[Marxism] Fake Houla Massacre Photo: Was the BBC set up?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu May 31 16:28:18 MDT 2012

On 5/31/12 5:30 PM, Eli Stephens wrote:
> By the way, Louis, you really must learn how to read. Saying that "Syria
> remains too much like the socialist state the Arab Socialist Ba¹ath Party
> founders envisaged for it, and too little like a platform for increasing the
> profits of overseas banks, investors and corporations" is NOT the same as
> saying that "Syria is a socialist state."

Okay, why quibble. The PSL must agree with Gowans that Syria "remains 
too much like the socialist state" that the Baathists envisioned. that 
position, of course, can only be sustained by ignoring economic facts.

> There are MANY examples of countries which few if any people here would
> characterize as a "socialist state," but which were still in the crosshairs
> of imperialism because they were "too much like [a] socialist state" - Chile
> under Allende, Nicaragua under the Sandinistas, Venezuela under Chavez,
> etc., etc.

Do you think that Allende would have collaborated with the CIA to have 
people brought to Chile to be tortured?

> And while we're on the subject of not reading very carefully (or willfully
> ignoring what you read), there's this latest comment from you, intended to
> warn off "new comrades" against believing anything I have to write,
> apparently: "Well, it just might strike some people as odd that you are so
> intent on making Assad look good." Apparently you think that refuting the
> lies that appear in the imperialist press can only have one motive, to "make
> Assad look good."

You can't have it both ways, Eli. As long as the PSL prettifies the 
Baathists, you will be reminded of this. Stephen Gowans is an 
embarrassment for the left. Anybody who has good words to say about 
Mugabe is pretty messed up.

> And while we're on the subject of slanders, you really should examine your
> motives for claiming that the PSL characterizes Syria as a "socialist
> state." Here's the most extensive recent analysis of the Syrian situation I
> could find:
> http://www.pslweb.org/liberationnews/news/oppose-intervention-vs-syria.html

 From the above article:
In 1963, the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party took power in Syria. The Ba’ath 
Party, which also took power in Iraq the same year, had been founded in 
Syria in 1947 but established branches in different Arab countries. 
Under the motto of "Unity, Liberty, Socialism," Ba’athism represented a 
left tendency of the Arab nationalist movement.

By the mid-1960s, the left wing of the Ba’ath under the leadership of 
Salah Jadid had defeated rightist forces within the party. Jadid 
launched the widespread nationalization of industry and agriculture and 
extensive social programs to benefit the workers and peasants.


I much prefer the analysis of the Monthly Review from around that time:

The recent coups in Iraq and Syria realize the six-year-old Eisenhower 
Doctrine’s goal of anti-Communist “Arab unity” under United States 
protection. The coups’ authors are the international oil interests, the 
U.S., and their local placemen—the Baath and Arab Nationalist 
(Nasserist) parties, assorted militarists and feudal left over from 
Hashemite rule in Iraq, and in Syria elements from the right-wing of the 
Moslem Brotherhood.

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