So there’s the paid propagandists like Tim Anderson, Bartlett & Beeley who’ll say anything because they worship Assad. No measure of toadyism is beneath them. So of course, Assad did not gas civilians. But if he did, they deserved it. And the White Helmets made it all up anyway.
Then there’s the libertarian left like Margaret Kimberley, Ajamu Baraka, Glen Ford, Coleen Rowley, who like to talk hard-assed but can’t distinguish conspiracy from reality. They don’t worship Assad but if the US claims to be at odds with him, he’s their man & can do no wrong. They’re soft on Trump too & blame everything on Obama. Everything is a false flag in their jaded world-weary view.
Then there are the lost souls like Dahlia Wasfi who plays the agnostic on the gassing of civilians like that’s an acceptable stance, & Rania Khalek who talks through her ass. In the long run, it is agnosticism that is the most pernicious & years from now some will still be scratching their butts asking did Assad really gas civilians at Khan Sheikhoun or was that all US lies?
All of this treachery & idiocy combine to confuse & create nihilism as an attitude toward what can be known in an era when news reporting is instantaneous, international, verifiable in several different ways. You’d think we were living in an era when news came by pony express.
This issue of what can be known is not about what is possible, about the sources available, about investigative comparisons, about fake news & all that rubbish. It is about the triumph of libertarian theoretical methods, of speculation in place of scholarship, of obfuscation, conspiracy thinking & seeing false flags when you don’t know how to analyze or are too lazy or indifferent to try. It is the hallmark of a march to the right under a smokescreen of nihilism.
To understand who gassed the people of Khan Sheikhoun you have to look at what Assad, Putin, & the US Pentagon reported & see if any of it makes sense, at the video & photographic documentation, at reports on social media directly from Syrian activists. It is beyond dispute that Assad is guilty. If you want to continue playing agnostic or playing the smug supporter of Assad, it’s your right to ally yourself with fascism. Scratch your ass from here to hell.
But when history is written–& you better be damn sure we don’t intend to let you write it–you’ll have to face the music of your treachery. We don’t intend to let dictatorship win the propaganda war. We intend to rebuild the antiwar movement. We expect justice will be hard-fought but it will be victorious because we have seen the power of the Arab Spring, of Palestinian & Kashmiri Intifada & democracy is the future.