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

Posts Tagged: colonized intellectuals

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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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An op-ed today in al-Akhbar referred to Israel as  “the enemy” in Arabic. Although use of this term to describe Israel was once very common in Arab popular parlance and in local media, its use in this context has significantly decreased since the Syrian uprising.  Once a term reserved almost exclusively to Israel, the concept of the enemy from without has been fast replaced by the enemy from within in both pro-government and opposition circles. While government supporters can hardly be faulted for depicting the Zionist-normalizing, NATO-loving FSA as an “enemy” force, especially given its proxy status and military links with Syria’s strategic enemies, as well as its intent to destroy Syria as a state, it is both morally inexcusable and intellectually indefensible for Syrians and Arabs who profess enmity towards Israel, to use this term to describe the Assad government or Hizbullah or Iran, all of whom have paid a high price for confronting the Israeli enemy both politically and militarily.

The danger of such labeling can hardly be overstated in this case; the link between power and language has been well documented by the likes of Michel Foucault and Edward Said. As these thinkers have noted, language creates not only knowledge, but reality itself. The resulting discourse, which becomes internalized by its subjects shapes their assumptions, values and cultural habits. In short, it changes and re-fashions their political identity and beliefs.

To be more accurate, this discursive onslaught began in 2005 when the Lebanese became divided over whether Syria or Israel was their real enemy, with some March 14 politicians referring to the Zionist entity as “our neighbor”. But irrespective of this semantic divide and March 14’s collaboration with Israel during the July war as Wikileaks documents later revealed, not once did Hizbullah refer to the opposing camp as “the enemy”,” and settled on terms like “ our opponents/rivals” and “the other camp”.  Compare  this to the Syrian opposition camp today, whose leading “intellectuals” and activists in the Arab world have no qualms about speaking of the “Shia enemy” or the “Iranian enemy”, or cheering on the FSA who issue empty threats to attack Hizbullah and assassinate Seyyid Hassan Nasrallah.

By redefining the concept of the “enemy”, both the Syrian uprising and to a lesser extent, its US- engineered counterpart in Lebanon, have succeeded in reversing decades of Arab political socialization, whereby those who prioritize resistance to Israel and the US are mocked and dismissed as old-school anti-imperialists, or more disparagingly by Third Wayers like Bassam Haddad, as “Fumigating Anti-Imperialists”.

  The Arab Spring may not be a revolution in the economic or political sense of the term, but it has achieved a semantic revolution which, if left unchecked by counter-hegemonic forces, will lead to the full intellectual and political colonization of the Arab mind and the Arab identity. 

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I was going to deconstruct this delusional rant , point by point but then realised that as Borzou’s post below indicates, it would be in vain as he is clearly impervious to logical reasoning or empirical evidence. How dare this native informant masquerading as a respectable journalist (who interviewed me numerous times in the past btw) lecture us on journalistic ethics? How dare he judge what constitutes extremism on behalf of Syrians who are being raped and executed solely on account of their sectarian affiliation? How dare this colonized House Iranian claim we “make cursory mention of the regime’s brutality”’ because we “won’t have any credibility if you don’t”? How dare he say this when he is the one absolving the barbaric groups that make up the FSA from their heinous war crimes. How dare he think we give a damn about appearing credible to the white man, as if corporate media represents the zero point of neutrality; as if Borzou and his ilk are the measure of objectivity and methodological rigor. We acknowledge the regime’s excesses because unlike MSM and its information warriors like Borzou, we can be objective even when we aren’t neutral, not because we seek recognition from the mainstream media spin machine. This post below is nothing but a cheap shot at colonizing reality, or reality enforcement administered by imperialist lackeys like Borzou who have lost all credibility as an independent journalist in the eyes that count: OUR eyes.

How to defend Bashar Assad in 10 easy steps

by Borzou Daragahi on Monday, December 31, 2012 at 6:34pm ·

This is my guide for Syria analysts and journalists who want to defend Bashar Assad while continuing to retain their credibility in the West. 

1. Keep mentioning Jubhat al Nasra and other Islamic jihadi groups without mentioning that the vast majority of armed groups are not nearly as extreme, are mostly locally based folks defending their towns and villages.

2. When referring to the armed opposition keep using the magic word: AL QAEDA

3. Make cursory mention of the regime’s brutality (you won’t have any credibility if you don’t) but avoid resurrecting the roots of the conflict in peaceful opposition to Bashar’s dictatorship. Avoid mention of wanton use of air power against civilians in bread lines and in their homes. 

4. Keep talking about NATO, the Gulf countries and Western support for opposition; that will boost Bashar’s anti-imperialist creds among the campus leftists. 

5. Focus on faults of incompetent and disorganized Syrian opposition abroad instead of networks of activists and homegrown civil society already establishing governance inside.

6. Frame Russia as an honest broker trying to peacefully resolve conflict instead of a shrewd chess player that doesn’t give a damn about Syrian civilians and murdered tens of thousands of Chechens in an attempt to put down a rebellion in the 1990s.

7. Keep warning about consequences of Syria state’s collapse: sectarian war, refugees in Europe, rise of an Islamist state.

8. Keep raising rare instances of rebel misconduct and faked videos and frame them as emblematic of the overall opposition.

9. Make the opposition look intransigent; they’re the ones who won’t agree to a peaceful settlement, not the president who did no reforms for 10 years and dispatched shabiha to murder peaceful protesters when they spoke out.

10. Pray to God (even if you are an athiest) that the rebels don’t get to Damascus, open up the files and find out what you did for the regime, the details of conversations on how you got your visas and your access to officials.

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And here’s the face of “moderate” Islam (and grandson of the founder of the Muslim brotherhood) whom the West loves to dialogue with and honor with awards , recognition and prestigious academic positions. Islamist scholar, Tariq Ramadan’s take on the Syrian “uprising” below. The part about the Syrian MB not being supportive of America is especially disingenuous: 
"In Syria, for eight months—and this is why I’m saying it’s not all under control—all the people who are saying, "Oh, it’s all done by the U.S., and it’s a conspiracy." I say, no, in Syria for eight months, President Barack Obama and the European administrations were hoping Bashar al-Assad was going to reform the regime from within, and it appeared that the people were more courageous. They didn’t want him to stay. So they were trying to find opposition and people with whom they can deal, because they had two problems. The driving force of the opposition in Syria was also the Muslim Brotherhood and leftists who were not very much supportive of the Americans. So they were trying to find who are the people with whom we can deal. And it took eight months. Now they want to change the government, but it’s as if they are facing Russia and China, and both are in agreement not to agree on what to do.”

It is no coincidence that Ramadan declared in 2008: "To call for a boycott does not mean to deny the existence of Israel. I do not deny Israel’s existence. I do oppose its policy of occupation and the inhuman and repressive campaigns undertaken by successive Israeli governments. I have always fought anti-Semitism and racism in all its forms, and will continue to do so." 
How else does a scholar get appointed as Chair of Islamic Studies at Oxford? 

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Below is a translation (I don’t know who did it but I found it on this website) of an interesting review of my previous article on Iran. It orginally appeared in a French news and analysis website called Dedefensa.org. Some of the biographical info is wrong though as I no longer teach at LAU and my father runs a center that specializes in public opinion polling.

Excerpts:

We found this reference to Bolton’s declaration in this article by Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, in Al-Akhbar English on the 3rd September 2012. Daughter of a Shiite Muslim father (director of a market research institute in Beirut) and a Christian mother, Amal Saad-Ghorayeb is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Lebanese American University, having received her Ph.D. from the University of Birmingham, England, and having been visiting scholar at the Carnegie Middle East Center (CMEC).One sees that Saad-Ghorayeb became a political commentator after an education which appears to be a fairly typical introduction into the political culture of the American and Western Bloc (AWB). (She was even invited to speak to speak at the NATO Defense College in 2009, which she declined as it would have meant talking to Israeli military officers, something which is not allowed under Lebanese law). Her analysis of Iran, of Iran’s position as revealed during the NAM Summit, of Iran’s policy in regard to the ‘nuclear affair’, and of its ‘fierce’ resistance, are therefore of considerable interest; they are of considerable interest in themselves, coming from such a personality with such a political background; they are even more so when they reveal that for Iran, according to Saad-Ghorayeb’s interpretation, it is a question of affirming its identity, as a principle of vital necessity, with all that implies from a point of view of sovereignty and legitimacy (two things which Bolton deplores).

At the same time, one discovers in her commentary, from which we include a long extract below, the extent to which Saad-Ghorayeb clearly understands the fundamentally destructive and erosive character of American policy. This includes Obama of course, who like Bush before him, is its perfect servant. It is a long extract, but well worth reading:

It is interesting to note that in this long analysis, there is virtually no mention of religion, or democracy, or human rights etc., or any of those concepts which have been so over-used in the destabilizing language used by the AWB Bloc commentators, diplomats and other System-employees of the elites and political leaders, that they have completely lost all their meaning. It is interesting to note the presence in this long analysis of constructive principles like identity, sovereignty, legitimacy and independence, which are points of references used to explain the Iranian policy in the face of constant pressures and threats from the System, and the obvious affirmation that Iran must not, and cannot, give in on any of them if it wants to carry on existing.

 Obviously, it is all of this, and not just Iran’s status in itself, that the NAM Summit has legitimized through its success and its stature. The event has demonstrated that what is really at stake has nothing to do with the usual destabilizing ideals, mentioned earlier, which the System’s communication uses to interpret events with, but rather with this fundamental domain of principles which are the only values sufficiently intact today to enough to really manifest their existence, or more generally, any kind of existence whatsoever in the face of the System’s flowing tide ofdestabilization. Thus, the Iranian crisis needs more than ever to be integrated into our concept of the “Great Crisis” and we must refrain from yielding to the destabilizing interpretations which the usual commentators reduce it to. This ‘linguistic guerilla war’ (on the questions of religion, democracy, human rights, etc.) which might seem part of the battle, is in reality - if it is not constantly reworked within the dominant framework - a capitulation of the mind, bowing down before the System’s dynamic of self-destruction (a self-destruction which also absorbs the other party, from the moment that that other party consents to converse in the same language) - a capitulation and an erosion of thought.

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No wonder the Carnegie Endowment couldn’t stomach me. The article below  ”Mr. Sadjadpour - why don’t you do chemotherapy on yourself?” is written by a supporter of the “Green Movement” no less, attacking Carnegie’s Iran analyst Karim Sadjadpour for promoting sanctions against Iran which are killing sick people like the author’s dying father who has been deprived of chemotherapy due to the sanctions. With policy wonks like Sadjadpour and the ICG’s Peter Harling who has called for arming the Syrian rebels, who needs Obama or Netanyahu ? Ex

cerpts :
"But perhaps most of all, I blame the Iranians outside Iran who have been cheerleaders of the sanctions campaign that has hurt the people so enormously. Because they deliberately made us in Iran guineapigs in their selfish experiments.
One such person is Karim Sadjadpour at Carnegie Endowment. Even though he is just a junior analyst, his steadfast advocacy for sanctions has enraged me precisely because he is so crude about using the Iranian people as cannon fodder.
One numerous occasions, he has pleaded for sanctions and argued that sanctions are like chemotherapy. They will cause a lot of pain, but they are necessary. People will simply have to accept this hardship and it will even help the Green movement, he argues.
Today, as even the western media reports that simple medicine cannot be found at Iran’s hospitals and young children are dying as a result, I would like to ask Sadjadpour and all the Iranian sanctions advocates in Washington: How’s this working for you? Are you happy with the results? Will you, like Madeleine Albright did in Iraq, say that even the death of 500,000 Iranian children is worth the price?
Did they think we would rise up against the regime and literally become cannon fodder once sanctions had deprived us of both food and medicine?
Well, so sorry to dissapoint you Mr. Sadjadpour. Not being able to eat chicken have not made me and my family revolutionaries. It’s only made us weaker and more hungry….. Not being able to provide my ailing father with medicine has not turned me to the streets throwing stones at the Basij.
I’m so sorry Mr. Sadjadpour, I know that I’m not the type of cannon fodder you had hoped for. The ones that happily would take a bullet in their heads for you so that you and your family could book a first class ticket and visit Iran without having to put on a ro-sarie.” 
Full article here







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Ah Angry Arab. For every good piece he writes (his last one about mainstream media for example), he must counterbalance with a really offensive one just to prove he is “balanced”. I really don’t understand how a tenured professor who teaches at a prestigious American university doesn’t understand why Ben Ali and Mubarak were more “humble” in their last days while Gadaffi and Bashar were “oddly defiant” and “arrogant” . Erm, I don’t know Angry person, could it be that the latt

er enjoyed popular support and hence didn’t need to grovel? Could it be Ben Ali and Mubarak weren’t threatened with a NATO invasion which is what accounts for the defiant attitude of Gadaffi and Bashar? And what’s with Angry’s resorting to mainstream media’s propaganda techniques like psycho-pathologizing Arab leaders, which plays into the Orientalist discourse on the White Man’s presumed rationality? It was Angry Arab who popularized the concept of the “White Man” in the English-speaking Arab vernacular. Angry Arab was much better than this. Much, much better. Shame really. 
Excerpts: 
"But he comes across as supercilious and arrogant: he speaks with the over-confidence of someone who thinks he is the smartest person in the room, or in the hall, or in the city, or maybe on the planet. If you evaluate Bashar’s performance, you can’t escape the conclusion that he was less humbled by the uprising than other Arab leaders were. Ben Ali was quite humbled and he started to beg the people to keep him in power. Gaddafi can’t be judged as a rational person and his behavior under pressure was oddly defiant and provocative. Mubarak stayed arrogant but addressed the people – perhaps under pressure from the generals. Bashar only addressed the people a few times."

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Les Politiques: 'Divisions Among The Arab Left regarding The Syria Crisis'

Comrade Sophia who blogs at Les Politiques has kindly translated this article from Le Monde Diplomatique which talks about the  divided state of the Arab left over Syria. I am also quoted in the article.  Sophia’s full article is reproduced below. 

'Divisions Among The Arab Left regarding The Syria Crisis'

This is a rough translation of an article appearing in Le Monde Diplomatique, August French edition, accessible only to subscribers. Original title: ‘La crise syrienne déchire la gauche arabe’
In August 2011, the Lebanese nationalist leftist daily newspaper Al-Akhbar undergoes its first crisis, since its creation in the summer 2006.   Assistant editor, Khaled Saghieh, resigns from the journal he contributed to create citing  the lack of support from the journal to the Syrian popular uprising of March 2011.  Al-Akhbar has never kept secret its political proximity with Hezbollah, one of Syria’s president Bashar el-Assad principal regional allies, nor hidden its preference for dialogue between the government and part of the opposition over the pure and simple fall of the regime.  However, at the same time, the daily has opened its pages for the Syrian opposition to express itself.  Among those published was Salameh Khaileh, a Syro-Palestinian Marxist intellectual, arrested at the end of April 2012 by the security services.
Last June, the dissent appeared in Al-Akhbar English online version with an article by Amal Saad Ghorayeb: ‘Syria Crisis, there is a crowd’.  In it, the Lebanese chronicler adopts a clear line of support for the Syrian regime and critcises ‘third wayers’ who denounce the authoritarian Syrian regime while warning against western foreign military intervention, Libya style.  The same month, another Al-Akhbar collaborator, Max Blumenthal,  resigns denouncing what he calls ‘Assad apologists’ inside the journal editorial team.
What happened at Al-Akhbar is symptomatic of wider strategic and ideological divisions among the Arab Left regarding the Syria crisis.  Some show support for the regime in the name of the struggle against Israel and the ‘resistance against imperialisme’.  Others support the uprising in the name of a ‘revolutionary logic’ and the defence of ‘democratic rights’.  Finally, some express a middle position between a distant solidarity with the uprising demanding freedom for the protests while rejecting ‘foreign intervention’ promoting ‘national reconciliation’.   Diverse sensibilities exist within the Arab Left : there are communists, Marxists, Leftists Nationalists, Radicals, and Moderates.  The Arab Left appears, with the Syria crisis, as a fragmented mosaic.
Anti-imperialism as the analysis grid for the Arab Left
On one side, the unconditional support for Al-Assad is not mainstream among the Arab Left and very few are the voices calling to maintain the regime as it is.   But, on the other side, the unconditional support for the popular uprising is not a dominant position.  It can be found among movements that are at the extreme Left of the political Spectrum ; Trostkyistes, the Lebanese Socialist Forum, the Revolutionary Socialists in Egypt, Maoists, and the Democratic Voice of Morocco.   These latter movements have built relationships with a fraction of the opposition to the regime, namely the Syrian Revolutionary Left of Mr. Gayath Naisse.  They have participated, since the Spring of 2011, in discrete mobilisations like protests in front of  Syrian embassies and consulates in their respective countries.
Some intellectuals from the independant Left, like the Lebanese historian Fawwaz Trabulsi, support the logic of uprisings.  They demand the fall of the regime.  This current excludes any dialogue.  And even if this part of the Left insist on the necessity of pacifist popular protests, they do not deny to protesters the right to take up arms.  At the extreme Left, the partisans of the revolution diverge from the Syrian National Council on the alliance with Qatar, Turkey, or Saudi Arabia.  They denounce such alliances as compromising the independance of the popular revolution in Syria.
Denouncing the regime and calling for its fall does not prevent the radical Left from being suspicious of the support given to the Syrian revolution by Gulf monarchies neither from dissociating itself from the anti-Assad discourse of a part of the ‘international community’ headed by the United States.  However, their anti-imperialist reflex comes after their support for the revolution.  The priority is given here to the internal situation in Syria : the logic of the uprising of the people against their political regime is what counts first, as in Tunisia and Egypt.
[What has been described so far is the position of a minority situated at the extreme Spectrum of the Arab Left.]
On the contrary, a cautious distance toward the Syrian revolution is what characterises the majority of the Left in the Arab World.  This majority denounces the militaristaion of the uprising, a process it thinks is profiting the radical Islamists and foreign fighters entering Syria.  It fears the confessionalisation of the conflict leading to opposing religious minorities, Alawis and Christians to Sunnis radicalised by repression, seeing in this the spectre of an unending civil war.  This majority also takes into account the balance of regional and international powers : Iran and Syria against Gulf monarchies, Russia and China against the United States.  In this confrontation between multiple international state actors, the majority of the Arab Left does not hesitate to take sides where its affinities are rooted, with Iran and Syria as state actors against Gulf monrachies and with Russia and China against the United States.
Thus, when the union of Socialist and Leftist parties in Jordan, a coalition of six political formations including communists and Arab nationalists, met in Amman in April 2012 to commemorate the 9th anniversary of the 2003 invasion of  Iraq, the Syria crisis, more than the fall of Saddam, was front and center in the discussions, leading to firmly denounce any foreign intervention in Syria, where some of the speakers did not hesitate to draw the parallell  between the military intervention in Iraq and the support the SNC and the Syrian armed opposition enjoy in the West.
In Tunisia, in a communiqué dated May, 17, 2012,  the UGTT, Union Générale Tunisienne du Travail, which is the main unionised force in Tunisia whose executives come partly from the extreme Left, while affirming its support for the legitimate democratic aspirations of the Syrian people, warns against the ‘plot’ fomented by the ‘colonial states’ and ‘Arab Reactionaries’.  Two months before this, the Communist Labour Party of Tunisia (POCT, acronym in French) called, along with Arab Nationalist Movements, to protest the venue, in Tunis, of the conference of the Friends of Syria formed of the SNC and 60 international delegations.
The Lebanese Communist Party has adopted a cautious position.  While opening its Press to opponents of the Syrian regime like Michel Kilo (who is not member of the SNC), it abstained from participating in the daily protests that have been taking place for a year now in front of the Syrian embassy in Beirut.  The party is under criticism from the extreme left in Lebanon for its support for Qadri Jamil, head of the Popular Will Party in Syria, and member of the ‘legal’ opposition, who joined the newly formed Syrian government of Mr. Riyad Hijjab in June 2012 as vice PM for economic affairs.
It is mainly a reformist logic that has the favours of a part of the Arab Left : the solution to the Syrian conflict must be political, not military.  The final communiqué of the Arab Nationalist Conference meeting in June, in Hammamet, Tunisia, the gathering of 200 members of Arab Nationalist Leftist  - and to a lesser extent - Islamist formations, reflects this reformist logic.  Their communiqué, trying to please everybody,  recognises the right of the Syrian people to ‘freedom, democracy, and pacific alternance of power’, denounces violence from all origins, thus highlighting the violence of both the uprising and the regime and calling on both to commit to a logic of dialogue based on the peace plan of March 2012 of UN special envoy, Mr. Kofi Annan.
If, for a part of the Arab Radical left, the revolutionary perspective must come first in Syria,  the majority of the Arab Left has renounced this perspective.  This majority does not want the brutal fall of the regime.  For this majority, there is a contradiction in what’s going on in Syria : a cold war that doesn’t say its name.  The fear of the void in a post-Assad Syria reconciled with the US and allied to gulf monarchies is much stronger than the fear of the continuation of the regime.
Moreover, Syria is some sort of Janus to many Leftist militants in the Arab world.  Very few among them deny the repressive and authoritarian character of its regime, but even today,  the defensive discourse of a regime under international sanctions, echoes the profound ideological bedrock of the Arab left which can be found in the third worldist and anti-imperialist paradigm. To some, this ideological paradigm is nuanced by the attachment to the popular character of the revolt, to others, this ideological attachment is, to the contrary, multiplied and amplified by the increasing internationalisation of the conflict.
Not to forget the Islamist dynamic born from the Arab Spring which translates by seizing power, in Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt, by the Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood.  These events have provoked a backlash among part of the Left: from now on, Arab revolutions are feared because they may lead to an Islamist hegemony in the Arab world.
What stokes these fears among the Arab Left is the support of Islamist movements to the revolution in Syria: Ennahda in Tunisia, as well as the Msulim Brotherhood in Egypt and Jordan, are fervent supporters of the Syrian revolution.  Thus, the position of a majority of the Arab Left  toward the Syrian revolution reflects the history of their own confrontation with political Islam.  This is why, Arab Leftist parties with commitments to ‘revolution’ and ‘progressism’, and for some, to ‘Marxism’, have, paradoxically, set their preference for a negotiated and gradual transition in Syria, out of fear of the disillusion these revolutions will bring.

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 And just when you thought Angry Arab’s analysis on Syria couldn’t get any sillier, he surprises you with more simplistic and infantile analysis here. He argues:

-"Hezbollah has decided that his enemies (US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel) have basically took over the cause of ridding Syrians of the Assad regime from the Syrian armed and unarmed opposition."

Really? Hizbullah “has decided”? Because the Israeli-GCC-NATO role in steering the proxy militias otherwise known as the “armed Syrian opposition” is a figment of their imagination. Right. I urge him to read, not alternative media, but mainstream media for a reality check.

-"The alliance with the regime and the extraction of political and military benefits exceeded other humanitarian considerations."

Other “humanitarian” considerations? What is more humanitarian than protecting Syria and the region as a whole from the colonizers’ grip? What is more humanitarian than rejecting the sectarian bloodshed that the agents of destruction have sown? What is more humanitarian than defending Lebanon and Palestine from the cancer in our midst, Israel? What is more humanitarian than pursuing the liberation of Palestine?

-"If Hezbollah feels it can only choose the side that is opposed to Israel, it should know that it has alienated a large section of the Syrian people."

So according to his cost-benefit calculus, Hizbullah should sacrifice Syria’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity not to mention Lebanon’s security and the future of Palestine because this alienates the not insignificant minority of misled Syrians who have been fed a steady diet of Qatari-Saudi-American misinformation and who happen to believe they are better served by the their colonial masters than by the resistance axis?

-“While Hezbollah is right, from its standpoint, to be most focused on its supply line from Syria and on the military support it has received from the regime. It has to know that support from the people of Syria lasts far longer than support from a regime that sooner or later will go down.”

So the other Syrian people , who otherwise constitute the majority if we must talk numbers, don’t figure into Angry’s pseudo-moral arithmetic. And maintaining the support of a segment of one country’s population is more strategically beneficial to a resistance movement than supporting a government whose fall who would spell the end of Palestine and Hizbullah as a resistance movement. But have no fear Hizbullah, the Syrian oppositionists allied with Israel will secure the weapons’ flow for your resistance and ensure Gaza is well armed for the next Israeli invasion. How do we know this? Because Angry Arab says so. From California no less.

-"But Hezbollah has yet again displayed disregard for the suffering of the Syrian people. How could Nasrallah express sympathy for the dead henchmen of the regime – even if they rendered services to Hezbollah in its fight against Israel – and not express sympathy for the any of the civilian victims of the regime? Hezbollah, like all allies of the Syrian regime in Lebanon from the Phalanges in 1976 to Jumblatt and Hariri and many others, never really expressed concerns for the welfare of the Syrian people."

So basically, Hizbullah’s fear of sectarian warfare , it’s fear of NATO and Israeli military intervention, and all the other plans being hatched by Empire are not an expression of sympathy for the Syrian people. Because people don’t die of imperialism, only of “authoritarianism”. And as for comparing this paragon of justice and self-sacrifice, a man who sacrificed his own son, Hadi,  for the  cause of Palestine, with the despicable collaborators and slaves of Israel and the US like Jumblatt and Hariri, what can one respond within the bounds of “civilized” discourse beyond shame ? Shame, shame, shame on your petty, colonized, self-serving little mind. Spare us your public mea culpa’s “I was wrong” (see his recent post here) when you clearly never learn from your mistakes. You were wrong then and you are wrong now. 

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Fourth of July Lies ~ June Terpstra in truthaholics


An illuminating article on the new and far more insidious cognitive imperialism by resisting scholar, June Terpstra:

The main focus of new resistance movements must be that of human cognition. The people of the USA, Europe and Israel do not see themselves as the oppressors, the occupiers, the killers and the torturers. They have convinced themselves of their superiority in all things. The moral education system they have deconstructed forms a cognitive structure which views greed and aggression for “democracy” as the norm. My assertions here will make most Americans, Europeans, and Israeli’s uncomfortable, because most do not “feel” like the “bad guys” in fact, they think they are the “good guys”. Whereas in the past cultural imperialism and white supremacy was asserted through blatantly racist acts and colonial political policies using liberal Enlightenment ideas about the “equality of man” there is now a weeding out of notions of national superiority based on so called democratic economic standards that are even more complex and more firmly entrenched than old style European imperialism. The moral import of this dominant cultural notion of the human person is clear. Children in the USA, Europe and Israel across race, gender and class learn concepts about love, equality, and the Golden Rule while simultaneously being trained in the importance of killing and torturing so called terrorists and “liberating” countries lead by so called dictators in the name of “national security”. Equality now is reserved for those members of the USA, Israel and Europe who obey their masters and those who question this set of lies experience isolation and accusations of being unpatriotic and “domestic terrorists”.


Full article here

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One of imperialism’s most widely used tactics today is to ridicule, infantilize, and dismiss charges of imperialism as being so reductionist, oversimplistic, doctrinaire, passé, or conspiratorial, that we shy away from using such terms in our political discourse. For what could be more intellectually imperializing than to relegate what are esssentially social scientific concepts like colonialism, imperialism and class struggle to the realm of ideology, values and norms? By de-scientizing concepts that are no less measurable than “democracy”, “human rights” and “economic development”, Empire de-normalizes this discourse and disarms us of our intellectual armour. And that is how minds are colonized and information wars won.

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So let me get this straight: Hizbullah is clearly delusional when it argues that the Assad regime is “indispensable” for the Palestinian cause and for resistance generally. More than this, Hizbullah deemed it a worthwhile sacrifice to lose popular support in the Arab world for its defense of this regime, not because it is actually helping it resist Israel but because the movement is simply irrational and likes to support regimes which undermine and weaken resistance. Indeed, the pro-Palestine Third Wayers writing from the US and elsewhere know what’s in the resistance’s interests more than the vanguard resistance movement in the region. And guess what? They are going to liberate Palestine for us. Cool.

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Editor’s Note: Al-Akhbar would like to thank Max Blumenthal for his contributions to Al-Akhbar English. His point of view on many topics of contention, in the US and the region, enriched an ongoing debate that needs the energy and creativity of people like Max in order to find solutions that bring diverging points of view closer together to pave the way out of what may seem like an inescapable rut.

Al-Akhbar will continue to be the “one of the most courageous publications” in the changing Arab world. It will not shy away from controversy or from admitting mistakes of which there were some. It is in this spirit that Al-Akhbar will remain an open and free forum for anyone willing to challenge the dominance of mainstream media and introduce much needed new ideas into public discourse in the Arab world and beyond.

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Am not going to bother dissect Max Blumenthal’s silly rant. I didn’t even read it all. But let me just say this: The gloves are off.  Blumenthal and his supporters can be reductive and call me a “dictator enabler”, but at least I am not a Zionst-imperialist enabler. And yes all of you who support Max’s incoherent nonsense are exactly that: enablers of American-Zionist oppression. No more euphemisms for any of you. I was too kind in my previous piece to that segment of you who are of Max’s ilk (yes there are sub-groups among Third Wayers) . And don’t you dare belittle my commitment to Palestine by claiming I put Syria first. Any idiot who read my piece in its entirety would have understood I was defending this regime’s struggle against the enemies of humanity because Palestine is my Qiblah, a cause I am ready to die for. And indeed I was attacked by many Zionists because of my “outdated” views on resistance, because they go against the tide of Arab Spring chic. It is for me to measure YOUR commitment to Palestine and as far as I can see, you are only committed to your own personal interests. And how dare you mock Hizbullah and ridicule its motives for supporting Assad. The last time I checked it was their mujahideen getting martyred while you sat in your cushy offices in the West. And no, your anti-Zionist articles count for little when you take this Zionist/imperialist enabling stand that does nothing but harm Palestine. Now go rant, play and do whatever else gives you the illusion of having “contributed” to Palestine, and leave us grown ups to defend the cause.

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Here’s what Pulse Media has to say. “Islamophobia”. Very silly really.

Blumenthal vs al-Akhbar’s Pro-Asad Propaganda

June 20, 2012 

The great anti-Zionist Max Blumenthal explains why he has resigned from al-Akhbar, previously a Lebanese leftist newspaper, now a propaganda rag for the sectarian gangster regime in Syria. He examines the disgusting rubbish al-Akhbar has recently published by Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, Shermine Narwani and Ibrahim Amin. The whitewashing, misrepresentation, plain hallucination and outright Islamophobia resorted to by these writers would be comical if the Syrian people were not being slaughtered and if so many idiot ‘leftists’ in the West were not being influenced by them. — R.Y-K.

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And here is NOW Lebanon’s glee: 

http://www.nowlebanon.com/BlogDetails.aspx?TID=2466&FID=6

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The Guardian also copied the story here. 

9.59am: Syria: American journalist Max Blumenthal has announced thathe will no longer by writing for al-Akhbar, the Lebanese newspaper and website, because of its pro-Assad coverage of Syria.

Explaining his decision in a blog post, Blumenthal says he started writing for al-Akhbar because at the time he considered it “one of the most courageous publications in the Arab world”. But now, he says, “the paper’s opinion pages have become a playpen for dictator enablers”. He writes:

I recently learned of a major exodus of key staffers at al-Akhbar caused at least in part by disagreements with the newspaper leadership’s pro-Assad tendency.

The revelation helps explain why al-Akhbar English now prominently features the malevolent propaganda of Amal Saad Ghorayeb and the dillentantish quasi-analysis of Sharmine Narwani alongside editor-in-chief Ibrahim al-Amin’s friendly advice for Bashar Assad, whom he attempts to depict as an earnest reformer overwhelmed by events …

I was forced to conclude that unless I was prepared to spend endless stores of energy jousting with Assad apologists, I was merely providing them cover by keeping my name and reputation associated with al-Akhbar.

More importantly, I decided that if I kept quiet any longer, I would be betraying my principles and those of the people who have encouraged and inspired me over the years. There is simply no excuse for me to remain involved for another day with such a morally compromised outlet.


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