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The U.S. War In Syria – Where is the U.S. peace movement? Why has it – in large measure – swallowed the mainstream narrative kool aid? “Erasing people through disinformation – the humanitarian interventionalism of fools”

April 4, 2021

So… another left debate over Syria?

What is going on here? I don’t know, can only speculate.

To mark the 10th anniversary of the outbreak of the war – or more accurately – foreign intervention in Syria a number of self righteous and continually misdirected leftists and peace activists issued a factional statement, an open letter entitled “Erasing people through disinformation – the anti-Imperialism of fools,”

Long-winded, and signed by “prominent” people all over the world, including from Europe, the MENA countries and North America, it tries to do what these elements have been doing for the past decade: defening U.S. imperialist, let me repeat that word, imperialist intervention in Syria, to deny what is essentially a war made bought and paid for in Washington DC, fought by proxies, both nations as well as their paid mercenaries – mostly cannon fodder from throughout the Third World, the Middle East Africa etc. There is so much disinformation in that letter, that kind of pompous, American exceptionalist racist rot that has infected the U.S. peace movement and left for decades, if not longer… and here it is full blown for those who want to read it – in an open letter.

The letter, “Erasing people through disinformation: Syria and the “anti-imperialism” of fools” – nice, catchy title, is well written making me think that I might have an idea who had a hand in drafting it. No matter. For as well written as it is, that is how off base it is. Its content might make Susan Rice and Samantha Powers smile, but other than that when one gets to the heart of it all, it is stale, by now overused weak arguments that defends all that wrong with U.S.foreign policy and its unending military interventions, sanctions, targeted assassinations.

This letter is a piece of political propaganda, no more, no less that tries to justify what is unjustifiable: U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Those signing it cannot even admit that in Syria – despite the presence of U.S. troops in the eastern third of the country who are stealing Syrian oil, burning down Syrian wheat fields and strangling the country with sanctions, a vicious form of warfare reminiscent of the Nazi siege of Leningrad.

U.S. Imperialism has been thwarted in Syria, nothing less. It is a cause of celebration for progressives and anti-Imperialists the world over… not this kind of whining. The crafters and signers of this open letter cannot as the saying goes “see the forest through the trees”. They utterly fail to understand the defeat that U.S. Imperialism has suffered in Syria nor its profound significance for how the balance of power is shifting in the region as the U.S. grip weakens and the more democratic, anti-imperialist forces gain strength, slowly surely and perceptibly.

And of course, in their self-righteousness, the letter’s signers accuse those who stand clearly against U.S. intervention and hybrid warfare against the Syrian government and people in all its forms of exactly what the authors are guilty of – factionalism and sectarianism. From fifty years of experience with this particular brand of white privilege and entitlement, let me add that few are those who have been factional, more divisive than the liberal imperialists, from the Clintons to the Samantha Powers’ to Human Rights Watch, to a tradition continued ad nauseum.

To his credit, in a well thought out response written in Middle East Eye, Joseph Massad takes a whole bunch of these humanitarian interventionalists to task: they continue to call for regime change in Syria, and to defend that which is indefensible – the U.S war against Syria. Through what is little more than cynical mental gymnastics they put reality on its head – defending the whores of war as the victims and attacking the victims – the Syrian government and its people – as the perpetrators of war and violence.

In Massad’s response, which overall is thoughtful and from my vantage point spot on, Massad criticizes some of the American signers, including Noam Chomsky. Chomsky deserves some criticism but I think there is too much focus on him and not enough on some of those who have praised the color revolutions, of the foundations and ngo’s that have become integral elements in U.S war-making strategy and plans for decades now. These elements have a habit of singing the praises of social movements that sweep tyrants and authoriatarians from power without in any major way even slightly tinkering with social systems, the instituional framework that promotes dictatorshiop, corruptions, repression. Like political musical chairs – leaders change but the systems on which they are based, remain unchanged producing all the change necessary to maintain the status quo…. as a bearded German philosopher once up it.

Although it varies some among them, many of the signers are the same one who accuse the Chinese of genocide in Xinjiang Province, who would like to see Hong Kong “liberated” from China, who fail to call the fascist coup in Ukraine for what it was (ie, a fascist led coup), and who now are calling for sanctions against Ethiopia for crushing the last attempt of the Tigray Peoples’ Liberation Front to overthrow the legitimate government in Addis Ababa.

Concerning the open letter itself…

The tone is strident, self righteous, in a certain way down right racist, especially as it concerns their condescending attack on the Syrian government’s effort to oppose a U.S. plan to partition Syria and to use arm train and finance some of the most reactionary and openly fascist elements on the world scene today. They fail to recognize that when the Syrian army liberated Aleppo, supported by Hezbollah fighters, Iranian advisers and Russian air power – that this was a “peoples’ victory’ and a defeat, nothing less, for U.S. Imperialism.

Frankly, their open letter is an indication of just how much so many liberal and soft-left elements have swallowed the Kool Aid on Syria and have come to defend what is nothing more than an imperialist offensive to shatter the Middle East region a la Iraq, Libya etc, to partition, either de jure or de facto, those centralized governments that might have been able, at least to a degree, withstand the U.S. structural adjustment offensive, the impact of sanctions, drones and mercenaries – the U.S. military’s economic, military and financial response to what remains of its Vietnam War syndrome.

There is no moderate Syrian opposition and yet the signers continue to fabricate or imagine one. Perhaps there was early on in the early days of 2011, but whatever there was of that was quickly coopted and swallowed by the more fascist like elements involved with the active support of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and to a certain degree Israel – that is to say U.S. Imperialism’s long leaned on catspaw in the Middle East.

The idea that Washington is somehow uninvolved or hardly involved in attempts to overthrow the legitimately elected Assad government of Syria – which enjoys broad support – certainly in its war against partition and foreign intervention – is utter and complete nonsense. The Syria invasion – and it is an invasion – is made bought and paid for in Washington DC. It is a war that Washington launched through the use of proxies and that it lost as it has lost in Afghanistan. The political goals of Washington’s plan are several fold and included:

  1. To punish Syria for not permitting a gas pipe line that the Obama Administration hoped would avoid the Suez Canal
  2. To strengthen Israel’s geo-strategic position by undermining a centralized state that is one of Tel Aviv’s adversaries in a futile effort to maintain a regional balance of power in which Israel (along with a few other Arab allies) can dictate regional policies both for itself and for Washington
  3. To prove one again – as it did in Libya – that the United States could “lead from behind” – ie, go to war to overthrow a government by using foreign proxies and hired mercenaries so that Washington can claim “plausible deniability” – as former U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford did cynically and disingenuously in an interview with Aaron Mate on Push Back – the Gray Zone.
  4. Many of these same signer – the American ones with which I am familiar in particular are the bards of the colored revolutions, or should we say, colored counter-revolutions, social movements that overthrow tyrants with no plans for radical social change, resulting in new realities where all the change necessary to maintain the status quo is the rule. Celebrating change that in the end is no change at all.
  5. To prevent any country – in the current situation – Iran – from emerging as a regional player that would shift the balance of power in the Middle East a few notches away from Washington and its closest proxies – Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, etc.

There are probably other geo-political reasons as well. What is utter nonsense, a lie is that there is anything humanitarian about the U.S.-NATO sponsored interventions – in Syria, Iraq, Libya, etc.

Frankly my interests are elsewhere – building a broad-based peace movement as was done in opposition to the U.S. led 2003 invasion of Iraq, for Syria. Perhaps such a national movement exists and those of us deep in the heartland of the country are simply unaware of it. A national movement to get the U.S. out of Syria, to have the Syrian people and not paid takfiri mercenaries manipulated by Turkey, Saudi or whomever, decide the country’s fate.

Such a national movement is overdue. I’d join in a second and let these liberal imperialists just stew in their own juices. Frankly they are not worth either the time or energy with to argue with very much…

Syrian Woman Greeting Syrian Army Troops Liberating an area of Idlib Province from Turkish-Jihadist rule.
2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kurt permalink
    April 10, 2021 2:24 pm

    The author asks, where is the U.S. peace movement ? They’re busy, or doing self-care, or tired. Maybe the author shouldn’t consider arguing with them. Random people on the street, and others not in the movement might be better listeners and activists.

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