[Marxism] Leila Khaled

Philip Ferguson philipferguson8 at gmail.com
Tue Oct 29 21:39:55 MDT 2013

Andy Pollack wrote:
>Depends what you mean by dated. Khaled still supports Assad and has spoken
in mainstream Stalinist terms against the Revolution. Really sad, although
I suppose not surprising given the PFLP's willingness to be materially
dependent on Assad.

Andy, I don't think I'd use a formulation like "the PFLP's willingness to
be materially dependent on Assad."

The problem is that the PFLP needs to get money and arms from somewhere.
And they're certainly not going to come from the western left.  They also
need a hinterland to organise training camps.  So what are they supposed to

I'm anti the Assad regime, but I'd be hesitant to attack the PFLP position
because their choices are pretty circumscribed.  And it's not like there is
a mass of evidence that the bulk of the opposition to Assad is going to
help the Palestinian cause.

I'd hate to be in the situation the PFLP is in, because it must be one of
the most difficult in the world.  On the one had, you're up against the
full force of the Israeli state, on the other you're challenging the
neo-colonial Arab regimes' set-up and, for a third thing, you're competing
with very well-funded Islamic fundamentalist groups.  How do you fight all
those fights without having some territory where you are relatively safe to
organise for those struggles?  How do you get some of the necessary
material stuff you need?

I don't think the PFLP can be fairly described as Stalinist either.  In
fact, they exist outside the old pro-Moscow framework.  If they had've been
part of it they would have done deals with Israel long ago.

Keep in mind, too, that there is the PFLP and the PFLP-GC, two completely
separate groups.  Whatever about the PFLP position, which is for a
negotiated settlement in Syria it is the PFLP-GC that is the most gung-ho
for Assad.

>ps Phil thanks for all the great stuff you post; the Marxist Left Review
piece on women and work yesterday was very useful.

MLR is, in my view, an excellent journal and points to the positive
developments in Socialist Alternative in Australia.  They have managed to
be organisationally fairly open and democratic while fairly hard-line in
their Marxism.

What I particlarly lked abut the Fieldes piece was that it dealt with the
*actual position* of women in the workforce today whereas often on the left
in this part of the world you get articles that read more like they are
describing the situation 30 years ago, as if nothing much has changed.

There has also been an interesting debate on Syria in their fortnightly
paper, Red Flag.  I think Michael Karadjis posted the url for this already.

Today, we put up on Redline another piece by one of their leading figures,
Sandra Bloodworth, a critique of patriarchy theory as it developed in

I'm planning on going to their Marxism 2014 gathering in Melbourne next
Easter and very much looking forward to it.  They had well over 1,000
people at Marxism 2013 earlier this year - that would be the equivalent of
over 12,000 at a Marxist educational gathering in the US!


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