I know some of my comrades in the anti-imperialist/resistance camp are very unhappy about they see as Wikileaks’ ill-timed release of over 2 million emails on Syria, and Julian Assange’s seeming equation between the two sides when he says: “The material is embarrassing to Syria, but it is also embarrassing to Syria’s opponents.”
But on the other hand, Ibrahim al-Amine, editor-in-chief of al-Akhbar, which will be publishing the leaks, has said the leaks prove that “the hypocrisy of global politics has reached a new high when dealing with Syria.” Let us not forget that Zionist/imperialist-enabler, Max Blumenthal, resigned from al-Akhbar in part because of Ibrahim’s writings on Syria, and that Al-Akhbar will be less likely than any other paper to practice selective or omissive publishing of the leaks to Empire’s benefit. It’s also important to recall that this is a newspaper which is branded “pro-Hizbullah” by the West, and whose mission as described by Al-Amine is to provoke the U.S.: “We wanted the U.S. ambassador to wake up in the morning, read it and get upset.”
As for the contents of the leaks, I know I may not be speaking for everyone in our camp but at least for a large part of it when I say that we never had any illusions about the nature of this regime. We already knew the regime was corrupt and repressive (I am not referring to charges of massacres and such but to its overall intolerance of dissent) and contained many undesirable elements. Those of us who support Assad’s struggle against imperialism do so not because we harbour delusions about the regime’s socialist or democratic credentials but on account of its anti-imperialist, resistance credentials. Many of us already dealt with our cognitive dissonance by reluctantly accepting the regime’s defects and mistakes for the time being in the interests of a higher cause.
Even though mainstream media and the oppositionists will milk these revelations for all they are worth, the evidence incriminating those waging war on Syria (both external and domestic) will more than counterbalance whatever is leaked about the regime, especially given the gross imbalances of power. At the end of the day, we have already made our priorities known: our struggle against imperialism takes precedence over our rejection of authoritarianism. Unless we discover that Assad has secretly been striking a deal with US-Israel or masterminding massacres, the priorities dictating our position will remain in place. The more primary evidence we have at our disposal to confirm our suspicions and reinforce our existing knowledge, the more we can expose the conspirators and collaborators with hard and irrefutable facts. The regime’s corruption and repression is common knowledge, but the nature and scope of the conspiracy against Syria isn’t. These leaks may well serve to shift Arab and international public opinion away from the side of the opposition to a more neutral or nuanced position. If the leaks are perceived as shielding the regime, they will not be able to earn the required credibility to make such a public opinion shift possible.
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