[Marxism] regarding Russian air strikes

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Oct 1 09:39:28 MDT 2015

On 10/1/15 10:54 AM, Ron Jacobs via Marxism wrote:
> Why are we supposed to be bothered that CIA-trained mercenary "rebels" were
> attacked?  How are these CIA-trained mercenaries that much different from
> the contras or the so-called mujaheddin?

Ron speaks about the FSA as if it were "contras" when in fact the real 
counter-revolution is based in Damascus and is propped up by Iran, 
Hezbollah and the Kremlin. This is hard for "anti-imperialists" to 
since any armed forces that are on the white side  of the chessboard 
like the Russian military represent peace, national sovereignty, 
Enlightenment values, and tolerance even if Pussy Riot had to be put in 
jail to sustain those values.

Last night I was at a dinner to kick off the 2016 Socially Relevant Film 
Festival and found myself sitting next to a filmmaker who had obviously 
been reading Mike Whitney et al. When she told me that Israel was 
backing al-Qaeda in Syria, I asked her to substantiate that. She could not.

What is going on here? Brainwashing? No, I think it is something far 
more interesting. When people like her and Ron Jacobs were young, they 
became profoundly alienated from the USA because of the Vietnam War. 
This led inexorably toward an identification with any government or 
movement that was seen as the enemy of the USA, so much so that the same 
kind of "my country, right or wrong" mentality that typified the yahoos 
who wore American flag pins on their lapels became adopted by young 
radicals. Except that the country became Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, or 
Russia. Half right, I guess, but a miss is as good as a mile. Trying to 
persuade her or Ron Jacobs that Assad and Putin were no different than 
Pinochet or Suharto is virtually impossible because they have settled 
into a comfort zone that makes critical thinking impossible.

I suppose that I was fortunate enough (despite all the shitty baggage 
that went along with it) to have been educated in the Trotskyist 
movement. Joe Hansen published the Soviet dissidents in the 1960s and 
70s no matter that the NY Times took up their cause. If you want to play 
chess, play chess. But if you lack a class analysis, stick to checkers 
or maybe even marbles.

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