Assadist defense of Russian special forces in Syria: a study in political corruption

According to a Haaretz article published last Tuesday, on December 11th Russian television showed footage of Russian special forces fighting on the ground in Syria. Russia first acknowledged the presence of special forces in Syria last March during the recapture of Palmyra from ISIS fighters but have declined to say how many are deployed..

Special forces are the psychotic units of the military who engage in assassinations, sniper attacks, “inspecting” the bodies of “rebel corpses,” coordinating airstrikes & robotic tanks.

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal, citing two Russian military analysts, reported that retaking east Aleppo was not just the result of Syrian & Russian bombing operations but that for two months hundreds of Russian special forces have engaged in covert operations in Aleppo.

The Assadist take on this is that Syria, as a sovereign nation, has the right to invite foreign militaries to engage in operations on its soil. Some of them get so caught between their exegesis of Lenin, their paranoidal libertarian conspiracy theories, primitive supremacist ideas about Arabs, profound Islamophobic hysteria, & simple-minded views of US policy that they can’t acknowledge Assad is a dictator with a massive gulag system who is fighting a popular uprising against him.

Some people who hold these theories just fell off the turnip truck & are regrettably attracted to intrigues & conspiracy; some have been political, if not exactly activists, for a long time & have become intellectually lazy or politically bankrupt. It happens. Just keep in mind that many people have gone to their graves thinking Joseph Stalin was a hero, a man of the people unfairly vilified & not the mass murderer that he was. Some people just live & die nuts.

The peculiar journalism of Vanessa Beeley

Vanessa Beeley reports that 14 US coalition military officers were captured yesterday in an east Aleppo bunker by Syrian special forces. The source she cites for the report is the Voltaire Network, a libertarian cult based in Paris, even though she is in east Aleppo with the Syrian Army.

Then she says that Fares Shehabi, the Assad official for Aleppo who she is hanging with in restaurants, is her second source when he posted the names & countries of the 14 officers on Twitter. Why didn’t he just tell her all that straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak? Why did she have to get it from goofballs in Paris & off of Twitter?

Patrick Cockburn & Eva Bartlett: peas in an Assadist pod

Hard to tell the difference between the journalism of Patrick Cockburn & the Assadist propaganda of Eva Bartlett. He doesn’t just crib her titles, he writes the same crap. She appears to be his go-to source.

In her smug, comedic style, Bartlett proclaims: ā€œIā€™m Back From Syria. The Media Is Lying To You!ā€

Trying to keep his dignity while he plagiarizes from two-bit hustlers like Bartlett & Vanessa Beeley, Cockburn proclaims: “There’s more propaganda than news coming out of Aleppo” & “Why Everything You’ve Read About Syria & Iraq Could be Wrong.”

Come to think of it, Max Blumenthal & Ben Norton did the same thing. What do you bet they all end up writing hack for Global Research or Ron Paul?

The forced evacuation of east Aleppo

Evacuee from e Aleppo in wheelchair (REUTERS:Ammar Abdullah) Dec 17 2016

The Geneva Conventions have protocols to protect civilians in a war zone but are equivocal on the question of forcible evacuation. Of course even if they were crystal clear there isn’t a single country at war today that doesn’t flout & make a mockery of the Conventions.

Assad official Fares Shehabi & regime propagandist Vanessa Beeley traveling with the Syrian Army in Aleppo have shown photos & told stories of jubilant reunions between civilians in west Aleppo & those they claim were held hostage by “jihadists” in east Aleppo.

In fact, there doesn’t appear to be any free passage from east Aleppo to anywhere, especially west Aleppo. Leaving east Aleppo is an ordeal & a dangerous one at that. We don’t know the full scale of things but from photos posted on social media by Shehabi, hundreds of men & boys from east Aleppo have been arrested by the regime as terrorists.

Humanitarian agencies claim thousands of people, including women, children, the elderly & infirm remain “trapped” in east Aleppo in freezing temperatures. Civilians in east Aleppo are not just war-traumatized but have been without food & water or medical care for a long time so there is critical urgency. So why do they have to be relocated to receive aid when the health of so many is already massively compromised?

What are all those convoys of green buses provided by the Assad regime about except to evacuate civilians? Forcibly? Why can’t they stay put in east Aleppo which the regime claims is liberated? Why hasn’t the benevolent dictator Assad directed Syrian aid agencies to move in convoys of food supplies, clean water, heat, medical personnel? Isn’t Asma Assad renowned among Assadists for her charitable endeavors?

If we’re expected to believe that liberation scenario, perhaps Beeley can ask her handlers in the Assad regime why the evacuees are being relocated forcibly from one war zone in east Aleppo to other war zones near Idlib that are still sustaining airstrikes, including barrel & cluster bombs?

Since Beeley is traveling with the Syrian Army as it occupies east Aleppo, perhaps she could tell us what the army is doing there? Is there some reason that civilians should feel “trapped” or endangered in a liberated zone? Since Beeley’s companion Fares Shehabi, the Assad official for Aleppo, is publicly threatening revenge against those “jihadists,” does Beeley expect to see executions, shoot-outs, guerilla warfare? Will she document it for us? Or is she being paid enough to make it look like party-time in east Aleppo?

This is an elderly evacuee from east Aleppo eating upon her arrival in the town of al-Rashideen which is also a war zone.

(Photo by Ammar Abdullah/Reuters)

Media blackouts & misrepresentations of Kashmiri struggle for self-determination

Peaceful walk in the woods Kashmir

In the past few days, the Guardian-UK posted two photos from Kashmir: the first of a woman praying & the second of a man sitting on a log on a cold winter morning.

There have been many photos of Kashmiri protesters since media ended its complete news blackout about a year ago. But like coverage of the Palestinian struggle, media does not publish photos of massive protests & funeral cortege/protests numbering in the tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands but instead publishes photos of young men protesters who appear to be alone or engaged in vandalism. There’s no subtlety here; the intent is to make Kashmiri resistance to occupation look like the work of nihilistic, antisocial trouble-makers.

The coverage has changed since the current military siege began on July 9th after the shooting of the young man whose name is taboo on FB. It’s back to tranquil scenes of Dal Lake, men walking in the woods or sitting on a log & lots of women praying. No images of the women when they join protests by mothers of the disappeared?

Once again, as it was before the media ended its complete news blackout, the primary source of news is Kashmiri activists on social media–& one is hesitant to say that lest India again enforce an internet ban in Kashmir. Since Indian soldiers threatened one of the photojournalists in Kashmir, vandalized his home, & terrorized his family, it is evident that censorship is involved in what gets published. Rather than western news media making a political stink about it to the Indian government, at the very least in defense of their reporters, they publish photos of men sitting on a log on a chilly day.

This photo is from the Twitter wall of Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Geelani who was permanently banned from FB in July for mentioning the name of the man whose name cannot be said.

These soldiers are on house to house searches claiming they’re hunting down terrorists in an area near Srinagar. Imagine going about every day life with one soldier toting assault rifles to every seven Kashmiris.

End the occupation! Self-determination for Kashmir!

Political affinities of Assadists. white supremacists, & Islamophobes

It isn’t exaggerating one iota to say the posts about Syria by white supremacist David Duke, notorious Muslim & Arab-haters Pamela Geller & Tulsi Gabbard are indistinguishable from those of Assad supporters.

It’s all there: accusing Muslims of using children as suicide bombers; vilifying the White Helmets; claims that opposition to Assad is all “head-chopping jihadists.”; a preoccupation with fake news; adulation of Putin & Assad; that peculiar defense of Russia as if NATO troops were massing on its borders.

David Duke does make clear that it is Russia under Putin that he admires; not when it was run by “blood-thirsty Jewish Bolsheviks who raped & slaughtered Christians wholesale.”

We leave it to Assadists to draw their own conclusions or as usual put a progressive spin on the affinities.

Solidarity is the iron law of social transformation

Solidarity is the iron law of social transformation:

In US political tradition that imperative is expressed by the slogan “An injury to one is an injury to all.”

In the Quran it is expressed as “To kill one human is as if one has killed the entire humanity.”

Going back to our most ancient ancestors the conviction that cooperation & harmony are essential for human civilization must have found many expressions.

Evolutionary psychologists, best known as evo psychos, are trying to recycle the misanthropic ideas of social Darwinism based on projections of their own malignancy & speculations that humanity evolved from killer apes & are genetically programmed to competition, social hatreds, war.

The politics of anarchism are not compelling, but the anarchist Peter Kropotkin wrote a marvelous book in 1890-96 titled “Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution” to rebut social Darwinism. The now deceased Stephen Jay Gould, an evolutionary biologist & historian of science, has written volumes making chopped liver out of social Darwinism & exposing it for what it is: hating on the human race & justification for the excesses of capitalism.

Solidarity isn’t just a sentimental, childish pipe dream. It is what has made human survival, culture, civilization possible. Now as capitalism spirals into its barbaric phase, solidarity is the only force that can reverse that & make the human race whole again. At the risk of sounding maudlin, we were made to love one another & it is what all children deserve as their birthright.

(Thank you to Hassan Iqbal for the quotation from the Quran)