[Marxism] Riad Alarian responds to Max Blumenthal on FB

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Oct 3 12:55:00 MDT 2016

Max Blumenthal, your Alternet article is beyond disappointing and 
shameful. I had for long considered you a friend and an ally, but you 
have irreparably hurt the Syrian people, and me, with what you've 
published here. When Palestinians seek amplification, you rightly 
channel their grievances. As Egyptians are wilting-away under Sisi and 
his goons, you stand on the side of justice. But do you think that just 
because you hold morally conscientious positions on these causes that I 
will ignore the fact that you are a sounding board for the Baathist amen 
corner in Syria? In the face of Syria's tragedies, you have done nothing 
but echo the exact same propaganda against revolutionaries, aid-workers, 
and their allies that the likes of Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett 
constantly spew. Whether you realize it or not, you have committed a 
great injustice. You have contributed to the online compendium of 
propaganda against Syrians that continues to provide intellectual cover 
for their suffering. There is nothing morally courageous or 
intellectually novel about rehashing the exact same nonsense 
pro-Baathist outlets like Global Research have been spreading for years, 
and which Syrians and their allies in support of the revolution have 
been persistently discrediting.

I remember when you quit your job at Al-Akhbar over their pro-Assad 
work. What a principled thing to have done. And now look at you. One 
step forward, one-hundred steps back.

You talk about the dangers of regime change without taking into 
consideration the fact that the Syrian revolution is completely 
dependent on regime change, and that the overwhelming majority of 
Syrians are in favor of regime change, precisely because of the danger 
the continued existence of the status quo poses. You only inspect the 
merit of regime change, and the Syrian revolution more generally, 
through the prism of US interests. The proximity of the US government's 
activities--whether real or imagined--define the extent of your interest 
in Syria, and inform your horrendous biases. You speak about the 
potential disasters of regime change while you mitigate the severity of 
the current disaster on Syrian lives brought about by the continued 
existence of that very regime. Hundreds of thousands dead, and you want 
to talk about "potential disasters?"

What happened to internationalism? What happened to looking at popular 
liberation struggles through the eyes of those who define them? Or are 
the only causes worth supporting the secular ones, absent of all the 
beardy-weirdy Islamists and "jihadists" you seem to now fear so much?
Just have a look at who is proudly sharing and endorsing your article on 
social media. Every single pro-Assad scumbag is lauding your piece with 
great enthusiasm. What does that say? More importantly, how should I 
interpret your close colleague Rania’s sudden agreeability on Syria with 
Max Abrahms, that filthy apologist for Israeli crimes? Or are you now 
willing to forget about that because he slanders Syria with the same 
fervor as you?

You must remember, Max, that you can never, at any moment or under any 
virtual circumstance, ever be anything more than an ally in the 
struggles of Arabs and Muslims--and even that designation now seems too 
much for you. By virtue of your White, secular, privileged identity, you 
will never be a mainstay of our causes no matter how much you desire to. 
You are not Palestinian, Syrian, or Arab, and you never will be. We are 
the gatekeepers of our causes and narratives, we decide who stays in and 
who stays out. Evidently, you have, through this horrendous article of 
yours, decided to willingly show yourself out. Good riddance. I swear to 
God Almighty and on the honor of Arab and Muslim liberation, when 
Palestine and Syria are finally free, your name will go completely 
unremembered--you will not have a place among us. I will sip tea on the 
shores of Yaffa, prostrate in the abode of Damascus, and take comfort in 
the knowledge of your absence.

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