Butcher of Damascus. Gasser of children. Baby Killer of Syria. Tool of Moscow. Cruel despot. Monster.
These are all names the western media and politicians routinely heap on Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad. He has now become the top Mideast villain, the man we love to hate.
As a veteran Mideast watcher, I find all this hard to swallow. Compared to other brutal Mideast leaders, Assad is pretty weak tea. The US/British propaganda effort to paint Assad in blackest colors is having a difficult time.
Mr Margolis rightfully points out the major and underlying issue here. One can debate whether Assad a monster or some “shy and retiring ruler” until the cows come home. It ultimately NOT what this about. The Western powers are not honest brokers here. Their support of dictators and thugs the world over makes it obvious they are not concerned about Human rights in the least. They just want to ensure THEY are the one making the calls as to what type of Government a given country can have and are simply practicing the same old Imperialism they have been using for the past 3 centuries .
Note that Margolis is well-established as is a right-wing columnist of the Robert Ludlumesque sort.
Of course we on the real left resist thugs like Sisi, Erdogan, Netanyahu, the medieval Saudis, as much s we do the thug Assad. So what is his point?
But to be sure, and I really don’t want to go there but of we are holding some kind of “Stanley Cup” contest of thuggery, then Assad is certainly ahead or Rabat, Amman, and Tel Aviv (soon to be Jerusalem) and a couple others, but behind, say, Myanmar, or a few years ago, Sri Lanka, both of which the west did not give a flying fuck about.
…and especially, the left does or did not give a flying fuck about the Rohingya, or the Tamil people of Sri Lanka. In both these cases, the oppressors are Buddhists, and as everybody knows, the US left loves Buddhists…
It is good to hear someone with the courage to point out these home truths. I for one am tired of hearing opponents of the bombing nevertheless concede that “Assad is a monster” or whatever, then argue that he would not have crossed the red line of using WMD because it is irrational. We know from the Guardian that the response will be - “He is an evil monster who delights in doing bad things because he can.” Clearly propaganda (we can all recognise propaganda from the past, yet we fall for it now as easily as our parents and grandparents and great grandparents did). But the first step in the propaganda is the demonization of the foreign (or native) figure to be hated. Accept he is a monster and you lay in place the foundation stone on which all the other lies and distortions are laid. Accept that he is a rational human being like all the other leaders we either adore or neglect to criticise for political reasons, and the propaganda ruse falls apart. Which is what the Establishment and its propagandists most fear, hence the vicious assaults on those who dare to speak the truth. And sadly many of these come from self-defined “progressives” who swallow back tears because their lovely cuddly humanitarian bombs are being criticised as illegal, yet who attack those principled people who still question sceptically and insist on the rule of law as viciously as any one blinded by racism or nationalism or religious fundamentalism.
I don’t know what “left” you are talking about. But why isn’t the US threatening air strikes on Burma for “humanitarian” reasons too? Maybe cause there’s no oil in Burma? The US gov’t doesn’t give a shit about the Syrian people. And then there’s this other little problem of escalating military action precipitating WWIII which would not be the case in Burma either.
For someone who worries so much about religious oppression, you sure are eager to ignore the ramifications of the likelihood that a Sunni government (possibly even jihadis) would replace Assad if the US/Israel/Saudi coalition got its wish. How’s that gonna work out for the 35% of Syrians who aren’t Sunni?
And really, what does your post even mean? When given the opportunity, religions oppress one another. In fact, as DNC emails reveal, your LOTEs establishment was ready to attack Bernie on the basis of his being an atheist.
Lastly, please don’t pose as some authority on what the left gives a fuck about. Because you clearly don’t have a clue.
What? No mention of competing oil pipeline projects that TPTB want in Syria?
No mention of the continuing horror legacies of Sykes Picot and Balfor and PNAC?
What really drives the demonization of ME leaders is whether or not they are willing to become tools of the oily-garchs, oil companies and trade these commodities in US dollars.
And yes, many of the leaders of ME nations do have absolutely sh!tty records on human rights, torture, etc… including Israel.
Assad is a problem for Israel. It’s up to us to fight for Israel, so that the Jews of Israel and Palestine can expel or subjugate the Palestinians and take and enjoy the land and resources there. That’s fair because Jews have been and are likely to be discriminated against, nobody suffered in the Second World War like the Jews, and Jews lived in the area a couple of thousands of years ago. To say otherwise is antisemitism.
But what happened is that you know, I'm not sourcing or quoting; I just saw with my eyes, and it was in the beginning of the revolution, it was just, like, one month and a half from the revolution. And things were you know, I was seeing a lot of weapons, people with RPGs, people with Kalashnikovs, you know, just crossing from the borders. And they were not one or two; they were a big number; they were just dominating the whole village that we were on the borders with. So, you know, the militarization of the revolution started early, and it may be those who were trying, maybe, to push and to you know, they want al-Assad to fall as soon as possible. Those wanted to say that al-Assad is facing the peaceful crackdown with weapons, while the others on the revolution side are kind of peaceful people, are not holding weapons.
The Syrian revolution struck home yesterday. My wife, Manar Qash`ur [Kachour], burst into tears last night as she read the Facebook page that has kept her updated on events in her hometown, Latakia. Lt. Colonel Yasir Qash`ur, who was Manar’s cousin and 40 years old, was shot in Banyas on Sunday. He was one of two Lt. Colonels and 10 military personnel killed – more were wounded. Yasir’s funeral was held in the village this morning – Monday. My brother-in-law, Firas, and father-in-law, Shaaban, both attended.
An opposition member who lives outside Syria but has sources inside the country who have proved reliable in the past said the clashes over the past three days in Jisr Al-Shugur, Khan Shaykhun and surrounding villages were between members and supporters of the Islamist group the Muslim Brotherhood and the Syrian security forces.
He said that 90 security members and 23 opposition members were killed Monday. In addition, nine tanks were destroyed and two helicopters were downed, he said.
The bombings were in the Kfar Sousa neighbourhood, south-west of Damascus city center. The state-owned news channel, al-Ikhbariya al-Suriya, said the first car bomb exploded outside the offices of an unspecified security agency. When guards at a nearby General Security Directorate compound went to inspect the first blast, the driver of another vehicle rammed the main gates and detonated the bomb it was carrying. According to a Syrian journalist who lives in Kfar Sousa, gunfire was heard immediately following the blasts and windows up to 200 m (670 ft) away were shattered.
The bombings killed 44 people and injured 166. Syrian state media reported that most of the casualties are civilians.
A December 13, 2006 cable, "Influencing the SARG [Syrian government] in the End of 2006,"1 indicates that, as far back as 2006 - five years before "Arab Spring" protests in Syria - destabilizing the Syrian government was a central motivation of US policy. The author of the cable was William Roebuck, at the time chargé d'affaires at the US embassy in Damascus. The cable outlines strategies for destabilizing the Syrian government.
A similar scenario is now playing out in Syria, where the West, despite acknowledging the existence of Al Qaeda in Benghazi, Libya, is using these militants, and the exact same networks used to send fighters to Iraq, to flood into and overrun Syria. This, after these very same Libyan militants were implicated in an attack that left a US ambassador dead on September 11, 2012.
The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) currently arming, funding, and commanding entire brigades of the so-called "Free Syrian Army" (FSA), is designated an Al Qaeda affiliate by the United Nations pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011), in addition to being listed by both the US State Department and the UK Home Office (page 5, .pdf) as a foreign terrorist organization and a proscribed terrorist organization respectively.
The weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the officials said.
Suppose a respectable opinion poll found that most Syrians are in favour of Bashar al-Assad remaining as president, would that not be major news? Especially as the finding would go against the dominant narrative about the Syrian crisis, and the media considers the unexpected more newsworthy than the obvious.
And you have the audacity to reference Al Jazeera, a Qatari state sponsored outlet…
Al Jazeera, literally "The Island", though referring to the Arabian Peninsula in context), also known as JSC (Jazeera Satellite Channel), is a state-funded broadcaster in Doha, Qatar, owned by the Al Jazeera Media Network.
… who has a publicly stated goal of overthrowing Assad …
In 2011, the U.S. joined France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the UK to form the Friends of Syria Coalition, which formally demanded the removal of Assad. The CIA provided $6 million to Barada, a British TV channel, to produce pieces entreating Assad’s ouster.
A recently leaked 2014 email from Hillary Clinton acknowledges, citing Western intelligence sources, that the U.S.-backed regimes in Saudi Arabia and Qatar have supported ISIS.
I don’t know who your refer to as “left”, but absolutely! There will be a public uprising against the liberal interventionists, anarcho-syndicalists and socialist quislings who called for and supported crimes against humanity by the United States… the largest purveyor of violence and state sponsor of terrorism.
While you have been living in a propaganda fueled fantasy, the anti-war movement has been documenting the illegal war of aggression and sponsor of terrorists against Syria. You have supported what the Nuremberg Tribunal refers to as the supreme international crime. You are going to be discredited to such a degree
that history is going to look back at you in the same way the view Bush and his neoconservative cabal.
i grew up in a time when Facebook, the Internet, and social media did not exist. The Empire had little trouble hiding what it did. Because of this, I loved my country and trusted that we were the “Shining City on the Hill” in a world filled with evil people.
How sad to come to the point that every politician from America that I hear speak I immediate think is lying, that I HATE this country (actually, not the country and the people, per se, but the corrupt government that runs us) and have come to understand that when anything happens bad in the world, there is usually some FBI, CIA, or other government thuggery behind it which is designed to aid the corporatists in their insatiable greed.
Author of this article recited a whole list of middle eastern leaders, past and present, who are, or were, monsters, Syrian president Assad included. We can trace the sorry history back a hundred years, a thousand, five thousand, and lay the blame at the feet of countless rulers, and no one in particular. The hatred runs so deep, nurtured and taught from generation to generation.
Were it not for the fact that these regimes are more likely than any other in the world to use chemical and atomic weapons, we might be able to simply say, there but for the grace of Providence…
I see, so every single account of the origin of the Syrian civil war, from Wikipedia, to Al Jazeera, to dozens of independent leftist Syrian intellectuals - intellectuals who hate the USA, to dozens of humanitarian organizations all got together and under some kind of complex coordination from the USA, all spun up exactly the same fake account of a 2011 popular uprising - just like the popular uprising in Armenia right now…
You are under the thrall of fascist propaganda. Mr Peace and Justice, please choke to death on your fascist lunacy. Or better yet, please go to the next town to be annihilated by Assads and Putin’s bombs and stand out in the street.
The events in Syria are well documented and I have provided links that cleary demonstrate that your claims are outright lies. You have been caught with your pants down and cannot comeup with a rational response.
And your true colors come out… again. Not only were you calling for Assad’s assassination in another thread, now you are wishing me to die. These are the words of a deeply disturbed individual.
I’ve asked you this before and you have refused to answer because it exposes you as charlatan:
Is the United States legally in Syria?
Is the United States legally arming and funding terrorists against Syria?
If you can’t answer yes to either question, then there is no difference between you and a Nazi supporting war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Nuremberg Tribunal described what you and your ilk advocate:
To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.