For so long the political character of Assad & Putin supporters escaped me. On the one hand, they have progressive views on social issues, which is not uncommon among libertarians–even the likes of Ron Paul. Most notable is their opposition to US militarism.
But when it comes to Assad’s dictatorship & ruthless military campaign against civilians, their political writings are honestly dumb as a stump. Making the vilification of rescue workers & child victims of war the centerpiece of your apologia for bombing civilians resonates with Stalinism, Zionism, maybe eventually Trumpism–which all justify the most monstrous crimes for the higher purpose of social domination.
But now Oxford dictionary makes it all clear with their 2016 word of the year: post-truth. Assadism combined with Putinism is the theoretical amalgam of truthiness & post-truth politics. It’s the combination of gut feelings, mystical vibes from the universe, & invented reality.
The problem could be rooted in Platonic idealism but more likely it has to do with indigestion, voices in the head, projected prejudices & unresolved aggression issues. It sure as hell ain’t progressive politics but represents a profound & dystopic theoretical degeneration.
I am truly sorry to post such graphic images but Assad apologists are confusing so many activists that the realities of Syrian and Russian carpet bombing must be presented to counter the lies.
Those who support Syrian & Russian bombing of civilians have a psychological device–of course, for some it could also be a political manipulation–which allows them to ignore the carnage created by carpet bombing.
They feverishly post about Yemen, or about “jihadist” missiles striking civilians, or even about the DAPL pipeline struggle in North Dakota. It’s how they assure themselves or others that they are not entirely bereft of human compassion.
Yemen, west Aleppo, North Dakota are not isolated from the bombing in east Aleppo. They are of a piece with the rising violence & militarism in the barbaric phase of capitalism.
The children of Yemen, North Dakota, & Syria are not asking for your compassion so you can feel good about yourself. What is required is political solidarity.
In Syria, solidarity means demanding the immediate cessation of Syrian & Russian bombing of civilians; the immediate cessation of US bombing (allegedly against ISIS) & undercover operations; the immediate, unconditional withdrawal of all foreign military forces, including special forces, CIA operatives, & mercenaries.
(Photos from Free Syria Media Hub, from November 21 2016 bombing of Aleppo)
Do you think Al Jazeera colluded with White Helmet rescue workers in Aleppo to stage this video of a hospital bombing? Stranger things have happened, according to Assad supporters–like evil fairies from outer space bombing Aleppo & Russia getting blamed for it.
Russian state-owned media are publishing statements from the Russian Defense Ministry claiming White Helmet rescue workers are fabricating accusations that Syrian bombers (& likely Russian bombers & missiles) are targeting hospitals & schools in Aleppo.
In fact, several news sources, including Médecins Sans Frontières/MSF on the ground in Syria, are reporting it. Al Jazeera has this footage of a hospital being bombed while the reporter was present.
It’s not clear where those who support Assad’s dictatorship & Syrian & Russian bombing get their information. Libertarian politics don’t require much investigation when paranoia & prejudice serve so well. Some from the socialist tradition don’t bother studying the war in Syria when they think quotes from Lenin on colonialism sum it all up. Some Assad supporters even consider themselves savants who magically intuit vibrations from the universe to guide their politics. But be assured, some are directly in league with the Assad regime.
Supporters of Assad actually pioneered the fake news approach to media & only sanction reading “alternative” news sites like state-owned Russian & Iranian media, several blogs written by themselves, Global Research, & the discredited Mint Press News. Their tedious mantra is that reading mainstream media is anathema & will only fill your head with lies.
Ardent Assad supporter Eva Bartlett has even drawn up a list of human rights “front groups” whose reports they consider completely untrustworthy: Amnesty International, Médecins Sans Frontières/MSF, Human Rights Watch, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), & of course, the White Helmets.
Those uncertain about who & what to believe about Syria should read all the websites authorized by pro-Assad group-think. You will be horrified at the Islamophobia, paranoia, deceits, crazy-pants stuff that passes for analysis.
This is footage from last Saturday of a hospital in Aleppo being bombed.
Those who live in Pretoria, South Africa will want to join this rally at the Myanmar Embassy next Friday. Conditions of Rohingya Muslims under the military junta have been described as “apartheid-like.” The genocide going on now is way beyond that.
Stand with the Rohingya.
This is Putin & Obama putting on the mad face, a de rigueur posture in diplomatic protocol. It’s a phony version of the constipated mouth thing which expresses more sincere antipathies. We know this mad face routine from Obama’s several meetings with Netanyahu where Obama waits for cameras to go away before he cuts multi-billion dollar checks for military aid to Israel.
This Putin-Obama encounter was last September at the G20 summit in China. But they met again yesterday at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum in Lima, Peru. According to media reports, they had a 4-minute conversation about Syria where Russia is on a major missile & bombing campaign but denies it is involved in the murderous bombing siege on 250,000 civilians in Aleppo. Since Russia openly supports the Assad dictatorship whilst the US does so only sub rosa, they probably didn’t think it diplomatically advisable to raise objections to Assad bombing the city. You can cover a lot of small talk in four minutes but not Russian & US military involvement in Syria.
Media continues to talk about the changes in US policy toward Syria heralded by the warm relationship Putin has with Trump. It’s one thing for media to peddle that high school social studies baloney & quite another for political activists to repeat it like the gospel truth. US capitalism is a massive, complicated system with economic, political, & military relationships all over the world & in serious crisis. US policy is not left to presidents of the caliber of Reagan (who suffered dementia half his term), either of the Bush guys (neither of whom could put a coherent thought together), Clinton, (who was a two-bit hustler), or Obama, (who had no experience whatsoever)—nor certainly a narcissistic blowhard like Trump.
US policy is formulated by think tanks, government agencies & officials, special advisory panels, the US Pentagon & CIA officials, advisors like Kissinger (there’s a whole slew of those treacherous creeps), bankers & corporate heads. It would be idiocy to leave US capitalism & its political policies in the hands of Trump & the right-wing nationalists he’s lining up as his cabinet. There isn’t one of them that won’t be approved by those who really run this country.
That’s not cause for jubilation because clearly a dramatic rightward shift is being planned in US politics, here & abroad. But that means active opposition must be organized. Those chiding the anti-Trump protesters should stop the banal criticisms & join the protests.
(Photo by AFP/Getty)
Pre-election mantra: “We need Trump to win so people mobilize.”
Trump wins. People, mostly high school students, mobilize.
Post-election reproach: “Why didn’t you protest Obama? Being in grade school is no excuse!”
More protest in Bangladesh today in Dhaka against genocide in Burma (Myanmar ).
Photo from Rohingya Community in Norway – RCN
The anti-Trump protests are not a post-election phenomenon. Thousands have protested Trump in hundreds of rallies since June 2015 when he announced his candidacy. Since the election, there have been hundreds of protests & thousands of participants, overwhelmingly college & high school students, in dozens of US cities & around the world.
The thrust of the protests is against the rightward shift in politics & the placards focus on the social issues: Black & Latino rights, women’s rights, against the DAPL pipeline, LGBT rights, immigration rights, targeting Muslims.
What is not apparent in the protests is antiwar opposition. When there are several US wars going on that’s a real problem. But if you think it’s a problem among youth, you should take a look at what a catastrophic mess the antiwar movement is among longtime activists. The most distressing aspect is political disunity because many activists oppose only US intervention & support the Syrian & Russian bombing of civilians. Many are expressing exuberance at the bombing rampage against Aleppo going on now.
This photo of civilians, one carrying a wounded infant, is not from the current assault on Aleppo but from a barrel bomb attack in June 2014. They have sustained this kind of barbarism for over five years whilst antiwar forces denounce them as “jihadists.”
Principled antiwar activists demand: the immediate cessation of Syrian & Russian bombing of civilians; the immediate, unconditional withdrawal from Syria of all foreign military forces, undercover operatives, & mercenaries. Get the hell out now!
(Photo from Getty)