A propagandist-in-chief's war on intellectual imperialism and pursuit of a resistance episteme

Posts Tagged: Syrian opposition

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For the past 2.5 years now, we have been hearing the same refrain by supporters of the Syrian opposition as well as Third Wayers (yeah, remember them? LOL), about the “hijacking” of their “revolution” by undesirable takfiris on the one hand, and the Empire and its lackeys on the other. But their very publicly articulated desire to see the US go beyond limited airstrikes, and later, their collective expressions of betrayal and disappointment at the Obama administration for failing to immediately bomb their country into submission—with some prominent social media activists even making nostalgic references to war criminals, Bush and Blair, for their “boldness” in contrast to Obama—reveals that this uprising was never hijacked. 
No, this was the nature of the opposition from the very start. I am not talking here about the al-Qaeda-dominated rebels fighting on the ground, but the so-called, “moderate, secular, non-sectarian” political/ hotel-lobby opposition. It is an opposition which remains undeterred by the specter of the Iraq-ization or Libya-ization of its country. An opposition which pursues the type of political pluralism which would reduce high treason to a legitimate point of view that is entitled to popular representation. An opposition which seeks to institutionalize the type of freedom of expression that not merely tolerates, but craves, re-colonization, and which countenances sectarianism; an opposition that seeks to constitutionalize the destruction of their state, the Syrian Arab Republic. It is an opposition to the very principle of democratic opposition, whether it is defined by decolonized progressives or by hypocritical western liberals.

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We do not regard this uprising/ insurrection to be a Zionist one solely on account of Israeli and Syrian opposition figures’ open love for one another. Nor is it solely on account of the Zionist state’s official support for this opposition and their shared interests in toppling the Assad government and destroying the Syrian Arab Republic.. 
What really makes this a Zionist uprising is the fact that in just two years it has achieved the same strategic objectives that Israel sought hard, yet failed to affect in over 60 years of its existence. And it has succeeded in achieving Israel’s goals almost exclusively with sectarianism, which has effectively become the new Israel in our midst.
No Israeli invasion, attack, occupation, annexation, settlement construction, humiliating peace, or hasbara [Israeli PR] campaign, was ever able to force resistance movements like HAMAS to change their priorities and abandon their erstwhile allies; or to persuade the Arab people that the Assad government, Iran and Hizbullah are their primary enemies as opposed to Israel; or to reduce anti-imperialism and anti-Zionism to the politically incorrect “old school” politics of a bygone era; or to elevate the statuses of once despised Arab monarchs to regional liberators; or to render Shi’ism as the cancerous cell in the region rather than the Zionist entity. 
An uprising which not only collaborates with Israel but serves its strategic interests can only be a Zionist uprising. And the worst part is, that we have reached a point where such labeling is no longer taken as an insult or seen an accusation.

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So let’s see if I understood this correctly: when the US reluctantly declares its intent to NOT intervene in the transitional process and allow Syrians to decide that process for themselves, it is an imperialist power serving its own agenda. As such, the Syrian opposition is begging for “assurances” that its patron will continue to intervene politically and/or militarily, in order to serve the Syrian people. Makes sense. 
"Opposition members said they were concerned by comments from Kerry in Moscow, echoing Russia, that the decision on who takes part in a transitional government should be left to Syrians.
"Syrians are worried that the United States is advancing its own interests with Russia using the blood and suffering of the Syrian people," said National Coalition member Ahmed Ramadan. "We are in touch with the U.S. side and need to be assured that there is no change in its position on Assad."
Equally hilarious is the absurd notion that these proxy figures, who lack political agency, will actually have a say in who will they will dialogue or share power with:
"No official position has been decided but I believe the opposition would find it impossible to hold talks over a government that still had Assad at its head."

Full story here

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Israeli media delights in how Zionist-friendly Syria’s opposition is:
“I don’t like Israel, there’s no question about that,” wrote one Damascus-based Twitter commentator … But right now, all I do is fight for a free Syria.” “It is still my enemy, no argument. But when an enemy does a neat job, I admit it.”
A blogger from Homs who goes by the name of Kendeeel reported that his friend from Baniyas … jokingly told him that Israel has more honor than Arab states.
“[Israel] retaliated against the massacres in Baydha and Baniyas immediately. Where is your retaliation, Arabs?” wrote Kendeeel on May 5, in a comment that was retweeted 107 times.
Yasser Al-Zaiat, a Damascus native studying sociology in Beirut, shared his inner distress following the Israeli strike. “I’m sorry, but I can’t make up my mind between the Syrian army and the Israeli. The latter never harmed me, but the Arab inside me hates it; whereas everything inside me hates the former,” Al-Zaiat tweeted .

Full story here

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I am trying to refrain from using any expletives in my reaction to this petition on Syria signed by comprador intellectuals, colonized Arabs, and of course intellectuals of the western liberal, saviour-complex ilk. So instead, I am simply going to confine myself to my favourite Liz Lemmon, from 30 Rock, line—“I want to go to there”. 
Indeed, I want to go to this revolutionary utopia where despite those rebel groups which represent “the negation of the Other politically, socially and culturally”, the “revolution for freedom and dignity remains steadfast,” where there remains a huge space space occupied by “people and organizations on the ground that still uphold the ideals for a free and democratic Syria.” And it is these guys who are calling the shots and resisting, not the takfiri terrorists of al-Nusra. Nuh uh.
It is a place where there is a revolution that “is connected to the Palestinians’ struggle for freedom, dignity and equality.” More than this, it is “an extension of the Zapatista revolt in Mexico, the landless movement in Brazil, the European and North American revolts against neoliberal exploitation.” Wow. 
It is an anti-imperialist revolution which rejects the intervention of “states that never supported democracy or independence, especially the US and their Gulf allies”, who have “tried to crush and subvert the uprising, while selling illusions and deceptive lies.” See, this revolutionary utopia rejects that intervention although it is calling on “global civil society” i.e. Western NGOs, to do precisely that. You see, this revolution has no support in mainstream corporate or Arab media or among the completely brainwashed western and Arab publics. Its a poor little revolution that has been “left alone” by the “regional and world powers.” 
I really want to go to there, to that Marxist revolutionary utopia where everyone wears a Kuffieh and a Che Guevara t-shirt and looks like Will Smith; a place where those who delight in posing for the cameras while barbecuing the heads of captured helicopter pilots are but anomaly of an otherwise progressive, popular revolution which will usher in freedom, love, peace and harmony if only it would get more western support. 

Full petition here 

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There is no greater distortion of reality than to portray the war in Syria as one fought between two warring sides. There are no two sides inside Syria; there is simply Syria and the enemies of Syria. As such, when we call for a dialogue between “the two sides” we are not referring to the two sides of Syria, or two camps within Syria, as though there were some political or moral parity between them, but to the side that represents the Syrian Arab Republic and the side that represents those who want to destroy it. The fact that some of Syria’s enemies happen to be Syrian does not make them any more representative of one side of Syria than their Arab and American masters.
Yes, the war is taking place on Syrian soil and it does possess characteristics of a civil war, but it remains a war ON Syria and not one between two sides of Syria. To state otherwise is to confer popular legitimacy and sovereignty on those that pursue the destruction of the Syrian state.

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Reports like this just make me want to face palm myself until I turn blue. So apparently, this entire war has been one big false flag op launched by the Syrian govt. When massacres are committed in Alawite areas, they are committed by the regime to discredit the rebels. When pro-regime figures like Sheikh al-Bouti are assassinated, the culprit is always the regime, which is trying to incriminate the rebels. When universities in government strongholds are shelled, (first Aleppo and now Damascus) it is clearly the work of the regime which is desperately trying to turn the population against the rebels, because it is only logical to assume that the terrorists and thugs are popular in government strongholds like Damascus and areas in Aleppo. The regime is forced to adopt the false flag op as its main modus operandi, a la Mossad and the CIA, because the rebels have been so peaceful and popular among the Syrian people that atrocities must be created to tarnish their otherwise unsullied reputations. And if it was the rebels, then it was surely a “misfire” because all their terrorists attacks and executions which they proudly brandish before the cameras are mere accidents.

Of course this begs the question: if all casualties in Syrian government strongholds were killed by the regime itself, and all regime supporters were assassinated and massacred by the regime, and every atrocity against the regime’s supporters has been a false flag op, then who exactly have the rebels been fighting? It seems the Syrian government has been at war with itself this whole time.

Excerpts from the piece:
"Anti-regime activists accused the regime of launching the attack to tarnish the opposition’s image. Elizabeth O’Bagy, who studies the Syrian rebels at the Institute for the Study of War, said it was not possible to determine who was behind the attack, but it appeared to fit the regime’s pattern of escalation. In other aspects of the war, such as the use of airstrikes or Scud missiles, the regime has gone from trying to target rebels to more indiscriminate attacks on civilians, she said. "Because of the fact that it does follow regime behavior, it is more likely to be a regime attack," she said, while acknowledging it could also have been a rebel misfire."

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There are no words to describe the absurdity of Moaz al-Khatib seated at a panel entitled “Syrian Arab Republic”. There are no words to describe the irony of hearing the Qatari Emir decry the “oppression and repression of the people” in Syria. There are no words to describe the oxymoronic notion of a US-Saudi backed “revolution”. There are no words to describe the treason of Syrians and Arabs who shamelessly support a movement which is begging John Kerry to rain down NATO Patriot missiles on Syria. There are no words to describe the gruesome images of severed heads “rebels” proudly flaunt before the cameras. There are no words to describe the irrationality of the state-sponsored sectarian scourge that has plagued our region and which threatens to dismember Syria and its neighbours. All this as Syrian and Arab opposition supporters cheer on. There are no words left…

There are no words to describe the absurdity of Moaz al-Khatib seated at a panel entitled “Syrian Arab Republic”. There are no words to describe the irony of hearing the Qatari Emir decry the “oppression and repression of the people” in Syria. There are no words to describe the oxymoronic notion of a US-Saudi backed “revolution”. There are no words to describe the treason of Syrians and Arabs who shamelessly support a movement which is begging John Kerry to rain down NATO Patriot missiles on Syria. There are no words to describe the gruesome images of severed heads “rebels” proudly flaunt before the cameras. There are no words to describe the irrationality of the state-sponsored sectarian scourge that has plagued our region and which threatens to dismember Syria and its neighbours. All this as Syrian and Arab opposition supporters cheer on. There are no words left…

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"So the Arab League is transferring Syria’s seat to the opposition. Apparently, the most reactionary, repressive and corrupt regimes on earth, which rule over subjects rather than citizens, and which view their entire countries as personal family assets, have decided that the Syrian government does not meet their democratic criteria for League membership.
Still reeling from Bashar’s infamous “half men” accusation in 2006, Arab leaders have announced that when Assad joins them in becoming half man, half (insert your preferred animal here), who is ruled by his genitalia and drools in sufficiently profuse quantities after his American-Zionist owners, they will reconsider their decision. True story."

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Another pervasive tendency in mainstream media is to call Syrian opposition supporters “anti-regime activists”, while calling their counterparts “regime supporters”. This labelling misrepresents the much broader political ambitions of the “regime supporters” who may or may not support the government per se, but are united by a fear for their lives, the territorial integrity of their country, communal coexistence and the state’s secular character, among other concerns . By referring to them to as “regime supporters” they are stripped of agency and a political cause and reduced to sectarian Assad groupies. By this logic, the Syrian “anti-regime activists” should be called “Jabhit al-Nusra supporters”, since that is the side they have aligned with. Otherwise, those who support the Syrian Arab Republic should be called precisely that or at the very least be referred to as “anti-terrorist activists” or “anti-sectarianism activists”. And if the objection is that they are government sponsored or supported (which would be an overgeneralization) then I challenge them to show me one opposition activist NGO that is not funded by a foreign government. But balance, accuracy and fairness is as alien to western media as humanity is to the “opposition”.

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Both the designation of the US citizen, Ghassan Hitto as “interim Prime Minister” by the SNC,  and Aron Lund’s myth-shattering report The Free Syrian Army Doesn’t Exist, make it increasingly clear that the Syrian opposition (and by Syrian opposition I mean the FSA and the Syrian National Coalition) today is little more than a PR stunt engineered by the US  & allies and sustained by corporate media and a slick social media campaign.   As detailed by Lund’s study, the FSA is nothing but a branding operation which refers to the uprising in general, or more specifically, to the non-Islamist rebel groups. Elsewhere, Lund asserts that “virtually all of the major armed groups have by now declared that they want an Islamic state,” suggesting that most of the rebels belong to Salafi and Salafi jihadi groups. In other words, the notion of a secular armed opposition is a media creation.

Add to the myth of the FSA , Hitto’s appointment as PM of Nothing Really, and one begins to understand just how much more of a psycho-ops than a pysch- ops  campaign we are dealing with, which aims to remold reality in the crudest attempt at wish fulfillment and mass-delusion. Not even language has escaped the new psycho-ops, as concepts like legitimacy have now been re-conceptualized to mean whatever- the- US-recognizes, such as when it arbitrarily decides that the SNC is “the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people”. So over and above the concepts of “popular legitimacy” and “constitutional legitimacy”, we now have the oxymoronic notion of “external legitimacy” which can seemingly exist without either of the other two types.

Just to put things in perspective: The Syrian government is not up against some fantasy Syrian “opposition” but against foreign- backed Salafis, Jihadis and al-Qaeda inspired groups who are not merely Islamists but vehemently sectarian Islamists whose modus operandi includes terrorist bombings and executions.   And there is no actual Syrian executive other than President Bashar al-Assad. And no amount of psych-ops or psycho-ops will change either of these facts.

 

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Nothing is sillier than when Syrian opposition activists declare that intellectuals in our anti-imperialist camp have “lost credibility” or are “pseudo-intellectual” or “shabiha” or “Hizbullah groupie” or whatever other label that suggests we are not neutral, expecting us to be insulted. When will they ever learn that when we lose the approval of the oppressors of this world, which they call “credibility”, this is a badge of honour for us? When will they learn that if the only genuine intellectuals are those that belong to the establishment and/or are on the Saudi-Qatari payroll, then we are proud to be pseudo-intellectuals?   When will they learn that we do not make pretenses at neutrality like they do but loudly assert our bias towards real freedom, independence and dignity?

When our camp judges their intellectuals, we do not use the White Man’s benchmarks like credibility or neutrality. Arab anti-imperialists merely describe their kind as having been “exposed” [in Arabic, فضح] because in our minds, the only meaningful and morally just criterion is integrity. For when one positions oneself on the same side as America and Saudi Arabia and Israel, what else can this signal but the loss of integrity? 

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Aside from the shameless hypocrisy of the British and French decision to arm the foreign and local terrorists and executioners in Syria, aka, “Syrian rebels” or “resistance fighters” as they are now officially called, another stomach-churning aspect of this joint announcement is the language French and British leaders used to justify their intent to violate the EU arms ban. When asked yesterday if the UK would be willing to break the ban, David Cameron responded "We are still an independent country. We can have an independent foreign policy…” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius responded to the same question today by asserting that “France is a sovereign nation,” adding that both France and were prepared to “lift the embargo” even if there was no international support for the decision. 

So while the White Man’s sovereignty is not dependent on any international consent for its existence, anti-imperialist nations like Syria do not enjoy a similar right to issue such self-proclaimed professions of sovereignty like France can or chart an “independent foreign policy” like Britain’s.  The sovereignty of insubordinate nations like Syria is not merely dependent on the “international community’s” [shorthand for US and Europe] recognition but can be trampled on with impunity and justified in the most counter-intuitive and morally bankrupt terms. More than this, imperialist powers not only get to dictate and violate other nations’ sovereignty, but also to invoke the term as a legal and political defense when rationalizing their own disputed intent to destroy another nation’s right to remain sovereign.   

One need only look up the concept of sovereignty in the White Man’s very own introductory text-books to see how brazenly hypocritical the western approach to Syria’s sovereignty is. Quoting from Michael Roskin et al’s “Political Science: An Introduction”: “Sovereignty means “national control over the country’s territory, boss of one’s own turf. Nations are very jealous of their sovereignty and governments take great care to safeguard it. They maintain armies to deter foreign invasion, they control borders with passports and visas and they hunt down terrorists.”

Yet bizarrely,  when a state like Syria which still enjoys [international] legal sovereignty and has a seat at the UN,  tries to reassert “control of its territory” and “be the boss of its own turf” by “hunting down terrorists” and foreign fighters, it is not merely denied this right but threatened with invasion and punished with externally funded, armed and trained proxies. But what else can the Empire do when its ultimate aim is not  regime change  but to strip the Syrian state itself of sovereignty by plunging it further into an endless and bloody civil war that can only result in the destruction of Syria the state?

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No matter how much they try to distort reality by normalizing a new discourse where terrorists, mercenaries and criminals become “rebels” and/or “the resistance”, where servile traitors who beg the US for arms become “opposition activists”, where intellectuals on Qatar’s payroll become the “legitimate representatives” of the Syrian people, their media still refers to him as “Syria’s President Assad” because that’s who he is — Syria’s leader, and the “regime” he leads is in fact “Syria”. As the Economist’s style guide stipulates on the issue of titles: “The overriding principle is to treat people with respect. That usually means giving them the title they themselves adopt.” So the opposition and its hysterical supporters who are still in shock over the Sunday Times interview can go grind their teeth on that.

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Much has been written about what a misnomer it is to call the Syrian uprising-cum-proxy war a “revolution”. However, many [pseudo] leftists in the opposition camp insist that our labeling of their movement as counter-revolutionary is simply an emotionally-informed opinion and not a scientific analysis. I challenge any leftist supporter of the opposition to deconstruct the concept of revolution using a Marxist definition and a scientific socialist methodology as I did for my class today in this simplistic manner and see if they can reach any other conclusion:

-Revolutions entail change from one social system or economic mode of production to another, which is accompanied by political change. Revolutions cannot, by [Marxist] definition just be political, which is little more than regime change.  

-Capitalism is the dominant economic system in the world today; Imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism. The US is the leading capitalist, imperialist power in the world today.

-Any movement that resists or seeks to overthrow this global status quo is ipso fact revolutionary.

-Any movement that is not merely supported, but sponsored, financed and controlled by the hegemonic capitalist, imperialist power, ipso facto becomes a movement that serves the world order and hence the status quo.  

-When such capitalist-imperialist-sponsored movements actively seek to overthrow governments that defy the US, and have hence revolted against the world order, these movements effectively become counter-revolutionary and regressive forces which serve imperialism. And this is without factoring in even more reactionary Salafi-Takfiri and Wahhabi forces who are anathema to socialism.

Addendum to my class lecture: let’s add to that the Syrian National Coalition’s recent threats to boycott international meetings, in an attempt to blackmail the US and western powers into “taking action” on Syria— i.e. to increase the scope of western military intervention. The Syrian opposition emerges as a movement which is not merely counter-revolutionary as per the above definition, but an unabashed proxy force eager to be promoted to a satellite state which it aspires to build on the ruins of the Syrian state that it hopes its capitalist-imperialist masters will destroy on its behalf.

No leftist can support such a movement without defying the most basic Marxist premises and/or indulging in self-delusion.

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