[Marxism] Riad Alarian responds to Max Blumenthal on FB

A.R. G amithrgupta at gmail.com
Mon Oct 3 18:26:50 MDT 2016


I have to say, as much as I agree with the merits of the criticism of MB,
RK, and BN on this, I can't agree with the vilification of these people.

What do others expect from them? They are Western journalists, all of whom
started as bloggers. They are producing materials for what is a dying
field. I can't help but think that the obsession with what Max Blumenthal
has to say about Syria in the first place is a sign of being tremendously
out of touch with what people in Syria have to say. You guys are speaking
about him as though he is some sort of political leader. He is a guy who
writes blog articles for liberals in the West.

I have always had great respect for him given his principles, particularly
the fact that he left Al-Akhbar over its Assad apologetics. I think that
took guts. I am disappointed that he appears to have reversed some of that.
I also disagreed with his take on Alison Weir; I thought his statements
were unfair.

But I do not expect that much of him or other Western journalists in the
first place. Is it really fair to say his journalist contributions on other
issues should be thrown to the wind over his statements about the White
Helmets? Exactly what is the expectation of these people that they are
supposed to be morally pure? I assume the value of Alternet and other
similar publications is to provide Westerners with an alternative view. 95%
of Max's writings have done exactly that. Why throw all of that out due to
his failure to take a more principled position on Syria? Is he some sort of
political decision-maker? Last I checked he is simply a blogger. In fact he
is rehashing the talking points that have become depressingly common on the
left. I don't know why anyone would expect any more out of him.

Again, I'm not defending his views on this but I think we should allow room
for error before deciding that someone who does not actually live in Syria
or Palestine or make significant political decisions about either of those
places is categorically blacklisted from contributing to discussion about
one or the other.

- Amith

On Mon, Oct 3, 2016 at 3:39 PM, Andrew Pollack via Marxism <
marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

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> One excellent point in particular made by Sam must be emphasized:
> When the Assadists terrorist-bait the White Helmets, or label entire cities
> as "under terrorist control" (Khalek), they are aiding and abetting murder.
> I am being literal; their words have consequences! The climate they create
> says to our rulers that no-one will complain if the bombing/torture/sieges
> continue.
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