[Marxism] Part 6 of a Syrian diary

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Jul 18 08:03:33 MDT 2011

The men were busy spinning elaborate conspiracy theories to 
explain why the region was exploding. It was a dizzying display of 
convoluted logic, twisted and knotted into intertwining theories 
that formed, al-Mu’amara al-Kawniyyeh, The Universal Conspiracy, 
because in case you didn’t know, the entire universe has been 
plotting the destruction of Syria. The waiters (part-time 
mukhabarat) swarmed around the table, filling already full glasses 
of water, sensing fresh news. They belittled every popular 
movement of Arab Spring, calling Egypt a military coup, Tunisia a 
joke, Bahrain a disgrace, Libya a tragedy. Locally, Daraa was a 
mistake, Homs was unexpected, Hama was untouchable (since then we 
have learned that it is not), Jisr al-Shughur was the site where 
“armed gangs” had massacred 120 military personnel, and the 
thousands of Syrian refugees in Turkey were being paid $50 a day 
by the Turkish government to live in tents instead of returning to 
their homes.

Every injustice or grievance has a mu’amara behind it. If you ask 
about the world’s youngest prisoner of conscience, Tal al-Mallohi, 
seventeen when she was sentenced for five years for posting poems 
about Palestine, they respond that she was a convicted spy and had 
a mysterious liaison with a Danish UN worker from Damascus. If you 
ask about Hamzeh al-Khateeb, the mutilated 13-year-old from Daraa, 
who has become the face of the protesters’ campaign against 
oppression, the response is quick and shrill. He was not thirteen, 
he was really seventeen and was caught raping soldiers’ 
wives.(“Couldn’t you tell from the video that he was so tall?” 
“Um, no I couldn’t, I was too distracted by his swollen, bruised, 
burned, tortured body.”) I was more shocked by the fact that they 
really believed the lies they were spewing than the actual 
absurdity of the claims themselves.


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