Many on social media, pro & anti-Assad, are circulating reports about a delegation from the US Peace Council who met with Assad in Syria. The delegation did not represent the US antiwar movement & should not be promoted or vilified as such.
The tragic reality is that there is no authoritative coalition representing the views of US antiwar activists because the movement is fractured, weak, & has not held a national decision-making conference for years.
The US Peace Council is an organization of Stalinists whose political roots are in the Cold War when they promoted policies of the USSR. Those from the Stalinist tradition are one of the main political currents supporting Syria & Russia.
After the delegation returned from Syria, they appeared at a UN forum with the Syrian ambassador & apparently intend to go on speaking tours to promote their version of the war, especially to other US antiwar activists. Their version is that Syria is not a civil war; that Assad is a popular leader, not at war with his own people who are united with him in fighting “mercenaries & foreign terrorists.” They contend it is a US regime change war justified by demonizing Assad.
None of the delegates who spoke addressed whose warplanes are bombing Syria. They apparently didn’t want to know since they admitted they never even asked Assad about Syria & Russia’s alleged use of barrel bombs. They claimed the news is all US State Department & corporate media lies. Whereas they prefer to rely on the Putin & Assad governments for their information.
To show their independence as a delegation, they admitted Assad provided security & half the expense of their accommodations on the tour. They also reported that Vanessa Beeley & Eva Bartlett were associated with the delegation. Beeley & Bartlett are Assadist journalists whose reporting about Assad is more propaganda than journalism & sometimes rivals the hero worship of Stalin.
The US antiwar movement needs to overcome differences nationally (as it has locally in some places) to address the issue of Syria. It is coming under fire from Stalinists & libertarians for not supporting Assad & from conservative anti-Assadists for not demanding the US pull off a humanitarian intervention.
The US Peace Council delegation does not represent the US antiwar movement & cannot be used to impugn the antiwar movement which needs to be rebuilt, not slandered.