[Marxism] Fwd: What Next in Syria?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Sep 19 06:45:04 MDT 2016

Check this out from Patrick Cockburn:

The very existence of a “moderate” armed opposition of any strength 
inside Syria has always been a matter of wishful thinking by Western 
leaders. Some intelligence agencies were aware of this from an early 
stage, but they were either ignored or governments did not really care 
who they were backing in trying to displace President Bashar al-Assad. 
As early as August 2012, the Defence Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon’s 
intelligence arm, had written a report which firmly stated: “The 
Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [al-Qaeda in Iraq] are the 
major forces driving the insurgency in Iraq.”


I thought the sentence in quotes had a familiar ring. It was in a 
memorandum submitted to the Pentagon but never adopted as policy that 
appeared on the rightwing Judicial Watch on 2012 and that has made the 
rounds on the Baathist amen corner ten thousand times.

Cockburn, the world's greatest journalist next to Seymour Hersh and 
Judith Miller, includes this sentence to establish that the resistance 
to Assad is made up of suicide bombers. But what does the sentence say? 
It says, "Driving the insurgency in Iraq". If I recall correctly, Iraq 
and Syria are different countries.

Cockburn asserts that there is no "moderate" opposition in Syria, a 
position he has held for the past 5 years. This, of course, is a 
position that he puts forward without any documentation. To start with, 
the term "moderate" is a loaded word. Almost all of the militias have a 
degree of Islamic motivation. I imagine that this is inevitable given 
the social composition of those who took up arms, namely the rural poor. 
Apparently, Cockburn is offended by the profession of faith except when 
it comes to the Shia sectarianism of Hizbollah and the Iranian foreign 
legion that is waging its own holy war in Syria. Some day the historians 
will look back at people like Cockburn and judge them harshly. The 
sooner the better.

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