Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 10, 2017

Syria - The Alternet Grayzone Of Smug Turncoats - Blumenthal, Norton, Khalek

Max Blumenthal is a well connected and known author who has done work on the Palestinian cause from a somewhat leftish perspective. He is also an arrogant and ignorant showman.

Blumenthal currently edits the Alternet Grayzone project. In their recent writings he and his co-writers profess to dislike the al-Qaeda led opposition in Syria. Yet it is exactly the same opposition they earlier vehemently supported.

Yesterday the Real News Network interviewed Blumethal on his recent piece about CNN's al-Qaeda promotion. The headline: Max Blumenthal on How the Media Covers Syria. During the interview Blumenthal laments the failure of progressive media on Syria:

In my opinion, they have abrogated their mission, which should be to challenge mainstream narratives and particularly imperial narratives on issues like Syria. I understand there are massive human rights abuses by the Syrian government, but that's not reason enough to not explore what the West's agenda, the Gulf agenda is for that country, what the consequences are, to actually get into the geopolitical issues. Instead, we've seen Democracy Now propagate generally a regime change narrative.

I don't believe they actually have a line on Syria. It's more a fear of actually taking on the official line. I haven't found a single article in the Intercept challenging the regime change line on Syria.

Blumenthal is outraged, OUTRAGED, that "progressive" media peddle the Syria conflict along "the official line".

Yet in 2012 Max Blumenthal resigned as columnist from the Lebanese paper Al Akhbar English because the paper did not write along "the official line". He publicly (also here) smeared and accused his Al Akhbar collegues for taking a cautious or even anti-opposition position on Syria.

The Al Akhbar writers challenged the mainstream narratives while Blumenthal, with his resignation and his writing about it, solidly aligned with the imperial project. Back then he himself went along "the official line". Then as now the Real News Network helped him along:

I noticed that it was publishing op-eds by people like Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, who were just openly apologetic of the Assad regime, if not cheerleading Assad as this kind of subaltern freedom fighter leading what she called a front-line resisting state, or Sharmine Narwani, the blogger who was nickel-and-diming civilian casualty counts, [..]
...
This just was really too much for me.
...
My problem was that the opinions at Al-Akhbar's website in support of the Assad regime, which I've identified specifically by Amal Saad-Ghorayeb and Sharmine Narwani and by the editor-in-chief, Ibrahim al-Amin, were not based on any journalistic fieldwork. They're based on poring over YouTube clips, looking at textbooks, or really disturbing citations by Amin of anonymous regime sources, including documents that he cited which he referred to as investigations of people detained for trafficking weapons.

At that time Max Blumenthal was sitting in the U.S. stenographing Syrian opposition propaganda. Yet he accused Sharmine Narwani and other writers living in Lebanon and Syria of lack of journalistic fieldwork and of "poring over YouTube clips". Narwani wasn't amused by his ignorance:

I have made two trips to Syria in the past six months – the first to interview a wide range of domestic opposition figures, most of whom have spent years languishing in Syrian prisons; the second just a week ago, to spend time with the UN Observer team and learn about the changed military landscape throughout the country.

No journalistic fieldwork? How would Max know? He has done none on Syria, yet he presumes to condemn the dogged pursuit of truth by others.

Al Akhbar early on recognized the foreign sponsored insurgency in Syria for what it is. Max Blumenthal took the easy route of joining the anti-Syrian propaganda train. Even worse - he publicly smeared the writers at Al Akhbar who were searching for the least harmful solution for Syria.

Now Max Blumenthal has found an outlet that pays him for writing along the very line he condemned when he resigned from Al Akhbar. Nowhere do I find an explanation by Blumenthal for his change of position. No public apology for smearing his former colleagues has been issued by him.

 

Max Blumenthal's sidekick and often co-author at the Grayzone project is Ben Norton. In his own latest piece Norton blames various pundits and main-stream media for pushing for regime change in Syria. Conveniently he does not mention that he himself wrote along that line and smeared anyone who disagreed with him.

[NOTE: Norton replied to this piece in an email to me. I have published his statement, and my response to it, in the comments below.]

In January 2015 Norton accused the Syrian government of besieging Palestinian refugees in a suburb of Damascus: ‘No to martyrdom by hunger in Yarmouk camp’: Palestinian refugees protest Assad’s siege. Norton had never set a step inside of Syria. His reporting was solely based on opposition talk and videos.

Others did fieldwork. Three month before Norton published his piece Sharmine Narwani had written about her recent visit to Yarmouk:

At the entrance of the camp, I was greeted by armed Palestinians who are part of a 14-group ‘volunteer force’ formed for the purpose of protecting Yarmouk and ejecting the rebel fighters deep inside the camp.
...
The stories these fighters tell me is nothing I have read in English, or in any mainstream publication outside Syria. Theirs is a story that is black-and-white. Thousands of Islamist fighters invaded and occupied Yarmouk on December 17, 2012, and Palestinians and Syrians alike fled the camp, literally beginning the next day.

The Syrian government wasn't besieging hungry Palestinian refugees in Yarmouk. Most of those had long moved away from the camp. It was isolating al-Qaeda  groups who had taken control of the camp by force. Professor As'ad AbuKhalil accused Norton of lying about the real situation:

Ben Norton on Yarmouk camp
This article seems to reproduce word-for-word the talking points of the Syrian exile opposition. In the case of the Yarmouk camp, there are two killers: the Syrian regime and the Nusrah front and other Bin Ladenites on the other side. The residents are victims of both sides. Norton does not mention the role of the rebels in using the camp for their won ends, and in shooting at aid convoys.

There was plenty of information available that the Yarmouk camp was an al-Qaeda occupied zone. Ben Norton ignored it and instead parroted opposition propaganda.

Norton is now accusing other media of doing what he himself did over several years of the Syria conflict: falsely attributing every calamity in Syria to the government while repeating the taking points of the head-chopping Takfiris and the forces behind them. Nowhere have I found an apology or explanation by Norton for his change of sides.

 

Another author at the Alternet Grayzone project is Rania Khalek. She lately had some trouble for taking a stand against the armed insurgency in Syria. It came after her own turn on the issue.

Last month Khalek lambasted the media for ignoring the misdeeds of the opposition: Ignored By Western Media, Syrians Describe the Nightmare the Armed Opposition Brought Them

American media outlets from right to left seem to imagine that there is a democratic mass movement living in Al Qaeda’s Idlib. Or they insist that the uprising was always moderate and democratic until Assad’s bombs transformed protesters into armed and radical insurgents, a common talking point that permeates any discussion of Syria.

Yet in late April 2011 the same Rania Khalek wrote (also here) along the "common talking point" she now condemns. She (falsely) accused the media of missing the alleged misdeeds of the government against the "protesters". She pushed the "common talking point". Her witness of the media missing the news were the same media she accused of missing it:

Dear Media:
...
I thought I would take it upon myself to fill you in on the less newsworthy items that you missed.
...
Syria’s Bashar al-Assad has stepped up his deadly crackdown on protesters as well, by unleashing the army along with snipers and tanks to open fire at demonstrators.

In her rant about the media missing the news, Khalek links to an Associated Press news piece reproduced at the Guardian site. In it an anonymous witness makes the government-is-shooting claim. It seems to me that the one who missed the really newsworthy issue, the anti-Syrian propaganda campaign, was Khalek herself.

 

Blumenthal, Norton and Khalek were part of the propaganda campaign for war on Syria. The al-Qaeda insurgents were the good ones, no matter what. Everyone else was to be smeared as "Assadist" or worse. In October 2016 all three of them turned their coats and "re-branded" (thread). Suddenly they were "progressive" and against the sectarian head-chopper gangs. To cover their tracks they deleted their former pro-war marketing.

Max Blumenthal's original screed against Al Akhbar at MaxBlumthal.com is no longer available as his site has been "suspended". Some tweets by Blumenthal, Norton and Khalek, later deleted by their authors, have been archived here. Norton made claims along the false line "Assad empowered ISIS", Blumenthal propagandized the "barrel bomb" myth, Khaled feared being poisoned by the "regime" while invited to eat with Syrian soldiers and other journalists.

Blumenthal had also propagandized against the Libyan government under Ghaddafi. The war against Libya was waged by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Blumenthal's father Sid works for Clinton and had hoped to profit from the war on Libya. Max Blumenthal spread the myth that an anti-Islam movie was the cause for the killing of the U.S. ambassador in Benghazi. The real reason was a quarrel with al-Qaeda groups about CIA controlled weapon shipments from Libya to Takfiri insurgents in Syria.

Norton deleted many of his anti-Syrian blog posts and tweets when he turned from fevered insurgence supporter into a "Grayzone" critic of the U.S. war on Syria. Some of his writings smeared public supporters of the Syrian government as mostly anti-Semites and Nazis. Like here colleagues Khalek deleted older tweets when those were no longer consistent with the new editorial line she now follows.

 

Even in the first days of protests in Syria the Saudi financing behind the exile opposition and the "protests" was already well documented. On April 9 2011 12 soldiers were killed and 23 wounded in a confirmed ambush in Banyas, Latakia. This was freely available neutrally sourced information. The "resistance" in Syria was obviously not peaceful or spontaneous but well financed by sectarian outside forces. It was organized, violent, militarized. It flashed up at the borders in Latakia near Turkey in the north and Deraa near Jordan in the south well before it migrating further into the country. A sure sign that cross border support and supplies played a significant role.

It was also quite clear how the situation was going to develop. As I predicted on April 25 2011:

The most likely scenario is massive sectarian strife with salafi-Sunni attacks on minority Christians and Alawites.

Unlike in Egypt there is no sign that the army will abandon the ruling government. [...] There is no sign that a majority or even significant minority of Syrians has any interest in violent regime change.

My current assessment is therefor that the regime will now put up a bit of a fight and, if it can stomach to do that harshly enough, it will win this fight.

The evidence that outside forces pushed an organized armed insurrection under the disguise of "peaceful protests" was there for everyone to see. It was possible to anticipate where this would lead to. Yet Blumenthal, Norton and Khalek did not care to look for facts. They were fiercely on the side of the opposition even as the opposition killed random people and government followers left and right. Now, as the fates of the sides have turned, they sanctimoniously oppose their former favorites. Now they lambast other writers for repeating the sorry propaganda they themselves proffered for years.

In his recent RNN interview Max Blumenthal proclaims:

[The other side of the narrative] hasn't happened in progressive media. It's why we're pushing, why we're trying to fill the void at the Grayzone project at AlterNet and provide a critical perspective on what the U.S. and its allies have been doing in Syria and what the consequences could be. I think we're probably the only progressive outlet that's consistently doing that.

Oh - f*** you Max.

The BlackAgendaReport 21centurywire, Shermine Narwani and many, many other outlets, including Moon of Alabama, have consistently written on Syria since day one. They immediately recognized the sectarian insurgency for the imperial project that it was and never fell for the "peaceful demonstrator" scam Blumenthal and his fellow hacks propagandized.

Blumenthal knows this well. His piece about the "White Helmets" for Alternet Grayzone was obviously sourced (if not plagiarized) from earlier work by Vanessa Beeley and other authors at the above sites. Likewise his current piece, co-written with Norton, about CNN's cooperation with al-Qaeda's Bilal Abdul Kareem is also partly sourced from a Vanessa Beeley piece published in August 2016. To then market Alternet Grayzone, which only exists since last fall as "the only progressive outlet that's consistently" "provide[s] a critical perspective" is worse than marketing talk. It is an outrageous lie.

Any writer, me included, can err in the evaluation of the available facts. One can learn of new facts and one's opinion can turn out to be wrong and change. But one obligation to readers is to stay honest, to admit when one went wrong and to explain why ones opinion has changed. A certain humbleness is an essential ingredient of good writing.

Yet none of that can been seen in the output of Blumenthal and his fellow writers. No apology has been issued by him to the colleagues at Al Akhbar who he publicly smeared and accused. Neither Norton nor Khalek have explained their change of position. Blumenthal now publishes pieces based on the archive material of those progressive outlets which have long had a critical view on the Syria issue. Yet he claims that no such outlets exit.

If they are helpful for the cause Max Blumenthal, Ben Norton and Rania Khalek are welcome to join those writers who all along published against the imperial designs for Syria. It would feel much better through if their newly discovered "progressiveness" on Syria would not have the distinct stink of mere opportunism.

Posted by b on July 10, 2017 at 15:16 UTC | Permalink

Comments
« previous page

Western journalist CV:

Competences:

Professionally chaining one's shoes while in a jump

Posted by: Arioch | Jul 11 2017 10:24 utc | 101

Ooops! Typo in in CV. Fixing now
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Western journalist CV:

Competences:

* Professionally changing one's shoes while still in a jump

Posted by: Arioch | Jul 11 2017 10:25 utc | 102

Must see video of Blumenthal interviewing anti-russian liberals in America,...they are 100% clueless on Russia/Trump!
http://therealnews.com/t2/story:19283:Liberals-Rally-For-%22Truth%22-On-Trump-and-Russia

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 11 2017 10:28 utc | 103

The annual US State Department report on human trafficking has been released. There is an entry on supposed human trafficking in Russia at a place called Kitezh. Read the analysis for the hilarious punchline.

https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2017/07/10/homeless-in-kitezh/

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 11 2017 10:37 utc | 104

beware of Greeks bearing gifts

with their insidious promulgation of lesser evilism, their incessant purveyance of humanitarian intervention, their squalid intellectualism of sufferance...

generically, the same shit stains who are gonna make pedophilia acceptable.

Posted by: john | Jul 11 2017 11:03 utc | 105

@97Lol muslims infiltrated?
MB ARE progressive and is also elected in Gaza.
Posted by: Rizza | Jul 11, 2017 2:11:02 AM | 97

MB are not progressive. Never have been. Never will be. This is a basic western persons categorization error, seeing something inexplicable and fitting it into a conceptual box that makes sense to their Western mind.
Now if you are of the believers ... then you are simply part of the MB plan which is Islam, Islam, Islam. Islam for breakfast, lunch and diner. Islam morning, noon and night. Islam yesterday, today and tomorrow.
It's not the passion I object to, it's their certainty and an eagerness to murder that give one pause. Has that not been the experience of Gaza (ask the people who live there) Was that not the Morsi revelation in Egypt, from President elect to Murderer of God in 60 seconds.
The MB is part of the problem not a solution. Which is why Washington loves to work with the MB and promote them when they need a local attack dog.

Posted by: Northern Observer | Jul 11 2017 12:34 utc | 106

#18 Jackrabbit et al,

Yes, these people were in danger of "burning" themselves as Zionist propagandandists if they were to persist in their past mode as Assad "regime" haters. So in order to retain value as propagandists for the Israeli line, they had to turn on a dime and suddenly become "objective" advocates for a more sophisticated line of hasbara. Oh, undoubtedly Assad would still have to go, 'cause his hands are too bloody, but they, in true hasbara agent style wanted us to forget that all along they wanted the Syrian government, in the person of President Assad, to go, AND THAT HAS NOT CHANGED. So under the guise of their (newfound, but they will NEVER admit this) objectivity, the hasbara rolls on.

Great catch, b. Viellen Dank.

Posted by: JerseyJeffersonian | Jul 11 2017 13:30 utc | 107

ToivoS: One thing people like Max and Mondoweiss did not realize is the the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) had infiltrated and taken over Gaza anduch of the West Bank. Max, et al listened to these jihadists and considered them progressive fighters for independence of the Palestinian people."

Rizza: Lol muslims infiltrated?
MB ARE progressive and is also elected in Gaza.

====

You both operate on "morality side" in "ethics versus morality": ethics looks at actions, morality at people, good things are those beneficial to good people and/or detrimental to bad people. In morality universe, if we agree that MB is bad, then the siege of Gaza and massacre of what is current Egyptian opposition is also good. And if we agree that MB is good and Israeli are filthy colonizers, then blowing up buses is good. So ToivoS is slapping some labels on MB to document that they are bad: they are not genuine, they infiltrated! And Rizza counters with other labels to document that they are good, they are progressive!

My view is that it is a bad action to outlaw a wide political movement because that allows to rule only by oppression. I do not agree with Republicans in USA -- on domestic issues they are quite regressive, as oppose to more status quo Democrat (not that the latter are progressive, but there is some punctuated continuum here), so it would be quite nice to outlaw them, so Democrats would play the role of Tories (they are pretty similar, after all) and there would be room left for actual progressives. But this is a bad action, ethically bad (it means that there is a lengthy reasoning behind this rule, a lot of examples how violating the rule makes things even worse, so we trust it). In a similar fashion, outlawing Hamas, MB or Hezbollah, or Ukrainian Communists is a bad action. Outlawing terrorism is OK, because this is actually a criminal activity. The issue of "private armies" is thorny, ideally they should not exist, but in a case where the state is financially bankrupt and putative allies do not provide any decent weapons for the "official army" we have special circumstances. Our establishment is pretty OK with "private armies" in Ukraine that evoke Frei Korps, at not to be too snide about it, it is an issue that is hard to cover with rules.

The dominant narrative is of course or on the "morality" side, i.e. label first, judge later. And it insidiously contaminates our thinking. The intellectual error of Max Blumenthal et altera can be explained in those terms: Assad the Dad got power through coup d'etat, massacred civilians, used torture -> bad guy. Assad the Son inherited, so he is a presumptive bad guy, and after a brief spot check, the label is firmly affixed. So if people rebel against a bad guy they make a good actions, and since this is the only thing we know about them -> good guys. And then we have a hard time changing what we say, because we would need to document that Bashar Assad is a good guy after all, and be an apologist.

It reminds me arguments "You oppose invading Iraq? So you would rather have this bad, bad, super-bad Saddam in power?" Not to mention that we should believe good guys and disbelieve the bad guys regardless of the factual reality, because those are moral actions. You aren't a moral relativist, are you?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 11 2017 13:31 utc | 108


blues @ 63

"Blues" - I seldom miss the articles on this site but don't often manage to get to the comments. Today I did and read yours. I'm afraid I can't agree with you on this - "If by "PL" you mean P. Lang, I must say I have on occasion been given the impression that he is one of those many, many very smart people who through some strange evil voodoo have this ferocious aversion to "Evil Leftists"."

Sorry, that's misrepresenting the case. Colonel Lang has an aversion to people who aren't straight. An aversion shared by many on this site here, it's good to see, including the ever valuable owner, "b".

As for "evil leftists" there are indeed some around. Many, I'm afraid. "b" has just been skewering some of them up above. But in fact "left" and "right" doesn't mean what it used to. "Evil" still does, though, and what's been happening in Syria is evil on a monstrous scale. My respect and admiration is for those, of whatever political stripe or none, who have the knowledge and expertise to recognise that evil for what it is and the guts to speak out about it.

English Outsider


Posted by: EnglishOutsider | Jul 11 2017 13:55 utc | 109

I don't know. I am willing to give Khalek, Blumenthal, and Norton the benefit of the doubt that they have good motives and are not "opportunists". Its too bad they were taken in by the jihadists for a while. They are certainly not alone. Khalek was fired from her job for criticizing the rebels.

Posted by: Edward | Jul 11 2017 14:04 utc | 110

Thanks for writing this. I don't believe they should be given "points" for changing positions; they should shut up and take a back seat to those who were right about this conflict all along. They all made their shift around the same time without explanation. This suggests that it's marketing and the need to stay relevant/maintain narrative control that drove this shift, not personal enlightenment. Which further suggests these "changes of heart" are being directed from above.

The logical question to ask is, what was wrong with Blumenthal, Norton and Khalek that wasn't wrong with Eva Bartlett, Vanessa Beeley, the people at Black Agenda Report, Tim Anderson or Stephen Gowans? Why weren't those latter figures afflicted with regime change propaganda? Obviously the solution going forward is to ignore the former and read the latter.

Posted by: Zara | Jul 11 2017 14:09 utc | 111

@109
Left and right do increasingly mean little... or rather their meanings have been stretched in so many different directions that they have increasingly become meaningless partisan totems. They were always short-hand terms to bypass the need to constantly re-explain ideological differences, but even as short-hands they have outlived their usefulness.

And yes EVIL means what it always did.
Evil means: those people over there who I disagree with and I want to label with a label so infernal that no one will ever listen to anything they say, or try to understand their actions, or give them the benefit of the doubt. You label them EVIL so that you don't have to explain why they are wrong and to try and stop anyone else engaging with them.

Posted by: Køn | Jul 11 2017 14:28 utc | 112

Mondoweiss was vocally pro-regime change for Libya, then for Syria, and conspicuously silent on the Maidan coup(indefensible, when your mercenaries are actual Nazis, I guess). But savvy observers of their continuum know that the face has been ripped off of these "Anti-Zionist Zionists", some time ago. It doesn't even matter what Max has written against Israel. None of it was new information.

So that Max has seemingly had a "Come To Jesus" moment ideologically doesn't show anything other than the increasingly extreme absurdity of publically maintaining the status quo that he has for all of these years.

He is a professional herder, nothing more. We know who supported regime change in all of these countries, when it counted. That will NEVER change. The sheer hubris that these fake leftists have, to assume their explanation of having "learned" and "grown" in their political views, instead of what are clearly neverending weasel-movements which they continue to display, will placate their audience! Anyone who falls for their crap deserves whatever is wrought by it.

And thanks b, for saying it. One literally has to have their own forum to do so.

Posted by: sejomoje | Jul 11 2017 14:31 utc | 113

ruralito @91--

Solzhenitsyn soured very much on the West, sold his Vermont digs to move back to Russia and engage in politics there before his death, by which time he was no longer seen as a "Darling."

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 11 2017 14:47 utc | 114

Northern observer

You are misinformed. MB are progressive thats why 100years dictatorships dear them. Also it was MB that got ousted in a coup and then killed in thousands!
Call me whatever but your views are pure neocon.

Posted by: Rizza | Jul 11 2017 14:59 utc | 115

Rizza, Northern Observer is a rightwing Ziotroll who only shows up on threads about Israel, Zionism, etc. Just ignore.

Posted by: sejomoje | Jul 11 2017 15:01 utc | 116

@106

@115

@116

If I remember correctly, wasn't the coup in Egypt justified by the Brotherhood trying to reform parts of the Constitution, apparently to further their own political power? What a profound crime. Could you imagine a military coup in the United States being justified by the Citizens United v. FEC ruling?

Finally, I'd love to see how any major American or Israeli city would handle itself if it was living in Gaza's conditions. Religious authoritarianism isn't above Judaism or Christianity.

Posted by: anonymous | Jul 11 2017 15:13 utc | 117

Key element: Fake Left journos serve an important purpose in corralling people who self-identify as liberal for legitimizing war, regime change, partitioning and etc.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Jul 11 2017 16:29 utc | 118

Great article. For the people who think b was too harsh, keep in mind that the reporting by Blumenthal et al had real consequences by contributing to the "left" in not opposing crimes against humanity in Syria. Their previous position is completely indefensible... it's not like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya happened during the mid 20th century.

They were either incompetent or a part of a war criminal system, and that needs to be pointed out.

Posted by: Tobin Paz | Jul 11 2017 16:50 utc | 119

@115:
MB is reactionary. Arab "dictators" don't like them because they undermine Arab nationalism, socialism, and anti-colonialism.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2012/12/13/unmasking-the-brotherhood/

Posted by: Zara | Jul 11 2017 17:02 utc | 120

CIA-Gate ... thoughts?

Did MI-6 and CIA Collude with Chris Steele to Entrap Trump?

Posted by: Oui | Jul 11 2017 17:14 utc | 121

I wouldn't be too hard on Blumenthal for doing a 180 on his reporting. Cut the guy some slack, after all, who knows when any of us may have to start backtracking on the drivel we've written. You know, like slagging fake news day in and day out about the Trump people's purported connections to the Russians during the election campaign. A course correction might be required there and one would hope that people are kinder than they're being to Max who just about nobody ever heard of.

Posted by: peter | Jul 11 2017 17:25 utc | 122

Theoretically: If I worked at a western Intelligence agency and I was a war hawk neo-con and I wanted to push a pro-war narrative, the most sensible avenue would naturally be to push for war through less naturally pro-war media/journalists.

That the journalists B aims at here may have been co-opted seems a reasonable possibility. But a possibility is not a definitive proof.

Posted by: Køn | Jul 11 2017 17:55 utc | 123

@122:
No, I won't cut him slack.
As to your hypothetical, I am not a professional political writer and I don't write drivel, but if I did find I was wrong about something I certainly wouldn't steal my "revelatory" analysis from other sources, like he did from 21st Century Wire, or pretend I was the only person doing this sort of "dissident" reporting.

This isn't humility or enlightenment at work, it's rebranding and opportunism.

Posted by: Zara | Jul 11 2017 18:25 utc | 124

Max Blumenthal is a Controlled Opposition snake.

One slimy Israel-firster motherfucker thru and thru.

A celebrated member of Club Evil.

Posted by: Taxi | Jul 11 2017 18:34 utc | 125

I forgot the link, but one Arab Marxist had a good analysis of MB in Egyptian context. Bourgeoisie in Egypt and many other countries is split between the part that uses the state for "primitive accumulation", a.k.a. kleptocrats, and the part that did not get that sweet deal or some paltry crumbs. In Egypt, many professionals and the non-statist capitalists gravitated to Muslim Brotherhood, and they were "progressive" in the sense of a larger sense of charity for the poor (an important part of Muslim piety, at least in MB version), and opposition to kleptocracy. From the little I know (having Islamist Egyptian roommates for a month), they are regressive on such social issues like the role of women, or recognizing that Egypt is overpopulated and there is no hope of prosperity reaching a larger part of population with such fast population growth. If Allah provided children, Allah will provide enough for them.

Unfortunately, in many Muslim countries (not only Muslim) there is a dichotomy between "secularist" that had some leftist/nationalist roots and got thoroughly corrupted, and religious nuts that champion honesty. "True progressive movements" are no more influential than in US. In Egypt, "secularists" are not really secular, they just have their own form of "Islamic guidance" provided by very tame sages of Al Azhar, and judicial system can persecute for blasphemy and other crimes against virtue (like acting in a racy video).

Of course, when the religious nuts championing honesty get to power (like in my native Poland, or in Turkey on a much larger scale), they can enjoy "state assisted primitive accumulation" as well.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 11 2017 18:42 utc | 126

@120

"MB is reactionary. Arab "dictators" don't like them because they undermine Arab nationalism, socialism, and anti-colonialism."

I think the initial comment was referring to Saudi Arabia and the satellite states in the Arabian Peninsula (which is misguided, given the 'complicated' history of Wahhabism and relatively independent, 'modern' Islamic fundamentalist currents). The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was certainly reactionary in its early 'diplomatic and logistical' assistance to the Anglo-Arabian proxy war in Syria, and it's public championing of international intervention against the popular and sovereign Syrian state, but the broader 'Brotherhood ideology' is 'progressive' in its direct and tacit alliances (Turkey with Palestine and Russia; Qatar with Russia and Iran) naturally destabilizing the even deeper neo-liberal reaction of the United States, Saudi Arabia, and the Arabian Peninsula. There is a hierarchy of reactionary politics in the region, and Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the AKP have all won fair elections in the last decade, unlike the present governments in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia (which are being threatened with the prospect of politically competing with 'Islamic democracy' in the near future, especially in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, and potentially, the whole of the Arabian Peninsula).

Posted by: anonymous | Jul 11 2017 18:50 utc | 127

@120

By the way, I just realized I was probably projecting the existing 'front lines' of the current regional conflict onto the past.The initial comment might just have been talking about the revolutionary government in Egypt in the 50's and 60's. If so, yeah, he's wrong. That government was deeply progressive and widely supported by Egypt and the broader Arab world.

Posted by: anonymous | Jul 11 2017 19:07 utc | 128

Køn @123:

Theoretically... not a definitive proof.
Your comment is intriguing. Here's a different formulation:
Theoretically, friends, sympathizers, and partners-in-crime will attempt to muddy the waters so that there is no accountability.

These compatriots would likely employ common devices like redirection, conflating, and blame-the-victim. Examples: perceived merits (anti-Zionist!); extenuating circumstances (the left needs good writers!); and raising the bar of what is shameful (definitive proof!). In doing so, these commenters will probably not address specifics of what b or others have written.

That some commenters here may have been co-opted seems a reasonable possibility. But a possibility is not a definitive proof.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 11 2017 19:08 utc | 129

you've lost your mind. Blumenthal, Norton, and Khalek do real journalism. yours is just opinion and full of anger. why so hotheaded?

Posted by: anon | Jul 11 2017 19:13 utc | 130

@126:
The Muslim Brotherhood are like the Christian Right in the US. I don't see how they can be interpreted as progressive.

Meanwhile, the Arab socialist states have free health care, free or low-cost education, subsidized bread prices, etc. In Libya they even had free housing and electricity. (The Muslim Brotherhood hated Gaddafi in part because they thought he was too Marxist.) These countries may not be truly "secular", but many of them tend toward pluralism, allowing relative freedom of religion. And they don't force the hijab on women. They aren't perfect, but they are aspiring toward improvement.

Posted by: Zara | Jul 11 2017 19:15 utc | 131

Re: The comments on Joshua Frank above. I had a couple discussions with him online after Russia joined with Syria to fight the terrorists. I was unable to get him to differentiate between the US and Russia in terms of aims, effectiveness, long term prognosis, etc. He viewed them as one and the same in terms of negative effects on Syria, which I thought was quite erroneous.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Jul 11 2017 19:24 utc | 132

@ anon | 130

Project much?

Posted by: Ort | Jul 11 2017 19:58 utc | 133

O mort, où est ta victoire?
Who will dare mentioning Aleppo in an article on the 'liberation' of Mosul? The pictures are horrific. There was a sudden acceleration in the need to come to an end, obviously to fit a stupid internationl organization agenda of some sort (their holidays?).

Posted by: Mina | Jul 11 2017 21:47 utc | 134

TJ 1

DW reported a study that shows Saudi support of terrorism. Don't expect this kind of thing to be report any deeper into the MSM.

http://www.dw.com/en/saudi-arabia-exports-extremism-to-many-countries-including-germany-study-says/a-39618920

Posted by: Curtis | Jul 11 2017 21:53 utc | 135

The Middle East situation is constantly evolving. Only God can tell us what will happen, yet he is silent. We search in vain for a faultless reporter.

Posted by: Bart | Jul 11 2017 22:43 utc | 136

@128:
You're talking about the Nasser years, the late 50s until 1970. He was initially in the Brotherhood but he, according to them, betrayed their ideas. They saw him as insufficiently Islamist, and actually came to despise him for being a secular leader.

In this speech he talks about his disagreements with MB and says they're calling for "fascism":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bcO3TxHW5M

Posted by: Zara | Jul 11 2017 23:00 utc | 137

Once again about what the MB really is: http://www.redmoonrising.com/Ikhwan/MB.htm

Posted by: ProPeace | Jul 11 2017 23:25 utc | 138

b, well said and admire yr honesty - thank you!

"Any writer, me included, can err in the evaluation of the available facts. One can learn of new facts and one's opinion can turn out to be wrong and change. But one obligation to readers is to stay honest, to admit when one went wrong and to explain why ones opinion has changed. A certain humbleness is an essential ingredient of good writing."

Posted by: OJS | Jul 11 2017 23:38 utc | 139

Quelle surprise! Russia - Saudi Arabia agree on $3.5 bln arms deal

Posted by: ProPeace | Jul 12 2017 0:06 utc | 140

Interesting Lost Interview Reveals Bush's Plans to Invade Iraq - 2 Years Before 9/11


“Two years before the September 11 attacks, presidential candidate George W. Bush was already talking privately about the political benefits of attacking Iraq, according to his former ghost writer, who held many conversations with then-Texas Governor Bush in preparation for a planned autobiography.

“He was thinking about invading Iraq in 1999,” said author and journalist Mickey Herskowitz. “It was on his mind. He said to me: ‘One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief.’ And he said, ‘My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it.’ He said, ‘If I have a chance to invade…if I had that much capital, I’m not going to waste it. I’m going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I’m going to have a successful presidency.” Herskowitz said that Bush expressed frustration at a lifetime as an underachiever in the shadow of an accomplished father. In aggressive military action, he saw the opportunity to emerge from his father’s shadow. The moment, Herskowitz said, came in the wake of the September 11 attacks. “Suddenly, he’s at 91 percent in the polls, and he’d barely crawled out of the bunker.”


Posted by: ProPeace | Jul 12 2017 0:19 utc | 141

I hear, although it may only be a rumor, there used to be a time when people could handle a bit of ambiguity (i.e. not knowing everything) and did not find it necessary to rubbish and demonize everyone who had opinions even slightly different from their own. After all, unless you were there, or experienced it personally, you don't actually know if an event happened exactly like you believe it did.

It is a pretty sad state of affairs when so many people are openly hostile to people who don't think exactly like they do. It is the same behavior exhibited by the MSM and religious fanatics. There is ONE "correct" way to think and everyone else is a stooge, moron, sheepdog, shill, turncoat, propagandist etc. etc. For example, there are some people who dislike the Syrian "rebels" but also dislike Assad. Are they idiots, stooges and all the rest? A personal example. I am not a libertarian and there is much I do not agree with, but there is also significant overlap between my politics and libertarian thought. If I behaved like so many people do today I would never associate with anyone calling themselves libertarian.

It is also, apparently, not cool at all if a person changes his or her mind after learning new information. This is the same pattern of behavior exhibited by people who refuse to accept Obama or Trump aren't the wonderful heroes they expected the to be. So often the critics end up becoming the mirror image of the thing they are criticizing. An obvious example is the alt-right vs. SJWs. Two sides, one coin.

Learning how to think critically is a good antidote. And not hitching your politics to your identity.

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Jul 12 2017 1:43 utc | 142

@125 Taxi

>Max Blumenthal is a Controlled Opposition snake.

One slimy Israel-firster motherfucker thru and thru.

A celebrated member of Club Evil.

lol

You don't know who Max Blumenthal is do you?

You have just made a monumental fool of yourself.

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Jul 12 2017 1:50 utc | 143

@134 Mina

I mentioned this yesterday...how central Mosul was pounded into rubble and how the lives of people who live, or lived, there will be affected for many years to come. From the footage I have seen it looks like Mosul is in a significantly worse position than Aleppo. Unfortunately the human factor does not interest many people here. My link to a diary/blog by an Iraqi girl that provides an "on the ground" look at how the city descended into a dysfunctional and sectarian hell during the American occupation was also bypassed.

There is more to what is happening in Iraq than just ISIS versus everybody else. After pulverizing Iraqi infrastructure the American occupiers deliberately encouraged Shi'ites to take revenge against Sunni Iraqis for their atrocious treatment under Saddam Hussein knowing this would play Sunni against Shia and explode into savage violence. Then they built up Sunni fighting squads to take on the Shia groups they helped build. The result of this evil policy is the Iraq we have today.

But it is much more important to rail against people who are not ideologically "pure" enough than actually trying to understand the nuances and complexity of what is happening in the region.

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Jul 12 2017 2:13 utc | 144

@133 ort... very good!!! lol.. you go to the front of the class..

@142 temporarily sane.. i hear what you are saying and i am fine with a good degree of ambiguity even at this late stage in my life.. however when people like max b go along with the msm drivel on syria and the arab spring bs, i don't give them a pass on it, especially someone like him who ought to be much more critical in their thinking, as they demonstrate on other topics where detainment, murder,death and etc. are happening 24/7..

nothing wrong with a person changing their mind either, but i am sorry max is full of shit here, when he is not plagiarizing others work.. that is another thing that might not matter in the small realm of internut posters, but with someone more prominent like him - does not get a pass.. sorry.. i agree with your last line on the post strongly fwiw.. b is bang on in with this article.. kudos to b for making this post...

Posted by: james | Jul 12 2017 2:45 utc | 145

@126

" ...the broader 'Brotherhood ideology' is 'progressive'..."

"Progressive"?! LOL - maybe you should go live with them and find out for yourself how "progressive" they really are.

Posted by: Taxi | Jul 12 2017 2:47 utc | 146

@Temporarily Sane.

The only people more despicable than that Mossad asset Max Blumenthal are his brainless supporters. And thank dog there aren't that many!

Jews (like JVP and Max Blumenthal, Mondoweiss etc) who self-appointed themselves as BDS bosses using Saban money for their Controlled Opposition ops are the worst thing that has EVER happened to the Palestine Solidarity movement. They need to be exposed and publicly shamed 24/7! And their supporters should either wake up or STFU - the cat's out of the bag already!

Posted by: Taxi | Jul 12 2017 3:03 utc | 147

@Zara
"He was initially in the Brotherhood but he, according to them, betrayed their ideas.He was initially in the Brotherhood but he, according to them, betrayed their ideas".

LOL! You haven't got a clue about Nasser, have you? HE WAS NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER "in the Brotherhood"! When Nasser got into power, he offered the Brotherhood to come into his fold and take up some positions of power - his way of power-sharing and being inclusive - and the Brotherhood paid him back with a failed attempted assassination. 'Tis why he rounded up the Brotherhood leadership and jailed them. And rightly so - they're nothing but a bunch of murderers and power-thieves who abuse democracy and their religion for political domination and mass oppression.

Posted by: Taxi | Jul 12 2017 3:17 utc | 148

Ben 75

Read Norman Finklestein

Posted by: Giap | Jul 12 2017 9:13 utc | 149

@137

"You're talking about the Nasser years, the late 50s until 1970. He was initially in the Brotherhood but he, according to them, betrayed their ideas. They saw him as insufficiently Islamist, and actually came to despise him for being a secular leader."

I don't like looking at presidential personalities in determining the progressive potential of a state or movement. Leadership decisions on practical issues are a better sign of that potential, not the idiosyncratic nature of a leader's history and personality.

I see potential in Syria, and if the Syrian President re-nationalizes important infrastructure, assists in the social and political development of worker's councils in state industries, and accepts Russian and Chinese credits to diversify Syrian regional and global exports, expanding revenue for public goods and rebuilding the country, I'd obviously support it as a Communist, but I think it's going to take more than his charisma and personal opinions to revive revolutionary socialism in Syria or the broader Near East or Asia.

"In this speech he talks about his disagreements with MB and says they're calling for 'fascism'"

The crowd laughing at the Hijab demand and Nasser's 'total darkness' comment is phenomenal.

@146

I'll repeat myself:

"The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was certainly reactionary in its early 'diplomatic and logistical' assistance to the Anglo-Arabian proxy war in Syria, and it's public championing of international intervention against the popular and sovereign Syrian state, but the broader 'Brotherhood ideology' is 'progressive' in its direct and tacit alliances (Turkey with Palestine and Russia; Qatar with Russia and Iran) naturally destabilizing the even deeper neo-liberal reaction of the United States, Saudi Arabia, and the Arabian Peninsula. There is a hierarchy of reactionary politics in the region..."

I never said it was 'progressive' in and of itself. I said it was 'progressive' (in air quotes) in its (indirect) geopolitical value and (relative to Wahhabism) history of compromise (use of fair elections in Turkey, Palestine, and Egypt). You have to know how to fight these people, and finding ways to deepen the factionalism of Islamic fundamentalist movements (if the immediate revolutionary aim is, for example, destabilizing the Arabian Peninsula) is a crucial practical step for the revolutionary secular, Arabist, and socialist movements in the region to understand. They can't just imprison their way to victory (although I do support the imprisonments).

Posted by: anonymous | Jul 12 2017 12:05 utc | 151

Israeli Racism And The Pathology of Max Blumenthal - Gilad Atzmon
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40337.htm

If anyone believed Blumenthal that he was an anti Zionist, he has a surprise for you. …. “My Jewish identity can be negated, simply because I’ve defined it outside the frontiers of Israeli nationalism and to some extent, against Zionism.”

There you go. Blumenthal, by his own admission is not so sure anymore that he is an anti Zionist, he is only to a “certain extent.”

a bit of insight into Max’s thinking:

In an interview with Anna-Esther Younes published by the Jewish pro Palestinian site Mondweiss, Max Blumenthal said, “Based on what I knew about Germany and its national pathology and its failure to really take the right lessons from its own history. …”

“Are you calling us pathological?” wonders Younes.

“Yes, this is a sick society that hasn’t addressed the core political and psychological and social trends that lead to the Holocaust.”

and:

To the question “does that make Germany a Jewish friendly country?” Blumenthal answers, “Germany is the whitest country in the world. It’s so white that it doesn’t know that it’s white or what whiteness is.” …

Younes, …, asked Blumenthal to elaborate on the meaning of ‘Whiteness.’ Blumenthal replied, “whiteness is the supreme embodiment of privilege. Whiteness is expressed through the wielding of power against calls for equality and the simultaneous denial of the very existence of the privilege to do so — a willful lack of self-awareness.”

Posted by: pantaraxia | Jul 12 2017 12:28 utc | 152

@Taxi:
Calm down, you hysterical ass. It should be obvious I am in no way shilling for the MB. I said they were reactionary. I am fully on Nasser's side, and, according to the link I posted, it should be clear that I DO have "a clue" about Nasser.

He was initially allied with and supported by the Brotherhood in the overthrow of the king. Fine. Not "in" the Brotherhood like I said. You could have simply corrected me instead of being a sneering shithead.

Posted by: Zara | Jul 12 2017 13:43 utc | 153

@142:
Would you stop it. This has nothing at all to do with people having "opinions" we don't agree with. This is life and death. You realize that people were tried at Nuremberg for disseminating war propaganda, don't you?

Posted by: Zara | Jul 12 2017 13:51 utc | 154

Zara,
You're the backpeddling "hysterical ass" here, as evidenced by your, well, BACKPEDDLING asshole!!!

Posted by: Taxi | Jul 12 2017 16:59 utc | 155

Oh yeah, Max Blumenthal, best described by dissident Gilad Atzmon as an anti-zionist zionist!

Guy is a snake.

Posted by: L.K | Jul 12 2017 18:07 utc | 156

@152

It wouldn't be unfair to say the bourgeoisie and petit-bourgeoisie of Germany are definitely the kind of people who lack self reflection. It explains West Germany refusing to pay the full sum of war reparations owed to the Soviet Union, forcing the far poorer and more destroyed East Germany to pay up to one hundred billion marks (the extra hundreds of billions of marks that were owed wasn't acknowledged) with a mass de-industrialization campaign, while West Germany was being showered with the largest subsidy program (not including additional credits and floods of subsidized consumer goods and technological imports) in European history.

Bourgeois and petit-bourgeois Germany brutalized the whole of Europe (including itself) and never truly realized it. But the 'whiteness' thing seems off. Were millions of dead Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Yugoslavs, Bulgarians, Poles, Czechs, and Slovaks not 'white?' I know anti-Slavic sentiment in Central Europe was very real back in the day, but was it exactly like British and French colonial white supremacy in Asia and Africa? As a Slav myself, I truly doubt it. If any country really deserves this psychoanalysis, it's Great Britain.

Posted by: anonymous | Jul 12 2017 19:59 utc | 157

Anons on MOA, this isnt reddit or 4chan, get a handle for chrissakes..

Posted by: Lozion | Jul 12 2017 23:40 utc | 158

Temporarily Sane 144
Those pictures are looking more familiar whether Iraq, Libya, or Syria. We have to wonder if destroying cities was one of the primary goals.

Posted by: Curtis | Jul 13 2017 0:24 utc | 159

Ben Norton sent an email with a statement to my piece above:

/begin Norton statement/

Hi,

I saw the piece you just published. It would be much more fair and accurate
if you included a statement from me to explaining the evolution of my (and
our) views. Please include the following quote below:

Max, Rania, and I would have been more than happy to explain our views and
provide our side of the story, if you had reached out. Instead of muddying
the waters and spreading disinformation about us, we should have a
constructive discussion.

My views on Syria evolved over a period of years. I readily admit that I
was wrong and misguised early in the conflict. I had been deceived by
endless propaganda from Cliffite Trotskyites, from destructive groups like
the US' ISO, the UK's SWP, and Australia's Socialist Alliance, which claim
to oppose imperialism and war but at the end of the day only help serve it.

I was misled by the analyses on websites like Socialist Worker, Red Flag,
Green Left, and OpenDemocracy, along with writers such as Joseph Daher,
Michael Karadjis, and Danny Postel, who talk left but walk right. I used to
believe that theirs was the principled position. Now I see that it is
nothing but opportunistic, soft-imperialist window dressing. It is lazy
moral posturing that avoids actual politics and ignores basic facts on the
ground while making lofty generalizations that have no roots in history,
yet alone in dialectical materialism.

I admit I was wrong, and it was from 2014 into 2015 that I began to see
that. When Jabhat al-Nusra was openly dominating the opposition, and yet
Cliffites continued to support it (with Trotskyite writers like Louis
Proyect and Karadjis openly supporting al-Nusra's offensives), I gradually
came to realize I had been fooling myself and greatly deceived.

Max and Rania came to similar realizations on a similar timeline. The three
of us are friends and we discussed the issue at length; our views evolved
organically.

There has been so much propaganda on Syria, perhaps more than on any other
conflict I have seen — including Israel-Palestine.

That said, it is absolutely false that we have not publicly addressed this.
I have written about it numerous times, and Rania and I discussed this at
length in a long, three-part episode of the podcast Dead Pundits Society.
(Links:
https://soundcloud.com/deadpundits/the-syria-a-team-part-1-how-kinky-are-salafists-w-rania-khalek-and-ben-norton,
https://soundcloud.com/deadpundits/the-syria-a-team-part-deux-this-time-its-for-real,
https://soundcloud.com/deadpundits/the-syria-a-team-part-3-the-final-reckoning
)

Finally, and most importantly, the notion that our views evolved out of
"opportunism" is such an outrageous lie it is hard to know where to begin.
What is there to gain professionally from challenging the empire and its
relentless propaganda on Syria? Nothing.

In fact, the exact *opposite* of opportunism is true: challenging
propaganda on Syria contributed to both me and Rania losing our jobs. Max,
Rania, and I have been constantly smeared as "Assadists." Major news
outlets have regularly refused our submissions because of Syria. My career
has only been greatly harmed for speaking out on Syria. But I did it
because I am infinitely more concerned with being on the side against
imperialism, war, and capitalism than I am with getting bylines.

The real opportunists are those — writing in The Daily Beast, The Guardian,
Dissent, Muftah, Jacobin, and elsewhere — who have attacked the left over
Syria and only continued to spread soft-imperialist propaganda.

I am wholeheartedly willing to accept criticism for being wrong on Syria in
the early years of the war. But the notion that my, or Max's and Rania's,
views evolved out of opportunism is a preposterous and egregious smear that
turns reality on its head.

I will conclude with one final note: If we want to convince people who
disagree with us, we should be welcoming, not portray their political
evolution as part of some dastardly grand conspiracy. I was wrong and I was
convinced by the excellent, insightful analysis of writers like David
Mizner, Taryn Fivek, and Louis Allday, who were also patient and willing to
challenge people who had been misled, like I was.

If we want others to change others' views, if we want to break through the
soft-imperialist propaganda of the disastrous Cliffite Trotskyite groups
that dominate the Anglo left, if we do not want to just preach to the
choir, we should be trying to convince and welcome those who have also been
fed misinformation, not alienating them.
/end Norton statement/

Posted by: b | Jul 15 2017 7:52 utc | 160

Hi Ben,

(I only read your statement today.)

Your statement does not do justice to two major points I (and others) made:

- Over several years you denigrated and smeared everyone who did not agree with your anti-Syrian position. That was way out of bounds of any reasonable discussion. Did you give those people room in your pieces to responds to your smears of them being "Assadists" and "anti-Semites"?

- After your (claimed) change of heart, you (and Max and Rania) systematically deleted pieces and tweets that reflected your old position and demonstrated how you vilified others for not agreeing with it. That is not the behavior of people who change their mind after a diligent thought process, but of people who suddenly found that they have something to hide. Deleting ones old writings is not a show of intellectual rigor. Thus "opportunism".

Explaining your change of positions in three podcasts no one ever heard of or listens to is certainly not enough. All three of you have other possible outlets that are more widely known, read and where such an explanation for a change of mind would be found by a diligent search.

Why was there no statement on BenNorton.com and MaxBlumenthal.com? Why no explanatory piece in any of the other outlets you write for? Why not publish one at the Alternet-Grayzone? Why no allusion to it in any of your current pieces? (Where, btw, is Max' public mea-culpa to the Al-Akhbar writers he publicly vilified on all channels available to him?)

You write: "I was misled by the analyses on websites like Socialist Worker, Red Flag, Green Left, and OpenDemocracy, along with writers ..."

You are again smearing other? Blaming them for your own lack of diligent analysis?

I am German. "I was mislead" is something I have heard way too often from my parents' and grandparents' generation in this country. It did not absolve them. It doesn't absolve you.

I will add your statement to the comments of my piece, not to the piece itself. I will note in the piece where your statement, and this reply, can be found.

Bernhard

Posted by: b | Jul 15 2017 8:18 utc | 161

b | Jul 15, 2017 3:52:18 AM | 160

Pleading young and dumb and stoked on some sort of leftist ideology. But fuckem, they helped US kill a lot of people in Syria. Let them stay in purgatory for awhile.

Posted by: Peter AU | Jul 15 2017 8:30 utc | 162

Bernhard: I am German. "I was mislead" is something I have heard way too often from my parents' and grandparents' generation in this country. It did not absolve them. It doesn't absolve you.

---

As if there is much difference between your grandparent's generation and people like you, Paul Antonopoulos, David Duke, Marine Le Pen, and Nigel Farage pimping for Assad.

Posted by: Louis Proyect | Jul 15 2017 19:56 utc | 163

@163 Louis Proyect
Your war is over. The genocidal colonists lost. You should probably think about moving on to your next battle soon enough.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Jul 15 2017 20:25 utc | 164

@ 163 Louis Proyect I see you've come slithering from the sewer to throw up some bile at our host. I wish you nothing more than the intimate company of the 'Syrian rebels' that you so adore - perhaps you can be a third wife after the favored yazidi slave-girls that they keep?

Posted by: Thirsty | Jul 15 2017 20:28 utc | 165

Max Blumenthal Tells Tucker Carlson: Russia Hysteria Will Come Back to Haunt Progressives
http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/max-blumenthal-tells-tucker-carlson-russia-hysteria-will-come-back-haunt-progressives

Posted by: Anon | Jul 18 2017 19:48 utc | 166

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