Disgraced Academic Prof Tim Anderson, Assad, Kim Jong-Un and the Australian Far-Right.

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Disgraced Academic Prof Tim Anderson, Assad, Kim Jong-Un and the Australian Far-Right.

[Posted By Lara Keller 19/3/19 Updated 20/3/19]    anchorTableSmall - Copy Blog Table Of Contents

Disgraced racist Australian pro-Assad propagandist-academic Prof Tim Anderson tweets that Murdoch’s Media is responsible for the Christchurch Massacre of Muslims, by his fellow countryman, the deranged far-right extremist Brenton Tarrant, whose manifesto is obsessed with an ill informed and paranoid fear of the replacement of White Europeans by Muslim immigrants. Tarrant repeatedly refers to Muslims as violent threatening “invaders”.

This atmosphere of fear has been encouraged by people like Tim Anderson who are part of the non-Western imperialist media, promoting the foreign policies of the authoritarian Russia-Chinese regimes. His propaganda has portrayed the Arab Spring struggles against brutal kleptomaniac dictatorships in Syria and elsewhere, as the illegitimate wars of Islamist Extremists against benign “independent” states.

This is why far-right groups want to hear propagandists like Tim Anderson. His propaganda presents the Assad Regime as a benign regime of semi-westernized “White Arabs” that keep Sunni Muslims under control for their own good. Protecting them from hordes of foreign radicalized Sunni Muslim extremists easily recruited and armed by  the Saudi Monarchy intent on grabbing power through terror.  This is an outrageous racist distortion. It ignores the nature of the web of dictatorships in the Middle East, where the Assad regime has the worst reputation in a field of terrible regimes (being Sunni, Shia or secular makes no difference). This disgusting, insulting rubbish is promoted by a minority of academics, like Anderson who abuse the reputations of the universities that employ them. See Tim Anderson’s Dirty War on Syria for a destruction on his propaganda smearing the Syrian Revolution and exonerating Bashar Assad.

He has promoted his book of apologia for Assad =directly= to far-right and far-left groups. Here he is addressing far-right fruitcakes in 2016 https://youtu.be/hcZkFCquDVo (the full version of his pro-Assad rhetoric is available at https://youtu.be/QAxT4-0OugY (start 50 mins) and second part https://youtu.be/8Dn0o0sZcgk).

He also appeared with well known fascists outside the Russian Consulate when diplomat Andrey Karlov was murdered in Ankara in 2016. In August 2017 he was in North Korea with his fellow dictator apologist “independent journalist(?)” Eva Bartlett. Anderson praised Kim Jong-Un’s resistance to US aggression, while Barlett praised the egalitarian welfare the state provided for North Koreans.

In this propaganda world their are no brutal kleptomaniac dictatorships apart from those linked to the West, where all evil emanates from. Evidence is misused, abused and selected to give an impression that this is true. All these distortions are backed up by “whatabout” the Western elite’s crimes. We know about these, we care, we oppose, and it is ridiculous to imply this lessens the crimes of the other non-Western elites. What all this “whataboutism” means in conclusion, is bugger to all the elites Western or not-Western. Still people in the West are expected to respect people like Anderson’s radical progressive integrity. Call people like Anderson and his followers for what they really are, apologists for dictators who rule to extort by the use of terror. They can no longer hide under the cover of freedom of speech, anti-war, solidarity or egalitarianism. They promote crimes against humanity, and abuse freedom of speech to undermine society. Indeed they use freedom of speech to promote torture.


Poppy Day clergyman Rev Andrew Ashdown is ‘apologist for Assad’.

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Poppy Day clergyman Rev Andrew Ashdown is ‘apologist for Assad’.

[Posted By Lara Keller 3/3/19 Updated 20/3/19]  anchorTableSmall - Copy Blog Table Of Contents

[Source= https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/poppy-day-clergyman-rev-andrew-ashdown-is-apologist-for-assad-qm5h89lfs ]

Author= Dominic Kennedy, Investigations Editor, November 8th, 2018.

[Start Article]

Villagers have objected to a clergyman who condemned Britain’s bombing of Syria being chosen to lead their Armistice centenary service.

The Rev Andrew Ashdown, regarded by the Foreign Office as “a very public Assad apologist”, will conduct an act of remembrance at the war memorial in a village where his wife is the vicar. Parish councillors are reviewing whether they will lay their wreath during his service.

The stone cross commemorates six men from Chilworth, outside Southampton, who died in the Great War and seven in the Second World War.

The village was built around a manor house owned by the Willis Fleming family, whose son Richard died the day after his 20th birthday on August 4, 1916, when fighting in Egypt.

Anne Burrows, a member of the church council, said that the selection of Mr Ashdown was “disrespectful and insulting to those who have given their lives for this country”.

Mr Ashdown is a pivotal figure in a group of senior Church of England clergy and members of the House of Lords who regularly make pastoral and fact-finding visits to Syria, meeting Assad and his important ministers.

The Times has disclosed that the Foreign Office believes Mr Ashdown “and his cabal offer the regime plenty of unwelcome opportunity to criticise UK policy and present the Church of England and Lords as onside”. Lambeth Palace has distanced itself, saying the visits were private.

Mr Ashdown was in Syria in April when the RAF attacked Assad’s chemical weapons facilities in response to the gassing of Syrian civilians.

He changed his Facebook profile page to “Don’t Bomb Syria”, and sided with a statement by Syrian Christian leaders accusing Britain of unjustified and “brutal” aggression. He argued that Britain’s previous interventions in the region had created catastrophes.

Mr Ashdown’s wife, the Rev Victoria Ashdown, is vicar of Ampfield, Chilworth and North Baddesley. She wrote in an email this week: “Any political views any clergy hold have no bearing whatsoever on their ability to lead a public service . . . The parish council have been advised this by the diocese and those that do not wish to attend obviously have the free will not to.”

A spokesman for the group of parishes said there were three local war memorials and they needed all working clergy and lay ministers to ensure services at each at 11am.

John Woodcock, the independent MP and secretary to the parliamentary group Friends of Syria, said that it turned his stomach to have the commemorations led by a man he regarded as “a propagandist for a brutal Syrian regime that revels in mass murder”.

dkennedy@thetimes.co.uk

[There were 27 comments, have ignored several that are not useful in understanding reaction to Assad Apologist Revd(?) Andrew Ashdown. The numbers in brackets are recommendations from other people on the site.]

Ed: Utter nonsense. He is not defending Assad, he is defending all those who would be massacred or driven away if Assad’s local enemies take over and establish Islamist regime. (3)

Dave Draycott [Reply to Ed]: If you only criticise one side and ignore the crimes of the other you’re giving support to the latter. People will get killed if Assad loses. I’ve got news people will be killed if Assad wins. Again Assad has killed between over 360,000 and half a million. And he may move to extinguish the one flickering light of hope the Kurds with the help of Turkey. Here’s the thing you can refuse to wage war and still end up with blood on your hands. (1)

Dave Draycott: I certainly see where the writer of the article is coming from. Over 360,000 and under some estimates over half a million people have died in the Syrian Civil War. The vast majority of these have died in Assad’s torture chambers or under a hail of barrel bombs some containing chemical weapons. The Assad dictatorship and its Russian allies has targeted hospitals, schools and market places to maximise the terror of these attacks and all this began when Syrian civilians began to peacefully demonstrate for their liberty during the Arab Spring. The dictatorship responded with lethal force and as they say the rest is history.
….
The West under the shadow of Iraq responded minimally. As a result Assad became emboldened and focused his fire and started using chemical weapons, Obama had announced his red lines but bottled it. Most of the moderate opposition were wiped out or fled. Assad used more chemical weapons. Finally the West decides to bomb the Islamist fascists of ISIS and Trump bombs a chemical weapons base. At this point the good clergyman and others unmoved by the earlier slaughter find themselves gripped by righteous indignation.
….
What is that acrid smell? Chemical weapons? Naaah, can’t be we’re too far away from Syria. It’s the stench of hypocrisy.
….
And this guy and some of his pals didn’t restrict themselves to objecting in this country. No they have made uncritical jaunts to a regime that has killed hundreds of thousands to condemn the West whilst being uncritical of a mass murderer. In the 20’s and 30’s there were similar visits to the USSR by the ‘well meaning’. Lenin called them useful idiots. I think the people who live in the village have every right to object. (2)

This space is reserved: NO one who supports Assad can possibly be considered a Christian. They should have flown a long time ago. (3)

Spencer G Spencer: [Faux Radical Social Media Cod History ……] (2)

Benjamin Waterhouse: So a Christian clergyman stands up for the only Arab government that protects Christians, so what’s the story again? (10)

Chris Marrington [Reply to BW]: The story is the local congregation don’t want him to lead the service. Our opinions don’t really matter. Whether we agree with them or not, they have every right to choose someone they respect. Religion and politics are always a toxic mix and nobody should be surprised that a political propagandist who wears a dog collar isn’t going to fly well in the shires. (-)

Jan D [Reply to BW]: Before posting comment it’s best to be informed of the subject. Admittedly, it’s complex with the political and religious maps and the demographics a rich tapestry, but some basic facts would suffice for anyone wishing to contribute to the debate. (1)

Gill Winn: What is the matter with the Times? I had thought it a respected newspaper. To go for a personal vendetta on people who are trying their best to help people see part of the complexity of the situation in Syria? Most of the family I have know who fought in both the 1st and 2nd World War have been furious the way leaders try to make ‘heroes’ of people they have put into the situation – often without proper equipment. War rarely solves anything – just increases bitterness. And for this writer to be so vicious against people who are trying to show us how human beings are suffering is dreadful. It seems to me it is a pity we cannot put our leaders into a boxing ring to fight each other. I have a feeling if we did – we would find negotiations happening a lot sooner. (6)

Pavlov’s Dog: Good for him [Asdown], I say. The west’s record of meddling in Middle Eastern matters is on a spectrum from folly, through disaster to human catastrophe. (11)

Jan D [Reply to PV]: The West’s various forays in the region aren’t directly comparable – whether Libya, Kuwait, Afghanistan or Syria. However, we’re damned if we do or don’t and on that point Blair was correct.
….
Had we not ‘meddled’ in Syria then consider the risk to future geostrategic interests were Iran to be the region’s prevailing power. With the revolutionary zeal of extremist political Shia, Tehran already owns Beirut, Baghdad and Damascus – Yemen, not yet in the battle for the Arabian peninsula. (1)

Pavlov’s Dog [Reply to JD]: If we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t, then surely we don’t.
….
That way, we may be damned, but we retain moral authority, we don’t spend billions of pounds we don’t have, we don’t lose hundreds or thousands of service personnel, and we don’t invite Islamist terrorism into our country – and if it arrives anyway, we have the aforementioned moral authority to crush it without mercy. (-)

Jan D [Reply to PV]: ‘Moral authority’ – ha ha, you jest? That apart, maybe you didn’t give much thought to my note on Iran/the future. The statistical chance of any significant terrorism in [Britain] doesn’t begin to compare with Iran’s extremist political Shia rulers and the policies of a new ‘caliphate’ that they could foist on the Middle East and the world.
….
For volatile state rulers and their whims of truculence, take your pick and look at – Tehran, Trump’s DC, Moscow, Damascus or Pyeongyang. (1)

David Needham: Remembrance day, should be exactly that . I am sick of politicians and religious groups hijacking it.
….
I would love to not see any politicians at the Cenotaph and no religious ceremonies on that day.
….
Politicians start wars, religions world wide have caused wars and yet they stand there in their dark suits speaking meaningless platitudes.
….
It should be a day for veterans to parade , remember muckers who didn’t make it home . The public can attend if they wish and give some acknowledgement and tributes to those who have served and paid the price.
….
It should not be a photo Op for politicians. Its bad enough having to watch Corbyn act sincere , once a year without suffering the rest.
….
The Queen or her representative (I pick Harry) Should lay a wreath on behalf of the nation. Then allow the vets to march past.
….
Personally , I will be bulling up my shoes, cleaning my medals and trying to look smart for my muckers who didn’t make it home. Because they would have done the same for me, were our fortunes reversed.
….
LEST WE FORGET (11)

WonkoTheSane: [No platforming is bad…..] (6)

Paul Newbold: Didn’t the Foreign Office under William Hague want the RAF and RN to effectively provide air cover for ISIS, cast as generic ‘rebels’? (1)

SeriaLuncher: No doubt he will be commemorating Assad’s chemical bombers and torturers. (7)

Tony Howard [Reply to SL]: Nonsense. (4)

MouseParty: I guess this how our programmed society reacts to an honest man’s attempt to expose our government’s hypocrisy. The war and bombs we bring to foreign lands are no different from anyone else’s. (7)

Rosemary Greenlaw [Reply to MP]: It’s inappropriate on Remembrance Sunday, however. (1)

Innocent Bystander: It is a Hobson’s choice. In Syria and Iraq, minorities feel much safer in a dictatorial regime, as compared to a religious fundamentalist regime, who are in most cases equally if not more brutal. (10)

Jan D [Reply to IB]: Iraq’s dysfunctional government doesn’t give sufficient representation for minority Sunnis. Tehran owns Baghdad and Damascus. Decades of the Assads’ brutal dictatorial regime was the cause of Syria’s civil uprising. (1)

Kevin Laughlin: A good example of the muck that gets thrown at you if you are prepared to make a case that bombing women and children is a bad thing. (21)

SeriaLuncher [Reply to KL]: The biggest killer of women and children is Assad, the Butcher of Damascus. That is who you’re talking about right? (3)

Kevin Laughlin [Reply to SL]: Is he? (1)

Joseph Wyndham: So you can take part in Remembrance but only if you are on message with the politics of the day? Absolute poppycock. Sounds like the best man for the job. (9)

[End Article]

The multipolar spin how fascists operationalize left wing resentment.

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The multipolar spin how fascists operationalize left wing resentment.

[ Source= The multipolar spin: how fascists operationalize left-wing resentment. By SPLC ]

[Posted By Lara Keller 17/3/18 Updated 22/4/19]  anchorTableSmall - Copy Blog Table Of Contents

(This article was originally posted on Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch blog but was taken down after threat of litigation by Max Blumenthal. It is reproduced here in full. Source= Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist, The multipolar spin: how fascists operationalize left-wing resentment, from removed SPLC post. March 15,  2018.)

[Start Article]

During his recent tour of Europe, disgraced former Trump strategist Steve Bannon declared “Italy is in the lead.”

Amid the historic resurgence of the Italian far right that returned right-wing populist Silvio Berlusconi to prominence, Bannon fantasized about “the ultimate dream” of unifying the anti-establishment Five Star Movement with the far-right League (formerly the Northern League) through a populist movement. Bannon’s international vision of nationalist populist movements is locked into the Kremlin’s geopolitical ideology of a “multipolar world.”

The League is tied through a cooperation pact to Putin’s Russia, and its deputy in charge of relations with foreign parties, Claudio D’Amico, explicitly called for a “multipolar world” in Katehon, a think tank created by fascist ideologue Aleksandr Dugin. Following the ideological line Dugin put forward in his text, Foundations of Geopolitics, Katehon calls for uniting a “Eurasian” bloc in constant struggle against “Atlanticist” countries. For Dugin, the “21st century gamble” is to create a “multipolar” confederation of “Traditionalist” regional empires united under Russian sovereignty that will overthrow the “unipolar” empire of “postmodern” democracies.

Shortly after Putin’s election in 2000, the Kremlin released a set of foreign policy guidelines calling for a “multipolar world order” against the “strengthening tendency towards the formation of a unipolar world under financial and military domination by the United States.” Escalating with the Ukrainian Orange Revolution in 2004, the Kremlin’s production of soft-power networks throughout Europe and the United States involves- think tanksloansforumspropaganda outlets and cooperation agreements with far-right parties like the Austrian Freedom Party and the League. From Russia to Iran to Western Europe and the U.S., this international movement uses conspiracy theories and “gray material” to warp the political spectrum into a populist referendum along “geopolitical” terms set by fascist engagées.

Red and brown polarities.

As a recent major report on syncretic networks exposed, the modern fascist movement’s obsession with geopolitics emerged in force amid the post-Cold War antiglobalization movement. In 2002, a front group formed out of the U.S.-based Workers’ World Party known as the International Action Center joined forces with the Assisi-based “Campo Antimperialista.” As Duginists infiltrated the Campo, opening a journal called Eurasia that garnered the influential involvement of Campo participant Costanza Preve, the International Action Center continued their cooperation.

Soon, a similar Russian group called the Anti-Globalist Resistance began to repost the Campo’s dispatches. Sharing support for Milosevic with the Campo and the International Action Center, the Anti-Globalist Resistance emerged simultaneously with the same tendency to fight globalization by linking far-right to hard-left. In 2008, they brought the Campo to Moscow for the third “All-Russia Anti-Globalist Forum,” introduced by long-time U.S. fascist Lyndon LaRouche [alt better link Lyndon LaRouche]. The next year’s conference included Duginist leaders like Leonid Savin and retired General Leonid Ivashov [alt better link Leonid Ivashov], along with LaRouche and Holocaust denier Israel Shamir.

As their work continued, the Campo and Anti-Globalist Resistance drew more anti-globalization activists into their syncretic orbit. In 2012, a group came together at a Campo Antimperialista event in Assisi and developed what would become the Syria Solidarity Movement. The movement’s steering committee came to include top figures from groups from the U.S. hard left, including the Workers World Party, its affiliate, ANSWER and a spinoff of the latter group called the Party of Socialism and Liberation.

After changing their name to the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia, the group drew people from the Syria Solidarity Movement’s network to a conference called the “Right of Peoples to Self-Determination and Building a Multipolar World” in 2014. A delegate from the International Action Center attended, along with delegates from another Workers World Party front group called United Anti-War Coalition, including an editor with the Black Agenda Report named Margaret Kimberly. Among the conference’s other attendees were Michael Hill of the neo-Confederate League of the South and the Texas Nationalist Movement, as well as the far-right Republika of Srpska and National Bolshevik Italian Communitarian Party.

The following year, the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia met with a purported Cherokee Nation elder named “Mashu White Feather” and a representative of the Uhuru Movement, also connected to the Black Agenda Report. They then organized a state-funded conference that drew members of the fascist Italian group Millenium [alt better link Millenium], Mutti’s associate Antonio Grego, and a leading member of the far-right Rodina party, as well as representatives of separatist groups like the Texas Nationalist Movement and the Catalan Solidarity for Independence party. The now-notorious troll factory, the Internet Research Agency, would later invite the Texas Nationalist Movement to join an armed, Islamophobic protest launched by the fake “Heart of Texas,” while also inciting counter-protestors.

This network map shows the flow of movement building from parties to front groups to participation in and creation of syncretic coalitions.

The Syria connection.

The Syria Solidarity Movement lists on its steering committee a host of syncretic figures like DuginistNavid Nasr and an Australian representative of the fascist-modeled Syrian Social Nationalist Party affiliateMussalaha. Before a report revealed her associations with Global ResearchRon Paul and the right-wing British Constitution Party, conspiracy theorist Vanessa Beeley held a position on the steering committee as well.

As an editor at the alt-right-associated conspiracy theory site, 21stCenturyWire, Beeley’s repeated conspiracy articles attempting to link the White Helmets to al Qaeda and George Soros earned her a visit with Assad in Damascus and senior Russian officials in Moscow; however, they have been thoroughly debunked. A defender of right-wing Hungarian president Viktor Orban, Beeley promotes antisemites like Gilad Atzmon and Dieudonné, even speaking at a conference hosted by the latter in partnership with notorious Holocaust denier Laurent Louis. Regardless, the Syrian Solidarity Movement and the associated Hands Off Syria Coalition recommend Beeley’s work.

Along with members of the Syria Solidarity Movement, delegates who attended the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia’s “Multipolar World” conference sit on the Hands off Syria Coalition’s steering committee. Showing its commitments and affinities, in January 2016, the Hands Off Syria Coalition published a “Multipolar World Against War” statement signed by the leader of the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia, Alexander Ionov.

Similarly, the Hands Off Syria Coalition website publicizes self-described Marxist, Tim Anderson, who has an interesting record of attending far-right conferences. In 2015, Anderson attended the far-right Brandherd Syrien Congress, and the next year he was at Defend Our Heritage’s Leura Forum, chaired by a leader of far-right party Alternative for Germany. Following that, Anderson’s pet project, Center of Counter Hegemonic Studies, convened a conference that brought in Paul Antonopoulos, an editor for the Duginist website Fort Russ.

The Hands Off Syria Coalition advertises Anderson’s book, The Dirty War on Syria, which is published by syncretic conspiracist site Global Research. Multiple “Research Associates” of Global Research sit on the “scientific committee” of the Campo-linked Duginist journal Geopolitica, and the site lists as its “partner media group” the Voltaire Network. Publishing LaRouchite and Duginist articles, the Voltaire Network boasts the Syrian Social Nationalist Party’s Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs as its Vice President. One of the Voltaire Network’s leading contributors is Mikhail Leontyev, an associate of Dugin who has moved from prominent media personality to the role of spokesman for Russian state oil company, Rosneft. The Syria Solidarity Movement publishes Voltaire Network articles by founder Thierry Meyssan, a contributor to Campo-linked journal Eurasia who associates with Holocaust deniers and open fascists, among others.

Hands Off Syria Coalition steering committee member Issa Chaer joined Meyssan on a panel at the Second New Horizons conference in Iran in 2012. Conference speakers that year included World Workers Party member Caleb Maupin, Alt Right journalist Tim Pool, Holocaust denier Kevin Barrett, and Duginists like Voltaire Network associate Mateusz Piskorski, German editor Manuel Ochsenreiter, Leonid Savin, and Claudio Mutti the leading fascist infiltrator of the Campo Antimperialista. The banner image for last year’s New Horizon features Aleksandr Dugin.

Multipolar propaganda.

According to the metrics search engine BuzzSumo, most of the leading articles with the terms “multipolar world” and “multi-polar world” in the title come from an interconnected network of sites, including Global Research, The Duran and Sign of the Times. With an estimated six million unique daily views per month, the biggest and most influential in this network is the Russian state-run media site Sputnik News.

Billing itself as pointing “the way to a multipolar world that respects every country’s national interests, culture, history and traditions,” Sputnik frequently publishes PiskorskiOchsenreiter, Mutti’s fellow Campo infiltrator Tiberio Graziani, commentator Andrew Korybko and Fort Russ editor Joaquin Flores. Furthermore, Sputnik has joined RT in consistently using dubious sources affiliated with the Syria Solidarity Network to attack the White Helmets and throw doubt on the Assad regime’s war crimes, for instance its use of chemical weapons.

A syncretic hub on Sputnik, anti-imperialist John Wight’s podcast, “Hard Facts,” promotes the same figures associated with the pro-Assad network in the West, including Beeley, Anderson, and Nasr. Perhaps most interestingly, Wight also hosted trans-national far-right figure, Edward Lozansky during the 2016 election and again early the next year.

With more than 30 years of involvement in the U.S. and Russian far right, Lozansky is perhaps most known as the creator of the American University in Moscow. Boasting a number of Fellows involved in pro-Kremlin media outlets like The Duran, RT and Russia Insider, the American University in Moscow appears to be an ideological center in the concerted social media campaign associated with the Internet Research Agency to boost anti-Clinton, pro-Kremlin propaganda in the U.S. Lozansky also hosts conferences with known fascist ideologues and an annual “Russia Forum” featuring far-right politicians and left-wing media operators from Russia and the U.S.

During both of his pro-Putin, pro-Trump interviews with Lozansky on “Hard Facts,” Wight advocated “a multipolar alternative to the unipolar world,” insisting, “we’re talking about a struggle for a multipolar world to replace the unipolarity that has wreaked so much havoc since the demise of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.”

The most important anti-imperialist hub on Sputnik, however, is hosted by Brian Becker, whose fellow party member and brother sits on the steering committee for the Syria Solidarity Movement. The leader of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, Becker regularly hosts Fellows of the American University in Moscow on his Sputnik podcast, “Loud & Clear.”

“Loud & Clear”‘s Lozansky-affiliated guests include far-right PR man Jim Jatras, Mark Sleboda of the Dugin-founded Center for Conservative Studies, the Ron Paul Institute’s Daniel McAdams and Alexander Mercouris of the syncretic conspiracist site, The Duran. The program also provides a platform to a variety of explicitly far-right guests, including Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, antisemite Alberto Garcia Watson, alt-right figure Cassandra Fairbanks and militia movement leader Larry Pratt.

Aside from marginal guests, Loud & Clear can bring on some heavy hitters. During his two appearances on “Loud & Clear” in late 2017, bestselling author Max Blumenthal called the red-brown radio show “the finest public affairs programming” and declared, “I am increasingly turning to RT America for sanity.” No stranger to Sputnik, Blumenthal also went on “Hard Facts” that August, claiming that notorious ISIS militant Mohammed Emwazi was ushered into the Syria conflict by the CIA via a “rat line” from Saudi Arabia.

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This Venn diagram suggests that certain syncretic groups exist as containers for the intersection of right and left wing groups, ideologies.

Highway to the Grayzone.

Around the same time he went on “Loud & Clear,” Blumenthal appeared on Tucker Carlson‘s FOX News show to defend RT — his second time on the far-right show that year. Blumenthal’s RT appearances have been praised by white nationalists like Frazier Glenn Miller, Jr., who murdered three people outside of a Jewish Community Center in 2014, so his courting of the right on FOX drew considerable backlash.

Two months later, Blumenthal offered up a staunch defense of “Russia’s position in the world” to author Robert Wright in an interview on bloggingheads. Admitting that Putin’s Russia remains far from left-wing, Blumenthal justified support for the country’s authoritarian conservative government as “part of the multipolar world.”

“If you believe in a multipolar world,” Blumenthal told Wright, “you believe in détente, you believe in diplomacy.” He specifically mentioned Becker’s Party for Socialism and Liberation and groups like it, arguing that they “tend to get all the major issues right regardless of their ideology or agenda.”

Blumenthal was not as clear of a spokesperson for Kremlin geopolitics before he appeared at the same RT gala as disgraced former National Security advisor Michael Flynn and the Green Party’s Jill Stein in December 2015. During that occasion, he joined a panel called “Infowar: Will there be a winner” alongside Alt Right anti-Semite Charles Bausman of Russia Insider. A month later, Blumenthal’s pro-Kremlin position crystalized with the founding of the Grayzone Project.

Grayzone is a collaborative project also featuring journalist Benjamin Norton, who cosigned the Hands Off Syria Coalition’s points of unity statement along with Beeley and others. After going on “Loud & Clear” with Duginist Mark Sleboda and Infowars regularRay McGovern, Norton plugged the Party for Socialism and Liberation on a podcast episode titled “Hands off Syria.” With other Grayzone contributors, Norton has been criticized for downplaying war crimes and helping publicize false theories about rebels contaminating Damascus’s water supply.

When reached for comment by email, Norton retorted, “I know your goal is to outlandishly smear anyone who opposes US imperialism and is to the left of the Clintons as a ‘crypto-fascist,’ while NATO supports actual fascists whom you care little about.”

Grayzone is perhaps best known for Blumenthal’s controversial two-part article attacking the White Helmets, which brought accusations of plagiarism from Beeley. Grayzone contributor Rania Khalek had, Beeley insisted, “pumped me for information on the [White Helmets] and then Max wrote the article.”

While Blumenthal may have repeated some of Beeley’s theories, Beeley cannot be seen as a credible source. Regardless, Khalek has since used a questionable interview sourced from Beeley as evidence that the White Helmets “were deeply embedded in al Qaeda.”

Grayzone recently announced their move from independent news site AlterNet to The Real News Network, a left-wing site with a penchant for 9/11 truther inquiries. Neither Blumenthal nor Khalek responded to efforts to reach them for comment.

Right uses left.

Through its amplification of an interlinked, multi-centered network organized around institutions like Lozansky’s American University in Moscow and the Voltaire Network and conferences like Moscow’s “Multi-Polar World” and Tehran’s “New Horizons,” syncretic networks associated with Dugin’s Eurasianist ideology have combined distortions and ambiguities into a geopolitical narrative meant to confuse audiences and promote authoritarian populist opposition to liberalism.

The “gray measures” used to deny the Kremlin’s influence operations may seem dubious when delivered through channels like Sputnik that are, themselves, political technologies of far-right political influence. When cycled through “narrative laundering” of secondary and tertiary networks enhanced by trolls and coordinated influence operations, however, propaganda is “graywashed” of its dubious sources and presented as cutting-edge journalism.

As shown with Figure 3, think tanks like Katehon and connected Russian Institute for Strategic Studies develop strategies for media spin and online promotion through influence groups and botnets. These think tanks engage in feedback loops with Russian state media channels and linked syncretic news sites, amplified through social media with the help of botnets, and eventually reaching more legitimate sources often freed of their dubious sourcing. The results are explored by a recent study from Data and Society called Media Manipulation and Disinformation Online: “Online communities are increasingly turning to conspiracy-driven news sources, whose sensationalist claims are then covered by the mainstream media, which exposes more of the public to these ideas, and so on.”

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A conceptual model made in Vensim intended to present the workings of “Graywashing.”

The problem with multipolarism, aside from assuming polarity as a useful prescription, may be that it supports not the emergence of Russia as a world power but the rise of the Kremlin’s authoritarian conservative political ideology. In this, multipolarists tend to support other authoritarian regimes and movements from Iran to Syria to Italy. Although anti-imperialists may believe that these measures land them on the right side of history, taking stock of the fascist movement suggests that the strategy of opposing a liberal order through red-brown populist collaboration makes the left a willing accomplice.

[End Article]


The Church of England Vicar and the Enthusiastic Public Relations Spokesman for Assad’s Syrian Genocide.

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The Church of England Vicar and the Enthusiastic Public Relations Spokesman for Assad’s Syrian Genocide.

[Posted by Lara Keller 7/2/18]

We all should all know and care, and mostly don’t, that since 2011 the Assad regime in Syria has responded to demands by the Syrian people for an end to brutal exploitative dictatorship by committing genocide. Indeed not knowing and not caring has enabled him to do this with Russian backing. This is industrial scale oppression, with the Assad regime responsible for around 95% of the causalities. The regime has murdered at least 200,000 Syrians, 10,000s of men, women and children have been tortured to death, and millions have been impoverished, besieged and often starved.

The regime even before 2011 had a reputation in the region for the most oppressive security system in the Middle East, which is cursed by self-serving dictatorships. Hafez Assad took advantage of a turbulent era in Syrian history to launch a military coup in 1970. He had a clear plan to setup an elitist dictatorship built on a large security apparatus that systematically used the threat of torture to control Syrians. His inspiration was Ceaușescu’s infamous Romanian regime. Naturally Hafez passed the private estate previously known as Syria to his son Bashar in 2000, and nothing really changed in the core values of the regime.

The reaction of progressives in the West has often angered and sometimes utterly disgusted me. A small army of apologists have emerged to support Assad. Not all of them from the usual candidates for dictator-philia from the far right and the far left. In the UK for example there are people from the Anti-War movement, Pro-Palestinian groups, the Green Party, the dominant Corbyn wing of the Labour Party, the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties, a handful of journalists and even clergy from the Church of England. Some of this can be explained by casual ignorance. Some by wilful ignorance, based on supporting “issues” that feel right and so avoiding problems outside of core concerns.

The attitudes of many Anti-War and Pro-Palestinian groups has become a damaging bitter mockery. At an anti-war demonstration against Western intervention in Syria I saw a banner from an English group from safest Dorset with “Everybody Deserves Love” splashed on it. It is impossible to support pacifism in the face of a regime run by criminal thugs who have no concept of shame. Pacifism does not work when children are tortured to death in front of their parents, when hospitals are double tapped by Russian jets and Sarin is used to paralyse the lungs of civilians. Indifference is not love. Zionists are killing and oppressing ordinary Palestinians, while Assad’s militias are killing ordinary Syrians. Both groups are mostly Sunni Muslim Arabs. What exactly is the difference between Zionism and Assadism?

There is a secondary line of defence when the apologists claim that the Western media is lying. All the evidence of the Assad holocaust of many types and thousands of sources is just denied as one great incredible conspiracy. There are even widely circulated crudely absurdist claims that the buildings in the blitzed opposition areas where blown up by the opposition, or that the White Helmets rescue works are evil murderers.

There is the more subtle argument that the regime is not responsible for Sarin gas attacks, because it is winning and does not need to use methods which might provoke hostile Western intervention. The reality is that foreign Shia militias and Russian military are winning against an isolated armed Syrian opposition abandoned by the West. Assad struggles to get Syrians to fight for him, but needs to show his military are a strong force capable of perpetuating Assad clique control. Hence his testing of the international reaction to the use of Sarin in reconquering Idlib province.

There is the argument that the opposition to Assad is and has always been composed of Fundamentalist Islamists. Armed groups run by extremists (like HTS, formerly al-Nusra) have become powerful, because the regime used military force to crush an initially peaceful protest against dictatorship, while the West gave very limited supplies to the moderate armed opposition. The extremists – well-financed by other Middle East dictatorships like the Saudis – were allowed to fill the vacuum, as occurred in post-Gaddafi Libya. Leaflets and speeches do not stop modern weaponry.

This leaves the apologists who are not ideological cranks and who do have a detailed knowledge of Syria. A good example is the Reverend Andrew Ashdown, a vicar in the Church of England. He has been organising tours of the Holy Land for thirty years, and has often visited Syria before 2011 and since. He enthusiastically pushes in lectures, articles, broadcasts and social media, the key points of the Assad regime PR campaign:

(i) Assad regime is popular with the vast majority of Syrians.
(ii) Opposition to the Assad regime is confined to fundamentalist terrorists.
(iii) Evidence that the regime is responsible for mass murder and mass torture is fabricated. The Assad Holocaust does not exist.
(iv) Assad’s Syria is not a kleptomaniac brutal police state.
(v) Assad is the protector of minorities in Syria. In particular Christians.

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The Church of England is perceived as a morally concerned organisation that can be trusted but is rather spineless. Ashdown uses the appearance of a vicar to give his Assad PR credibility. The church has been contacted many times, and has done very little to stop this abuse of its reputation. He is no longer a parish vicar, but still has the permission of his bishop to conduct Anglican services. He still lives in a comfortable house provided by the church. His wife the Reverend Victoria Ashdown is a vicar of the parish of North Baddesley (between Southampton and Romsey in Hampshire, UK) and publically supports his stance on the Assad regime. She reposts his social media statements, and has even posed in front of the two star Syrian flag (used exclusively by the regime) for her parish Facebook Account.

There are many Christians in the Church of England who are rightly concerned about the survival of Christian communities in the Middle East against attacks by fundamentalist islamists. They mostly know very little about the Assad regime and make the mistake of believing Assad PR and reluctantly supporting the regime. It obviously helps in the deception that a knowledgeable Church of England vicar like Andrew Ashdown is doing the PR. Andrew Ashdown has detailed knowledge of the regime, and so has no reasonable excuse of ignorance.

Where is Christian love in the Assad regime and its holocaust? Christianity is not tribal. God is not a Christian. In Assad’s Syria the leaders of minorities (including Christians) are approved and effectively appointed by the regime, owe their privileges to it, and in return police their communities. The regime even uses housing policy to segrate and divide Syrian society. Christians are used rather than protected. The perception – supplied by people like Ashdown – that Christians support dictatorships in the region gives fuel to the anti-Christian bigotry of the fundamentalist islamists.

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God gives us spiritual life, despite our religion or lack of it. Respect for that life in others is the obvious root of Christian love. The Assad regime is the absolute reality of total contempt for this. Anglicans Priests are prevented from joining far right organisations like in the UK like the British National Party and the National Front. Why is Ashdown allowed to do PR for a brutal dictatorship responsible for genocide? The church can and should stop him and his wife “officiating at services” and enjoying the financial and accommodation support of the church, until they are able to completely and publically repudiate their belief and support for the Assad regime. Why is the Church of England vicar and the enthusiastic Public Relations spokesman for Assad’s Syrian Genocide the same person?


Here is a sample of his grossly deceptive self-promotion used in a recent lecture tour of Scotland:

“Rev Andrew Ashdown is an Anglican priest. He has been travelling and leading groups to the Middle East for over 30 years. For years he has engaged with Christians, Muslims and Jews in Israel-Palestine conflict and he has met with many religious and political leaders in Palestine, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria……….”

Typical Andrew Ashdown Facebook Post: Andrew Ashdown, September 5, 2017

“A year ago today I had the privilege of meeting President Assad. It was an in-depth two hour open and honest meeting where many challenging subjects were discussed, and we were met with great courtesy. But, we were vilified for meeting him. BBC, ITV, and Channel 4 News all slated us. The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Times all criticised us for meeting a ‘monster’. I was slated in the Church Times. And ever since, I have been put very much at arm’s length by the Church hierarchy and by my own Bishop. The fact that we met and brought messages from many religious leaders in Syria was ignored. But I have no regrets. And I make no apology to anyone for meeting the President. I am glad we did so. One year on, even Syria’s enemies are acknowledging that the President will stay, and are ending their support for the western-backed multiple Al-Qaeda linked terrorist groups who have brought such death, destruction and havoc to the country, and who are being defeated on all fronts by the Syrian Army with the help of Russia and Hezbollah. And wherever they are being defeated, a semblance of ‘normal’ life is returning to communities – and people are returning too. The progress in Aleppo particularly in the past months has been immense, and its citizens are clearly delighted and relieved to be free of the groups (that the west supported) that terrorised the city for so long. President Assad’s personal popularity with a large majority of the Syrian people is immense. I hope and pray that a peace will be achieved soon. Peace has been so elusive partly because of the international community’s refusal to put aside their own agendas, to listen to the Syrian people, to stop fuelling the violence, and to engage the people who actually have power in the country. Healing will take much longer. But the will and the resilience of the Syrian people does make it possible. It is not up to us to dictate Syria’s future, and violence achieves nothing. If only we could accept that, and encourage a genuine process of dialogue, peace and reconciliation for the sake of the Syrian people. History has always proven that the path of peace has been achieved by talking, not by bombing! It is a shame that we have been vilified for talking – whilst other Church leaders and politicians have openly supported the path of bombing.”

SNP Salmond Talk Show on Russia Today, No Surprise for Promoter of Putin’s Syrian Genocide.

“The Alex Salmond [Talk] Show” has been launched on the Putin regime’s foreign propaganda mouthpiece Russia Today (RT). According to the UK guardian many of the colleagues of this seasoned Scottish National Party politician appear to be surprised (see https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/nov/17/be-ashamed-alex-salmond-courts-controversy-rt-russia-today ). No one should be surprised, he has a history of being an apologist for Putin’s frankly fascist regime.

In September 2015 Russia began its direct intervention in Assad’s war against the Syrian people, that has led to the current near collapse of the mainstream opposition, and the ascendancy of the brutally oppressive Assad regime. In October 2015 at the SNP conference, Alex Salmond was calling for non-intervention by the West in Syria, so  effectively supporting Putin’s intervention in Syria:

“There was a moment of excitement when we all rushed into the hall yesterday to hear Alex Salmond set out the party’s position on Syria. ‘There is no one in Syria who is not being bombed by someone,’ he told the conference. For that reason, he wants ‘no more futile military interventions’, and his short speech mentioned the duration of the war in Afghanistan and the lack of money set aside for reconstruction in Libya. This opens up an intriguing dividing line with Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour, after shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn indicated that he was open to supporting military action in Syria. Could the SNP outflank Corbyn, a former chair of Stop the War, in their dovishness?”

[See https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/staggers/2015/10/snps-conference-friendly-rousing-and-boring-just-what-party-wants ]

This is exactly the opposite of the support that Syrian activists were desperately calling for. I did a bad cartoon satirizing Salmond and the SNP’s fake pacifism. It reminded me of a 1936 David Low cartoon about non-intervention in the Spanish Civil War. It was sarcastically titled “Correct Attitudes in Spain”. This fake pacifism encouraged the spread of fascism in Europe by exposing the truth that democracy had no value.

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Salmond dressed as a policeman is saying “Syria is a domestic dispute, not an assault by criminals. Any forceful intervention will only add to the carnage. The SNP will use it’s 55 votes in UK Parliament, to swing the balance, to ensure time is wasted collecting UN vetoes, and arranging endless futile talks. All in the name of populist tokenism, clarity, sanity and humanity”.

It is not surprising that the year before Salmond was giving guarded praise for Putin:

” In an interview for the forthcoming issue of GQ magazine – given last month as Russia was being accused of military aggression in Crimea but before it had annexed the region from Ukraine – Mr Salmond was questioned about a number of world leaders by Alastair Campbell, the former Labour strategy director.
‘Well, obviously, I don’t approve of a range of Russian actions, but I think Putin’s more effective than the press he gets, I would have thought, and you can see why he carries support in Russia,’ Mr Salmond said.
‘He’s restored a substantial part of Russian pride and that must be a good thing. There are aspects of Russian constitutionality and the inter-mesh with business and politics that are obviously difficult to admire.’ ”

[See https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/effective-putin-has-admirable-qualities-says-alex-salmond-9294614.html ]

Salmond is correctly criticized by a Scottish Labour spokesperson in the same article:

” Scottish Labour’s external affairs spokeswoman Patricia Ferguson said: ‘Given he [Salmond] shares Nigel Farage’s politics of division and grievance, it’s hardly a surprise that the First Minister has found common ground with the Ukip Leader.’
‘But his comments about Vladmir Putin are insensitive and ill-judged given the precarious situation in Ukraine. For Scotland’s First Minister to admit his admiration for someone with such a controversial record on human rights and democracy does not reflect well on our country.’ ”

It is time to question Alex Salmond, and question his previous statements and positions. This man is not a democrat, and is certainly not progressive.

Jeremy Corbyn’s silence over Aleppo shows how he has become a lobbyist for Iran (2016)

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Jeremy Corbyn’s silence over Aleppo shows how he has become a lobbyist for Iran (2016)

[ source = http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/jeremy-corbyns-silence-over-aleppo-shows-how-he-has-become-lobbyist-iran-1597582 ]

By Sam Hamad,  12/12/2016

As Aleppo was consumed by fascist counterrevolution, while the people of the formerly liberated eastern areas of the city were being cleansed or dying waiting to be cleansed, Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the [UK] Labour Party and Her Majesty’s Opposition, was attending a Christmas fundraising dinner for the Stop the War Coalition (SWC). You might think his attendance of such an event is generally innocuous and unconnected to far off happenings in Syria. You’d be wrong.

One might wonder why Jeremy Corbyn has been so quiet on Syria on the face of the fall of Aleppo, or why, when challenged by Peter Tatchell, he had to leave to find out what the correct public line of his leadership was on Syria? Or why, during the emergency debate on Aleppo in the UK parliament, the alleged internationalist Corbyn stayed only to hear the meandering, incoherent speech of his shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry, before leaving without saying a word? If you are wondering these things then you ought to look no further than not simply his connection with the SWC, but his ideological congruence with it.

The SWC has been among the loudest voices over the last five years that have sought to push narratives supporting the regime of Bashar al-Assad, as well as his partners Iran and Russia, as they unleashed a genocidal war against Syrians who rose up against them in the name of freedom and self-determination. It has hosted a number of pro-regime and, not-so-ironically if you understand the function of the SWC, pro-war voices such as its vice chairman and Corbyn’s long-standing comrade George Galloway, who took to Twitter to praise the ‘Syrian Arab Army’ at a time when it was going door-to-door murdering men, women and children in Aleppo. Though the SWC always disputes its support for Assad, Iran and Russia, a look at its output on the conflict over the years ought to leave one with very little doubt regarding their allegiances.

However, the fact that the leader of the UK’s largest political party and the leader of the official opposition saw fit to attend this fundraiser is no surprise. Since becoming leader of the opposition, Corbyn has had to be more cautious about stating his views openly, but by just briefly looking into his recent history on these questions, his true views on the situation in Syria are obvious. It was he who was national chair of the SWC as they organised pro-Assad demos following Assad’s gassing to death of over one thousands Syrian civilians at Ghouta, or when they invited Mother Agnes Mariam, who is not just a supporter of but a fully-fledged propagandist for Assad’s genocidal war effort, to a ‘peace’ conference.

Moreover, if one takes a look through Corbyn’s interventions in the British parliament, one can see that in every debate on whether the UK government should materially support Syrians resisting Assad, Iran and Russia, one can see the same essential message of hostility towards the Syrian revolution. This is not a subtle thing – though Corbyn might pay lip service to condemning in vague terms the “violence” in Syria, as a backbench MP, his interventions in parliament concerning Syria sought to repeat the regime’s narrative that the rebels were Islamic extremists, akin to the Taliban.

In addition to this, Corbyn has essentially lobbied for Iran to be rewarded for its intervention in Syria, underwriting and participating in genocide, with a seat at the top table in terms of negotiating over Syria’s future. This is not a point that should be glossed over. While progressives from all backgrounds understand that the dynamic in Syria, beyond all the complexities, is one between armed forces that arose as part of a popular revolution and a brutal tyrant and his foreign imperialist allies attempting to crush the revolution, those who are sympathetic to the regime have attempted to portray the revolution as a ‘western’ conspiracy against Iran.

“Corbyn could easily be described as a lobbyist for the Iranian regime.”

Corbyn is, of course, not crude enough to state this openly, but in combination with his will to slander the rebels as being akin to the Taliban and tie them to Islamic terrorism, he has been keen to push this idea as a justification for Iranian intervention on behalf of Assad. This is precisely what he did in a debate in parliament in May 2013, when he claimed that despite the presence of its troops in Syria, Iran was only ‘presumably helping Assad’ as it felt “under threat” from the Syrian revolution due to the “vast amount of arms” being supplied to the rebels, adding that Iran might be “next on the western countries” hit list’.

While it’s never overtly stated, the inferences here is that Assad and Iran are the victims. The idea, much-loved by Assad, Iran and Russia’s propagandists, that there exists an actual ‘hit list’ of countries that the West wants to overthrow for all kinds of nefarious reasons. As with all conspiracy theories, the essential point of this is not to elucidate any facts but rather to obfuscate them – in this case it’s the crimes of fascistic and anti-human tyrannies that are conceived to be ‘anti-western’ in their geopolitical demeanour and are thus to be supported, regardless of whether there is an actually existing revolution against them or whether they are imposing their hegemony over Syrians seeking self-determination.

Corbyn could easily be described as a lobbyist for the Iranian regime. In the same sleazy manner as the Tory politicians, so hated by Corbyn and his supporters, who claim to support ‘human rights’ in Saudi Arabia before selling them weapons and the means to maintain their domestic tyranny, Corbyn has strongly advocated that such relations be transferred from Saudi’s brutal theocracy to that of the Iranian regime’s.

In article for, of all places, the Morning Star, entitled ‘Rebuilding Relations With Iran’, written in 2014, after the Iranian regime’s brutal crushing of the nascent democratic Green uprising and during its key participation in the genocidal war effort of Assad in Syria, Corbyn makes a sordid case for normalising relations with the regime, employing the usual juvenile whataboutery and dubious historical validations that comprise justifications and apologia Iranian regime. Corbyn vaguely mentions something about the Iranian regime’s treatment of ‘trade union movements’, but doesn’t mention the crushing of the Green Movement or its support for who he calls in the article ‘President Assad of Syria’, who, with Iran’s direction and help had at that point managed to murder around 400,000 people.

But why would Corbyn mention any of Iran’s crimes in Syria in the article – or at all? This a person who has received money from the Iranian regime via its anti-Semitic, sectarian propaganda outlet Press TV, as well as being a guest of the regime on various occasions, including posing for photos with regime officials.

It’s for this reason that, during the emergency debate on Aleppo, Corbyn the internationalist couldn’t find his voice; instead, the dreaded Labour ‘centrists’ and Liberal Democrats put the progressive view on Syria forward. However, the key point of the entire debate was made by George Osborne, who recognised the genocidal dimensions of what was occurring in Syria and the West’s responsibility in failing to support the rebels, but also its capacity in aiding the rise of fascism in Europe.

Corbyn’s stance on Syria makes it impossible for him to understand this dynamic, the dynamic of Syria as an open sore from which the poison of fascism and post-fact populism is spreading and infecting the whole world, the necessity is now for a progressive opposition to emerge. One that not only understands this dynamic but is equipped to meet it head on, as opposed to appease or acquiesce to it. Labourites must understand Syria and Aleppo as existential moments for them and for the very foundations of progressive politics, just as their late colleague Jo Cox did.

The Labour Party is actually a microcosm for the current dynamics that have been exacerbated by the Syrian crisis. The party is currently caught between the legacy of the malfeasance of Blairism, the crimes of which have been a devil on the back of the Syrian revolution, as well as the consequences of such malfeasance – the symbolically ‘left-wing’ symptom of the general disease that is rapidly devouring the centre in western politics.

And make no mistake: this is what Corbyn and his movement represents, socialism at home and support for fascist counterrevolution abroad. The kind of movement that managed to outdo the Daily Mail’s infamous ‘Hurrah for the Blackshirts’ by praising the triumph of fascism in Aleppo as a ‘liberation’, much in the same way it praises the triumph of Donald Trump and the ‘alt-right’ in the US as a revolt against ‘neoliberalism’.

The genocide in Syria determined by Russia and Iran is the kind of world order envisioned by Corbyn and his ilk.

Sam Hamad is a Scottish-Egyptian writer based in Edinburgh. He specialises in Middle Eastern affairs.

[End Article]

Fourth comment on “Peace Action” pro-Assad series of so called path to peace articles, with links

handsoffassad-copyThis article (https://peaceblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/06/choosing-the-path-of-peace-in-syria-part-four-trumps-assad-policy-is-still-up-for-grabs/)starts with “….. the forces of the Assad government may have begun to consolidate control over western Syria’s population centers …. However, no matter what territory Syria holds on [Trump’s] inauguration day, the conflict will rage on.” The opening paragraph exposes the bias of these 4 articles on “Choosing the [so called] path the peace in Syria”. The Assad Regime is not Syria. The Assad Regime is a clique that has ruled Syria like a private estate since 1970. To quote Yassin Saleh from an interview in October 2016 “The Assad regime has become a representative of the internal First World in Syria, the Syrian whites. I think the elites in the West find Bashar al-Assad more palatable than other potential interlocutors. He wears expensive suits and has a necktie, and, ultimately, these elites prefer a fascist with a necktie to a fascist with a beard. Meanwhile, they don’t see us, the Syrian people. Those who are trying to own the politics of their own country have been rendered invisible” (https://theintercept.com/2016/10/26/syria-yassin-al-haj-saleh-interview/). It appears the so called western pacifist anti-establishment have joined the elite. This makes me very angry.

Not convinced establishment McCain has any influence on Trump, or that Obama era measures will necessarily survive long under Trump. The Defence Authorization Act 2017 sets out a series of insurmountable bureaucratic obstacles to MANPADS being supplied to the Syrian Opposition. The New York Times actually leaked a memo criticizing Obama’s appeasement of Assad. Right wing think tanks contain many right wing Zionists like Michael Rubin who oppose Iranian power in Syria.
In the real world Trump’s policy will be a continuation of the Western elites’ foreign policy in the Middle East, of getting the support of manageable dictatorships. There is now also a vigorous Russian-Chinese version of this policy. The common enemy are the people of the Middle East, who since 2011 have risen up as a real power. Trump will strike a deal with Putin on spheres of influence, and will certainly not support the toppling of dictatorships.

Limited Military Strikes in response to major war crimes by the Assad regime, would stop when the war crimes stopped. The military strikes and enhanced support for the Syrian Opposition would end when the Syrian Government (minus the Assad Clique) engaged in serious peace negotiations with the Syrian Opposition. Empowering Syrians should be the real objective. This did not happen in Libya or Egypt, and certainly did not happen after the invasions of Iraq and Syria. The opposition of extremists is partly due to the nature of previous US intervention, and the (indirect) financial support of regional dictatorships. The strikes would be against Assad regime assets not Russian assets. Russia is already focusing most of its attacks on Western backed Syrian Opposition.

Arming the Syrian Opposition is about empowering Syrians, not “bringing the fight to the enemy”. This was not tried in Libya. Very little support was provided, and the limited amount bypassed the structure of the National Transitional Council. The result was not a unified professional security force, but a fragmented militia with funding from multiple sources, including regional dictatorships. Funding mujahedin in Afghanistan in the 1980s was part of the Cold War, these fundamentalists had nothing to do with representative government in Afghanistan. Bad comparison as is Iraq.

The CIA programs of training the Syrian Opposition have again avoided the structure of the Free Syrian Army. To unify the command structure of the Free Syrian Army requires a reliable source of equipment and training. This has not been provided by the West as also happened in Libya. This under resourced force has depended on funds from at best “regional authoritarian regimes”. The objective of western elites is not to empower Syrians.

Progressives in the West should not be swallowing the type of misinformation contained in this series of articles. Instead they should be demanding that our “defense services” should be supporting Syrians in their legitimate demands for a representative government. What is reactionary and war mongering is not the defense forces themselves, but the policies our politicians pursue. This is ultimately our responsibility. Pacifism for tyrants is pure hypocrisy and certainly not progressive.

Pavel Felgenhauer on Putin’s Core Reasoning For The War On Syria

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[Posted By Lara Keller 28/12/16 Updated 3/10/17]

Pavel Felgenhauer On Putin’s Core Reasoning For The War On Syria

Extracts from Aljazeera Inside Story by Russian analyst Pavel Felgenhauer exposing Putin’s core reasoning For his war on Syria. Explaining why if Putin wins in Syria more democracy in the Middle East will go from extremely difficult to impossible. See https://youtu.be/OaCFeBFI9qQ

Source: Aljazeera Inside Story – What are President Putin’s plans for Syria? Whole= http://aje.io/sy3c 17th December 2016

Inside Track On Race For Next US Secretary Of State.

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4 finalists for Trump administration Secretary Of State (aka foreign minster). These are probably Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, Bob Corker and David Petraeus. Which of these republicans gets the job must surely depend on:

1. Who knows their place.

2. Who will betray their earlier statements, and pursue the US elites’ imperialist objectives in partnership with the Putin and Xi Jinping regimes. Strange as this sounds, the goal of superpower conflict has always been to use this struggle to gain control over tame dictators in suzerain states, rather than to defeat your rival (unless public opinion stirs from apathy to intervene). Now US has given up on even a patchy commitment to democracy promotion, and Russia and China have similarly given up on an equally patchy commitment to communism, so the efficient path is to carve up the world and use economic or military muscle to undermine independent leadership in weaker states.

3. Who gives the appearance of gravitas, to continue the fiction that the Trump administration will be normal, and so delay international reaction against it.

4. Who has sufficient acumen to advance this new US foreign policy agenda.

Who wins, makes no bloody difference.