Reposted from January 13, 2017 because understanding Syria, the last Arab Spring uprising not yet defeated, matters for a resurgence of the Arab uprisings, Palestinian self-determination, & democracy in the entire Middle East:
It must seem the epitome of arrogance for Syrian revolutionists & their supporters to disagree with almost the entire pantheon of western gurus: Noam Chomsky, Patrick Cockburn, Tariq Ali, Robert Fisk, Chris Hedges, Vijay Prashad, John Pilger, Glenn Greenwald, Glen Ford, Seamus Milne, Seymour Hersh, Ajamu Baraka. After all, these guys–& it is noticeable that they are all men–are the left intellectual avant-garde of the past 40 years, even outside the west. The problem with gurus is that they are not infallible & they don’t speak ex cathedra for “the left.” Sometimes when you scratch below the surface of their analyses, you learn they’re not that left at all. For every one of those celebrity journalists & authors there is an entire catalog of serious misjudgments long before they fell apart over Syria.
It’s no surprise they can’t distinguish between revolution & counter-revolution in Syria since not a one of them has any real credentials in that regard. They operate in elite circles, are accustomed to deference, & likely have no understanding at all of working people nor any respect for our capacities to enter history & change it. Like the lilliputian socialist groups who support Assad & carpet bombing of civilians, their writings reflect theoretical torpor & political inertia where they can no longer tell the difference between a political analysis of Syria & the conspiracy mongering of Global Research, complete with “reptilian Rothschild banksters.”
If the Islamophobia & anti-Semitism of Assadist apologia, including that of these gurus, doesn’t hit you in the face, if the demonizing of rescue workers & small children doesn’t sicken you, if marching for Assad & Russia with fascists & libertarians who believe “jihadists” & Jewish people are the problems in this world doesn’t horrify you, then maybe it’s time to accept that you were only on the left by a misunderstanding. The bandwagon is not a reliable guide in politics.
Photo is White Helmet rescue workers in Douma under aerial bombardment by Syrian & Russian bombers on January 8th, 2018.
(Photo by Al-Ajweh/AFP/Getty Images)