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.


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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]

Definitions of terms and scope (Assadists Reference – By Kester Ratcliff).

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Definitions of terms and scope (Assadists Reference – By Kester Radcliff).

[Posted by Lara Keller 17/9/18 Updated 16/4/19] anchorTableSmall - Copy Blog Table Of Contents

[From web page by Kester Ratcliff, Original Source = https://archive.fo/VQXiq]

[Start]

‘International’ — I’m categorising the propaganda circulating among Syrian, Lebanese, Iraqi, Iranian and Russian direct participants, political or armed, in the war in Syria as ‘domestic’ propaganda, mainly to limit the scope because otherwise I would never finish this, but also because I lack the linguistic skills to research those directly myself. I hope some colleagues may join me to work more on that later. I have done a little bit of comparing and contrasting ‘domestic’ and ‘international’ sides of Assadist propaganda narratives here.

‘Assadist’ — I chose primarily this term rather than the narrower term ‘pro-Assad’, because some of the public figures in this list explicitly deny being pro-Assad but still persistently repeat core lines of regime propaganda narratives. I have used both terms, as distinct but overlapping categories—all pro-Assad people are Assadists (they repeat Assadist propaganda claims), but not all Assadists are in their own view pro-Assad; e.g. Joshua Landis denies being ‘pro-Assad’, however he persists in repeating some core elements of the regime’s propaganda narratives and in associating himself with Assadists.

‘Propagandist’=a source or a major repeater of propaganda claims. I include both sources and major repeaters as ‘propagandists’, because a) separating them would require an arbitrary definition of the boundary which would probably tend to let a lot of ‘sources’ perceived as sources by their followers off the hook, because they are really mostly just repeaters; and b) I believe that the habit of careless speech, including repeating propaganda, even if the person lacks a conscious intention to lie or cause harm, is morally culpable, because it is neglectful of moral duties to others in speaking about them.

Limitation: In this references directory I focused mainly on individual public figures who create or repeat propaganda, not corporate entities or media sites, mainly because others (1,2,3,4,5) have already worked more on network analysis of media sites already, as there are fewer of them and it is somewhat easier to collect the data, and because otherwise I would never finish.

Corporate Assadist propaganda example (3):

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Propaganda and disinformation I think can be defined as distinct phenomena, but with a large overlap. Disinformation is one way of doing propaganda, but not the only way. I think of disinformation as concealing false fact claims in a complex layered mixture of truths and falsities. Propaganda usually includes disinformation but also uses other unreasonable means of persuasion, coercion, and erosion of the public goods necessary to resist totalitarianism.

‘Propaganda’ in this context I think means mainly unreasonable persuasion tactics, but I consider the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency’s DIDI definition of ‘information influence activities’ (p.9) also highly reasonable.

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Reasonable means and attempts to persuade people are not propaganda.

Strategic communications can include propaganda, but strategic communications can also be entirely reasonable and ethical in its means as well as its objects. Strategically selecting which news to report can also be reasonable persuasion when the purposes of selectively reporting, the intention to persuade and the limited scope are fairly clear and upfront.

‘Reasonable’ in this context I think means acting with a basic minimum standard of respect for the people represented in news or opinion and for the audience, not objectifying and instrumentalising the subjects, and not trying to persuade the audience of points which they would probably not accept if they were presented with the same factual, causal or moral claims explicitly and with at least some evidence or proper reasoning. Propaganda, I would say, by definition, attempts to persuade people by hiding the most relevant and important factual, causal and moral claims among true but not logically relevant facts or with irrelevant but emotionally stimulating verbal padding.

It is true that the UK FCO has funded some Syrian civilian opposition media organisations, and that is strategic communications, but in general I don’t think media funded by a State or regime, even if it has broad strategic purposes, is necessarily ‘propaganda’ — e.g. cases where State funding of public broadcasting would not be propaganda — a) a functioning democracy requires at least a minimum degree of commonality of the public sphere, I think that is a valid fundamental reason for publicly funded broadcasting, and if, or to the extent that, it does not practice unreasonable, dishonest or coercive means of persuasion, it is not propaganda; b) post-conflict transition from a society subjected to totalitarianism for 40+ years, as in Syria or Libya, requires growing civil society institutions, including developing a genuinely free democratic media, and in that sense it is strategic to fund civil media in transitional societies trying to emerge from conflict, without the funders necessarily even aiming to persuade people of anything in particular.

‘Disinformation’ means a complex strategic combination of truth and lies, designed to seem more credible than simple misinformation. Disinformation always starts with an element of truth that is used as an anchor to make the lies mixed in seem more credible. ‘Disinformation’ is not the same thing as ‘misinformation’, which is rather simply false. Disinformation is always a layered mixture of truth and lies, so it is to be expected to find some truth in it. The difficult problem with disinformation is that readers need to be more knowledgeable about the specific subject than what they’re presented with in order to be able to pick apart the truths and lies as they’re woven together. Many people imagine they know enough to be able to filter disinformation programming for real news, but that is mostly a Dunning-Kruger effect. [LK: ie “usually we do not know enough to know we do not know enough”]

Examples may make it clearer than further abstract definition at this point —

Disinformation, e.g. — Da’aesh obtained about 12% of its military equipment when they captured Mosul and obtained weapons that had been supplied by the USA to the Iraqi army —this part is true (Conflict Armament Research report, Weapons of the Islamic State, 2017; and a brief summary of that report, by Joanne Stocker in The Defense Post), but quickly layered up with — ‘America (and regional allies) secretly instigated, supports and controls Da’esh’ — this part is false (references);

Propaganda, e.g. — “NATO’s Islamist jihadis” — this is concealing a moral judgement into the terminology describing people, rather than justifying that judgement reasonably. There is a grain of truth in each of the three terms used but overall the description is very misleading. To dissect exactly how much of this description is true and how much is factually false or an unjust judgement on the people it refers to requires a long, complicated discussion with another reference list(s), [LK: author’s links here all appear to be informed arguments against given propaganda example] but ‘a lie can be halfway around the world while the truth is still getting its boots on’, so simple propaganda repeated often has a competitive advantage in the consumerist ‘marketplace of ideas’, which is also a competition for the commodity of attention, since information now is only valued inasmuch as it agrees with consumers’ subjective preferences, or if it is entertaining, without any sense of duty to be fairly objective about the Other. [LK: author elsewhere points to lack of interest in ordinary Syrians among consumers of pro-Assad propaganda, and so lack of interest in researching issue]

[End]


 

The Internet Research Agency: behind the shadowy network that meddled in the 2016 Elections. Author Alexander Reid Ross.

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The Internet Research Agency: behind the shadowy network that meddled in the 2016 Elections.Author Alexander Reid Ross (21/2/18)

[ Posted by Lara Keller 6/4/18 Updated 21/4/19 ] anchorTableSmall - Copy Blog Table Of Contents

[Source = https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2018/02/21/internet-research-agency-behind-shadowy-network-meddled-2016-elections ]
[Web Archive = https://web.archive.org/web/20180312114400/https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2018/02/21/internet-research-agency-behind-shadowy-network-meddled-2016-elections ]

[Start Article]

Special counsel Robert Mueller, Jr., indicted 13 agents from the Saint Petersburg based Internet Research Agency last Friday, but the shadowy figures behind the organization remain obscure.

Tracing those involved leads to an intriguing web of far-right paramilitary groups, think tanks and institutes directed by a trans-national, far right network of oligarchs, politicians and media figures.

The Internet Research Agency was founded and led by Evgeny Prigozhin, a catering industry mogul known by some as “Putin’s chef.” Prigozhin met Putin as his financial success through the St. Petersburg gambling business brought increased influence and lucrative state contracts. Two years after conceiving of the Internet Research Agency during the protests of 2011, Prigozhin opened the “Kharkiv news agency” in opposition to the 2013 Euromaidan movement.

Prigozhin is also tied to the conception and funding of a semi-private military company called “Wagner” known to have operated both in Ukraine and Syria under Dmitry Utkin, a man notorious for his “adherence to the aesthetics and ideology of the Third Reich.” Wagner Private Military Company is said to be co-sponsored by the Russian Ministry of Defense and to have participated in the military occupation of Crimea. The U.S. sanctioned Prigozhin in 2014, stating, “a company with significant ties to him holds a contract to build a military base near the Russian Federation border with Ukraine.”

Analysis by U.S. Strategic Command from 2015, revealed that Prigozhin’s Internet Research Agency was an important site in a larger network. Its $1.25 million per month budget and some 80 employees helped its “Translator Project” act as a force multiplier for a host of pro-Kremlin sites, articles, and people linked to syncretic think tanks and institutes bridging far-right interests from Russia to the U.S. as an extension of “hybrid warfare.”

Perhaps most interestingly, the Translator Project allegedly set up fake far-right and left-wing groups like “Secured Borders,” “Blacktivist,” “United Muslims of America” and “Heart of Texas,” advertised them, and deceived hundreds of thousands of people into joining them. In one astonishing case, unwitting members of a Russian troll page were led to stage an armed, Islamophobic protest in Houston.

The strategy: managed nationalism and hybrid warfare

A clue as to the strategy of the Internet Research Agency can be found among the leading members under indictment. Around the time their employee Anna Bogacheva allegedly visited the U.S. in 2014 to gather intelligence, she registered a PR firm called IT Debugger with Mikhail Potepkin, a former leader of the violent, far-right youth brigade, Nashi.

Developed along with several other youth brigades linked to the Kremlin during a short period between 2004 and 2005, Nashi formed part of what then-First Deputy Chief of the Presidential Administration Vladislav Surkov called “managed nationalism.” Concerned about a possible “Color Revolution” in Russia, Surkov hoped to simulate an opposition movement and keep the public under the Kremlin’s control.

“Managed nationalism” and Surkov’s analysis of “network structures” paved the way for a strategy penned in 2013 by Valery Gerasimov, chief of the general staff of the Armed Forces of Russia. Now known as the Gerasimov Doctrine, The New York Times called it “RT, Sputnik, and Russia’s new theory of war.” In Gerasimov’s words, “The focus of applied methods of conflict has altered in the direction of the broad use of political, economic, informational, humanitarian, and other nonmilitary measures—applied in coordination with the protest potential of the population.”

By the time Hillary Clinton received the official nomination of her party, strategy papers produced by the Kremlin-linked think tank Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS) had specifically called on the Kremlin to dedicate such “applied methods” to “a propaganda campaign on social media and Russian state-backed global news outlets to encourage U.S. voters to elect a president who would take a softer line toward Russia than the administration of then-President Barack Obama,” according to Reuters.

An Elite Club”

Longtime political operator in the Russian far-right, Aleksander Dugin, has worked for most of the past three decades to develop syncretic, left-right cooperation among anti-liberal opposition groups throughout the world. His influence on, and involvement in, “managed nationalism” and the Gerasimov Doctrine is consistent with his agency in the network that influenced the 2016 elections.

Shortly after Gerasimov published his doctrine, Dugin’s efforts came to a head. He sent his associate Georgiy Gavrish a memo listing a number of pro-Russia political leaders on the European far right and left. Intent on making Moscow the “New Rome” of a spiritual empire of federated ethnostates from Dublin to Vladivastok and stretching south to the Indian Ocean, Dugin’s main aspiration lay in consolidating support networks for the Kremlin and developing ideological unity for his “Eurasianist” geopolitics.

Dugin’s efforts produced a “think tank” called Katehon with influential board members including a senior member of Putin’s Yedinaya Rossiya party and Leonid Reshetnikov, then the leader of the RISS. Reshetnikov is infamous for complaining in February 2016 that WWII was “orchestrated” by “the upper crust of the Anglo-Saxon elite” and is believed by officials to have sponsored a coup attempt that October to prevent Montenegro from joining NATO.

Another member of Katehon’s board, Lyndon LaRouche associate Sergei Glazyev, co-founded the far-right Rodina (Motherland) Party with Dugin, which in 2014 to 2015 led conferences and coordinating groups including members of the racist “alt-right”” and the U.S. left that helped prepare the networks Dugin sought.

At the helm of Katehon’s board sits Dugin’s associate Konstantin Malofeev. Known as the “Orthodox Oligarch” for his far-right political positions and proximity to the Russian Orthodox Church, Malofeev was sanctioned by the U.S. for allegedly bankrolling the pro-Russia separatists in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea where Wagner Company operated. Aleksandr Borodai, the first prime minister of the Donetsk Republic, and Igor Strelkov, its first minister of defense, served as Malofeev’s former PR man and security chief, respectively.

The U.S. connection

Many of the crucial connections between the Katehon network and the Western far-right can be found through their mutual commitments to the anti-LGBQT hate group, World Congress of Families. When Stephen Bannon delivered a speech on the merits of Dugin and fascist occultist Julius Evola in June 2014 to high-level members of the World Congress of Families in the Vatican, he effectively endorsed the guiding “Eurasianist” spirit behind Katehon.

Bannon’s speech came in the middle of a four-year period during which Robert Mercer paid him to work for an anti-Clinton group. Also the primary funder of Breitbart News, Mercer was a member of the secretive Council for National Policy (CNP), which supported Trump staunchly during the 2016 elections and is heavily involved in the World Congress of Families.

The CNP has a long history of bridging U.S. and Russian far-right interests, dating back to when its founder Paul Weyrich and executive committee member Robert Kriebel helped launch the career of pro-Russia lobbyist Edward Lozansky — a man who would take a leading role in feeding the troll armies of the far right nearly 30 years later.

Deeply connected to the U.S. far-right, Lozansky founded a dubious think tank eventually named the American University in Moscow “on the same floor as the Heritage Foundation.” Through his organizations, Lozansky has hosted conferences and an annual event known as the World Russia Forum. Featuring speakers like Chuck Grassley, Jeff Sessions and Dana Rohrabacher, the World Russia Forum and Lozansky’s Russia House enjoy a high profile inside the Beltway of Washington, DC. However, there is a more obscure side to the Russia Forum and its related American University in Moscow.

Lozansky’s syncretic fellows

Lozansky’s American University in Moscow has become a crucial hub for the cultivation of editors and journalists behind key “fake news” sites propagated by the “Translation Project.” The list of “Fellows” at his institution is a rogues gallery of syncretic pro-Kremlin spin doctors:

Other pro-Kremlin Fellows listed by Lozansky’s American University in Moscow, Darren Spinck, James Jatras and Anthony Salvia are partners in pro-Kremlin groups like the American Institute in Ukraine and the PR group, Global Strategic Communications Group, which sold its services to Rodina during a period when Rodina’s deputies signed a petition to ban Jews from Russia and the party was proscribed from the Duma elections for virulently racist campaign ads.

Aside from contributing to Global Independent Analytics with Armstrong, Jatras also served as a witness for the defense at the trial of Slobodan Milosevic and is featured on a number of YouTube videos posted by Katehon.

The red-brown creep

Lozansky has a long and extensive relationship with Dugin, hosting him at influential conferences in 2004 and 2005, along with red-brown propagandist Aleksandr Prokhanov, Rodina leader Dmitri Rogozin, and other éminences grises of the U.S. and Russian far-right.

In September 2008, Lozansky joined Dugin for a conference with far-right figures such as fascist creator of the European New Right Alain de Benoist, Duginist Israeli far-right leader Avigdor Eskin and Israel Shamir, a holocaust denying antisemite who would later become the Russian emissary for Wikileaks. Within a few weeks, Dugin and Lozansky appeared together on the TV program “Three Corners” for a discussion on the merits of “soft power.”

“In our world (we are talking about the information space) ideas can also play a bigger role,” Lozansky cautioned, “even more important than guns and missiles.”

A week after the Crimea crisis touched off in April 2014, Lozansky’s heavy frame was hunched over a long conference table across from Dugin in a cramped, stuffy conference room. They were discussing the role of media in the “New Cold War.”

The next September, Lozansky moderated a roundtable discussion at the World Russia Forum to consider a “Proposal to Establish ‘Committee for East – West Accord.’” Co-moderated by American University in Moscow Fellow Gilbert Doctorow, the roundtable featured leading Duginist Andrew Korybko, as well as a number of professors from U.S. and Russian institutions. The U.S. side of the Committee would be spearheaded by professor and contributing editor of The Nation, Stephen F. Cohen, along with an influential board including former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and former ambassadors William vanden Heuvel and Jack Matlock.

That month, Cohen’s associate Doctorow helped editor Charles Bausman create the antisemitic website Russia Insider. Soon after, Doctorow joined alternative journalism site Consortium News, which accepts tax-deductible donations for Russia Insider as a fiscal sponsor. Doctorow and Lozansky went on to write three articles together in the Washington Times. Russia Insider features a contact form to get in touch with Lozansky through their website. However, when Hatewatch wrote to Lozansky using Russia Insider’s contact form, we received no response. Within 24 hours, Lozansky’s website, RussiaHouse.org, mysteriously went dark.

An information shell game

While the Kremlin’s propagandists disseminate half-truths, distortions and lies, they rely on sites like Consortium News, Russia Insider, Global Independent Analytics and The Duran to adopt their narratives and “launder” them so that “the original source… is either forgotten or impossible to determine,” according to expert on the far right Anton Shekhovtsov’s latest book, Russia and the Western Far Right. This project utilizes what national security site War on the Rocks calls “‘gray’ measures, which employ less overt outlets controlled by Russia, as well as so-called useful idiots that regurgitate Russian themes and ‘facts’ without necessarily taking direction from Russia or collaborating in a fully informed manner.”

By election season, the network of “less overt” sites had developed behavior patterns and positions spurred on by the troll factory: they supported the illegal Crimea referendum, denied the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime and denigrated Syria’s humanitarian White Helmets. They also often operated as connectors to far-right sites like Breitbart News and conspiracy-theory site, Infowars, which crossposted more than 1,000 RT articles between 2014 and 2017 and published two interviews with Dugin last year.

Such apparent unity of action and intent may have also occurred because the “fake news” sites boosted by the Translation Project have significant audience overlap, as well as institutional crossover. For example, the syncretic site 21stCenturyWire crossposts stories from Consortium News and features interviews with its founder, the late Robert Parry. Created by former Infowars associate editor, Patrick Henningsen, 21stCenturyWire’s archived stories trade in antisemitic Soros and Rothschild conspiracy theories and a battery of Kremlin-supported stories maligning the White Helmets in Syria.

Regarding 21stCenturyWire’s stories, analytics engines found “evidence of coordination of timing and messaging around significant events in the news cycle” among “many known pro-Kremlin troll accounts, some of which were closed down as part of the investigation into Russian interference in the US election.” Given its Kremlin support, it is unsurprising that 21stCenturyWire hosts an alt-right podcast called Boiler Room, as well as an interview with Dugin, himself, while publishing Korybko as a “special contributor.”

There are many more similar sites on the web and, despite the indictments of 13 members of the Internet Research Agency, the echo chamber of cutouts, fake profiles, front groups and conspiracy sites that duped hundreds of thousands of people across the political spectrum shows no sign of relenting. In the 48 hours before time of writing, Russia Insider, 21stCenturyWire and Duginist site Fort-Russ were all trending domains and URLs on the Russian “botnet.” Only an informed public will be able to take down the crisis of “fake news” and its illiberal progenitors.

Alexander Reid Ross is a Lecturer in geography at Portland State University. His latest book Against the Fascist Creep was named one of the Portland Mercury’s best books of 2017.

Patrick Simpson and Grant Stern contributed research for this article.

[End Article]

While Russia bans books, the useful idiot Corbyn swallows its lies whole. By Anne Applebaum 2015.

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“While Russia bans books, the useful idiot Corbyn swallows its lies whole.”
By Anne Applebaum, The Sunday Times, August 9 2015

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[ Source=The Sunday Times, 9/8/15, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/while-russia-bans-books-the-useful-idiot-corbyn-swallows-its-lies-whole-dwq6c2gg75j ]

IN THE year 1968 the brief “thaw” was over in the USSR. President Leonid Brezhnev was consolidating his power. Demonstrators were chanting communist slogans in Paris; in Berkeley they were putting up posters of Mao and Che. Meanwhile, Robert Conquest was methodically collecting memoirs, letters and articles written by people who had actually experienced communist terror, served in communist prisons and witnessed communist show trials.

For it was in 1968 that Conquest, who died last week aged 98, published his seminal book The Great Terror. A history of Stalin’s purges in 1937-38, The Great Terror appeared at a moment when the subject matter was remarkably unpopular not only in the USSR but in the West.

It was also a moment when the subject matter was remarkably hard to research. Soviet archives were unavailable; the only “official” sources peddled the regime’s propaganda. But Conquest, who first visited the USSR as a young communist in 1937, knew the difference between propaganda and reality. Having served as a British intelligence officer in Bulgaria during the war, he also understood very well how much violence and terror had been required to achieve the Sovietisation of central Europe, and the Stalinisation of Russia before that.

Perhaps because he was a poet as well as a historian — among other things a composer of witty limericks — Conquest was always interested in the human costs of that violence, too.

So he read and quoted witnesses such as the Poles who had escaped Stalin’s camps during the war, the Ukrainians who fled the USSR in 1945, and former communists such as Alexander Orlov, an NKVD officer in Spain who defected when he realised all of his colleagues had been arrested.

Orlov’s own book, The Secret History of Stalin’s Crimes, was considered dubious at the time. But as Conquest observed: “Just because a source may be erroneous or unreliable on certain points does not invalidate all its evidence.” Edward Gibbon himself had, he noted, argued that “imperfect and partial” evidence may contribute to a broader story.

At the time, Conquest’s own book was considered somewhat dubious by more fashionable historians. But it gained a following, as well as many famous readers, among them Margaret Thatcher. And, of course, it was smuggled into the Soviet Union and translated into Russian, where it was read avidly by a generation of people who knew the official version of history was fake and were desperate to learn more.

Not all of them were dissidents either. Some 40 years ago, the KGB searched a Moscow apartment belonging to a Russian friend of mine. They rifled through his possessions, tipped over a desk or two and finally picked up one of the books in triumph.

It was his contraband copy of The Great Terror, by Robert Conquest. “Now we’ll get to read it,” they told him.

In the 1990s, after the Soviet Union finally collapsed, archives proved Conquest right, not only about the terror of 1937-38 but also the Ukrainian famine of 1932-33 — the subject of his book The Harvest of Sorrow — the camps of Kolyma and much else.

Documents have helped us to be more precise about dates, numbers, decisions and motives in Stalin’s USSR. But the outline of the story has not changed. As it turned out, the witnesses were largely right — and the western fellow travellers were as wrong as their Soviet counterparts.

The trajectory of Conquest’s career is worth remembering right now, particularly as the Russian government returns, once again, to the time-honoured practice of banning books. Not long ago, the school district of Yekaterinburg decided to take a stand against “Nazism”. In order to do so, the authorities instructed school libraries to ban not the works of Hitler or Joseph Goebbels, but the works of Antony Beevor and John Keegan. Both are British military historians who have written objectively, and not always flatteringly, about the Red Army and especially the campaign of rape and terror that it carried out during the conquest of Berlin.

And just now, as Russia is gearing up its propaganda machine, which is far more sophisticated than the Soviet version ever was, to attack the “Nazis” in Ukraine and the threat from a “Nazi revival” in the West, anything that contains too many facts about what actually happened during the Second World War is going to be suspect.

If Russia’s urge to reshape its history is back, so is the old-fashioned western admiration for brutal regimes, and on all sides of the political spectrum. Just as some on the far left once sought to excuse and explain Stalinism, a range of people on both the modern far left and far right now seek not only to excuse and explain Putinism, but to support the official Russian state version of its own history, as well as the history of recent events in Ukraine.

Jeremy Corbyn, would-be leader of the Labour party, is the latest in a long line of useful idiots. Corbyn has recommended that his Twitter followers watch the Russian propaganda channel, Russia Today, which he has described as “more objective” than other channels. Never mind that Russia Today interviews actors who claim to be “witnesses” and invents stories — for example, that a Russian-speaking child was crucified by a Ukrainian.

Corbyn is also one of many on the European far left as well as the far right who appears to have swallowed wholesale Russia’s lie that war in Ukraine has been created by Nato, rather than by the “separatists” who have invaded eastern Ukraine and are paid, trained and organised by Russia itself. Or maybe they have pretended to swallow the lie because it suits their own anti-American or anti-democratic agendas.

In some cases it even suits their own financial interests. Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front, has been lent millions of euros by a Russian bank. With so much money at stake, it’s not surprising she isn’t bothered by the deaths of more than 6,000 people in a totally unnecessary war. National Front leaders regularly visit Moscow. One of Le Pen’s advisers went to Crimea during the “referendum” there last year, to serve as one of the election observers who came to rubber-stamp the process.

Conquest would have known what to say about this — and in fact he did say it, writing in The Spectator in 1961: “There is something particularly unpleasant about those who, living in a political democracy, comfortably condone terror elsewhere.”

He would also have known what to do about it: go back to the sources, listen to people, find out what really happened, write the truth and then act accordingly. “In a jungle full of totalitarian monsters,” he wrote in that same article, “liberal democracy needs teeth.” More than half a century later, that’s still sage advice.

Anne Applebaum is the Pulitzer prize-winning author of Gulag: A History

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Notes:

  1. This 2015 article questions the specific claim that Corbyn recommends RT “Russia Today” Applebaum vs Corbyn – Spinning History (See http://gashead.net/applebaum-vs-corbyn-spinning-history/ ).
  2. Another 2015 article on the subject of Jeremy Corbyn, Putin, “Useful idiot” theme. Is Jeremy Corbyn Putin’s latest ‘useful idiot’ in Europe? ( https://www.ibtimes.co.uk/jeremy-corbyn-putins-latest-useful-idiot-europe-1515028 ).
  3. A left-wing case against Jeremy Corbyn. 2015. James Bloodworth: A left-wing case against Comrade Jeremy Corbyn.https://www.ibtimes.co.uk/james-bloodworth-left-wing-case-against-comrade-jeremy-corbyn-1513969 ).
  4. Totally neutral image: holyCorbyn - Copy

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.”

Criticism of Pro-Assad Apologists Collection:

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Criticism of Pro-Assad Apologists Collection 

[Posted By Lara Keller 6/6/17, Updated 16/4/19] anchorTableSmall - Copy Blog Table Of Contents

Collection of articles and illustrations about the West’s disgusting Pro-Assad Apologists. [or see whole category Criticism of Pro-Assad Apologists Collection]

Posted 2017    (4)

ORB International Surveys in Syria are Probably Worthless.

Dear Sir Mark Rylance, Listen To Syrians, Not Stop The War Coalition.

God save us. God save Syria.

It is absurd for Syrians not to have representative government.

Posted 2016    (9)

Excellent summary of West progressives’ betrayal of Syrians  (Mark Boothroyd)

Criticism of detached myopia of West-centric expert Marc Lynch on Syria.

Stunning Article Syria’s Voice of Conscience Has a Message for the West.

Examination of Pro Assad Attitudes in Briefing Paper for UK Labour Party MPs.

UK Labour Party’s Dishonest Leaked Briefing Paper To MPs Prior To Syria Debate on 11/10/16.

Supporting non-action on Assad Death Machine, this is reactionary …..

Topple The Bogus Sick Angels Of Hard Left.

The strange world of UK Stop The War statement for 2016.

Two Great Articles On “Engaging” with UK “Stop The War Coalition” and their Betrayal Of Syrians.

Posted 2015   (9)

Three more brilliant articles on “one eyed” insane anti-imperialism in Syria.

A great article on “one eyed” insane anti-imperialism in Syria and Libya.

“Stop The War Coalition” (STWuk) is exactly the problem.

Two excellent articles on one eyed insane “anti-imperialism”.

Excellent article on Syrian Solidarity by Charles Davis.

Assad Regime: Arguments Against Non-intervention.

Time to look at misjudgements about good intervention. UK Guardian Editorial 2013.

Assad’s UK Apologist’s [2013] part 2.

Assad’s UK Apologist’s [2013].


 

God save us. God save Syria.

 [By Lara Keller Last Updated 6th June 2017]

God save us. God save Syria.

Been watching UK’s BBC Newsnight coverage (13/12/16) of the fall of Aleppo. The comments of the speakers ex ambassador Sir Tony Breton and the Times columnist Matthew Parris nailed for me the elitist, myopic, inhumane and neo-racism of the Western establishment. They also managed to sound just like the elitist, inhumane, dogmatic hard-left in the West. I can see how (but can never sympathise with) those people who turn to violent Islamic extremism.

Breton was UK ambassador to Russia. He says Putin could see a choice between Assad and Islamism (assume he always means extremist Islamism) in Syria and choose Assad. He says the backbone of the Syrian Opposition is at its core Islamist, and if they had won would have set up an extremist Islamist government. According to Breton all Western intervention in the Middle East must make things worse, he cites Iraq, Egypt, Libya and Syria.

Apparently the region must sort out its own problems. This is utterly impossible as “people power” means nothing when up against dictatorships with advanced weaponry. As Libya and Tunisia show even when the dictator goes, there is a strong counter revolution against Arab democracy lead by the fabulously well-resourced Sunni monarchies to stop the rebuilding of economies and disrupt security.

Then there is bloody smug Matthew Parris. According to him the West picked the wrong side in Syria, we did not know who the rebels were and what type of government they would form. We should have stood back. Assad was in a stronger position than the West understood. No one has told him that the West has stood back, and this allowed Iran and Russia to fill the gap. This is a so called British journalist.

According to Parris there is a limit to what the West can do, it is not our fight, and getting involved would involve attacking the Russian military. He says it is better that Assad wins in Aleppo, and I assume he would extend this argument to all Syria.

No one has told him about the 45+ years of brutal oppressive Assad government. That the Assad Clique controls a country in which most Syrians do not exist, and inequality rises year by year. He has not registered that millions of Syrians have been plunged into poverty, hunger, siege or exile; 100,000s killed and 10,000s tortured to death, almost all by the bloody Assad regime or its allies. He does not register the incredible courage of a people who stood against a regime that had ruled for 40 years by the use of systematic torture.

What conditions would Breton and Parris accept for providing adequate support to an uprising against a brutal dictatorship? Should also add all in the name of extending democracy to a region bordering Europe. According to Breton there must be a “clear ability” to form a democratic government, with he suggests little outside help. Otherwise “do not get involved”.

Look, the Syrian Opposition are the people of Syria, not the people holding the weapons. That is obvious. Islam is the religion of the region, and surprisingly many people want its principles to influence future governments, this does not make them Islamist extremists. For fuck sake when you are up against the advanced Assad war machine backed for decades by advanced weapons from the Russians, you need belief, you need belief in God. That is not a crime.

There are some Islamist extremists, just as there were or are in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Tunisia …. Because they get funding, and they get funding because the Sunni monarchies and Shia clerics have oil resources to throw at them. The reason is these elites do not want democracy or representative government of any type in the Middle East. These extremists exist in the climate of dictatorships with advanced weapons, a world that could not careless and having to fight against incredible odds. In other words they are a product of deep despair, anger and frustration.

Supporting the Syrian Opposition with weapons to fight Assad and his foreign militias is possible. The armed Syrian Opposition has the advantage that they are almost all Syrians fighting for their homeland. Most of those fighting for Assad are Shiite militias from Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Afghanistan and even Yemen. Assad relies on the Russians for an air-force and military supplies.

It is possible to provide consequences for the Assad military machine when war crimes are committed by Assad gangs, his allies or the Russians. This can be done by missile attack from beyond Syria’s borders. There is no need to engage Russian forces directly.

It is possible to supply adequate weapons to armed Syrian Opposition to defeat Assad gangs on the ground. It is possible to provide air defence systems to the opposition, to at least prevent helicopter and low level aircraft attacks. These weapons depend on sophisticated and vulnerable electronics to be effective. They can and have been made time and or GPS location dependent.

Providing supplies to the Syrian Opposition to build security of all types (military, food, shelter, medical) gives a government legitimacy, and enables a central leadership to create a control structure. Crisis is not inevitable, it can be fought by empowering Syrians to sort out their own problems.

So most of the crap spouted by Breton and Parris falls away. The real reason why the elites in the West do not want to get involved in Syria, is that they cannot see the point, even if a representative government replaces Assad.

The elites in the West can live with the crushing of the Syrian people. Refugees can always been turned away by building bigger fences. The increased number of extreme Islamists caused by the betrayal of Syria, may kill some Westerners, but this can be dealt with by limiting people’s rights, more of a police state, exactly what elites want to keep down the discontent about rising inequality and crises of a debt not redistribution driven economy.

The truth is that Putin has an expansionist agenda. In the West the rising far-right are waiting to take power under the disguise of populism. The very elites who smugly watch as Syria is mown down are not immune and neither are we. We the millions of people who live with hard fought rights from the past in the West, but who are now indifferent to the spirit of democracy.

All it takes is a Trump presidency this year to be followed by a Le Pen presidency next year. God save us. God save Syria.

Excellent summary of West progressives’ betrayal of Syrians

 

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[By: Mark Boothroyd, Facebook Post, 29th November 2016 …. Last Updated by Lara Keller 6/6/17]

Excellent summary of West progressives’ betrayal of Syrians

[start post]

The crushing of Aleppo was designed and implemented by the governments in Damascus, Tehran and Moscow, and permitted to occur by the governments in Washington, Berlin, London and Paris, but it was also aided and abetted by what passes for the Left and progressive forces globally.

How could Putin and Assad be reducing a city of 250,000 to rubble, without a hint of public opposition, if not for the lies, slander, misinformation, distortion and outright racism heaped on the Syrian revolt by hundreds of “anti-war”, “socialist” and “progressive” organisations?

These lies, slanders, the careful spreading of doubt and uncertainty, have all played a role in disabling and undermining any attempts to build solidarity with the revolt worldwide.

Whether with the gruesome adoption of “war on terror” language and narratives, whereby anyone supporting Syrian revolutionaries is supposedly backing Al-Qaeda or ISIS, or the more subtle, political and ultimately disempowering “anti-imperialist” arguments that we should concentrate on our own Westerns governments, that there was nothing we should or could do about Russian or Iranian interventions in Syria, the “Left” and it’s representatives played a key role in undermining solidarity with the Syrian revolt.

How else to explain the inaction? Over 500,000 have been killed, yet there have been none of the mass mobilisations which greeted the US attack on Iraq, or Israel’s periodic assaults on Gaza, or its war on Lebanon. Syrians protested for years demanding help, and were greeted with silence and inaction.

Russia and Assad bombed 120 schools in 2015, yet did a single teachers union protest this atrocious attack upon children and the right to education? 71 hospitals have been bombed by Russia and Assad in the last 6 months, but has a single health union worldwide condemned these atrocious attacks upon medical staff and civilians? Tens of thousands have been tortured to death is Assads dungeons, but this doesn’t stop leftists talking positively about the “stability” of the Assad regime versus the “chaos” and “extremism” of the rebel areas. The Syrian army employed mass rape as a tactic against women, yet feminist organisations remained silent, or focused instead on the lack of women in conservative rebel groups, or the presence of the hijab and niqab in opposition areas, versus the “secularism” of the regime controlled areas.

250,000 civilians have been besieged and are in the process of being bombed, starved and massacred in Aleppo, yet no anti-war organisation has called a protest against this. It’s left to Syrians themselves, liberal human rights groups and Syria solidarity groups to organise the only protests against this horrific massacre.

There can be no excuses for this. The Syrian conflict is the most well documented in history. It’s playing out on our television screens every night. “I didn’t know” won’t work as a reason for doing nothing. “It was too complicated” will just seem like studied ignorance. “I didn’t know what to do” will explain the vast majority of people, but what of the political activists, those who claim to have the answers, to believe in struggle for a better world? What can they say?

What can we say? Little, except that we failed. Or didn’t even try. And the entire world is going to pay the price of that failure. Is already paying the price of that failure. The price is Brexit, Trump, Le Pen, Orban, Sisi, and every other authoritarian, strongman or fascists who has ridden to power on the effects of the chaos spread by the Assad regime in Syria. The chaos that the Left did nothing to stop, and much to aid and abet.

[end post]