An Indian guy, who is one of those lost souls who calls himself a socialist but supports Assad regardless of dictatorship, once berated me by saying “morality has no place in politics.” That was his defense of Assad & Putin’s bombing of civilians. Now Jonathan Cook, a respected journalist now become a hack writer of apologetics for Assad, is dismissive of civilians being bombed to death (which he calls “terrible repercussions for civilians in the firing line”) from Russian & Syrian bombing in Syria because “emotions cannot guide our analysis.” He admits Assad is a ruthless dictator but claims the realpolitik of national sovereignty demands our support. This bankrupt understanding of morality, emotions, dictatorship, & war have led these two guys to support bombing of civilians as necessary. Cook then extends his analytical folly by dismissing the suffering of Syrians compared to the suffering in Gaza–as if it weren’t utterly repugnant to counterpose the suffering of those being bombed to smithereens. Is it more horrific to be terrorized, shattered, dismembered, or buried in rubble by Israeli bombs than by Syrian, Russian, or US coalition bombs?
This is what Assadist politics brings one to: amorality–a belief that revulsion to the bombing of unarmed civilians is lowbrow politics not worthy of big picture analysts who think more in geopolitical terms. Morality & emotional abhorrence for human suffering is for liberals & unworthy of deep thinkers hammering out apologetics. Let me say it straight out: amorality is not a guide to principled politics but the road to hell. Human life is either of value to us or it isn’t. Me, after 52 years as an antiwar activist? I believe in morality in politics; I believe in letting the full range & depth of emotional repugnance to bombing civilians determine our politics & where we stand. Call me old-fashioned but I believe that most of the human race think just like I do about war, occupation, persecution, genocide.