[Marxism] Should the left be buoyed by the Syrian election? | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Jun 4 16:08:07 MDT 2014

Ever since the war in Syria began, there has been a constant effort by 
the pro-Baathist left to prove that the dictator has the overwhelming 
support of the people.

Typical was the embrace of the 2012 Doha Poll that supposedly reflected 
a 55 percent desire that Bashar al-Assad remain in office. That led 
Jonathan Steele to tell Guardian readers that “Most Syrians back 
President Assad, but you’d never know from western media”. If you took a 
few minutes to analyze the polling methodology, you’d discover that only 
98 non-expatriate Syrians took part in the survey and that by definition 
they were on the Internet, from which the results were tabulated. In 
other words, if you were a farmer or a truck driver from Idlib, your 
opinion was not factored in.

Much to my dismay, political science professor and journalist Vijay 
Prishad has been beside himself over the Syrian elections. In the past, 
he has cultivated an image of being a careful and neutral observer of 
Syrian politics but the election results have somehow intoxicated him 
like a bottle of champagne. On twitter, where serious analysis goes by 
the wayside to begin with, he is jumping up and down like a delegate to 
an American presidential convention.


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