[Marxism] Like a bad penny

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Apr 1 18:14:02 MDT 2017

For those of you like me who hoped that the termination of Yoshie's 10 
year stint at MRZine would at least bring an end to her Assadist Tweets, 
I regret to inform you that nothing has changed. In fact, despite the 
hiring of a new social media/webmaster, a new name and new URL, nothing 
much has changed. You go to mronline.org and it is the same old 
crap--Yoshie retweeting Ben Norton, Adam Johnson, Rania Khalek and every 
other two-bit publicist for arguably the bloodiest dictator of the 21st 
century. I never expected the new website to follow Jacobin's lead, 
which has been to open up to Arab voices in support of the revolution. 
But I at least held out hope that Foster was smart enough to know that 
Yoshie's tweets are a slap in the face to a growing segment of the left.

Part of the problem is the sheer idiocy of Twitter. What are you to make 
of a 140 character utterance about something as complex as Syria? I've 
written 251 articles on Syria and Furuhashi has written none. Moving 
right along, Foster's Rasputin John Mage has also written zero. That 
leaves you with éminence grise John Bellamy Foster whose single article 
on Syria over a 6 year period was so shallow and so tendentious that 
you'd think he be embarrassed to put it up on Monthly Review, a magazine 
that was smart enough at the beginning of the Baathist nightmare to 
include an article that would never appear in MR today:


Apparently Paul Sweezy and Harry Magdoff had the ability to see through 
the bourgeois nationalist con games of the Middle East, at least on the 
evidence of an article titled “The Coups in Iraq and Syria”, written by 
Tabitha Petran, that appeared in the May 1963 Monthly Review.

Petran minces no words, beginning her article as follows:

	The recent coups in Iraq and Syria realize the six-year-old Eisenhower 
Doctrine’s goal of anti-Communist “Arab unity” under United States 
protection. The coups’ authors are the international oil interests, the 
U.S., and their local placemen—the Baath and Arab Nationalist 
(Nasserist) parties, assorted militarists and feudal left over from 
Hashemite rule in Iraq, and in Syria elements from the right-wing of the 
Moslem Brotherhood.

She dubs Baathism as an amalgam of demagogy and petty-bourgeois social 
reforms that is “widely regarded as an instrument of American 
imperialism”. It is so interesting to see the final dregs of this system 
being hoisted on the shoulders of John Bellamy Foster, John Mage and 
Yoshie Furuhashi.

Petran’s article decries the wholesale slaughter of Communists in Iraq, 
a crime that no longer tends to bother the MR group based on Furuhashi’s 
grotesque attempts to provide ex post facto excuses for the slaughter of 
radicals in Khomeini’s Iran in the early 1980s. These “divisive” 
elements obviously stood in the way of creating strong states that might 
become part of counter-hegemonic blocs. Back in the early 60s 
apparently, MR magazine viewed class criteria as having priority over 
that kind of leftist realpolitik.

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