[Marxism] Fwd: The left can oppose Russian intervention in Syria without capitulating to our own rulers | REDFLAG

Stuart Munckton stuartmunckton at gmail.com
Wed Oct 14 19:10:42 MDT 2015

"Green Left Weekly takes this to its logical conclusion by not mentioning
Russia’s involvement in Syria at all. Those wanting to understand the
events in Syria will likely leave the website scratching their heads."

This article was published on October 13, yet on October 10 Green Left
Weekly published a feature article <https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/60291>,
which was the back cover article of the current issue, the first Green Left
issue to be published since Russia began its bombing campaign, which begins:


Russia followed the lead of Western powers on September 30 and began direct
military intervention in Syria – using the same form (air strikes) and the
same declared enemy, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Russia's campaign, aimed to shore up the beleaguered regime of Syrian
dictator Bashar Assad, will also target the al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front
and other armed groups fighting the dictatorship.

Russia's entry into the fray has dramatically heightened tensions between
Russia and the West and further complicated the already confused,
multi-sided conflict in Syria.

Russia's intervention mirrors the West: use of air strikes with involvement
on the ground limited to military advisors and weapons supplies to allies.

For Russia, the question of allies on the ground is straightforward. Syria
has been a long-term ally of Russia. Since 1991, when the Soviet Union
collapsed and the US, through its first war on Iraq, asserted its primacy
in the Middle East, Syria has been Russia's closest regional ally.

Tartus in Syria is the only remaining Russian naval base outside Russia and
gives the Russian navy access to the Mediterranean.


It mention Russia more through out it. You can disagree with what Green
Left says about Russia's intervention,  but you cannot -- without being
utterly dishonest -- pretend it has said nothing about it! Perhaps the
reason is Green Left's attitude to Russia's intervention doesn't fit Red
Flag's cookie cutter approach that likes to deal with grossly offensive
defences of Russia's actions by the likes of Mike Whitney or Socialist
Unity (does anyone still pay attention to that site?)

On 15 October 2015 at 11:58, Louis Proyect via Marxism <
marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

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> The response to all of this by some on the Western left has been dreadful.
> For some bizarre reason, while the cynical and imperialist manoeuvres of
> the Western powers are, rightly, denounced, Putin gets a
> get-out-of-jail-free card.
> This takes several forms. For starters, there is the straightforward
> pro-Putin propaganda. Socialist Unity in Britain blares, in a triumphant
> Islamophobic stupor, “The barbarians are at the gates and Russia alone is
> heeding the call to intervene in order to save not just the Syrian
> government or Syria, but civilisation itself”.
> The nominally left wing US website Counterpunch has an article by Mike
> Whitney, which proclaims: “That’s how you fight terrorism if you’re serious
> about it. Bravo, Putin”.
> Neglected is the fact that most of the people brutally murdered by Russian
> bombs so far have been conspicuously not-ISIS. Indeed, they have been
> people fighting against ISIS. But then, I guess Russia has to warm up first
> before it can hit its targets. Or perhaps destroying all opposition to ISIS
> is all part of a master plan. ISIS will be overconfident, and that’s when
> Putin will ride in naked on a bear and save the day.
> Another set of arguments is tied to the notion that, even if Putin is in
> it for his own cynical gain, somehow Russia being involved will just
> magically make the situation better. Because if there’s anything that makes
> people’s lives better, it’s more bombs and missiles.
> Patrick Cockburn, whose writings on the Middle East have been widely
> circulated on the left, argued: “The US-Soviet Cold War, and the global
> competition that went with it, had benefits for much of the world. Both
> superpowers sought to support their own allies and prevent political
> vacuums from developing which its opposite number might exploit”. I suspect
> this statement might raise a few eyebrows in Vietnam, among many other
> places.
> Political cartoonist Carlos Latuff, well known for his pro-Palestinian
> cartoons, defended Russia by saying that at least it doesn’t want regime
> change in Syria. Well, no, it doesn’t. It wants to kill many people to
> allow a murderous tyrant to remain in power so Russia can continue
> exercising influence in the region. That’s not a positive thing. You’d
> think this didn’t need to be spelled out.
> Finally, there’s the variety of responses which only want to focus on
> Western intervention. They may be shocked to find that one can indeed walk
> and chew gum at the same time.
> Green Left Weekly takes this to its logical conclusion by not mentioning
> Russia’s involvement in Syria at all. Those wanting to understand the
> events in Syria will likely leave the website scratching their heads.
> full:
> https://redflag.org.au/article/left-can-oppose-russian-intervention-syria-without-capitulating-our-own-rulers
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“Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is humanity’s
original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made,
through disobedience and through rebellion.” — Oscar Wilde, Soul of Man
Under Socialism

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