[Marxism] Fwd: A resource guide for understanding Syria | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Oct 14 14:22:46 MDT 2015

I was prompted to post this article for two reasons. When I was 
discussing Syria with a very old friend the other day, it soon became 
apparent that the dominant narrative largely shaped his views on the 
war, namely that Bashar al-Assad was a “lesser evil”. He was preoccupied 
with ISIS but when I pointed out to him that the vast portions of 
eastern Syria that it controlled were thinly populated, he seemed 
surprised. There are two cities (Raqqa, Deir al-Zour) each having 
220,000 or so residents but Palmyra, the third and most infamous, only 
has around 7000. Most of the conflict is in the west of the country 
where ISIS is not much of a presence. Of course, I only knew this 
because I try to keep abreast of Syrian politics on a daily basis. So, 
to help him get up to speed, I thought I would pull together a list of 
websites I consult.

Although I can hardly describe him as a friend, it occurred to me that 
John Wight could use such a list as well since he posted a comment on my 
blog the other day that supposedly proved that the Sunnis supported 
Assad. When I clicked the link in his comment, I was directed to the 
West Point Anti-Terrorism Center. I wrote my “idiot’s guide to 
‘anti-imperialism’” in jest but apparently Wight was recommending such a 
resource in earnest. I advised him to read the Middle East Research and 
Information Project instead, a journal written from a left perspective. 
Although I doubt that he will bother, my inclusion of that website and 
others will surely prove useful to those trying to understand Syria in 
terms other than as a conspiracy hatched in CIA headquarters.


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