[Marxism] I take on Counterpunch as WSF erupts over Syria

Clay Claiborne clayclai at gmail.com
Sat Apr 13 10:57:24 MDT 2013

I haven't written in a while and wanted to bring you up to date on a few

I have recently published a significant piece on the Left and the Syrian
Revolution in which I take on the pro-Assad position taken by
Counterpunch and many other voices on the Left:

    *Counterpunch: So Wrong on Syria

    Thursday, April 4, 2013 There is a whole trend of the Left, perhaps
    the dominate trend, that views world politics as largely a struggle
    between two camps that more or less represent the two classes whose
    struggle dominates the modern era, the proletariat and the
    bourgeois. These two camps are the imperialist camp, headed by the
    US, with the UK & EU, among others, coming up the rear and
    militarily organized through NATO and the anti-imperialist camp,
    headed by the former Soviet Union and China, and including a number
    of other socialist or ex-socialist countries and a number of
    countries ruled by dictators that have found it useful, for domestic
    as well as international purposes, to mock socialism [as Hitler did
    with his "national socialism"] and feign opposition to the
    imperialist camp.

    Libya's Mummar Qaddafi and Syria's Bashar al-Assad are prime
    examples of this later category and they have been darlings of this
    trend in the Left.

    So what did these Leftist do when the people of those countries,
    buoyed by the general uprising that shook the whole region beginning
    in December 2010, rose up to demand an end to these twin 40 year old

    They backed the fascist dictators
    against the people!

    Because Libya
    <http://anthrocivitas.net/forum/showthread.php?t=11292> and Syria
    <http://storify.com/samioj/baathism-is-fascism> were run by fascist
    dictators, the response to peaceful protests was the immediate
    application of military power. There was none of the milk toast
    stuff where police were used but not the army as in Tunisia and
    Egypt, where the regime was /"overthrown"/ without ever using the
    army against the people, where the regime was /"overthrown"/ with
    the old army still in place. That happened partly because certain
    Western powers, in positions of influence in those countries,
    encouraged the army to stand down. They saw that as the best way to
    salvage their position from a bad situation and I believe history
    will prove them right. The revolution in Libya is real,
    thoroughgoing, and far more advanced than the changes in Egypt or
    Tunisia. Syria will soon move ahead of them as well.

    Because they were fascist dictators, Qaddafi and Assad had build
    armies with lots of weapons and a willingness to use them against
    their own people, or so they hoped. Because they had the backing of
    a major fascist dictator, Putin of Russia
    they had support for this most violent suppression of the people's

    Fortunately, the people of both countries rose to the tasks history
    has handed them and met armed suppression with armed resistance.
    They fought back!

    In Libya, the dictator /and/ his army were overthrown, the state
    <http://claysbeach.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-state-of-libya_1275.html> had
    to be recreated from scratch. Now that they were free to do so, the
    people quickly built a free press
    political parties
    and held elections just about as free and fair
    <http://www.cartercenter.org/news/pr/libya-070912.html> as anywhere
    in the world. Oil production was quickly brought back up
    and the violence has been coming down
    The murder rate in Libya
    was half what it was in Chicago
    and a tenth of what is was in Venezuela
    last year. NATO planes have long since flown home and they were
    never able to put an army on the ground. Nevertheless, many Leftist,
    like those who write for Counterpunch
    are still in the /"Libya, just like Iraq"
    <http://rt.com/usa/pepe-escobar-libya-iraq-132/>/ mode. They
    continue to dis the Libyan Revolution and they refuse to learn from
    the Libyan people.

    When it comes to Syria, they are blind to the world that is right in
    front of them. They see Assad as the victim of an imperialist plot,
    just like Qaddafi or Saddam Hussein, another fascist dictator
    <http://jonjayray.tripod.com/saddam.html> that really was the victim
    of an imperialist plot and not an uprising of his own people.

    In a disconnect with reality that rivals those that think atomic
    bombs don't explode <http://heiwaco.tripod.com/bomb.htm> and the
    moon landing never happened
    they see the Syrian Revolution as /"Obama's War"/ and they blame
    him, not Assad, for the murder of 70,000 Syrians. This position
    leads them to obfuscating the suffering of the Syrian people and
    attempting to discredit the heroic nature of their struggle to
    overthrow their ruling class.  More...

This piece is getting some very good reviews and is currently being
translated in to Arabic by a Syrian activist in Egypt.

    I love when cooler heads take the time to dissect the
    inconsistencies & incongruities... fb.me/15PEl02xZ

    --- Ruthanne Sikora (@ruthanne4syria) April 5, 2013

    ???? ?????? ????? ?????? ????? ?????? ?? ??????? ??????? ??????
    ??????? ???? ??????? ??????? ?? ????? ? #?????
    claysbeach.blogspot.com/2013/04/counte... <http://t.co/L8gGYkAjJb>

    --- ???? ?????? (@takriti) April 5, 2013

    Linux Beach: CounterPunch: So Wrong on Syria fb.me/1HTBm3Iee

    --- SAC (@sa_council) April 5, 2013

    How some of the US Left are supporting fascism! #Syria
    <https://twitter.com/search/%23Syria> fb.me/1ERPvX0WB

    --- Hussam Ayloush (@HussamA) April 5, 2013

Also the Syrian Revolution was the hot topic of debate at the World
Social Forum that took place in Tunis, Tunisia at the end of last month.
A strong statement of support for the Syrian people's struggle came out
of that and was signed by many prominent Leftists. The signers included:
Tariq Ali, Vijay Prashad, Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, Rashid Khalidi
and Gilbert Achcar.

I've just published a blog about that:

      Left voices raised in support of Syrian struggle at World Social

More, later...

In Solidarity,

Clay Claiborne

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