… read this. Aidan O’Brien, a Dublin hospital worker, writing today in CounterPunch. It’s not the most elegant prose. It overuses inverted commas and Aidan can for sure expect a visit from the apostrophe taliban, but his words have a quality more important than elegance and grammatic orthodoxy. Every one of them speaks unvarnished truth.
A strange thing happened the other week. The US president officially ordered the CIA to halt it’s war against Syria. So it wasn’t global warming then, or “Assad” or neoliberalism, it wasn’t even a civil war. The war maker in Syria was the CIA. Of course, the CIA will unofficially continue it’s war against Syria. But we can savour for a moment the truth. And an “official CIA defeat”.
And why only savour? Why not rejoice? Because this momentous “victory” may be the turning point in the century old Western assault on the Muslim people. What many call the “arc of resistance” (Shiite and Secular) has now solidified, while the Western imperial offensive has faltered.
US general Wesley Clark gave the game away years ago when he revealed US intentions in the Middle East after 9/11: seven countries were to be invaded (Iraq, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Somalia, Sudan and Iran). France’s ex-foreign minister Roland Dumas also gave the game away when he revealed that the British State (a definite CIA asset) was preparing for a war on Syria two years before the start of the Syrian Holocaust in 2011. And the investigative journalist Seymour Hersh gave the game away too in his 2007 New Yorker article: “The Redirection”. In this piece he revealed how the US were hooking up once again with the Saudi/Sunni fundamentalists in and around Syria.
And if all this revelation wasn’t enough – Wikileaks exposed the machinations of the US embassy in Damascus in the first decade of this century. Destabilisation was it’s agenda. CIA “diplomacy” was the rule. In short, Syria was in the cross-hairs of the Empire. In fact it has been so for the last sixty or so years. Plans for mayhem in Syria have been on the imperial table since the 1950s (Operation Straggle).
All this conspiring fused like an atomic bomb over Syria in 2011. However the Syrian resistance to it and eventual “victory” over it isn’t receiving the enormous credit and respect it deserves. Syria took a hit for humanity. And has scored a victory for humanity. And humanity – or at least the Western part of it – chooses to look the other way.
Western “humanitarians” blame Syria for the Syrian Holocaust. The reports of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (both on intimate terms with the US State Department) pour nothing but scorn upon the Syrian Arab Republic. And even some Western radicals blame Syria. From the get-go Noam Chomsky wanted regime change. And “a thousand and one” other leftists honoured the Kurds in northern Syria and other revolutionary illusions rather than say anything good about the Syrian Republic.
In the grotesquely distorted Western account of the war on Syria: the many ways of Western imperialism was and still is missing. The CIA and it’s modus operandi was and still is not being held to account: the buying of informers, traitors, journalists, mercenaries, movies, oscars, etc..
In a classic case of shameless liberalism – when it came to Syria the covert and overt actions of the West were sidelined and one “foreign” individual was highlighted: the Syrian President.
And in a disappointing display of critical thinking a large proportion of the Western left ended up pointing at one “foreigner” too: the Syrian President.
While the right wing Western habit has always been to blame foreigners or strangers. The postmodern (post-revolutionary) Western left have fallen into the same habit. Why this blunt criticism? Why the reluctance to acknowledge the greatest anti-imperialist victory in postmodern times?
Because a “dictator” is responsible for it? So? The Republic’s life was on the line! Does that existential point not register in Western heads? Are we blind to the genocidal results of our Western policies when they’re imposed on vulnerable Third World nations? Are we so pure that we can’t acknowledge an alternative political model? Syria’s President could have abandoned ship. But he actually acted like a President. He stayed when it would have been easier to run.
In the West our Presidents give up resisting injustice at the first sign of trouble. In Europe, for example, not one dares to fight the enemies of the people (The European Central Bank and NATO). So we’re unaccustomed to seeing a leader with backbone. When we do see one we think it’s unbelievable. They’re must be something wrong. He must be a “dictator”. When in fact it’s the other way around: Western “capitalist democracy” is the dictatorship – especially when it’s exported to the non-West.
In postmodern times the Western concern or support for “Arab revolution” is fake. It has no basis. Therefore for Westerners to stand on the sidelines and lecture Syria about “revolution” is crass. To put it bluntly: we in the West today have no revolutionary credentials. So what makes us experts on “revolution” anywhere? Indeed why do we see it where it is not? Why is our judgement of Syria based on the highest revolutionary standards when a voracious imperial force is clearly out to destroy it? Why do we project our own desires for change on a people that just want to survive a Holocaust. The self righteous Western criticism of Syria is to say the least misplaced. To say the most: it has been an unwitting victim of a CIA media blitzkrieg.
And the neoliberal nature of Syria? Every country in the world today is more or less neoliberal. But apart from Libya no other country has been torn asunder like Syria. Something else was the cause of the Syrian Holocaust. To explain “Syria” by pointing to the neoliberal breakdown of society therefore is a crass cop out. And the reluctance to point at the CIA as the cause during the last six years has been cowardly.
We know the CIA’s record. Cuba, Chile, Nicaragua, Congo, Angola, Vietnam, Indonesia, Laos, etc.. The secret wars and secret destabilisation campaigns are not a secret anymore. So why the innocence when it comes to Syria? In three words: the Arab Spring.
However after six years of horror the “Spring” narrative makes no sense. In Syria’s case its a blindfold. Since when did CIA activities ever amount to being a “Spring”? It has been a well crafted distraction. The great irony though is that today after the “victory” of the Syrian Republic, we’re likely to see a real Syrian Renaissance – a genuine Spring of the Syrian people.
And before someone says “Russian Imperialism” let’s push that idea aside. The fact is that the Russian economy is smaller than California’s. It simply doesn’t have the the economic capacity to be an empire. And to suggest otherwise is farcical. To repeat our main point: the life of the Syrian Republic was on the line during the last few years. Therefore the Republic had every right to use whatever advantage it had. In wars “allies” are a fact of life.
As regards Russia’s “rush” to help Syria – the best analogy is the Cuban rush to help Angola in the 1970s. Cuba’s entry into that CIA war wasn’t “Cuban imperialism” but an act of international solidarity. And it changed the history of modern Africa for the better. It was the beginning of the end of apartheid South Africa.
And that’s precisely the significance of the Syrian victory. By patriotically fighting and by defeating the killing machine of the West the Syrian people have not just saved their country but have saved their region from further destruction. And if this is the case then it is the beginning of the end of apartheid Israel.