for posting this!!!!!!!!
I have been boiling for the last two years because of what has been so very clearly analyzed here.
Angry Arab is a petty criminal,a zealous servant of the Empire who has been playing his part in the Al-Akhbar arabic fomenting hatred against the syrian state by demonizing it ,and in great part he has succeeded in destabilizing an already traumatized arab public.If the Empire ever had a zealous servant than it is surely him with his constant denigration of every single entity on earth who tried and tries to resist the Empire.

Posted by: Nobody | May 6, 2013 6:06:42 PM | 51

Malooga, you make many strong and valid critiques. I especially appreciate #2. Even so, your suggestion that we blanketly condemn these 200+ intellectuals will contribute more to a circular firing squad atmosphere among leftists who care about the Middle East. Certainly, there are some, like Tariq Ali, who have been publishing articles promoting the Syrian opposition/revolution all along. But, as I look at the names of other familiar academics and activists, I suspect that many of them have endorsed the statement out of selective ignorance. There are a few reasons for that ignorance:

1) The overwhelming disinformation campaign, not only in the traditional MSM, but also in alternative media. People who want to find other sources for information about Syria have to look hard for it. Even some of those "alternative" sources, like Syria Deeply, can be deceptive.

2) The Arab American and Muslim American communities are deeply divided about Syria. Other American activists who look to their friends for guidance can be confused. Some Arab Americans who were excited about the Arab Spring for their relatives in the old country, were excited about Democracy movements in other Arab countries, including Syria. For example, I have an Egyptian American friend who was supportive of the changes in Egypt and has supported the changes in Syria.

3) Some of the most recognizable names of Western leftists who have signed this statement (Adam Shapiro, Alice Walker, Ilan Pappe, Norman Finkelstein, Rashid Khalidi) are also prominent voices for Palestinian rights. Palestinians are deeply divided on the issue of Syria. Many Palestinian news sources either glorify the rebels (if MB-aligned) or make muted statements for non-involvement (if PA-aligned). It takes a lot of time to keep up with the alternative press just to get accurate info about Palestine. How many people can put in the extra time searching for real news about Syria?

While I think these activists should be contacted to tell them why we disagree with the petition that they signed, and about our disappointment with them for signing it, we burn a lot of bridges in our activist networks when we go around condemning allies right and left.

And of course, the final point is that we need to continue to find ways to get the accurate information that we glean from this and other sites to our network of allies, friends and family.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | May 6, 2013 6:17:15 PM | 52

There are 'real' leftists who have of course opposed this from the start, but they are given no voice, because they don't advance the aims of empire.

Posted by: Crest | May 6, 2013 6:18:14 PM | 53

@ATH
The CIA is powerful and always has been in its niche, relative to State and Defense.
My main point, which you took issue with, is that I fear that we have entered a new dimension. The "niche" now seems limitless. There's a powerful unrestrained new enforcer in the world.

We know the of the two biggies Defense surpassed State some time ago in US foreign affairs, and now that Defense has been discredited -- how many more wars could they lose? -- CIA has become the primary force of US foreign policy. Yes, Munter won that one, but you betcha the company isn't going to take another loss.

CIA activities have become a bone of contention with the Afghan president recently, and the US military czar (Dunford) got involved. Not a whiff from State. CIA will be running the whole Afghan operation after 2014, looks like.

Again, I believe this is a whole new world, where the level of secrecy has been increased to where even the president, having plausible deniability, won't even know, or want to know, what's going on. Munter's victory may be the last, considering the trend, including increased drone usage.

The purpose of my #8 was as a "heads-up" about my fear that it may not be so much an out-in-the-open "globalized military" to enforce the shock doctrine globalization, but rather a globalized secretive out-of-control CIA.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 6, 2013 6:29:17 PM | 54

@RP #50
I believe you misunderstand. Thus isn't about Syria per se it is about intelligent supposedly learned people who should know better being used for a nefarious purpose, shock doctrine globalization.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 6, 2013 6:38:24 PM | 55

@Don Bacon
It is not an essential issue but to be precise:
I believe we do agree in the current state of the affairs but my contention is that this is not a new dimension, CIA had this power since its creation almost 70 years ago.
Again this is not a big dispute for now and I can live with the consequences until it hits a major roadblock.

Posted by: ATH | May 6, 2013 6:43:01 PM | 56

news report, Mar 26, 2013
CIA Takes Control of Elite Iraqi Unit in Major Policy Shift

An elite Iraqi counter-terror group that was long directed by the Pentagon is now run by the CIA, signifying a critical change in American strategy in fighting terror in the Middle East. Granting the CIA more responsibility for the anti-terror mission in Iraq has immediate political advantages for both American and Iraqi policy makers, but it is not without shortcomings.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 6, 2013 6:49:25 PM | 57

Follow the money -- since when were the petro-despots Qatar and Saudi Arabia in favor of "democracy, freedom and the Geneva Convention?"

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 6, 2013 6:54:26 PM | 58

Chomsky might have criticised Saddam Hussein, but pretty sure he opposed the Iraq War from the outset.

ttp://www.democracynow.org/2003/12/26/an_hour_with_noam_chomsky_on

Posted by: amspirnational | May 6, 2013 6:55:34 PM | 59

Thanks for writing this Malooga. It is precisely what needed to be said for a long time now. Many of these so-called "leftists" outed themselves a long time ago, but it is nice to see them list their names on one page for convenient future reference.

I have long distrusted many of these celebrity intellectuals, and despaired of the left ever breaking its fixation on professional intellectuals and their bullshit or the related promotion of name-brand, authoritarian-friendly and divisive strains of socialism.

It is sad the degree of influence they have over much of the left, and the credibility they continue to enjoy even after the nature of their betrayal has been revealed.

The ruling elite is not as stupid as these service intellectuals always assure us it is. They obviously have the good sense to maintain a controlled opposition and to build up the street cred of that opposition with the careful release of obvious and already known truths, only to have these "truth-tellers" serve the lie when the time is ripe. They don't give you a post at the Grauniad or MIT so you can tell people what's really going on.

Intellectuals who can persuasively use truths and half-truths to tell lies are useful idiots indeed. But that petition, like the Euston Manifesto, is so obviously full of self-contradictory horseshit that anyone signing on to it should lose all credibility. With this they've given up any pretense of telling the truth and are now openly embracing the lie.

Posted by: Sean | May 6, 2013 7:30:13 PM | 60

for those interested in issue of so-called left-right, which is to me just fictional; here is an article about how an "independent" media gets funded. By date an article is old yet still relevant:

http://www.uruknet.de/?p=m45927&hd=&size=1&l=e

by reading this one can easily separate the wheat from the chaff.

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 6, 2013 8:41:31 PM | 61

Speaking of left-right, there's this from Black Agenda Report.

Rep. Keith Ellison, the Personification of the Phony, Pro-War “Progressive”

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

“Ellison is part of the pro-war Left, whose primary mission is make self-described liberals and leftists comfortable supporting imperial wars.”

Keith Ellison, the Black U.S. House member from Minneapolis who is co-chair of the Progressive Caucus, says the U.S. should push for a no-fly zone over rebel-held areas in Syria. Ellison, who is also one of only two Muslim members of Congress, appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, as did Republican Arizona Senator John McCain. It is a measure of how far to the right the Democratic Party has come under President Obama, that McCain, the war monger who likes to sing about bombing Iran, and Ellison, who claims to be a progressive, are in basic agreement over Syria. Both McCain and Ellison want no-fly zones, and both claim to prefer that there be no U.S. “boots on the ground” in country. Both are raving American imperialists who believe that the U.S. has not merely the right, but the obligation to intervene in the internal affairs of other countries. As Ellison, the phony progressive, puts it, “I don’t think the world’s greatest superpower, the United States, can stand by and do nothing” – which is, essentially, John McCain’s position.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 6, 2013 8:56:22 PM | 62

Neretva'43 @ 13:

I read that Vltchek piece over the weekend. Felt like a gentle wind eroding a sandstone monolith. I hope r'giap saw it...might lift his spirits a bit! :)

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | May 6, 2013 9:00:50 PM | 63

Have you met Cody Wilson? (video)

Wilson said (to Glenn Beck):

Well there's a guy named Michel Foucault. And I'd recommend that you read him some time. Really I see the battle as one of just trying to remain human and against you know massive forces, anonymous forces of discipline and control that we can't really understand. I don't think there's a massive conspiracy. But I do think the self is under siege and I think liberty itself is under siege...

Wilson is a 25-year-old law student at the University of Texas who will change the world.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 6, 2013 9:34:10 PM | 64

Elisa Massimino was named President and Chief Executive Officer of Human Rights First in September 2008. Human Rights First is one of the nation’s leading human rights advocacy organizations.

How to destabilize the Assad regime
Posted By Elisa Massimino

To affect meaningful and decisive change in Syria, which is suffering from a humanitarian catastrophe, the international community should use all available diplomatic and economic leverage to choke off the arms, resources, and money flowing to the regime. . .
In order to re-up its strategy, the administration should employ a cross-governmental approach that enlists the Treasury, Commerce, and Defense Departments. The Treasury Department should use sanctions to limit Assad's ability to repatriate funds from oil exports and more properly enforce the 2012 GRAHVITY sanctions prohibiting the transfer of internet, communications, or surveillance technology to Syria. The Treasury Department should also prohibit U.S. companies from doing business with Assad's enablers by designating those entities that continue to supply him with resources. Congress could bolster the latter measure by requiring federal contractors to certify that they are not in business with Assad's enablers. . .

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 6, 2013 9:47:18 PM | 65

Dr. Wellington Yueh

He wrote a lengthy article about Malaysia (recent clash of Gov. forces with those who wants to re-establish old Sultanate) and Indonesia which he visited recently. Also, excellent one.

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 6, 2013 10:00:35 PM | 66

I think we are being unfair to Angry Arab. Yes, he can be VERY ANNOYING the way he always attacks the few countries standing up to the US/Israel/NATO combine. But he has been very steadfast in his absolute refusal to recognise Israel's "right to exist," and has taught many people to not be embarrassed to answer that question with a "NO!" This was an important service and not one that a controlled opposition would provide, IMHO.

Lastly, while it took him two years to admit he was wrong, that's better than a lot of people. Sad but true.

Posted by: Lysander | May 6, 2013 10:01:53 PM | 67

I'm glad you brought up the Euston Manifesto and the Pro-Iraq war leftists who called themselves the "decent left" because that is exactly what sprung to mind when I saw the petition.

Posted by: ajax151 | May 6, 2013 10:02:00 PM | 68

This petition is a disgrace. I'll start with that. To mention in the same breath the Zapatistas with this corporate-funded, religious fundamentalist, terror driven, media cheer-led bloodbath is just so far outside of any sort of reality that I have to wonder if this is really what it seems (my own conspiracy theory!) or was this document signed in those heady days just after Mubarak fell and it seemed (to many, mind you, probably there are lots of smart guys ready to exclaim how they knew from day one...sorry, we are not all as wise as you worldly fellows) that finally the Arab people were going to have a real voice - that the Arab street was going to throw all the Israel appeasing, Bentley driving, royalty aping goons to the cemetery and take control of their own destiny. Syria was a country that, like about 180 others I can think of, needed a REAL revolution.

The problem is that a REAL revolution is not what it got. What it got was the next stage of one of the deadly campaign of murder and deception run out of Washington, DC, Tel Aviv, and London. What Syria got is so far from an actual revolution, that I cannot for the life of me fathom how anyone - especially 200 people supposedly TRAINED TO THINK could see it as one.

It's like every US based NGO that apparently seems to think the way "Vladimir Putin" treats Pussy Riot is more important than the fact that the US has the world's highest incarceration rate, just sparked a war that has so far killed a million people across the Middle East, and routinely puts down protests with force at home. Yes, Saddam Hussein was a bad bad man. But he didn't have 1/100,000,000 of the power of to do evil that GWB or Barack Obama has.

This is the worst kind of human ignorance. I don't want to put them down too harshly, after all, they've simply signed a piece of paper. And doing that certainly doesn't rise to the level of crime that others in Western society have reached - those who have actually gone to fight or are pressing to support the terrorist murderers with arms.

So what comes to mind is just the ancient biblical saying that gives moral advice so obvious, that it most certainly shouldn't be missed by those (like the petition signers) who seem to be trying to claim some moral high ground: Take the log out of your own eye, before trying to take the speck out of your brothers.

In other words, dear leftist brothers, lets free a million prisoners THIS country before we start sniffing around for a revolution across the globe. (Ugh, you stupid fucks, you make us all look so bad)

Posted by: guest77 | May 6, 2013 10:09:36 PM | 69


Elisa Massimino, "The daughter of a nuclear submarine commander..." ;-)

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 6, 2013 10:10:32 PM | 70

The thing about it being signed early and only put out now of course I just made up out of thin air of course. It's obviously real and as recent (and as warm and as fragrant and as attractive to flies) as the piece of dog shit it might be worth.

Posted by: guest77 | May 6, 2013 10:17:47 PM | 71

@59 Thanks, looks like a great article. Will be reading it for sure.

Posted by: guest77 | May 6, 2013 10:19:31 PM | 72

The petition is repugnant from the initial paragraphs; but I want to be satisfied that this is not some kind of dirty trick or ruse. Norman Finkelstein signed this? This is the Norman Finkelstein who wrote these words:

Gaddafi dealt with many revolts over the years. He invariably quashed them by force and usually executed the ringleaders. The NTC and other rebel leaders had good reason to fear that once Benghazi had fallen to government troops they would be rounded up and made to pay the price. So it was natural that they should try to convince the ‘international community’ that it was not only their lives that were at stake, but those of thousands of ordinary civilians. But in retaking the towns that the uprising had briefly wrested from the government’s control, Gaddafi’s forces had committed no massacres at all; the fighting had been bitter and bloody, but there had been nothing remotely resembling the slaughter at Srebrenica, let alone in Rwanda. The only known massacre carried out during Gaddafi’s rule was the killing of some 1200 Islamist prisoners at Abu Salim prison in 1996. This was a very dark affair, and whether or not Gaddafi ordered it, it is fair to hold him responsible for it. It was therefore reasonable to be concerned about what the regime might do and how its forces would behave in Benghazi once they had retaken it, and to deter Gaddafi from ordering or allowing any excesses. But that is not what was decided. What was decided was to declare Gaddafi guilty in advance of a massacre of defenceless civilians and instigate the process of destroying his regime and him (and his family) by way of punishment of a crime he was yet to commit, and actually unlikely to commit, and to persist with this process despite his repeated offers to suspend military action.
Also, the article I linked to, is one of the most intellectually rigorous histories of the Libyan debacle that exists. It is more than a stretch to presume, unquestioningly, that the man who wrote that article would put his name to the Orwellian dreck represented by the petition in question.

I'm not going to make any judgement whatsoever until I read the responses, the personal replies on video or in written interviews, from the intellectuals which Malooga insists we ought to excommunicate from the esteem in which some of us have previously held them.

Posted by: Copeland | May 6, 2013 11:03:57 PM | 73

As much as I disliked that petition, I am inclined to agree with "Copeland" 71.

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | May 6, 2013 11:29:18 PM | 74

Recent (April) article by Tariq Ali on the Arab Spring- Highlights on Syria. It certainly doesn't have the over the top ring of the open letter, though it is highly critical of Assad.

"...civil war in Syria..."

"It was only where intransigent regimes responded with armed force—Libya, Syria—that ‘refolutionaries’ were compelled to pass over into outright insurrection (with nato backing) and the violent overthrow of the regime."

"This success emboldened Riyadh and Qatar to go on the offensive in Libya and Syria. With tacit White House and Israeli approval, Al-Jazeera became the megaphone for the militarization of the Arab Spring along lines determined by personal enmities, sectarian hatred and murderous rivalry with Iran."

"For many months the popular protests were peaceful and the strength of the movement grew and grew, not unlike the first Palestinian Intifada. But early hopes that the scale of the uprising and its evident popularity would force the regime to negotiate—the demand was for elections to an assembly which would draft a new constitution—were never fulfilled. There is some evidence that a minority within the regime did favour such a course, but Assad, who has sought to mimic his father’s intransigent authoritarianism, was convinced that any concessions would be fatal. The establishment of Turkish training camps for the Free Syrian Army in the summer of 2011, Saudi Arabia’s declared interest in overthrowing the Ba’ath regime—the King’s view that ‘nothing would weaken Iran more than losing Syria’ was widely shared in Israel, which also looked forward to seeing Hezbollah brought down—and the supply of arms and money from Riyadh and Qatar to Syria’s Islamists via Jordan, under cia oversight, could only confirm the regime’s view that this was a Sunni offensive backed by foreign powers, and strengthen its decision to dig in and defend itself by military means. [9]

As in Libya, the Obama Administration is ‘leading from behind’, channelling what the New York Times describes as a ‘cataract of weaponry’ to favoured groups and knocking opposition heads together to construct a semi-puppet government, as in Iraq, while Arabs kill Arabs on the ground. Opposing Assad did not have to lead to calls for Western intervention; once nato enters the fray, whoever wins, the people will lose. The 29 August 2011 statement of the Syrian Local Coordination Committees was unambiguous on these questions. An imposed transitional government, a quick-fix election as a fig-leaf and a Texan-Syrian parachuted in as the new Prime Minister, will do nothing to solve the social misery in the poor agricultural towns that have been the bedrock of the protest movement. [10] Even at this stage, a negotiated solution would be the best way to get rid of Assad and his henchmen. But it seems the die is cast. The empire wants the downfall of the regime."

"The stasis, and the armed struggles in Mali and Syria, have helped strengthen the Salafist militias, who have been targeting the trade-union federation, ugtt, which had cohabited for years with the Ben Ali regime before mobilizing against it in January 2011."

Posted by: guest77 | May 6, 2013 11:50:35 PM | 75

I have to be disappointed that b gave Malooga this much band width. It is a totally empty attack against the left. His screed is much too long to deconstruct but I will pick up on one sentence.

Stephen Gowans once described this type of thinking among the left as the "Rogue's Gallery" syndrome: the demonization of individual "monsters" like Saddam Hussein, Qaddaffi, Chavez, Castro.

This is totally incoherent. How can these people be lumped together? It is totally insane. Hussein was without much doubt an evil tyrant that used his power to suppress the Arab nationalist and socialist movements that existed in that nation. Qaddaffi was no more than a silly clown that was an embarrassment to any left wing movement on any continent. Chavez was an important leader that dedicated his life to liberate Venezuela from American neocolonial control before his unfortunate death. Castro remains one of the great leaders that resisted American imperialism.

Please everybody keep in mind that there are may different movements over the last century that have tried to resist Western neocolonialism. Some have had partial success. But some have descended into police state tyranny. We should accept that some of those "revolutionary" movements (such as Qadaffi's, Hussein's and Assad's) are not anything the left can embrace.

We should be backing Assad in Syria today, not because he is some kind of vanguard for a better future but because he fighting the evil force of Western neocolonialism and Zionism.

Posted by: ToivoS | May 6, 2013 11:55:20 PM | 76

Recent Finklestein comments on Syria:

He recently posted an article by Patrick Cockburn on his (NF's) website which stated: "The line-up of the Syrian government’s opponents should make it clear to anybody that there is more at stake here than Arab and international concern for human rights."

"In Syria, what started out as a continuation of the Arab Spring with nonviolent protests, to bring down the Bashar dictatorship, has now deteriorated into what some people call a civil war. I don’t think it’s much of a civil war because I don’t think the internal population has much say any longer in what’s going on. It’s turned into a proxy war, with a large number of regional and global powers, including, regionally, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and Iran having a dirty hand in what’s going on. And then Russia on one side, the U.S. on the other, having probably the most significant hand in what’s going on. And then there are of course the British and the French. So Syria as of now has no positive outcomes discernable; everything that might happen is pretty much a disaster."


Posted by: guest77 | May 6, 2013 11:55:30 PM | 77

One has to laugh as the absurdity. simply by putting a half-black man up as president, the ruling shadow elites have effectively neutralized the entire political left.


Posted by: clubofrome | May 7, 2013 12:21:58 AM | 78

Rusty,

Your logic could be used for the first, say, six months of the war. There was also some support within the country for getting rid of the system at that point. But it's been over two years, and those against this war have tried very hard to get the message out that it is an evil, imperialistic war. And now our friends in Israel have escalated to try to save their insurgent army.

So let's say a Leftist intellectual backs Capriles in Venezuela or his allies for two years. After all, the media and Venezuelan refugees and activists in the West are overwhelmingly pro-Capriles. Is it really OK to just say that Maduro is bad, and a destabilization campaign against him is fine?

I think an alliance against the corporate empire is required. If that requires finding new friends who are economic nationalists, so be it. At least a disagreement with them is debatable. A disagreement with Amy Goodman is not, because she is on the Ford Foundation/CIA gravytrain.

Posted by: Paul | May 7, 2013 12:23:02 AM | 79

Don,

Thanks for that bit on Keith Ellison. If the co-chair of the Progressive Caucus is such an open warmonger, liberals/leftists/anti-war types need to rethink their strategy. It is more important to oppose Ellison than McCain. Everybody knows McCain loves war, but Ellison is an enemy inside the gates.

Posted by: Paul | May 7, 2013 12:27:25 AM | 80

damn Malooga! and thank you b!

I find myself working with lots of people locally in systems that are so broken, like health care, and it's going to get worse because our state legislature successfully killed medicaid expansion, which would have given 70,000 people access to health care.

that said, I'm involving myself inside the system to build bridges, and those relationships have little to do with the political binaries people seem to get all torn up over.

I can almost believe a phrase like "it gets better". DON'T DENY ME MY DELUSIONS!!! ;)

Posted by: lizard | May 7, 2013 12:35:04 AM | 81

Copeland,

That is Hugh Roberts from LRB, not Finkelstein.

Posted by: Malooga | May 7, 2013 12:51:22 AM | 82

I guess most of us would consider James Petras a "progressive" I just call him an honest man.

Many of you have run across this debate between Norman Finkelstein and James Petras that aired on radio intifada back in 2007. It may be worth another look. Judge for yourselves which person is the real deal.

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2007/04/368300.html

It also seems James Petras was never fooled on Syria.
His essay: "The Bloody Road to Damascus: The Triple Alliance’s War on a Sovereign State"

http://petras.lahaine.org/?p=1891


Posted by: Hilmi | May 7, 2013 2:36:45 AM | 83

@ToivoS #76 "This is totally incoherent. How can these people be lumped together? It is totally insane. Hussein was without much doubt an evil tyrant that used his power to suppress the Arab nationalist and socialist movements that existed in that nation. Qaddaffi was no more than a silly clown that was an embarrassment to any left wing movement on any continent. Chavez was an important leader that dedicated his life to liberate Venezuela from American neocolonial control before his unfortunate death. Castro remains one of the great leaders that resisted American imperialism."


Hussein an "evil tyrant" and Qaddafi a "silly clown that was an embarrassment to any left wing movement on any continent"?
I see that you've been well indoctrinated. So well that you use the jargon of corporate media to heap scorn on them, even in death. I (and perhaps you also) never had first-hand experience of Saddam Hussein (and his evil tyranny), but I'll hazard a guess that he did what was necessary to keep a lid on a kettle that was fashioned by the British. You really must get over this notion that "democracy" is preferable to "tyranny". Same thing, but one wears a mask.
Qaddafi was not considered to be a clown by either Chavez or Castro, nor by Nelson Mandela for that matter (rather a brother), only by those that lapped up the ridicule directed at him by our oh-so-credible media, due to his colourful fashion sense. I prefer to focus on the substance of his domestic and international policy. Have you read transcripts of his speeches to the UNGA, or listened to them (translated)? If not, do yourself a favour and do so before mocking one of the very few world leaders that called a spade a spade, in its own house to boot.
As he didn't align himself with any "leftist movement" other than in your imagination, I fail to see how he would be an embarrassment to any of them. I always strive to better my education, so if you could inform me of his clown-like attributes I will be most grateful.
Your "evil tyrant" and "silly clown" both met death at the hands of America's hired killers with bravery and all dignity possible under the circumstances, and for that alone I respect them.

Posted by: Sasha | May 7, 2013 3:39:15 AM | 84

ToivoS - it appears the only clown is you. I urge you to keep exposing yourself. I find it very amusing.

Posted by: hilmi | May 7, 2013 4:03:04 AM | 85

Malooga - You well described the ‘Feckless Left’ in your clear and provocative article and I certainly go along with your contention that:

“At the present juncture, the only force strong enough to resist this shock doctrine globalism-at-gunpoint crisis methodology is economic nationalism. Sure, nationalism is a drag, outmoded, and overly narrow in perspective. Many historical complaints can be legitimately set against it. In the long run, it is not the way to go for the planet or its inhabitants. But right now it is the only force strong enough to stand up to neo-liberal globalism.”

This applies however, not only to the nation states that are being destabilised and subjugated by the seven imperialist states of the US, the UK , Germany, France, Italy, Holland and the Netherlands.

It also applies to these imperialist states which, from 1945, replaced inter-imperialist War with inter-imperialist Union to successfully deploy the well tried, propaganda weapon of two-party, dualistic democracy among its working classes in attacking its primary target - the Soviet Union and it was the stagnation of the Soviet economy which prompted the development of inter-imperialist Globalisation from 1976.

Dualistic democracy - the stability of which can emerge from several contenders - has been at the heart of politics in the United Kingdom since the restoration of the monarchy following the bourgeois revolution. Small wonder that dualistic democracy became the way of thinking, not only in our Labour movement generally but, the way of thinking in the present wilderness of ‘Feckless Factions’ in the UK.

For me, the national struggle for socialism beyond capitalism in the imperialist UK is, at the same time, a particular distinctive part of the international struggle against inter-imperialist Globalisation.

Posted by: Jerry Spring | May 7, 2013 4:35:00 AM | 86

Are Holland and the Netherlands not one and the same? Sorry for a petty quibbling.

Posted by: Sasha | May 7, 2013 4:55:52 AM | 87

I took a look at where the signatories are coming from and ... no real surprise. A small, junior college in Boston's backbay has 9, and UMASS has 7. I imagine that's where its authors may lie.

I certainly agree that the folks who are invested in the status quo are ... onboard for more. They're always trendy, and I suppose that 'progressive/leftist' is trendy, Obama - to the shame of the aforementioned - is, still, trendy.

But does anyone besides ourselves, here, even know about this masterfully multilingual petition? English, Arabic, Spanish ... it only had 231 or 2 signatories yesterday. I've lost interest today.

It seems to me that the world situation is getting a lot worse at a lot quicker rate. I still see no real notice of that taken in the MSM. I guess there won't be any notice taken until the worst has come about.

Posted by: john francis lee | May 7, 2013 5:11:03 AM | 88

@87 - "Are Holland and the Netherlands not one and the same?"

Perhaps he needed seven states and doesn't think of Spain or Portugal as having imperial aspirations? ;)

Posted by: guest | May 7, 2013 5:13:13 AM | 89

Posted by: ToivoS | May 6, 2013 11:55:20 PM | 76

pity Toibou got any bandwidth for his stupid attack on Gadaffi 'Qaddaffi was no more than a silly clown that was an embarrassment to any left wing movement on any continent.'
Chavez was a friend of Gadafi who knew the Jamahirya was the libyan equivalent of the Bolivarian revoution.


so lets look at what Toyboy doesnt know about Gadaffis achievements:

1.There was no electricity bill in Libya; electricity was free for all its citizens
2. There was no interest on loans, banks in Libya are stateowned and loans given to all its citizens at 0 interest by law

3. Home considered a human right in Libya Gaddafi vowed that his parents would not get a house until everyone in Libya had a home. Gaddafis father has died while him, his wife and his mother are still living in a tent.

4. All newly weds in Libya receive $60,000 Dinar (US$50,000) by the government to buy their first apartment so to help start up the family.

5. Education and medical treatments are free in Libya. Before Gaddafi only 25 of Libyans are literate. Today the figure is 83.

6. Should Libyans want to take up farming career, they would receive farming land, a farming house, equipments, seeds and livestock to kickstart their farms all for free.

7. If Libyans cannot find the education or medical facilities they need in Libya, the government funds them to go abroad for it not only free but they get US$2,300/mth accommodation and car allowance.

8. In Libyan, if a Libyan buys a car, the government subsidized 50 of the price.

9. The price of petrol in Libya is $0.14 (N22) per litre 10. Libya has no external debt and its reserves amount to $150 billion now frozen globally.

11. If a Libyan is unable to get employment after graduation the state would pay the average salary of the profession as if he or she is employed until employment is found.

12. A portion of Libyan oil sale is, credited directly to the bank accounts of all Libyan citizens.

13. A mother who gave birth to a child receive US$5,000.

14. 1.There was no electricity bill in Libya; electricity was free for all its citizens
2. There was no interest on loans, banks in Libya are stateowned and loans given to all its citizens at 0 interest by law

3. Home considered a human right in Libya Gaddafi vowed that his parents would not get a house until everyone in Libya had a home. Gaddafis father has died while him, his wife and his mother are still living in a tent.

4. All newly weds in Libya receive $60,000 Dinar (US$50,000) by the government to buy their first apartment so to help start up the family.

5. Education and medical treatments are free in Libya. Before Gaddafi only 25 of Libyans are literate. Today the figure is 83.

6. Should Libyans want to take up farming career, they would receive farming land, a farming house, equipments, seeds and livestock to kickstart their farms all for free.

7. If Libyans cannot find the education or medical facilities they need in Libya, the government funds them to go abroad for it not only free but they get US$2,300/mth accommodation and car allowance.

8. In Libyan, if a Libyan buys a car, the government subsidized 50 of the price.

9. The price of petrol in Libya is $0.14 (N22) per litre 10. Libya has no external debt and its reserves amount to $150 billion now frozen globally.

11. If a Libyan is unable to get employment after graduation the state would pay the average salary of the profession as if he or she is employed until employment is found.

12. A portion of Libyan oil sale is, credited directly to the bank accounts of all Libyan citizens.

13. A mother who gave birth to a child receive US$5,000.

14. Gaddafi carried out the worlds largest irr
===================================

How ironic of Toyboy, to post what he did on this thread

Posted by: brian | May 7, 2013 5:59:53 AM | 90

And still some moan because their illusory left 'heros' got chastised?
Therein lies the problem
Too much of ones own identity invested with persons who had different agendas then the 'believers' had 'believed'
Too much of ones identity invested in an ism...
Sad


Posted by: Penny | May 7, 2013 6:48:21 AM | 91

Sasha - You're far from quibbling. My error. It is the host state for the imperialist European Union, poor little Belgium and not Holland which now, as the Netherlands, hosts the show trials of anti-imperialist leaders, except those that have been assassinated of course.

Posted by: Jerry Spring | May 7, 2013 6:49:36 AM | 92

Underlying this petition, and the cowardly careerism that characterises so many of the lynch mob of signatories, is a mongrel theory of socialism which allows many on the left to be, in objective terms, imperialists themselves.

The origins of the theory lie in the C18th Enlightenment and the idea of stages of social evolution through which nations must pass before reaching the highest level: capitalism. This idea is one of the building blocks of our intellectual tradition in the west, and a useful justification of imperialism, land stealing, racism and the destruction out of cultures and peoples.

All of which can be construed as tough love, necessary to dragging the denizens of the dark other worlds of Asia, Africa and pre-Columbian America into the light of sweatshops, forced plantation labour and, for the lucky ones, a crack at the works of Jane Austen, Fielding or Shakespeare. Not to mention a night at the (Metropolitan)Opera. Which comes with the chance of becoming, like Tariq Ali, Dr Gilbert Acchar or Barack Obama, proof that one's race is not inferior, just one's paternal culture.
Stadial theory, mated awkwardly with English Utilitarianism (a process made easier by the catalyst of endless jobs and dynasty founding careers for employees of the East India Company, many of them penniless Scots), met up, at an early stage with its separated at birth, twin, Economics. India under the British was ruled by men who justified their policies and their arbitrary authoritarianism by these theories.
And they always held that British rule was for the benefit of India, particularly the poor who died by millions in famines unknown before the inventions of political economy and the civilised practice of using agricultural land to grow opium for trafficking in China rather than food for families. Just as, under the benevolent stewardship of NATO collaborating warlords today in Afghanistan the excitement of forced labour supplying heroin manufacturers has displaced the unromantic occupation of peasant farming.

The left, with its belief in "progress" and its happy dream that capitalism would be transformed into socialism as apes into men (a crude misreading of both Marx and Darwin), viewed every advance in the destruction of indigenous societies as earnest of the coming Utopia. And just as they regarded the sight of a swaying soy field, where once a diverse and fecund forest stood, and its crop, destined for food processors in China or Europe, as evidence of "progress" so they regard the demolished villages and the empty houses in the countryside as happy proof that the proletariat, herded into the slums of cities is building and will eventually-under the guidance of wiseacres recruited from left wing sects and academia- replace capitalism with something labelled otherwise but not that different.
Which is one reason why, on the metropolitan left, the great bulk of those calling themselves marxists, socialists, leftists and progressives are actually committed to the view that globalisation is preparing the ground for a better future and, like the juggernaut, its progress is to be encouraged, its victims, legions of necessary sacrifices for the good of humanity.

Every morning when they rise the likes of Salman Rushdie catch a breathtakingly exciting glimpse of themselves in the mirror. Can they be faulted for telling themselves that, after all imperialism, which turned them into the occidental-boulevardiers that they are, nasty though it may be, is greatly preferable to life in a muslim gunpowder empire or, as Marx foolishly put it, "the idiocy of rural life"?

Posted by: bevin | May 7, 2013 9:31:39 AM | 93

@Gaddafi supporters.

I'm not a basher of Gaddafi. But there is a problem with a man who preens his sons to be his heir. Like Mubarak. Like Assad. Like Bush. Like Clinton will soon press for their daughter. This kind of family rule is growing like a cancer across the globe. This doesn't remotely reach the level of crime of murder and aggression that took out Gaddafi, but clearly it is not a great state of affairs.

I will not attack Saddam Hussein either. Most certainly his crimes look like birthday parties when you compare them with the crime it took to overthrow him. But I would not want to have been a Kurd or a Shia living under his rule.

For whatever else TovioS said in his statement, the truth of this part cannot be denied: "We should be backing Assad in Syria today, not because he is some kind of vanguard for a better future but because he fighting the evil force of Western neocolonialism and Zionism."

Posted by: guest77 | May 7, 2013 11:15:28 AM | 94

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_AzJbC4gOg&list=UUZNjpcQLBx26W6lDWvpg7PQ
Paraphrasing StratFor: "Rebels are happy to bring Syria style war to Iraq."

Clearly the Saudi leadership and the Gulf Monarchies are not only the most backwards and corrupt rulers in the area, they are also the most dangerous threat to peace and safety and development in the Middle East. More dangerous at this point than even its ally Israel.

If Iran and Iraq cannot spark a revolution somewhere on the Arabian Peninsula, then there will be no hope for peace anywhere.

Posted by: guest77 | May 7, 2013 11:39:32 AM | 95

Gilat Azmon also has some critic for those petitioners: In Bed With Bibi

So here we are. Ali, Jameson, Pappe, Finelstein & Co, in light of recent Israeli attacks on Syria, will you be kind enough, gentlemen, to tell us whom you support? Is it Asad or Netanyahu you side with?

One may wonder how it can happen that our progressives, in spite of their good will and humanist credentials, have managed once again to end up in bed with Bibi?

The answer is actually embarrassingly simple. The progressive philosophy is the latest and most advanced form of ideological choseness. Calling yourself a progressive obviously entails that someone else must be a ‘reactionary’. It is a self-appointed elitist standpoint that is inherently intolerant and supremacist.
...

Posted by: b | May 7, 2013 12:05:50 PM | 96

@Malooga - thanks for letting MoA run your important and well thought out piece. Keep'em coming :-)

Posted by: b | May 7, 2013 12:10:54 PM | 97

@Malooga (82):

Copeland,

That is Hugh Roberts from LRB, not Finkelstein.

That maybe not (although Finkelstein does recommend reading it) but this is.

I agree with your main argument, and just like yourself I too, find that petition disgraceful. Furthermore I agree with you completely when you say:

Laudable behavior in the past is no excuse for lying while supporting Takfiri murderers in the present.

All I am saying is that based on "laudable behavior in the past" one must be patient and see how people such as Finkelstein defend themselves.

My question to people such as Finkelstein would be who exactly are these "Syrian people" who are the driving force behind the "Syrian revolution" with which we are supposed to declare our "solidarity"?

Is the petition referring to the "armed revolutionaries"? If that is the case then one must ask: Since when do the revolutionaries who fight for the "freedom and independence" of a country are financed and armed by Qatari/Saudi money and trained by US/French special forces?
There is a saying in Persian: "the day that water starts to flow uphill, is the day that frogs become divas and sing opera". Has the water started to flow uphill without me realizing it?

I have heard many a times that the "revolution has been hijacked by the western Imperialism", if the Western imperialism was able to hijack the "revolution" whose fault is that, other than the "revolutionaries" who were so eager to lend themselves to be hired as the West's mercenaries??
The moment that a movement which wants to permeate into all of the society and in mobilizing the masses create a 'revolution', finds itself lacking the stomach to stand on its own two feet and rather goes for money, arms and even additional fighters to the imperialism, it has ceased to be "revolutionary" and rather it has become the foot soldier for the imperialism. And anyone who would call such mercenaries a "revolutionary" is tacitly supporting Imperialism!

The petition also talks about "Russia, China and Iran (RCI)" as being behind the evil dictator. That too is a complete non-sense. RCI has no interest what so ever in either the resources (in this case mostly human labour) of Syria nor in its markets. Iran specifically has no interest even in the political order of Syria (as it has shown that it can ally itself with a range of political systems from Cuba and Venezuela to Maliki in Iraq). All RCI care about, their whole vested interest in Syria is that it would not be turned into a US client state doing Israel's bidding in the middle east (just as Qatar and S. Arabia are). Is that such a reactionary and tyrannical act?
I have no doubt that if RCI saw the "rebels" as independent actors, as a truly native opposition fighting against Asad, they would be far less rigorous in their support for the government of Syria.
Now is it Iran or Russia's fault that the Syrian "revolutionaries" have chosen to be "US/Israeli mercenaries" and in killing and oppressing any syrian who does not support them, in destroying Syria's infrastructure and its very society, they have aliented the majority of the Syrian population and are being beaten by Asad's army?

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | May 7, 2013 12:52:48 PM | 98

Not at the expense of the dead, but, Round for the house, barkeep! Malooga! hope you are well...

Consent to murder is, well, premeditated murder. Premeditated Murder, is killing committed by someone who planned to do it in advance. The most serious of crimes. What else can one expect from, Murder Inc.? The system is so saturated with soul sickness, it can't know it's own mental illness or if it does, it's in full spectrum denial.

They are playing a game. They are playing at not

playing a game. If I show them I see they are, I

shall break the rules and they will punish me.

I must play their game, of not seeing I see the game.


These fucks aren't leftist's there are no leftist's, just as there are no conservatives, this cartesian- newtonian paradigm no one left to hold anyone to account...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | May 7, 2013 1:53:38 PM | 99

Good to see some old faces in the bar. Nice to see Malooga sharing with us again!

Peace

Posted by: DaveS | May 7, 2013 3:22:09 PM | 100

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