The western liberal Left and “rationalizing” the genocide in historic Palestine.

The latest Israeli massacres in Gaza have once again laid bare the genocidal policies of the Zionist regime and its imperial backers in the United States-led NATO alliance.

Since its violent colonial inception in 1948, known as the Nakba Day,  يوم النكبة Day of the Catastrophe –  the historical event which thoroughly debunks the false perception of a peace-seeking Israeli state surrounded by “inhospitable Arabs” – the Zionist leadership has in fact had no intention of a “durable peace” with the Palestinians or their Arab neighbours. As over 66 years of ethnic cleansing, periodic mass murder, endless kidnappings and incarceration, land theft and wars of aggression have clearly shown — “peace”, let alone the possibility of genuine Palestinian autonomy within the Bantustans and ghettos the Israeli’s have created in historic Palestine, has never been on the Zionist or imperialist agenda.

Only a crude revisionist or devout partisan of the highest order is able to analyse the historical and present policies of Israel and its imperial backers and come to any other conclusion that the full expulsion and expropriation of the Palestinian people and their land is the desired end-goal. Indeed, over the years many an Israeli politician, militarist or policy planner have openly revealed as much, and such zealous policy is reflected in the views and ideology of the occupying Israeli population – evidenced once more in recent polls showing the overwhelming majority of Israelis support the massacres and wish for them to continue (1). This is to say nothing of the blatant xenophobia so pervasive within Israeli society and the widespread scenes of racist Israeli mobs cheering on the massacres from grandstands with popcorn or freely chanting “Death to the Arabs” and worse throughout the streets of Tel Aviv. Yet the common perspective still held in the west toward the latest slaughter in Gaza – even within so-called “Left” circles – is largely one of shock and disbelief, as if this most recent bout of imperial-sanctioned fascist brutality is the exception, and not the longstanding rule.

As Greg Shupak points out:

“describing such violence as aimless misses the underlying logic of Israel’s conduct throughout Operation Protective Edge and, indeed, for much of its history.

Driven by both its own settler-colonial agenda and by its function as an American partner in the geopolitical system, Israel strives to balance its desire to maximize the territory it controls against the imperative of minimizing the number of Palestinians living in the territories it seeks to use for its own purposes.

The result is that Palestinians are not merely subject to extreme violence. Rather, their capacity to live autonomously in historic Palestine is being attacked. … Not only does the current Israeli onslaught end the physical existence of specific Palestinian individuals, it aims to obliterate Palestinians as a people with the capacity to live independently in their homeland.” (2)

Yet despite this, the western liberal “Left” commentariat is by no means averse to the aforementioned reductionist strain of analysis. As an example, leading propagandist of the UK Labour Party Owen Jones has once again been kind enough to provide the Guardian’s white-western liberal readership with a typically opportunist variation on dissent. (3) Using his platform to build false equivalence and portray racist Israeli occupiers as victims, Jones informs that Israel’s premeditated mass murder is merely an “offensive” with a “rationale” that “must be understood”.

According to Jones, the “rationale” behind Israel’s colonial aggression must also be immediately understood not from the point of view of the oppressed Palestinians, but from the point of view of the oppressor. And what is this “rationale” one might ask? Well, of course it is the historical persecution of the Jews; the Holocaust, the pogroms of tsarist Russia etc, and more importantly the appropriated victimhood that follows. Apparently, “the moral corruption that comes with any occupation has fused with the collective trauma of the Jewish people”, says Jones, and there are indeed several liberal Zionists that back him up on this matter (evidently, there are never any Palestinians in Jones’ articles on the subject). But once again this is purely an attempt to mitigate and make excuses for Zionist colonialism by conflating the racist occupiers of today with the Jewish victims of yesterday. Jones crassly attempts to conflate the history of Jewish persecution with the Zionist regime and its zealous subjects in order to afford the latter with false moral legitimacy. This false perception has proven to be a fundamental one in legitimizing the Zionist project since its very beginnings; promoted by the Zionist leadership and their cohorts to furnish what would otherwise be considered colonial genocidaires with a moral smokescreen to continue their murderous policies unabated. What Jones demands is that the Israeli regime, the violent racist settlers, and the twisted ideology they hold be afforded “understanding” due to the “collective trauma” inflicted upon Jews throughout history – it is to make Jews and Zionists one and the same. Not only does Jones attempt to propagate this revolting conflation of persecuted Jews with racist Zionists but he does it under the guise of feigned “Left” condemnation – purporting to be on a quest to understand it, he merely repeats the Israeli-line without offering an ounce of criticism.

Simply put, the desired effect of regurgitating the supremacist ideological basis for the “Jewish State” and asking for “understanding” is to depict racist settlers as Jewish victims, to whitewash and sanitize, to excuse, to empathise with the Zionists imperial-sanctioned systematic brutality and oppression in Palestine and validate their warped rationalizations. In reality, of course, the history of Jewish persecution has absolutely no relevance to Zionism other than when it is used to legitimise the fascistic policies and ideology of the latter.

The duplicity is taken a step further as Jones forwards the idea that Israeli colonialism can be compared with the British empire’s oppression and colonialism in Ireland. While there is indeed a correlation between the two forms of colonialism this anachronistic comparison detached from any wider context is nothing but an attempt to portray Israel as a legitimate state; as if the Israeli state existed before it usurped Palestine and may return to a post-colonial incarnation once the occupation has quietly ended – presumably to the borders of 1967. This point of view is further evidenced by Jones’ explicit wording regarding “an end to the occupation and the dismantling of every settlement” — how very two-state solution.  But Israel the state, its culture and ideology, born in 1948, are entirely a product of colonial occupation and would not exist in any form if that occupation and ongoing policy of colonisation were to be ended in full. Jones wants to portray Israel as merely a legitimate state occupying another, not an entirely illegitimate state built from the wholesale theft of another; the oppression, murder, and expulsion of its people.

Such opportunism is further exposed by Jones’ positions toward Palestinian resistance group Hamas. Jones’ liberal Zionist source tells us that to Israelis “Gaza residents are homogenised as Hamas supporters – even though most were not of voting age when the group was elected in 2006 – justifying collective punishment.” But Jones fails to offer any clarification that this is a fundamentally wrongheaded way to think, he just leaves it floating for the reader to assume the justification is valid, in that collective punishment for the “crime” of supporting Hamas is a somewhat “understandable” position to take and should be empathized with, because after all Hamas are “terrorists” and Israelis are just poor victims. This is of course not a position to be merely “understood”, or to be at all empathized with; it is a position intrinsic to an underlying racist ideology that is to be vehemently opposed. But Jones and Co. simply lack the backbone. In a revealing quote from an earlier piece Jones also tells us that “there is no defence for Hamas firing rockets into civilian areas”(4), thereby not only bolstering the Israeli regime’s lies that Hamas targets Israeli civilians – in fact they have gone to great lengths to target occupation forces while the occupation forces have mercilessly slaughtered women and children from planes and tanks – but also negating the Palestinians right, by International Law no less, to engage in armed resistance to occupation. What self-respecting “Leftist” denies Palestinians the right to resist a fascist military occupation? A social-chauvinist, social-imperialist “Leftist”, that’s who.

Citing Netanyahu’s use of the Holocaust to depict Israelis as threatened victims, Jones almost appears to “understand the rationale” but he is avoiding calling it by its real name: ideology. It is not simply a metaphysical “rationale” that engenders Israeli massacres in Gaza, it is a pervasive racist colonial ideology called Zionism, but Jones doesn’t want to name it because his interest is in hiding the full consequences of confronting that depraved ideology – moreover its specific material causes – behind liberal platitudes and empty condemnations.

There is of course no attempt whatsoever from the social imperialists at “understanding” the economic material causes that engender Zionist barbarity, and this is largely due to the fact that exposing such causes would make a mockery of the imperial-extricating bourgeois propaganda they sell. Zionism is, and has always been used in a strictly colonial sense, in that it forms the culture, ideology and state structure for the entire imperialist-sponsored Israeli project. Zionism is fascism, and to call-out the Israeli state as a fascist colonial manifestation that is reliant on western imperialism is simply too far a stretch for Oxford-educated Labour Party propagandists.

By no means the only western “Left” pundit to employ this conflation of Jewish persecution and Zionism, Jones’ liberal-imperialist propagandist-in-arms Laurie Penny decided to take up the baton in much the same way, but with far less subtlety. Employing the same perfidious conflation of Jews and Zionists under the guise of “Left” condemnation, Penny concocts a call for Jewish guilt, informing us that “Jews are better placed than anyone else to articulate a powerful call for ceasefire” (5). Thus, Penny bolsters the Zionist regimes’ propaganda and supremacist ideology by validating the perception that Israel represents Jews, and then demands that they take responsibility for Zionism. By associating Zionists with historically persecuted Jews Penny attempts to surreptitiously justify Zionist aggression and colonialism, and in turn bolster Israel’s false moral justification: its use of the “fear” of Jewish annihilation to obscure and mitigate its aggressive policies.

In what can only be seen as a massive oversight, Penny invokes the same false moralism as Jones in crudely positing that the “The moral basis for Israel’s persecution of the Palestinian people is eroding fast.” As if such a “moral basis” for Israeli persecution of Palestinians has ever existed outside the depraved mindset of Zionists and white supremacist imperialists, or two-state-solution enthusiasts, also known as liberal Zionists.

Jones and Co. seek “understanding” for this ideology and leave it at that, there is no real analysis of what this ideology is, where it stems from and why it has been employed by Zionist ruling classes and their imperial counterparts to produce the massacres and incremental genocide of the last 66 years. Zionism’s inherent racism and the effect it has on the occupying population is largely ignored; there is no understanding, just feeble pleas to the reader. Jones wants to whitewash it, furnish it with Jewish victimhood and then sweep it under the carpet. But not only does Jones the social chauvinist attempt to whitewash the true extent of this ideology and its vital relationship with western imperialism, but he totally ignores the material causes that bring it about.

Contrary to Jones’ apolitical non-materialist approach to Israeli “rationales”, there is a fundamental economic material cause that buttresses and sustains Israeli fascism, and that is western imperialism. The Israeli state has provided western capital with its most crucial foothold in the resource-rich Middle East since its inception. Initially used by the British as a bulwark against the rising tide of Arab nationalism and national liberation movements, and to uphold a position of military/strategic dominance over the region’s massive resources, then taken fully into the fold of American imperialism with the decline of the British empire to meet the same ends — the Zionist leadership have provided the west with a reliable client willing to go to great lengths in aiding western imperial hegemony in return for maintaining its sponsorship and support for its colonial agenda.

As Bashir Abu-Manneh explains of “imperialism-colonialism”:

“The United States has been determining major economic and political outcomes in the Middle East since at least 1967, with Israel continuing to play a crucial role in their realization. In Israel-Palestine, this has meant that force and colonial peace have alternated as main instruments of policy, with the main objective being a constant: Jewish supremacy in Palestine—as much land as possible, as few Palestinians as possible. The United States has exploited this Zionist imperative for its own interests in the region, and has fostered a militarized and fundamentalist Israel in the process.”

The dynamic of American Empire/Israeli colonialism is, therefore, circular: U.S. support reinforces Israeli colonialism and occupation, which bolsters Israeli militarization of state and society, which generates new ideological and political justifications and breeds new religious fanaticisms, leading to further indigenous resistance and to more U.S. interventions in the region. A cycle of violence if ever there was one, ultimately determined by U.S. imperialism. The United States thus becomes both a necessary and sufficient condition for Israel’s colonial expansionism. Without it, Israel would be a pariah state. Without it, conditions of peaceful coexistence in the region are much more likely. Without it, Israeli militarism and Jewish fundamentalism in Israel would be on the defensive; and the mobilization of internal domestic forces calling for the abandonment of the “national security” ethic and the rejection of living by the sword would have a real chance of gaining political ascendancy in Israel.”(6)

The results of such policies and the co-dependent “circular” relationship between US imperialism and Zionist colonialism are clear for all to see: an ever-diminishing Palestine and a constant Israeli attack on the Palestinians’ very means of existence. The latest bombardment yet again provides explicit evidence of this genocidal policy; from the intentional bombing of civilian infrastructure,  the wholesale destruction of urban zones, cultural and educational facilities, to the deliberate targeting of children – even when under the supposed safety of UN protection – are all colonial policies designed to prevent the survival of, or permanently expel the Palestinian population. The dependency on US imperialism is also as clear as day; without the US’ Orwellian diplomatic and media cover public outcry would be far greater within the west; the now largely defunct and thoroughly subordinated UN – which has always primarily provided the “Great Powers”, now mainly the US and its NATO lackeys, with a dominant position over the “lesser” nations – could have perhaps been more effective in countering Israeli colonialism if it weren’t for American security council vetoes. More importantly still, without US military and economic support Israel would certainly be far less able to sustain its dominant military posture, and in turn its aggression and meddling toward its Arab neighbours, let alone pursue a genocidal policy of expansionism.

On the other side of the bargain, and providing the most crucial return in supporting Zionism for the western imperial class, is the furthering of regional chaos, antagonism, and conflict, perpetuating a weakened and subordinated condition of the Arab states and peoples that western capital seeks to repress – to force down the road of political reaction and to exploit. In one form or another Israel has provided western imperialism with its most reliable asset in the repression and exploitation of the Middle East. Until this colonial manifestation of western imperialism is abolished in full, and its racist ideological structure along with it, thereby freeing the Palestinians and Arabs from western imperialism and Zionist oppression, there will be no “durable peace”.

The western “Left”  liberals and social chauvinists seeking mere “understanding” of the oppressor and affording it false equivalence aim to mitigate and obscure both the inherently fascistic character of Zionism and the Israeli State, and its critical role in buttressing western imperial domination of the Middle East.

 

1.) Over 90% of Israelis say Gaza Op justified. – Times of Israel.

2.) The Logic of Israeli Violence. – Greg Shupak

3.) How the occupation of Gaza corrupts the occupier. – Owen Jones.

4.) Israel is under renewed Hamas attack, says the BBC, more balance is needed. – Owen Jones.

5.) As Israel’s assault on Gaza intensifies, its not anti-semitic to say not in my name. – Laurie Penny.

6.) Israel in the US Empire. – Bashir Abu-Manneh

 

Philosophical Idealists as Comrades-In-Arms: A Reply to Sam Kriss.

Self-proclaimed “Tech Blogger. Lifestyle Guru” Sam Kriss has taken it upon himself  to “dialectically critique”(1) the theory within my last post, which asserts that the renewed insurgency in Iraq is but a continuation of the NATO/GCC-sponsored insurgency in neighboring Syria; an element of the wider imperialist war on the classes that form the Resistance axis. (2)

Analogies of childhood paranoia within a polemic against alleged “conspiracist thinking” seems an odd juxtaposition, nevertheless, it may have inadvertently provided us with a source of Kriss’ distinct adult aversion to concrete analysis and determinations that tend to upset his metaphysical sophistry. Kriss throws his accusations of faulty theory like toys from a pram, but any concrete evidence to convincingly refute alleged fault is somewhat lacking. We will address the claims regardless, in concrete historical detail.

Firstly, we must ask why Sam Kriss chose to scrawl two paragraphs on my admittedly blunt refusal to engage a comment from a Libertarian under my last post – rather than say, concentrate on the concrete facts held within the assertions he claims are “shoddy and speculative”. But perhaps Kriss is in fact using the Libertarian as sock puppet because his “Marxist” analysis practically mirrors that of the apologist for American imperialism, with his confused reductionist ramblings. This becomes further perplexing when you consider Kriss’ befuddled attempt to define Marx’s dialectical method in one sentence; something Marx never actually got around to doing himself, but more on that later. We must be ready to meet such obfuscation with the instant dismissal it deserves, and further disregard all the petty bourgeois frat-boy snark posing as intellectual scholarship – as there is much more of the same quality of “critique” for us to work through. For “as long as we do not understand [details], we do not have a clear idea of the whole picture.”. (3)

Let us proceed to correct (make sense of?) Kriss’ distortions of Marx’s third term in relation to the dialectic, the transient aspect, and specifically its relation to the dialectical method of understanding things; the negation of the negation, the unity of opposites, the concrete determinations between the “unity, identity, struggle and transformation of opposites”. Contrary to the concrete objective analysis required even to begin employing the dialectical method, Kriss has deformed and attempted to replace this most essential characteristic into a subjective landscape of confusion. As Lenin rightly said with regard to the essence of dialectics:

“The splitting of a single whole and the cognition of its contradictory parts is the essence (one of the “essentials”, one of the principal, if not the principal, characteristics or features) of dialectics. That is precisely how Hegel, too, puts the matter.”

Put simply, to understand the totality of any thing we must first begin the process with the precondition of the real, but “chaotic” whole, then break this abstract whole into classes and their elements, their interconnections and their contradictions, “from the imagined concrete towards ever thinner abstractions until [we] arrive at the simplest determinations.(4)” – a process achieved on my part with regard to imperialism in Iraq while being wholly ignored on Kriss & Co’s. And then through making analytical determinations via dialectic (the unity of opposites, determining the principal aspect in each contradiction), we will eventually arrive back at the thing — but never as the “Absolute” totality of the preconceived whole, but as a “rich totality of many determinations and relations” containing their own Absolute truths that contain further relative truths within them. In his Notes on Dialectics Lenin wrote:

“The distinction between subjectivism (scepticism, sophistry, etc.) and dialectics, incidentally, is that in (objective) dialectics the difference between the relative and the absolute is itself relative. For objective dialectics there is an absolute even within the relative. For subjectivism and sophistry the relative is only relative and excludes the absolute.” (5)

That last part is crucial to understanding Kriss’ sophism; for those applying subjectivism, the relative is only relative and excludes the absolute, they negate each other and this is the only way to arrive at permanent, metaphysical, Absolute truth. Kriss achieves this perversion of dialectic under sleight of hand – or blind luck and stupidity – by defining faulty interpretations of  what Marx determined “essential” within the dialectic. For Marxism, the determination of the concrete, followed by the “retracing of the journey” does not produce Absolute concepts of the preconceived chaotic whole, but delivers a continuous “rich totality of many determinations and relations.”

“It seems to be correct to begin with the real and the concrete, with the real precondition, thus to begin, in economics, with e.g. the population, which is the foundation and the subject of the entire social act of production. However, on closer examination this proves false. The population is an abstraction if I leave out, for example, the classes of which it is composed. These classes in turn are an empty phrase if I am not familiar with the elements on which they rest. E.g. wage labour, capital, etc. These latter in turn presuppose exchange, division of labour, prices, etc. For example, capital is nothing without wage labour, without value, money, price etc. Thus, if I were to begin with the population, this would be a chaotic conception [Vorstellung] of the whole, and I would then, by means of further determination, move analytically towards ever more simple concepts [Begriff], from the imagined concrete towards ever thinner abstractions until I had arrived at the simplest determinations. From there the journey would have to be retraced until I had finally arrived at the population again, but this time not as the chaotic conception of a whole, but as a rich totality of many determinations and relations.” (6)

Meaning that, contrary to Kriss’ reactionary Weltanschauung,  Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao have all shown us through conscious scientific practice(7) – ie: dialectical materialism(8) – that although there are Absolute truths to be found, they are not static abstract eternal truths, but constantly changing and evolving within themselves relative to history, motion; the transient aspect of all things. But according to Kriss the transient aspect is in fact Marx’s third term between exchange. This rank sophistry is an attempt to pluck words out of context and use them to distort dialectics to his own subjectivist fancy. Marx’s third term is the sublation/negation of qualitative difference, but not, however, a “pure” quantity in which identity/unity obliterates that difference; it does not “bring opposition into motion”, nor does it permanently solve contradiction into abstract metaphysical unity. In Kriss’ muddled equation, the third term – the distinct property within each aspect of a contradiction that is common to them both, but not indifferent, and not exclusive to the transient aspect – has become “essential” and “revolutionary” to the dialectic. It is no longer the dialectic itself that is revolutionary to the subjectivist, but a static, metaphysical aspect within it. Contrary to this twaddle, and as Marx’s quote confirms, the transient aspect of the dialectic must only be grasped “as well” as its other aspects and not above or superseding them. The dialectic “does not let itself be impressed by anything” – and that includes its transient aspect and the sublation of qualitative difference. It is in fact Kriss who has fallen foul of Marx’s warning and become “impressed by things”; impressed by his static metaphysical permanent concept of resolvable contradiction through a grotesque interpretation of Marx’s third term. As Engels clearly states:

Truth lay now in the process of cognition itself, in the long historical development of science, which mounts from lower to ever higher levels of knowledge without ever reaching, by discovering so-called absolute truth, a point at which it can proceed no further, where it would have nothing more to do than to fold its hands and gaze with wonder at the absolute truth to which it had attained. (9)

If a concept is not to be closed and static, it must contain inner conflict, moreover, the limitations to objective, absolute knowledge are historically conditional, and only historically conditional. As Lenin reiterates:

From the standpoint of modern materialism i.e., Marxism, the limits of approximation of our knowledge to objective, absolute truth are historically conditional, but the existence of such truth is unconditional, and the fact that we are approaching nearer to it is also unconditional. The contours of the picture are historically conditional, but the fact that this picture depicts an objectively existing model is unconditional. When and under what circumstances we reached, in our knowledge of the essential nature of things, the discovery of alizarin in coal-tar or the discovery of electrons in the atom is historically conditional; but that every such discovery is an advance of “absolutely objective knowledge” is unconditional. In a word, every ideology is historically conditional, but it is unconditionally true that to every scientific ideology (as distinct, for instance, from religious ideology), there corresponds an objective truth, absolute nature. (10)

Kriss’ denies this principle with subjectively interpreted dogmas that serve as justification for the revision of Marxist practice: voluntarism. Metaphysical concepts such as the “US-backed Iraqi government” – as if this balance of relations is set in permanency and can never change; or those such as the bourgeois, outright reactionary concept of a “Sunni insurgency” – as if the fundamental principles of materialism itself – the relations of production and the relations of exchange – have suddenly been subordinated to sectarianism, religious thought, ie: pure idealism! Kriss has become so “impressed” by his deformed idea of the transient aspect within a contradiction that it has become a static obstruction to dialectic, a permanent, isolated, thing-of-itself.

Marx continues:

The concrete is concrete because it is the concentration of many determinations, hence unity of the diverse. It appears in the process of thinking, therefore, as a process of concentration, as a result, not as a point of departure, even though it is the point of departure in reality and hence also the point of departure for observation [Anschauung] and conception. Along the first path the full conception was evaporated to yield an abstract determination; along the second, the abstract determinations lead towards a reproduction of the concrete by way of thought. In this way Hegel fell into the illusion of conceiving the real as the product of thought concentrating itself, probing its own depths, and unfolding itself out of itself, by itself, whereas the method of rising from the abstract to the concrete is only the way in which thought appropriates the concrete, reproduces it as the concrete in the mind. But this is by no means the process by which the concrete itself comes into being. For example, the simplest economic category, say e.g. exchange value, presupposes population, moreover a population producing in specific relations; as well as a certain kind of family, or commune, or state, etc. It can never exist other than as an abstract, one-sided relation within an already given, concrete, living whole. As a category, by contrast, exchange value leads an antediluvian existence. Therefore, to the kind of consciousness—and this is characteristic of the philosophical consciousness—for which conceptual thinking is the real human being, and for which the conceptual world as such is thus the only reality, the movement of the categories appears as the real act of production—which only, unfortunately, receives a jolt from the outside—whose product is the world; and—but this is again a tautology—this is correct in so far as the concrete totality is a totality of thoughts, concrete in thought, in fact a product of thinking and comprehending; but not in any way a product of the concept which thinks and generates itself outside or above observation and conception; a product, rather, of the working-up of observation and conception into concepts. The totality as it appears in the head, as a totality of thoughts, is a product of a thinking head, which appropriates the world in the only way it can, a way different from the artistic, religious, practical and mental appropriation of this world. The real subject retains its autonomous existence outside the head just as before; namely as long as the head’s conduct is merely speculative, merely theoretical. Hence, in the theoretical method, too, the subject, society, must always be kept in mind as the presupposition. (11)

For example, from the whole “chaotic” preconception, in this case US imperialism, a plethora of historical evidence is analysed, understood and determined, in turn a concrete concept is formed; not as an abstract totality of the preconceived whole, but as a “rich totality of many determinations and relations”. From this the quantitive assertion that US imperialism is directly linked to the ISIS insurgency is posited. If Kriss is to then claim this historically concrete assertion is “refuted” by an evidence-free claim that “the Saudi’s are not openly funding ISIS” – a refutation so hollow it is forced into near complete retraction – then what we are witnessing is not dialectical critique, but subjectivism, scepticism and sophism.

Now let us address the details of this sophism, the specific refutations of supposedly “shoddy and speculative ontological signifiers”.

Kriss’ vast exposition of “reports coming out of the area” is indicative of nothing but an uninformed Orientalist relaying western media’s tales of “other” savages and barbarians. He quickly informs us of the static, wholly abstract balance of forces within his sectarian Iraq contradiction: it is a “Sunni insurgency” opposed to the “US-backed Iraq government” we are informed, and this alignment of forces, this assertion without evidence, is all we are provided with to refute the much richer, deeper concept provided. To suggest the ISIS-led insurgency is in fact a “Sunni insurgency” is to employ all the wrongheaded analysis thoroughly exposed as ideological propaganda in the original piece, but Kriss ignores it; evidently, he has neither read the notes nor has any understanding of Iraqi society. (12)

The opposing force to Kriss’ apolitical “Sunni insurgency” is apparently the “US-backed Iraq government”. But what is the reality of the Iraq governments current relations with US imperialism and why are we only given another static, ahistorical, abstract definition of this relationship? Is it non-changing,  permanent? Or is it changing before our very eyes? Are we not already seeing that held within the original Iraq theory? ie: US leaders placing the blame for the insurgency on the Iraq government and pressuring the administration to step down, to form “unity governments” that are amenable to US “national security” and oil-producing interests; is the Kurdish regional government signing long-term oil deals with NATO-member Turkey?

Kriss throws the accusation of “depoliticizing tragedy” while employing bourgeois sectarian motifs to mask political processes, therefore metaphysically aligning the current, yet ever-changing balance of power within the Iraq antagonism in the complete opposite to reality to form his false concept. To then suggest anti-imperialists “have abandoned reality-based analysis” while positing muddle-headed theory is indicative of the cognitive dissonance required to uphold such base scepticism.

The main objection within all this waffle disguised as intellect seems to be that years of analysis and determination, concrete historical evidence in various forms of media, is mere “speculation” and the concept that the ISIS insurgency in Iraq is a continuation of the imperialist war on Syria is fundamentally flawed. But Kriss fails to offer any specific evidence, or any concrete refutation against the masses of objective historical evidence provided within the text or in the notes. Rather, Kriss attempts to cherry-pick quotes and build fallacy through false attribution. He breathlessly asks: “Is the capitalist class actually decaying”; is the “simple presence” of capitalist decay a sufficient condition for something – ie: the imperialist class – to be characterized as fascist; is fascism a sufficient condition for culpability in this precise situation; and the final question for the bewildered Kriss: how does destabilizing Iraq stave off capitalist decay? Of course Kriss doesn’t see destabilization as a means of dominating, as he is ignorant of history and the principal characteristics of class war.

As it is clear Kriss is unable to see the wood for the trees, we must explain the answers to his muddled questions clearly. Is the capitalist class actually decaying? Kriss asks. Why any “Marxist” needs to ask this historically answered question is quite difficult to ascertain. Of course the capitalist class is decaying through the inherent contradictions within the capitalist system. And just as importantly, this decay does not negate progress, periods of  economic “boom”, nor does it predicate the downfall of the class as a whole; as the class objectively, consciously fights for its survival in the class war by all available means. Primarily, and particularly during times of crises, those means are extreme violence and demagogy; the quintessence of fascism.

Within this period [the period of imperialism that is still upon us - PG] fascism represents the desperate attempt of the doomed capitalist class to maintain its power and overcome the contradictions by extreme violent means, and thus to maintain the existing social forms at the expense of the development of the forces of production, in particular: (1) to throttle the class struggle by suppression of all working class organizations; (2) to overcome the economic contradictions by active state intervention, so-called “planning”, subsidies, restrictions of production and trade, etc.; (3) to overcome the inner contradictions of the bourgeoisie by the unification of a single governmental party replacing the older political parties and divisions; (4) to overcome the international contradictions by intensified organization for war and world conquest.(13)

Do these particularities apply to the current American ruling class in the current era of imperialism? I am of the opinion that they do, and that they have done since the end of the second world war at the very least. To deny such objective historical reality, rich in content , is to deny historical materialism. To deny the current relations between the opposing forces within the class war – in its international totality – is to deny dialectical materialism. Therefore, we can safely assert that the current American imperialist class is fascist in form by its objective social condition, by its very being within the imperial system of production and exchange.

With regard to imperial fascism “being a sufficient condition for culpability in this precise situation”, no such absurdity is claimed with regard to the specific particularities or wider concept of the Iraq equation, so, Kriss will have to answer that piece of scepticism disguised as critique in his own special way.

How does destabilizing Iraq – ie: destroying, dividing, dominating, the subsequent supplanting of free competition: the fundamental feature of monopoly capital, the quintessence of imperialism – stave-off imperial decay? Kriss asks. This is akin to asking the question: how does capitalist appropriation afford profit for the capitalist; the question should not need asking.

Moving on, Kriss feebly attempts to refute the balance of forces, and the principal aspect in Iraq, by asserting that Egypt, who have played no political role in Iraq for quite some time as a result of their internal and external contradictions, their ongoing antagonism within the imperial system, and are therefore less of a connection to the Iraq equation than the principal classes and principal aspects within the specific contradiction; along with Qatar – who are incidentally included in the Gulf Cooperation Council under the NATO/GCC axis – form “inconvenient facts” (static abstract “facts”, by any chance?) as they “bring too much reality into [my] symmetrical abstraction of a concrete analysis”. The Qatar fallacy is immediately removed by the fact it is a subordinate class actor in the totality of the international perspective under the GCC. Regardless of its own contradiction; these internal and external contradictions do not, by any means, negate the external, nor do they negate or supersede the principal aspect within the Iraq contradiction Kriss has arbitrarily applied them to. One can only assume these two states have been given as refutation of imperialism due to geographical (or perhaps ethnographical?) determination alone.

Instead of addressing these many contradictions, analysing them concretely, demarcating and balancing the power of forces, and then retracing them to a specific and richer concept, Kriss the mechanist floats them in completely arbitrary fashion as cause to invalidate the correct balance of power between the principal aspects of the Iraq contradiction. It is nothing but scepticism, subjectivism and sophistry.

It seems Kriss is also under the impression that prior relations between classes – in this case the US imperial class and the Iraqi ruling class – equate to a permanent static unity/identity that cannot change, or transform into its complete opposite. Indeed, this absurdity is compounded by the assumption that US imperial adventures (so light-hearted the fantasy of  “imperial adventure” is the murder of millions to the coddled petty bourgeois!) may well depend on being able to point to Iraq’s post-withdrawal “stability”. It is to expose that to Kriss US imperial “adventures” are predicated on the perception, or historical record, that they have achieved “good results”. By this we must assume he means social progress for the indigenous population that imperialism is having its “adventures” upon, or at least an end to the temporary crises that supposedly forces the imperial class to “intervene” in external contradictions. But alas, there is not a shred of historical evidence to prove this warped conception is the case, in fact every piece of historical evidence and dialectic on the subject shows the precise opposite has, and still occurs. US imperialism certainly holds the false perception of benevolence, but it takes a devout partisan to determine this perception is in fact related to the reality of imperial predation within the contradiction that is the class war. We are surely not at the stage where we need to physically show the historical record of US imperial destruction to a supposed “Marxist”. But if Kriss and his subjectivist cohorts are indeed oblivious, then examples of “political reaction all along the line” concerning the last seventy years of US imperialism can be provided, at request.

“The precise economic processes behind this manoeuvre aren’t clear, even if the profitability of the arms trade is taken into account,” claims Kriss. The fact the arms trade is but one element of finance capital, ie: imperialism itself, and that militarism forms the “vital expression” of capitalism, and is therefore interconnected with all other forms of imperial profitability, is to Kriss totally irrelevant and can be brushed aside – yet another static abstraction separated from the whole. In a state of utter petty bourgeois delirium, and without a shred of self-awareness, Kriss asks aloud: “Maybe imperial economies are literally sustained by the suffering of the third world”. Maybe Kriss has just inadvertently answered his own question and nullified his entire “critique” with this somewhat crass realisation, or maybe he actually believes that the suffering of the lesser aspect within a contradiction – within the class war – is not the exact requirement for the progress of its opposite. For there to be acquisition, profit and progress within a contradiction, there must also be loss, decline, and decay. Translated to the concrete, as to the “really existing” within the dialectic, Marx explains as thus:

Suppose a being which is neither an object itself, nor has an object. Such a being, in the first place, would be the unique being: there would exist no being outside it – it would exist solitary and alone. For as soon as there are objects outside me, as soon as I am not alone, I am another – another reality than the object outside me. For this third object I am thus a different reality than itself; that is, I am its object. Thus, to suppose a being which is not the object of another being is to presuppose that no objective being exists. As soon as I have an object, this object has me for an object. But a non-objective being is an unreal, non-sensuous thing – a product of mere thought (i.e., of mere imagination) – an abstraction. To be sensuous, that is, to be really existing, means to be an object of sense, to be a sensuous object, to have sensuous objects outside oneself – objects of one’s sensuousness. To be sensuous is to suffer.

Man as an objective, sensuous being is therefore a suffering being – and because he feels that he suffers, a passionate being. Passion is the essential power of man energetically bent on its object.

<But man is not merely a natural being: he is a human natural being. That is to say, he is a being for himself. Therefore he is a species-being, and has to confirm and manifest himself as such both in his being and in his knowing. Therefore, human objects are not natural objects as they immediately present themselves, and neither is human sense as it immediately is – as it is objectively – human sensibility, human objectivity. Neither nature objectively nor nature subjectively is directly given in a form adequate to the human being.> And as everything natural has to come into being,man too has his act of origin – history – which, however, is for him a known history, and hence as an act of origin it is a conscious self-transcending act of origin. History is the true natural history of man (on which more later).

Thirdly, because this positing of thinghood is itself only an illusion, an act contradicting the nature of pure activity, it has to be cancelled again and thinghood denied.(14)

Evidently, no space remains for metaphysical conceptions, permanent identities, the static abstractions of Kriss and the subjectivists; the “US-backed Iraqi government” cannot stand alone in conceptual isolation, it can change, even to its complete opposite. And it will, it is already in the process.

“As it happens” Kriss tends to agree that sectarian conflict is “often” encoded with class-political content  – not always, only “often”; implying the root causes of all contradiction and antagonism are not in fact of the economic and can therefore be identified as principally sectarian; ideological. So in a fuzzy, woolly kind of way, Kriss agrees with the fundamental principle of materialism, but he leaves enough room for doubt, or more specifically; for non-dialectical materialism: dialectical idealism.

Nevertheless, with the bold claim against my analysis of the class composition – in the totality of the international perspective, under which modern capitalism, imperialism, operates and is therefore bound by its interconnections, relations and contradictions – is both lacking attention and “stumbling back into the ontological priority of ethnic divisions”; we are left with another blind assertion.

No specific refutation of actual, “real existing”, historically concrete objective fact that supports the wider concept (the balance of forces concerning the contradiction and its principal aspect – as “contradiction is the basis of life and drives it forward”(13)) is even addressed. Kriss is forced to semi-retract his empty assertion: “its true… many of the groups and class sectors have been armed and funded by Saudi Arabia”. An effort to mask this sorry excuse for an argument is brought about with the colourful insinuation that it must be “strange cosmology” to posit the theory US imperialism would feign opposition to its clients contras; as if there is no historical – interconnected – precedent; as if there is no rich concrete evidence of these political actions being undertaken, analysed, documented and determined for the last three years and many more preceding. But even this vacant “critique” must be qualified with the trickery of caveat and Kriss is once again forced to half-retract the faulty, metaphysical concept by offering historical precedent – the only worthwhile concrete observation in the entire piece.

Kriss’ overt misrepresentations further regress into the mind of a six-year-old with his next baseless and confused accusation. Apparently, the Iraq theory did “indeed take pains to point out the contradictory nature” of the NATO/GCC axis, but “now this posture has vanished”. How exactly, we must ask, has the concrete alignment of forces within a specific determination of a specific contradiction “vanished” if it hasn’t even ended? The contradiction remains: the Iraq theory offered no permanency to the alignment of forces, the opposing aspects. Of course they will change, but they will not change the historically concrete alignment of forces, which “really exist”, which have been documented and determined, with their principal aspect identified, in the historically absolute truth that contains the relative within it.

Kriss is effectively applying the subjectivists permanency, the non-dialectical, static, unmoving conceptions of the objective forces onto my analysis while claiming the virtue of dialectic; utter sophistry! The crux of the Hegelian masquerading as Marxists’ argument seems to be then: “Saying that objecting to a shoddy and speculative reading of the situation in Iraq means denying historical materialism betrays a very low regard for the practice.” This is the theoretical foundation of Kriss & Co’s “dialectical critique”. Minus the sophistry and wrongheaded appropriation of Marxian dialectic, the accusation is that my claims, my assertions, concrete analytical observations and subsequent determinations with regard to the principle aspects of the Iraq contradiction are “shoddy and speculative” in comparison to those of Kriss and Co. Considering the aforementioned, does this accusation hold water, and what exactly is given to prove it other than empty indictments followed by half-hearted retractions?

The empty assertions, that are invariably followed by the sophistry of semi-retraction, are then moulded into the wonderfully absurd axiom that for “US imperialism to function effectively,” says Kriss, “it needs to maintain Saudi acquiescence”. This is nothing but the “Israeli-lobby theory relocated to a Gulf context”, to borrow the words of comrade Higgins, and again Kriss finds himself in the camp of the Libertarian apologists for American empire. It is to suggest that the Saud monarchy, built and sustained via western imperialism, with its US-reliant ICBM’s; its US-reliant military and intelligence infrastructure; its US-reliant oil production and export infrastructure; its US-reliant economy, all this is meaningless in the objective balance of forces. Kriss posits the reactionary, non-dialectical, subjective assertion of the promoters of the Protocols of Zion and NatSec Professors in DC.

The ideological backdrop to all this reactionary fallacy is of course to be found in the social condition of those promulgating it. The subjective assertions and regression into idealism are the expression of the vacillating petty bourgeois intellectual – or in this case the aspiring petty bourgeois intellectual. As Lenin noted:

The flaunting of high-sounding phrases is characteristic of the declassed petty-bourgeois intellectuals. The organised proletarian Communists will certainly punish this “habit” with nothing less than derision and expulsion from all responsible posts. The people must be told the bitter truth simply, clearly and in a straightforward manner.. (15)

The extravagant verbiage that represents Kriss’ summary seems to be an exercise in grandstanding alone.  Nevertheless, a few “salient points” should be addressed in the spirit of etiquette.

The attempt to ostracize through conspiracy-smear permeates like a bad smell, but beyond the vitriol it gives us another delightful semi-retraction to add the list: “I don’t mean to deny that there are, occasionally conspiracies”, says Kriss, and remarkably, one of these concrete conceptions of “conspiracy” is Syria. But why has the imperial war against Syria been given this concrete determination and its corollary in Iraq denied? For Kriss and Co. there is no rational answer, and the objective concrete evidence that he “borrows” from one contradiction and “separates” from another which is in fact directly related and interconnected through its principal aspect – imperialism – stands in the face of Kriss and Co’s metaphysical subjectivism, non sequitur, and outright sophism.

What we are given as “critique” is merely wavering, a non-commitment, a vacillation; at every opportunity a move away from the concrete and into the abstract. The petty bourgeois sophist wants to float “Left” phrases and denounce concrete analysis while pandering to the dominant aspect within the contradiction; that which his social condition is reliant upon: the western imperial class.

Proudhon had a natural inclination for dialectics. But as he never grasped really scientific dialectics he never got further than sophistry. This is in fact connected with his petty-bourgeois point of view. Like the historian Raumer, the petty bourgeois is made up of on-the-one-hand and on-the-other-hand. This is so in his economic interests and therefore in his politics, religious, scientific and artistic views. And likewise in his morals, IN EVERYTHING. He is a living contradiction. If, like Proudhon, he is in addition an ingenious man, he will soon learn to play with his own contradictions and develop them according to circumstances into striking, ostentatious, now scandalous now brilliant paradoxes. Charlatanism in science and accommodation in politics are inseparable from such a point of view. There remains only one governing motive, the vanity of the subject, and the only question for him, as for all vain people, is the success of the moment, the éclat of the day. Thus the simple moral sense, which always kept a Rousseau, for instance, from even the semblance of compromise with the powers that be, is bound to disappear.(16)

“Lifestyle Gurus” such as Kriss, and the idealist deformities they promote, represent the expression of their social condition. Such comrades are entirely disconnected to the realities of the proletariat, specifically in the international perspective. The Orientalist outlook and tendency to apologise for the crimes of the western imperialist class upon the “lesser” nations endlessly exploited to bring about the superprofits that afford their coddled “lifestyle” is the result their inability to solve the problem of “for whom?”.

…these comrades seldom come into contact with the masses of workers, peasants and soldiers, do not understand or study them, do not have intimate friends among them and are not good at portraying them; when they do depict them, the clothes are the clothes of working people but the faces are those of petty-bourgeois intellectuals. In certain respects they are fond of the workers, peasants and soldiers and the cadres stemming from them; but there are times when they do not like them and there are some respects in which they do not like them: they do not like their feelings or their manner or their nascent literature and art (the wall newspapers, murals, folk songs, folk tales, etc.). At times they are fond of these things too, but that is when they are hunting for novelty, for something with which to embellish their own works, or even for certain backward features. At other times they openly despise these things and are partial to what belongs to the petty-bourgeois intellectuals or even to the bourgeoisie. These comrades have their feet planted on the side of the petty-bourgeois intellectuals; or, to put it more elegantly, their innermost soul is still a kingdom of the petty-bourgeois intelligentsia. Thus they have not yet solved, or not yet clearly solved, the problem of “for whom?” This applies not only to newcomers to Yenan; even among comrades who have been to the front and worked for a number of years in our base areas and in the Eighth Route and New Fourth Armies, many have not completely solved this problem. It requires a long period of time, at least eight or ten years, to solve it thoroughly. But however long it takes, solve it we must and solve it unequivocally and thoroughly. Our literary and art workers must accomplish this task and shift their stand; they must gradually move their feet over to the side of the workers, peasants and soldiers, to the side of the proletariat, through the process of going into their very midst and into the thick of practical struggles and through the process of studying Marxism and society. Only in this way can we have a literature and art that are truly for the workers, peasants and soldiers, a truly proletarian literature and art.(17)

But there is more! “Certain anti-imperialists” says Kriss, “..will go through astonishing conceptual acrobatics [no irony here-PG] if it means not ever having to admit western imperialism is capable of fucking up.” But what is the context behind this empty phrase-mongering? Does the Iraq concept not offer numerous historical examples of empire “fucking up”, as Kriss so eloquently puts it? For Kriss to offer a precise definition of what “fucking up”  entails would provide a major development in his dialectical capabilities, especially considering his petty bourgeois white supremacist ideology obstructs him from conceiving his bourgeois master as anything other than benevolent peace broker. The concrete historical reality that is the class war, the battle between competing classes as result of the social condition, the contradictions of capitalism, the destruction of entire classes and societies to subordinate, extract and exploit, is clearly an alien concept to someone weaned on petty bourgeois western chauvinism.

“Fucking up” is all part of the dialectic, and is accounted for in relative contingency through conscious scientific practice; the practice of war, the class war at its highest stage within the totality of the international perspective. Western imperialism has been royally “fucking up” for centuries, but Kriss’ ideological affinity for Great Western benevolence in tandem with a fundamental perversion of dialectical materialism completely blinds him and his fellow deviationists – concocting vulgar materialist concepts rendering camouflage to their vulgar idealism – to concrete analysis, perceptions, concepts and their historical position within a “rich totality of many determinations and relations”.

Kriss informs: “Marxism means identifying the class oppressors and the means by which they carry out their oppression.” The problem is, Kriss & Co. want to achieve this via reductionist subjective “analysis” with ideological conjecture. For all the whining about my faulty alignment of forces, Kriss has failed to provide a concrete determination of his own. Yet apparently my approach is only concerned “with seeing real contradictions and resolving them into false unities”. And this falsehood is the crux of the sophism. He is accusing my dialectic of forming false unities while employing the very method to negate the principal aspect of the Iraq contradiction: his western bourgeois master.

Contrary to the grand pronouncements on “what Marxism means”, Kriss has failed to dialectically challenge any of the specific assertions or conceptions within the Iraq theory at the very first hurdle, because the subjectivists, the sceptics and the sophists, the “Left” Communists, are unable to surpass metaphysical conceptions. What is the “Sunni insurgency” but apolitical bourgeois reductionist absurdity, and what is the “US-backed Iraq government” other than non-dialectical anachronism? The subjectivist allows himself to be “impressed” by the futile search for Absolute truth through the negation of the relative. The “revolutionary quality” of those who vacillate toward bourgeois idealism is lost; they cannot see the wood for the trees. (18)

 

—–

1.) Simpletons, Charlatans and Hacks – Sam Kriss – https://medium.com/lexical-detritus/simpletons-charlatans-and-hacks-a55804e430c4

2.) ISIS: An Expression of imperialism in Iraq – http://notthemsmdotcom.wordpress.com/2014/06/18/isis-an-expression-of-imperialism-in-iraq/

3.) Socialism: Utopian and Scientific – Frederick Engels – https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1880/soc-utop/ch02.htm

4.) The Method of Political Economy (Grundrisse) – Karl Marx – https://www.marxists.org/subject/dialectics/marx-engels/grundisse.htm

5.) Summary of Dialectics – V.I. Lenin – https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1914/cons-logic/summary.htm

6.) See 4.

7.) On Practice – Mao Tse-tung – https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-1/mswv1_16.htm

8.) Dialectical and Historical Materialism – J.V. Stalin –  https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/stalin/works/1938/09.htm

9.) Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy – Frederich Engels – https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1886/ludwig-feuerbach/ch01.htm

10.) Materialism and Emperio-Criticism – V. I. Lenin – https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1908/mec/two5.htm

11.) See 4.

12.) The sectarian myth of Iraq – Sami Ramadani – http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jun/16/sectarian-myth-of-iraq?CMP=twt_gu

13.) The Question of Fascism and Capitalist Decay – R. Palme Dutt – https://www.marxists.org/archive/dutt/articles/1935/question_of_fascism.htm

14.) Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy in General – Karl Marx – https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/manuscripts/hegel.htm

15.) “Left-Wing” Childishness – V.I. Lenin – https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1918/may/09.htm

16.) On Proudhon – Karl Marx – https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1865/letters/65_01_24.htm

17.) Talks at the Yenan forum on Literature and Art – Mao Tse-tung – https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-3/mswv3_08.htm

18.) Anti-Dühring – Frederich Engels – https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1877/anti-duhring/introduction.htm

ISIS: An expression of imperialism in Iraq.

While recent developments in Iraq are being portrayed as spontaneous “spillover” from the imperialist war on Syria – still commonly referred to as an uprising, or “revolution” – they are in fact nothing of the sort and in reality represent a culmination of years of covert planning and premeditated imperial policy.

Yet before we come to any concrete conclusions on the renewed insurgency and its wider ramifications, it is first important to concretely demarcate the political actors involved, their aims and objectives, their fleeting alliances and contradictions, and in turn their concrete historical moments of unity. After all, it is not as if we are fooling ourselves with the theories of “headless capitalism” here.

On the contrary. The national classes making conscious decisions and building years of conscious planning to uphold, maintain, and increase their dominant social condition do not act in solely abstract manner under the whims of theoretical “market forces”, bumbling their way into wars of aggression in resource-rich areas; they act consciously, definitively, yet also opportunistically, using all means available – primarily violence and reaction. In turn building decades of objective history and current realities that we can, and must, learn from. It is therefore vital that we first acknowledge and incorporate the concrete history of these competing classes, their actions and aims, into the current objective situation. Then, and only then, can we start to address the many contradictions and interconnections  between these classes and come to the correct conclusion with regard to those aims, actions and culpability, within the Iraq equation.

To achieve sound conclusions, we must first eliminate the white supremacist ideology that permeates the majority of western political commentary [1]: the idea that the western empire, led by the United States, is an inherently altruistic force, begrudgingly acting as global arbiter for the good of all mankind. Simple history proves this twisted ideology to be nothing other than a (white) bourgeois invention. Monopoly capitalism – imperialism – is the never-ending search for profit and domination at the expense of competing productive forces; the fundamental contradiction of capitalism at its highest stage. For imperialism to survive and expand, it must consciously subsume, devour, and dominate all the productive forces in competition with it.

As Lenin said, “the supplanting of free competition by monopoly is the fundamental economic feature, the quintessence of imperialism.” [2] Translated to the modern era, this means that fascism forms the vital expression of the desperately decaying (ie: the moribund, parasitic capitalist, the imperialist) capitalist class; the class that uses extreme violence, reaction and demagogy as replacement for its gradual yet fluctuating loss of strictly economic ability to bribe, extort, extract and control resources, to monopolise markets for profit “peacefully”; to avert the inherent contradiction within its ever-diminishing – yet still superior – social condition. In this regard, we can and must view the United States as the ultimate fascist state from the international perspective, the historic examples of extreme American violence and demagogy employed by the American capitalist class in the conscious aim of upholding superior economic position on the world stage are long and plentiful, and should not need repeating.

When viewed in this historically concrete way, perceptions and the concepts formed regarding US imperial objectives – in Iraq or elsewhere – immediately begin to transform and detach themselves from the false ideological structures avowed to furnish western capitalism its unwarranted moral platform, endlessly recycled in all avenues of western culture. The harsh reality that “political reaction all along the line is a characteristic feature of imperialism” [2] becomes most evident.

Once this historically concrete concept of US imperialism is applied, it becomes necessary to further analyse the various capitalist classes and states that are both in competition with US imperialism and those that are temporarily united, or more specifically, dominated by it. As there is no unity without contradiction, it would be folly to believe that any state or class currently or previously allied to the dominant imperialist class is a permanent static feature, or that contradictions may not exist even during long periods of perceived unity.

In this context, the alliance of states currently allied under US imperialism in its attack on Iraq are primarily its long-held and loyal clients, those of the Gulf Cooperation Council, led by Saudi Arabia, alongside Israel, Turkey, and western Europe, this alliance will be referred to as the NATO/GCC axis. It is by no means a permanent static alliance, and has historically found many contradictions along the road to its temporary current unity on Iraq, but the fundamental feature of this alliance is the American imperialist class holding it together, dominating it, and dividing it for its own benefit.

The opposing force of this contradiction is the Iraqi state, or more broadly speaking, Iraq and its regional allies, namely: Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and a subdued yet resurgent Russia acting in a minimally supportive role, this alliance will be referred to as the Resistance axis. As with the imperialist alliance, there are many historical contradictions within that of the Resistance, but it is imperialism itself that produces its current fundamental aspect: in that its social condition and temporary unity is predicated on the necessity of its battle against imperialist predation. Any sound historical analysis of the economic stature, features, and all other aspects leading from the economic particularities of this alliance shows that it cannot be classed as imperialist, and is therefore the oppressed party in the equation when correctly conceived from the totality of the international perspective.

Analysing the political actors involved in crises, processes and conflict in their international totality using such concrete dialectical methods is a fundamental starting point if we are to reach sound conclusions on any of todays antagonisms.

From this starting point, we must then address the specific aims of the NATO/GCC axis as opposed to those of the Resistance axis. On the one hand, the imperialists and their allies (clients) are consciously employing militarism – the “vital expression” of capitalism – upon Iraq, Syria, Iran, and all other “lesser” nations in the inevitable quest for domination to expand their superiority and avert their imperial decay – this is the quintessential feature of predatory imperialism. On the other hand, as a consequence, the far weaker, yet competing productive forces of the Resistance axis are forced to defend their social condition from the threat of imperialist annihilation.

Now that the political forces are correctly conceived and the relationship between the opposing aspects of the contradiction is apparent, we must address the perceptions being promulgated to form false concepts that obscure and even work to reverse this objective balance of forces. One such critical false concept, that of an empire as impartial benevolent peace broker between the antagonism of a “Sunni and Shia” divide – peddled endlessly by western media, commentariat and culture – has three distinct purposes in its current usage: firstly, to detach imperialist (NATO/GCC axis) culpability for the insurgency and its inevitably reactionary sociopolitical ramifications; secondly, to further incite the Iraqi Sunni population by portraying the Shia-dominated Maliki government and its ally Iran as cozying-up to imperialism against percieved Sunni foes; thirdly, and subsquently, this helps to conflate the insurgency as a natural expression of legitimate Sunni discontent, affording false equivalence and a moralistic smokescreen, therefore removing culpablity from the NATO/GCC axis and placing it at the door of the “sectarian policies” of the Maliki government, supported by Shia Iran. This false concept enables the NATO/GCC axis to exert the required pressure to achieve its goal of partition and the subsequent domination of the Iraqi state, while upholding the crucial image of impartiality.

Yet contrary to all such critical imperialist false concepts, a correct analysis reveals the antagonism within Iraq is in fact entirely political and a result of the principal aspect of the contradiction: the age-old imperial policy of fomenting and excacerbating sectarian and ethnic antipathy to divide, destroy, and dominate the productive forces – a policy employed with varied, yet invariably brutal and reactionary results in Iraq since the US invasion of 2003. The political actors that have implemented this deepening of the sectarian divide since the occupation departed with its tail between its legs are the clients of the United States, primarily Saudi Arabia, and it is this dominant aspect of the contradiction that drives the antagonism in Iraq. To conclude: “the principal aspect is the one playing the leading role in the contradiction. The nature of a thing is determined mainly by the principal aspect of a contradiction, the aspect which has gained the dominant position.” [3]

The forces allied to, and aiding the ISIS insurgency further expose this concrete reality. The Naqshbandi militia, the General Military Council for Iraqi Revolutionaries (MICR), the former Ba’athists, Sunni politicans and defecting Iraqi army officers are largely the proxies and stooges of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies, ergo: the NATO/GCC axis. The Kurdish regional government – now calling for de facto partition in the anticipation of gaining the oil-rich province of Kirkuk, and making deals with the very actors tied to the ISIS insurgency – is also in alliance with NATO-member Turkey and Israel, ergo: the NATO/GCC axis. The actors responsible for the historic rise of ISIS et al in neighbouring Syria are of course the NATO/GCC alliance, as has been thoroughly documented [4,5,] and objectively proven regardless of the propaganda and misinformation [6,7,] that aims to depict otherwise.

These actors primarily responsible for the fall of Mosul and the anticipated partition of Iraq are the de facto regional clients of dominant imperialism – ISIS are merely the shock-troop proxies that implement such policy, creating “facts on the ground” when diplomacy and old-fashioned economic coercion no longer suffice. To deny this rational knowledge is to deny concrete analysis, deny historical materialism, the totality of imperialism, to suggest it does not exist beyond the abstract, and that there are no classes employing all means available to uphold it.

In addition, the narrative of the spontaneous rise of ISIS, and its apparent takeover of the western and northern regions of Iraq is a fantastically ahistorical concept built from years of media misinformation and propaganda. ISIS, its former incarnations and confrère across the region – particularly those of the last three years operating in Libya and Syria – are most definitely not abstract spontaneous expressions of Sunni discontent or a “Sunni-Shia divide”; nor the Iraqi governments mismanagement and corruption; nor the alleged “sectarian policies” or the threat of Iranian “Shia expansion”. While there may well be minimal truth within such malformed and distorted perceptions promulgated by the lackeys of imperialism, they are secondary to the fundamental reality that ISIS et al are the organised, concrete manifestation of western imperial policy and its reactionary clients who implement it; they represent nothing more than the corollary of the extremist-dominated Syrian insurgency, in turn nothing more than a tool of imperial machinations. They are mercenaries, private military contractors, intelligence operatives, thrill-seekers and deluded zealots, hoodwinking the desperate and vulnerable subjects of social immiseration; a paramilitary force that is by no means autogenous and whose social condition is reliant upon the imperial class that has engineered and now sustains it.

Sensational tales of bank robberies and extortion rackets that span entire cities represent crass exaggerations and propaganda built to extricate the imperial sponsors of reaction in Iraq. To posit the absurd theory that a “rag-tag militia” has built an illegal cross-country organisation capable of producing billions in revenue from Syria’s dilapidated and war-ridden oil industry is a fantastical sophism detached from reality. In similar vein, we must also ask how exactly this “rag-tag militia” has not only successfully sustained itself during a war, but has superseded the imaginary “moderates” that have received billions of dollars, thousands of tons of arms and logistical support from the NATO/GCC axis – while fighting right alongside them. Are we supposed to believe that the allies (clients) of US imperialism are openly funding and arming such reactionaries against the will of their imperial sponsor, and that it is impotent to stop them? Can anyone but an utter simpleton, charlatan, or partisan hack posit such an apolitical reductionist absurdity?

The argument against this analysis of ISIS and its allies in the insurgency will inevitably be made that it is somehow “denying the agency” of Iraqis – in this case ISIS – exposing an “inverse Orientalism”, and this argument will grow as the insurgency is increasingly conflated and transformed into a “Sunni revolution” akin to its predecessor in Syria. But we have addressed this fallacy before [8] when the opportunists attempted to use it to whitewash their support for the imperialist contras in Syria, we should not need do it again.

The ISIS-led insurgency currently gripping the western and northern regions of Iraq is but a continuation of the imperialist-sponsored insurgency in neighboring Syria. The state actors responsible for arming and funding said insurgency hold the same principal objectives in Iraq as those pursued in Syria for the last three years, namely: the destruction of state sovereignty; weakening the allies of an independent Iran; the permanent division of Iraq and Syria along sectarian lines establishing antagonistic “mini-states” incapable of forming a unified front against US/Israeli imperial domination.

 

 

1. White Blindness and Smiley Faces – John Steppling: http://john-steppling.com/white-blindness-smiley-faces/

2. Imperialism and the Split in Socialism – V.I. Lenin: https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1916/oct/x01.htm

3. On Contradiction – Mao Tse-tung:  http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-1/mswv1_17.htm

4. The Reactionary essence of the Syrian insurgency: http://notthemsmdotcom.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/the-reactionary-essence-of-the-syrian-insurgency/

5. The Army of Islam: Saudi Arabia’s finest export: http://notthemsmdotcom.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/syria-the-army-of-islam-saudi-arabias-finest-export/

6. Syria Analysts. impartial? Not likely: http://notthemsmdotcom.wordpress.com/?p=633&preview=true

7. Brown Moses and “new media”; same as the old media: http://notthemsmdotcom.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/brown-moses-new-media-same-as-the-old-media/

8. Western left-opportunism and “denying agency” in Syria: http://notthemsmdotcom.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/867/

9. Arabs, Beware the “Small States Option”. – Sharmine Narwani: http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/16566

10. ISIS in Iraq – Patrick Higgins: http://catsnotwar.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/isis-in-iraq_14.html

11. A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties – Oded Yinon: http://cosmos.ucc.ie/cs1064/jabowen/IPSC/articles/article0005345.html

12. The Redirection – Seymour Hersh: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/03/05/070305fa_fact_hersh?currentPage=all

13. America’s Covert Re-invasion of Iraq – Tony Cartalucci: http://landdestroyer.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/americas-covert-re-invasion-of-iraq.html

14. Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a “New Middle East” Mahdi Darius Nazemroya: http://www.globalresearch.ca/plans-for-redrawing-the-middle-east-the-project-for-a-new-middle-east/3882

15. A Clean Break: A Strategy for Securing the Realm – The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article1438.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Western left-opportunism, and “denying agency” in Syria.

Having last week expounded upon the duplicity of the western “liberal lefts” position on the imperialist-sponsored fascist coup in Ukraine, a particularly egregious example of the same petty bourgeois sophism so pervasive within western civilised dissent has once again reared its ugly head. In what can only be described as emo agitprop, the western petty bourgeoisie’s flagship of misinformation and imperialist propaganda recently published an article on Syria by self-proclaimed “leftist Artist” Molly Crabapple.

The article covers a demonstration organised by an anti-government Syrian activist, who has chosen to read the names of 100,000 victims of the Syrian war standing outside the White House for 72 hours. The intended symbolism of such a demonstration is quite difficult to ascertain, particularly considering a sound historical analysis shows that western imperialism – ergo: the White House – bears huge responsibility for the deaths of those very people now being used to “guilt” the western public into supporting some form of further “action” against the Syrian state – meaning, (overt) US military intervention, NATO freedom-bombs, etc. Moreover, it seems that both Crabapple and her subject have forgotten, or are intentionally omitting the fact that over half of those victims met their deaths at the hands of the western/Israeli/wahhabi monarch-sponsored fundamentalist dominated militia; the very same militia Crabapple is now lionizing as “revolutionaries”.

Naturally for the Guardian, the narrative fulfills the many western falsehoods propagated on behalf of the reactionary insurgency since it began, by doing so, it provides an opportunity to expand upon and expose the role that western left-opportunism has played in buttressing said falsehood throughout the Syrian crisis. Further still, it provides a chance to counter the twisted theories and phrasing being used to attack anti-imperialists and anti-revisionists from within the western petty bourgeois “celebrity-left” camp, through which Crabapple and Co. postulate the absurd notion that westerners with the tendency to focus on the role of western imperialism represent “perverse Orientalists”.

Barring the usual “40 year dictatorship” slogans so typical of the deluded and self-righteous cheerleaders of western bourgeois “democracy”, the historical context for Crabapple’s Syrian “revolution” is built via the rosy portrayal of a wave of protests that “swept the world”. In Syria, a “police state and neoliberal reforms” are the central material factors used to explain the crisis.

These puerile simplifications are employed to distort and minimise the primary role of western predatory imperialism, either that, or simply through blind stupidity and laziness. In such a decontextualised analysis, there is no space available to document the years of western-led economic sanctions and subversion; nor is any space permitted to analyse the sociopolitical effects of the five-year drought that had decimated Syria’s agricultural industry prior to 2011 – causing widespread impoverishment to the disaffected rural sections of society. There is no economic analysis whatsoever. More importantly, there is no space afforded to document the decades of western support and collusion with Saudi Arabia’s sponsorship of ,ilitant fundamentalist ideologues, with the direct aim of unleashing them and their sectarian hatred upon Syria (or any other target in the region, see: Libya, Hezbollah, Iraq, etc) when political needs required; no space is given for the direct sponsorship of western imperialism toward the ex-pat “SNC” puppet administrators travelling between hotel suites in Ankara, Doha and Riyadh, or the thousands of US State Department-trained “activists” and NGO workers flooding media and commentary with false or bias accounts, staged photos and misinformation. Any critique of the western corporate media, and its complimentary “tailored analysis” industrys disgraceful servitude to western government narratives is completely omitted – regardless of the fact that both form essential components of modern “soft” imperialism.

To suggest western imperialism has invested in any of these individuals, policies or organisations with any sort of altruistic intention is comparable to suggesting over sixty years of historical evidence to the contrary is worthless; negating any value in historical materialism and dialectics. Omission of context and crude historical revisionism are entirely deliberate and further prohibit the prospect of reaching a sound political or moral examination of events and their evolving processes. Dialectics, logic, critical distance and contradictory evidence are replaced with emotionally driven narrow-framed discourse to remove the wider context – therefore western culpability – and form the false depiction of a “popular peaceful uprising versus despotic regime”.

Crabapple informs us that “it took four months for Syria’s protests to become an armed insurgency”. This blatant lie is a most crucial one in upholding western Imperialisms false narrative on Syria. Yet, as we shall see, while the celebrity-lefts continue to blindly recycle the lie, it has long been refuted, in even the most loyal organs of western imperialism itself.

Once the underlying causes of the crisis have been distorted beyond any semblance of reality, whitewashing the “rebels” and their imperialist sponsors’ role as the instigators and primary actors responsible for excacerbating the crisis, Crabapple then attempts to bolster the false distinctions between the supposedly moderate and extremist rebel groups with the double fabrication that Al Qaeda took six months to enter the fray, and that Saudi Arabia took twenty months to “officially” start supplying arms; thereby portraying the fundamentalists emergence at around February to March 2012.

This is quite the perversion, and once again can only be interpreted as pure stupidity, or outright disingenuity in the aim of furnishing the imaginary “secular moderate freedom fighters” with unwarranted moral platform.

Contrary to such crude and uninformed analysis, and long known by anyone paying attention, the dominant proto-Salafi militia, such as Ahrar-al Sham – who form the vanguard of the insurgency throughout, and are inextricably linked to both overt Al Qaeda elements and ostensible “moderates” in thrall to Imperialism – openly admit to planning a violent insurgency before any protests in Syria began. These militia, sharing much in common with their overtly extreme counterparts, were most certainly active in the first weeks of the crisis, as evidenced by the oppositions own death-toll accounts: the one hundred-plus Syrian soldiers and police killed during March-April 2011 alone belies the fantasy that the violence erupted simply through state oppression of peaceful protesters.

Further contradicting the “peaceful protester-moderate rebel” narrative, corresponding incidents of organised violence against state security became widespread by the middle of 2011 (see: here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here), the massacre of 120 soldiers in Jisr al Shugour (20 miles from the Turkish border) in June 2011, provides but one prominent example. Either Crabapple is oblivious to all this, or is deliberately omitting it for the same reasons listed above. In attempting to skirt the issue, Crabapple regurgitates the evidence-free conspiracy theory that the soldiers were executed by their own superiors for refusing to fire on protesters, further dehumanizing the Syrian army.

Another critical falsehood follows, and one that has been endlessly spewed to form unwarranted moral platform in the face of compelling contradictory evidence. Crabapple claims that “crimes are committed on all sides. But only the Assad regime, with its superiority of force … could kill on the scale and with the consistency that turned war crimes into a tactic of war.” Again, this is a blatant lie and distortion of the facts. The theory that the Syrian airforce’s bombardment of rebel encampments in civilian zones equates to a larger percentage of the death toll is complete logical fallacy void of any material evidence. The opposite is in fact true: according to the US Chief of Staff, 90% of deaths in Syria have been incurred by gunshot or ground-to-ground artillery; weapons which the rebels have had, and used in abundance since the early stages. It has been amply documented that every stage of western, Turkish or Gulf initiated military support to the rebels has resulted in a huge increase in both the death-toll, and civilian displacement – most notably in the period between late 2011, when Russia and China made it clear they would block any Libya-style No Fly Zone attempts, and July 2012, when the CIA and Gulf states dramatically increased the arms shipments to rebels.

Death tolls provided by anti-government activists such as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) – used as a principal source for western media, the UN, and western humanitarian “NGO’s”, no less – show it is the fundamentalist rebels that are likely responsible for the majority of killing. In its latest tally, the SOHR claims that 55,000 Syrian army and national defence force personnel have been killed during the conflict, accounting for almost 40% of total deaths, whereas rebel deaths – including 10,000 foreign fighters – amount to 33,000, accounting for almost 25% of the total, leaving roughly 50,000 civilian deaths, or 35% of the total.

Using these figures; if one were to equally divide the civilian deaths between government and opposition forces, then the “revolutionaries” would be responsible for close to 80,000 people killed, or around 55% of the total – unless of course one were to posit the absurd theory that thousands of disparate fundamentalist militia have the ability to kill twice as many professional soldiers than they lose, while avoiding a considerable toll on civilians within the urban zones they invade and militarize.

The equally false portrayal that a majority of Syrians oppose the government is omnipresent throughout such commentary, and of course, this is another blatant lie. An example of just how far-removed from reality this perception is was exposed way back in January 2012 – at the height of domestic anti-government sentiment and western agitprop – when a Qatari-funded YouGov poll found that 55% of Syrians,  a massive majority considering the political conditions, still supported the government. This majority has undoubtedly continued to rise as the conflict has dragged on, primarily as a result of the barbaric practices employed by the rebels in civilian areas they encamp, ethnically cleanse, militarize, and generally terrorize the remaining inhabitants of – a sentiment further intensified through the prolonged incompetence of the ex-pat puppets in five-star hotels, elevated to the lofty position of “the sole representatives of the Syrian people” by virtue of imperialism alone. Needless to say, the poll and its results were completely whitewashed from the western media narrative and was most observantly ignored by the western petty bourgeois opportunists, who find themselves parodying William Hague when claiming to speak on behalf of the “Syrian people”.

Based on the fact a majority of Syrians support the government, and would therefore face the wrath of the fundamentalist rebels rather than the army they see as protecting them, a fact which is further evidenced by the vast majority of internally displaced people fleeing “rebel liberation” for the refuge of government safe-zones; then the wilful misrepresentation of the death toll becomes evermore deplorable. It can only be explained by Crabapple and the opportunists being so indoctrinated by their own narrow parameters and dehumanizing terminology; they simply don’t see the tens of thousands of dead Syrian soldiers, their families, and the majority of Syrian civilians who support the government as people worth accounting for. Crabapple and the pseudo-lefts in turn defile the victims of the wahhabi mercenaries and imperialism in Syria by attempting to blame their fate on the very actors protecting them, effectively turning the victim into the oppressor. The only other explanation is, once again, blind stupidity.

Over and above, it has long been known that western special forces, alongside Gulf, Jordanian, Lebanese factions allied to Saudi Arabia, and their Turkish and Israeli counterparts, have been actively conspiring with, and militarily supporting, what are essentially fundamentalist militia – to the tune of billions of dollars and thousands of tonnes of arms. It is these actors accountable for setting in motion a violent insurgency via the fundamentalist proxies they had been fomenting since at least 2006, and now continue to do so without even the pretense of plausible deniability.

The argument the pseudo-lefts are now attempting to throw at western anti-imperialists is one of utter opportunism and deception. Crabapple mimics Zizek (and other servants of bourgeois intelligentsia), and asserts that the emphasis on predatory western imperialism’s role when analysing conflicts and crises abroad – the emphasis espoused by westerners no less! – is in fact a “perverse kind of Orientalism” that removes and belittles the “agency” (another delightful abstraction implanted into petty bourgeois leftist discourse) of indigenous people.

How damning one might say, but where does this “logic” end? For instance, if one opposed the imperialist rape of Iraq, then did one oppose the “agency” of Ahmed Chalabi and all the other reactionary cretins who allied with western imperialism? Did they who opposed the imperialist destruction of Libya – whose position has now been fully vindicated, despite the grotesque doublespeak of Bernhard Henri Levy and his acolytes – “deny the agency” of Al Qaeda, Salafi warlords and the criminals now running riot and destroying the remnants NATO left behind?

The glaring contradiction is lay bare with the aid of a further simple example that may especially perplex the western opportunists who feign support for Palestinian Resistance: if one opposes the occupation and ethnic cleansing of Palestine, is one opposing Zionist “agency”?

Applying this “logic” to the Syrian question, if western anti-imperialists “deny the agency” of Syrians by opposing a fundamentalist-led insurgency sponsored by imperialism, then what exactly do the opportunists deny when ignoring the majority of Syrians that oppose the wahhabi revolutionaries!? In the western liberal-left equation, this majority of Syrians simply don’t exist, they have no “agency” worth even considering, let alone their right to self-determination. The opportunists are in fact misrepresenting said “agency” they hold in such high esteem by falsely portraying a minority of localised dissent, alongside a fundamentalist insurgency orchestrated and sponsored by western imperialism, as representative of the entire Syrian population. The opportunists accuse us anti-imperialists of Orientalism and “denying agency” while committing the very act! A case of pure cognitive dissonance, or simply a feeble attempt at creating confusion.

Such fallacious arguments and semantic trickery is employed in the vain attempt to shut down critical analysis that does not abide by western bourgeois political ideology and partisan agenda. In reality, it is the western pseudo-lefts who act as the agents of western imperialism, betraying self-determination and the foundations of internationalist socialism. To engage in such pointless obfuscation and theorizing is to deliberately obstruct simple material fact, historical dialectics, a “ruthless criticism of all that exists” and the correct examinations and conclusions to be drawn in the international sense.

Lenin was forced to spend great energy in combatting the same strands of left-opportunism one hundred years ago, rightly describing it as “the principle enemy within the working class movement”. The modern celebrity-lefts’ distortions and twisted theories represent nothing more than the vile opportunism witnessed within the socialist parties during the outbreak of WWI, when the so-called Marxists chose to side with their national bourgeoisie against the bourgeoisie and the working classes of hostile nations. The European opportunists who chose to employ the catchphrases of social chauvinism and act as the agents of their own bourgeoisie in “defending the fatherland” are today reflected by the western petty bourgeois “socialists” and “leftists” that endlessly obscure the international characteristics of modern capitalism and its inevitable antagonism, in turn diminishing the pre-eminent role, and therefore culpability, of western imperialism.

Ukraine, Imperialism, and the sophism of liberal “left” media.

Western media’s coverage of the Ukraine crisis has reached epic proportions of bias and despicable hypocrisy, and once more, the western liberal “left” media spectrum is busily laying the groundwork for imperialist-friendly narratives.

Having last year no-platformed a Syrian nun who had the audacity to protest against western-sponsored takfiri mercenaries in Syria, chief pseudo-dissenter of the British liberal “left”, Owen Jones, has kindly decided to educate the masses on the finer points of the Ukrainian crisis.

True to form, and synonymous with the vast majority of western media, Jones begins his narrative with crass revisionism, claiming that Western governments have been “restrained” in their response to what he describes as a “Russian invasion”. Yet, and quite obvious to most, the events in Ukraine did not commence with Russia adding to its troop numbers in the Crimean peninsular. In reality, the chain of events leading to this particular crisis began when state-members of the European Union, led by the United States and its NATO partners, instigated a violent coup d’etat, through the fomentation and manipulation of a disillusioned minority, alongside the overt sponsorship of Nazi-sympathising oligarchs and their fascist shock-troops. This is not to mention the equally relevant economic origins of the crisis, nor the decades of NATO-instigated war, ethnic division, and social antagonism in the former Soviet bloc in the desired aim of militarily “containing” Russia. When viewed in the wider historical context, Russia’s supposed “invasion” of Ukraine is in fact a muted reaction to the aggressive policies of the Western states. Jones and the liberal “lefts” blatant disregard of the historical process in turn bolsters the false portrayal of a “restrained” western Empire competing with an insubordinate lesser state, in this case Russia.

To omit such vital historical context, the consequent processes, interconnections and their correct chronology, and then duplicitously begin the narrative from the falsehood of a “Russian invasion”, is to engage in the most vile form of historical revisionism.

Moreover, by engaging in the semantics of western bourgeois media and falsely portraying Russia’s limited military manoeuvres in Crimea as an “invasion”, “leftists” such as Jones help to buttress western imperialisms false moral equivalence. In actual fact, the two principal geopolitical actors, the Russian state on the one hand, and the US Empire on the other, are nothing close to comparable in the context of the current crisis in Ukraine, or any other modern conflict. To equate Russia defending – arguably warranted – “interests” on its own borders and allied regions, with aggressive imperialism acting as the catalyst, is beyond stupidity, it is purposeful semantic trickery, propagated in order to demonize “them” and “their” actions, while legitimizing “us” and “ours”. Such use of poorly disguised social chauvinism to form bias narratives is but typical of the bourgeois British liberal, intrinsic within supposed “leftist” media.

Unfortunately, Jones’ muddleheaded sophism has only just begun. Having distorted the underlying historical processes and causes of the crisis, whitewashed the culpability of western imperialism thereby equating it to the lesser target state, in turn building a false moral platform for imperialist aggression, Jones now turns to fascist apologia. While correctly pointing out the “AK-47 wielding.. right-wing extremists” and the subsequent seizure of power via illegal and anti-democratic means, Jones then immediately attempts to mitigate their central role, and the equally important role the fascist shock-troops played in the “victorious uprising”, as he now calls it. “This was not a coup,..” claims Jones, “..but a genuinely popular uprising in the country’s western and central regions, if not in its east and south.” The contradiction is evident in this sentence alone; what exactly is a “genuine uprising” that only reaches the “western and central regions” of any state? Furthermore, what is Jones’ material evidence, let alone criteria, for determining an uprising in less than half of a country is “popular”? Further still, what is Jones’ legal, nay, logical reasoning behind avowing a coup with the title of “Government”?

Such slogans and terminology represent nothing more than liberal quackery of the highest order. Jones has no idea just how “popular” the heavily manufactured protests and opposition groups are, or ever were in Ukraine, or whether they amounted to a big enough demographic to be labelled as the crude abstraction of a “genuine uprising”. Contrary to Jones’ rosy portrayal, more than half of Ukraine totally ignored the Maidan anti-government protests, the eastern half of the country is almost universally opposed to the fascist coup regime in Kiev while local authorities are quite literally asking for Russian aid and protection, not to mention the further intricacies of what has for centuries been a Russian-aligned, virtually autonomous region of Crimea.

Does this sound like a “genuine”, or even “popular” “victorious uprising” of an entire state of forty-plus million people, or does it resemble a violent coup, verging on organised ethnic antagonism, orchestrated by imperialism?

Perhaps the (declared) $5 billion dollars the US State Dept has put towards engineering regime change via the fascist groups now seizing power may have helped the “uprising” become a “victorious” one. No doubt the US-EU bourgeoisie doling out cookies and hand-picking the “Governments” new leadership benefitted its domestic “popularity” in Ukraine enormously. Or perhaps the xenophobia, Nazi iconography and overt racism espoused by Svoboda’s henchmen became so “genuine” that there is no longer any room for a dissenting voice; effectively rendering the fascist vanguard and its acolytes “popular” enough to call a Government. Maybe the former Zionist occupiers leading various neo-fascist thugs in Ukraine helped them gain some “popularity”, or the snipers randomly killing both police and protesters – allegedly employed by the opposition – helped to align the disparate factions of dissent into a “genuine” grassroots unified movement. Then again, perhaps not. Regardless of all this reaction, fascism, thuggery, alienation and social antagonism, imperialism can surely rely on the empty phrases and liberal sophism of western bourgeois media to afford their proxies the veneer of respectability.

According to Jones, there have been no “systematic” attacks on Russian speakers, and although the coup regime are illegally seizing power, including every top position in the Duma and what remains of the military and police, they “do not own the whole revolt, and will only be strengthened by Russian intervention”. To suggest that no party “owns the revolt” is a meaningless abstraction. Does Jones seriously believe that no faction is leading, or “owns”, the coup? That no specific faction is currently enforcing its will unabated with the direct support of western imperialism?

It only takes a cursory glance at the tons of reports and prior documentation (see here, here, here, here, here, here, and here) that expose Ukraine’s “uprising” as being both led and dominated by reactionary fascists sponsored by imperialism. Yet Jones is either too stupid to see this vanguard long in “ownership” of the revolt, or he is deliberately marginalizing them from the reality of the situation to afford Empires’ proxies with unwarranted moral platform. Whats more, the insinuation that Russian “intervention” against said fascist proxies, will inevitably increase their power is completely bereft of the context of who actually empowered and sustained them up until, and no doubt beyond this very moment! In Jones backward narrative, it is as if these fascists came to power entirely of their own volition as a result of Russian provocation, forget the direct aid and sponsorship of western imperialism. Again, the historical context of the initial causes, and the western actors responsible for the ascendance of fascists in Ukraine has been erased, and replaced with the anachronism of a Russian reaction.

In the western liberal “lefts” moral equation, killing millions through decades of western Imperial aggression and Russia’s bloodless “invasion” of Crimea “are all symptoms of the same phenomenon”. There is of course some concrete truth in that, but for Jones to use the comparison in the Ukrainian context is fraudulent and deliberately misleading, it distorts the historical and material causes of this specific conflict. To then further posit the simplistic notion that “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine… would have undoubtedly happened anyway” in turn bolsters the skewed perspective of western imperialism, neglecting cause and effect and vital historical context that expose real culpability. It is to demand Russia’s hyped “invasion” should be judged minus the imperialist provocation that instigated it, while further neglecting the decades of western imperialist slaughter, expansion and provocation preceding the latest violent upheaval. Russia is therefore deemed equally, if not more so, culpable for the Ukrainian crisis, while the perception of the predatory western imperialists has been sanitized, and their massive culpability reduced dramatically from the equation.

A further example of the sophism and superficiality so inherent to the modern liberal media class came in the form of a pseudo-moralistic rant from RT “Journalist” Abbey Martin. Immediately lauded by western media liberals for her “principled”, yet ahistorical, and uninformed outburst denouncing the Russian Governments “military intervention” in Ukraine, Martin went on to explain that although she knew little of the situation – why would she? – she opposed “all military intervention”. Well, how principled one might say, but what exactly is the “principle” of non-intervention other than a utopian liberal absurdity? Moreover, what is the worthwhile principle behind denouncing a military manoeuvre you know little of, or can even attempt to explain? Such pandering to empty humanitarian slogans and simplification of complex sociopolitical processes can only be explained by the commodification and subsequent self-gratification that petty bourgeois liberals crave when chasing their individualist desires. Fight the man, doesn’t matter who, or why, just make sure people see you doing it.

Dumbing-down media coverage of complex issues and historical revisionism within all “sides” of the bourgeois media gamut is of course not exclusive to the recent coverage in Ukraine, precisely the same deceptive methods are employed on an endless scale for the same reasons listed above. Libya and Syria provide two further recent examples of how the media’s supposedly “left” and liberal outlets and pundits often fulfill a vital role in legitimizing imperialist aggression; western media’s almost overwhelming support for the imperialist plunder of Iraq arguably provides us with the definitive modern illustration.

Critical historical processes and the chronology of events have been manipulated, misinformed, diverted through false moral platform, or omitted entirely to form western-friendly narratives that remove imperial culpability. Demonization campaigns that effectively “other” peoples, governments and targeted leaders are commonplace in the liberal “left” spectrum of western media just as they are in the “right”. Perhaps the greatest example of the liberal media’s subservience to corporate power is provided by the Guardian newspaper. Its lurid role in promoting religious fundamentalist proxies of western imperialism in Libya and Syria, and the masses of misinformation and bias narratives propagated on their behalf, again exposes the almost complete lack of disparity between the “right” and “left” bourgeois western press. In both cases, and increasingly in Ukraine, media manipulation of timelines, and liberal apologia for what are essentially reactionary proxies of imperialism became critical tools in maintaining western public acquiescence, or worse still, ignorance and support of aggressive western provocations and covert war. Bar a few dissenting voices in the opinion pages, the Guardian’s supposedly liberal “left” coverage of western imperialism is now virtually indistinguishable to that of the shameless right.

No longer can overt militaristic imperialism be forced upon the western masses as it was in the immediate post-9-11 era, hence, covert proxy-war has taken center stage. A most crucial tool of the western bourgeoisie in achieving the concessions and acquiescence of the masses during this current period of covert imperialist violence, has once again exposed itself in the form of the petty bourgeois opportunists, the “social democrats”, the liberal “lefts” of the modern epoch and their corporate media lackeys.

Ominously, and without a shred of self-awareness it seems, Jones warns us: “there is a frightening tradition of conservatives and liberals helping fascists into power.” Indeed, here, Jones is almost correct, but curiously fails to analyse the definitive classes currently aiding fascists into power in Ukraine, ie: the petty bourgeois western liberal class and its bourgeois neoconservative counterparts, both essentially factions of western imperialism. Neither is there any attempt to analyse or distinguish the class which has played the pivotal role in aiding fascists into power in the service of the bourgeoisie throughout modern history, perhaps the result of such an analysis would be too close to the bone.

Israel and Saudi Arabia’s priorities in Syria.

Current developments both inside and outside of Syria have shown that the primary sponsors of the extremist-dominated insurgency – namely, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Israel and Turkey – aren’t quite ready to throw in the towel.

One may be forgiven for thinking the Obama administration had decided to abandon the policy of regime change following the failed attempt to incite intervention, through the chemical weapons casus belli in August. But the harsh reality remains that the above mentioned alliance is indeed continuing its covert military support of the insurgency, in one form or another, in the full knowledge the vast majority of rebels are religious fundamentalists with a sectarian agenda, and vehemently opposed to any form of democracy or political pluralism.

Primarily, the continued support is a product of the American Empires’ overarching strategy of Full Spectrum Dominance over resource-rich and strategically placed regions of the globe, via subversion, economic and military aggression; a policy imposed to varying degrees upon any state unwilling to accept full US subordination. This aggressive US stance is by no means exclusive to periods of heightened tension or crises; it is a permanent one, brought forward to its violent climax purely through Machiavellian opportunism. In Syria’s case, the Arab uprisings provided the United States and its allies the perfect opening to set in motion the subversive plans they had been working on since at least 2006. The possibility of removing an opposing government that refuses to abide by American/Israeli diktat was simply too good a chance to be missed. Accordingly, and from a very early stage, the US made attempts to facilitate and support the violent elements in Syria, while its media arms were busy conflating them with localised legitimate protesters.

Since the US took the typically reckless decision to support, widen and exacerbate the militant elements, the policy has been an abject failure. Clearly, from the tone espoused by Western diplomats and propagandists, and the oft-repeated slogan of “Assads days are numbered”, they expected swift regime change. These desires were largely based on American hubris and the hope that the Libya No Fly Zone scenario would gain traction in the UN security council.

Contrary to such desires, Russia and China’s anger regarding NATO’s destruction of Libya and Gaddafi’s assassination, meant that any similar resolutions put forward on Syria would face immediate veto. In turn this has proven to be a turning point in the modern relationship between the permanent members of the security council, the full ramifications of which are yet to materialise. Moreover, it proved to be a turning point in the Syrian crisis itself; knowing Russia and China would block any attempts to give NATO its second outing as Al Qaeda’s airforce, the US once again chose the policy of further covert militarism, drastically increasing funds and weapons deliveries to the rebels – parallel to the sectarian incitement campaigns espoused by Salafi-Wahhabi clerics across the Gulf – in the hope they could overturn the Syrian army through terrorism and a brutal sectarian war of attrition.

As a consequence of the failure to remove Assad or destroy the Syrian government and its apparatus, the Obama administration, reluctant and politically incapable of engaging in overt acts of aggression, is employing a realpolitik strategy; using primarily covert militarism to appease the desires of NeoConservative hawks in Congress, and its more zealous regional influences emanating from Riyadh and Tel Aviv, while avoiding the possibility of being dragged into another overt military intervention.

In turn, this double-edged strategy feeds the false public perception of the American Empire, which the pseudo-pragmatists and neoliberal propagandists are so eager to uphold and is so fundamental to US Empire-building; that of an inherently altruistic force, acting as global arbiter, grudgingly subverting, invading, bombing, and intervening in sovereign nations affairs for the good of all mankind. As long as this false perception is upheld, the sharp-edge to the grotesque charade of US realpolitik – that of covert militarism and state-sponsored terrorism – continues unabated. Clearly, the US Empire is in no rush to end the bloodshed in Syria, its priorities, as they have been since the start of 2011, are to remove, or at least severely disable and weaken the Syrian government and state, regardless of the consequences to the civilian population.

By using its control of state-funding, the arms flow, and therefore the strength and capabilities of the insurgency as a whole, the Obama administration has employed futile carrot and stick tactics in attempts to pressure the Syrian government during the current negotiations phase into acceding to US demands and giving up its sovereignty – with both the US-led alliance, and Syria and its international allies, primarily Russia and Iran, in the full knowledge the rebels lack both the domestic support, and manpower necessary, to oust Assad or defeat the Syrian army alone. Reports allude to the stick of US Democracy having its most recent outing in the form of “new”  and improved weapons supplies to the rebels, allegedly including MANPADS. This comes immediately off the back of the designed-to-fail Geneva “peace” talks and can be interpreted as a direct result of Washington’s failure to enforce their objectives: the stick is an endless supply of state-sponsored terrorism, the carrot is turning off the tap.

Whether the “new” arms shipments actually increase the rebels ability to inflict damage on the Syrian government remains to be seen, and is highly improbable at this stage as the Syrian army moves into the Qalamoun mountains to liberate the rebel-held town of Yabroud, in turn securing vital transit and logistical routes from Lebanon. The likely outcome of an increased arms flow to the rebels in the south, as evidenced at every interval of US-instigated militarization, will be a repeat of the same devastating results: more civilian displacement, adding to the already critical refugee crisis; more rebel destruction of civilian infrastructure, adding to further food and utility shortages; and many more lives lost.

“Lebanonization” a substitute for regime change?

As is proving to be the case, if the United States and its allies are incapable of removing the Syrian government via proxy forces without an increasingly unpopular Western military intervention, and Assad’s position and domestic support remain steadfast, then a Lebanonization strategy may well be the substitute “optimal scenario” the US and its allies are now working toward.

Encouraging, exacerbating, and inciting division between Arabs has been the long-term strategy for the Zionist establishment since the colonialists first usurped Palestinian land in 1948 – with specific effort made toward fomenting conflict along sectarian lines. The strategy of division is directed toward any Arab state or government that refuses to abide by Zionist demands. Israeli strategist Oded Yinon’s now infamous “A strategy for Israel in the 1980’s” – dubbed the Yinon Plan – provides perhaps the clearest account of Israel’s intentions toward its Arab neighbours:

The total disintegration of Lebanon into five regional local governments is the precedent for the entire Arab world … The dissolution of Syria, and later Iraq, into districts of ethnic and religious minorities following the example of Lebanon is Israel’s main long-range objective on the Eastern front. The present military weakening of these states is the short-range objective. Syria will disintegrate into several states along the lines of its ethnic and religious structure … As a result, there will be a Shi’ite Alawi state, the district of Aleppo will be a Sunni state, and the district of Damascus another state which is hostile to the northern one. The Druze – even those of the Golan – should forma state in Hauran and in northern Jordan … the oil-rich but very divided and internally strife-ridden Iraq is certainly a candidate to fill Israel’s goals … Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation … will hasten the achievement of the supreme goal, namely breaking up Iraq into elements like Syria and Lebanon.

When viewed in this context, it can be no coincidence that US Secretary of State John Kerry is desperately pursuing a fait accompli with the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Contrary to the sickening media portrayal of the US as impartial peacebroker, Kerry’s eagerness to pursue a “deal” at this moment in time is a direct result of the Syrian conflict, and the divisions within the resistance camp it has created. The US and Israel are now attempting to force through an Israeli-oriented “peace deal” with the corrupt PA that will inevitably be both a failure, and against the Palestinians interests. Staunch allies of Palestinian resistance, currently bogged down fighting Al Qaeda ideologues in Syria and defusing car-bombs bound for Dahiyeh, are in no position to support the Palestinians against Israel in their hour of need, the US and Israel fully grasp the importance of isolating genuine Palestinian resistance from the few Arab states and actors it receives support. In his latest speech, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah reminded his listeners of this very crucial issue:

“the US Administration is seeking, along with the Zionist Administration to put an end to the Palestinian cause, and it considers that this is the best time for that because the Arab and Islamic worlds are absent today, and every country is occupied with its own problems.”

In a similar fashion, the US has used the Syrian conflict as a lever against Iran in the nuclear negotiations, Washington’s longstanding attempts to pacify and subordinate an independent Iran has undoubtedly played a major role in US policy on Syria – perhaps the defining role. Consequently, both the Palestinian and Iranian conflicts with Israel and the United States are now, as they have always been intended to some extent in US calculations, inextricably linked to resolving the Syrian crisis.

True to form, Israel’s evident glee at the destruction in Syria and overt preference for the removal of Assad and the Syrian government, with the devastation that would entail, has proven at times hard for them to conceal. Furthering the point, just one of many examples of Israeli-rebel collusion came in a recent report from the National (falsely portraying the rebels Israel is “reaching out” to as ostensibly “moderate”) which relayed that hundreds of rebels have received treatment in Israeli hospitals and been sent back into Syria with up to a $1000 in cash. Israel have made further efforts to consolidate contacts with the rebels in the south, regardless of the level of fundamentalism, and cooperated with rebel factions during the Israeli bombings on Latakia and Damascus.

In a feeble attempt to whitewash this collusion, Israeli propagandists are busily spreading the misinformation that Israel is facilitating the Druze community in the south of Syria; yet the Druze community are firmly allied with the Syrian government. In reality, Israeli attempts to cultivate relations with the communities and rebels in the south should be correctly viewed as attempts to create enforced “safe-zones” around the occupied Golan Heights, in furtherance of the Zionists land-grabbing expansionist aspirations. Accordingly, Israel’s fraudulent neutrality is completely exposed by their collusion with the rebels to meet their own interests, and overt acts of aggression against the Syrian army.

There are many other indications that allude to prominent factions of the US alliance being preferable of, and encouraging an outcome of division, most notably Israel, but simple logic determines that Saudi Arabia, Israel’s most vital strategic partner in the region, and the actor from within the US alliance that possesses the most material influence and political will to support fundamentalists and terrorism, would also approve of the disintegration of the Syrian state, primarily viewing it as a blow to “Shi’a expansion”. The Saudi and Gulf fixation on sectarian themes, to mask what are essentially politically oriented conflicts, is also intentionally built to intensify the strategy of division in multi-ethnic, religiously plural societies – as evidenced in virtually every country fundamentalist Gulf proxies have been unleashed upon, most recently in Libya.

Yet even the Saudi’s have limits to their own capabilities and decisions, ultimately they rely on the military largesse and protection of the United States, and will therefore reign in the terrorist networks if push comes to shove. Hence, the recent Saudi attempts to dissociate from Al Qaeda and the various extremists fighting in Syria can be seen as largely cosmetic and for public consumption. In reality, the Saudi leadership see Al Qaeda and its extremist confrères as malleable proxies of no real threat to themselves, while constituting a critical component of Saudi foreign policy and covert aggression.

Of far higher importance to both Israel and Saudi Arabia’s confluent interests in the region, which in turn play a critical role in US calculations, are the very actors and states the fundamentalist proxies are currently being sponsored to wage war upon; namely, Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah. The disintegration of the resistance axis is the utmost priority for the states that drive US policy in the Middle East, the supposed “threat” faced by militant fundamentalist ideologues, originally created, and intermittently sponsored by the US and its allies, is merely an afterthought.

The US Empire, in its efforts to contain, and therefore dominate and control such a strategic and resource-rich region, is more than content to allow its reactionary and sectarian clients to incite the conflict necessary to subvert, fracture and divide the inevitable power a unified Middle East could claim: if only their progressive aspirations and unity were not repeatedly “set back” by Zionist occupation and manufactured antagonism.

The reactionary essence of the Syrian insurgency.

Western corporate media, its Oil and Gas counterparts (GCC), and the various acolytes and paid-propagandists in the “tailored analysis” industry, are once again attempting to bolster and rebrand the public image of the fundamentalist rebels in Syria.

In the space of a week, two new formations of armed rebels mysteriously appeared across the mass-media lexicon and declared war on the dominant extremists through the usual “activist” social media accounts. The new brigades have virtually no historical record in the conflict, and appear to be largely a creation of the impotent exile opposition and its western sponsors. An abundance of reports relay stories of the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS) simply abandoning their posts and being turned over by this supposedly “moderate” new force. Yet, in reality, the most predominant militia in Syria – those of a Salafi-Wahhabi fundamentalist bent, who now fight under the umbrella of the Islamic Front (IF), and are led by Hassan Abboud of Ahrar al-Sham, and Zahran Alloush of Liwa al-Islam – have made a concerted effort to avoid sowing discord between themselves and the overt Al Qaeda affiliates of ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra (JaN).

The new narrative emerging draws heavily from the Sahwa (Awakening) in Iraq, in which Sunni tribes from the western province of Anbar took up arms against, and eventually defeated, the Al Qaeda insurgency that followed the US invasion and occupation of that country. Western and Gulf media are now attempting to reinvigorate the rebels’ public image by concocting a portrayal of brave “moderates” taking on the extremists within ISIS. Yet contrary to the Syria-Sahwa narrative, the vast majority of opposition forces, as much as one can generalise, have in fact been shown to share far more in common with their extremist equivalents than they have differences, particularly in regards to their reciprocal – and sectarian-laden – religiopolitical ideologies.

According to Western and Gulf propagandists, Jabhat al-Nusra ostensibly represent the “homegrown” Syrian Al Qaeda branch, whereas in actual fact, the claim is entirely false; JaN’s militia hold a distinct foreign contingent and many of its commanders have been found to be of foreign descent – particularly Iraqi. Jabhat al-Nusra, therefore, should be correctly viewed as a semi-Syrian militia at most, built and sustained by ISIS under its former incarnation: the Islamic State of Iraq, (ISI) also formerly known as Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).

The ideologically aligned Salafi-Jihadists of Ahrar al-Sham, Jabhat al-Nusra, and more recently ISIS, have formed the spearhead of the insurgency throughout the entire Syrian crisis, leading offensives against Syrian army installations, whilst also having enough manpower, funds & materiel to attack, encamp and militarily fortify civilian areas across the country. Most notably in Raqqah, which has become a virtual Al Qaeda statelet under the control of either Jabhat al-Nusra or ISIS.

Examples of the dominant role fundamentalists have played in the insurgency are abundant, during an interview with TIME magazine, Ahrar al-Sham fighters – who, as we have seen through a plethora of evidence, are inextricably linked to Jabhat al-Nusra – freely admit they were planning a violent insurgency in Syria well before any peaceful protests occurred in 2011, and that recruits with underlying sectarian agendas made efforts to sanitize and mask their true Jihadist cause during the earlier phases of the conflict in order to win over the Syrian population. Whats more, a recent report in the National relayed much the same admissions from supposed “FSA” rebels operating in the south of Syria around Dar’aa. The rebels interviewed admitted that “They [JaN] offer their services and cooperate with us, they are better armed than we are, they have suicide bombers and know how to make car bombs,” rebel sources went on to say that “the FSA and Al Nusra join together for operations but they have an agreement to let the FSA lead for public reasons, because they don’t want to frighten Jordan or the West,”. During the interview rebels further elaborate on the efforts made to boost the public image of the western-backed imaginary moderates saying that “operations that were really carried out by Al Nusra are publicly presented by the FSA as their own,” and that supposed moderate FSA fighters “say that Al Nusra fighters are really from the FSA to enable them to move more easily across borders,”. The reports bolster earlier analyses that contradict the dominant narrative, often dismissed as “conspiracy theory”, which indicated such actions were being undertaken, and that the armed groups responsible for the initial violence in March-April 2011 were indeed religious fundamentalists, not the secular “freedom fighters” endlessly lionized by the lackeys of western governments and media.

Such candid rebel admissions once again expose the falsehoods that liberal opportunists rely on when blindly repeating the Imperialist narrative of a peaceful protest movement simply morphing into an Al Qaeda-led insurgency. In reality, the generally small and legitimate protests calling for reform were used as a fig leaf by Syria’s various internal and external enemies to hide the extremist-led militant insurgency they were orchestrating and colluding with.

As evidenced in numerous interviews and statements from Abboud and Alloush, the Islamic Front is not by any stretch of the imagination a “moderate” force opposed to JaN, ISIS, or Al Qaeda ideology in general (unless one utilises the doublespeak of the US State Department when describing their “moderate” Wahhabi-Salafi monarchical clients in the Gulf). Ahrar al-Sham, Liwa a-Islam and other various proto-Salafi militia operating under the umbrella of the Islamic Front have repeatedly fought alongside Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS, and taken part in offensives that have targeted towns and villages on the specific criteria of the sect of the civilian inhabitants. The massacres committed upon the civilian residents of Latakia provide just one recent example of such sectarian barbarity – committed not only by the extreme elements, but with the full cooperation and participation of supposed moderate “FSA” militia. A more recent example of the Islamic Front cooperating with its Al Qaeda-affiliates came in December, when the IF took part in the attack and ensuing massacre of civilians in the workers district of Adra, Damascus – another rebel war-crime almost totally omitted from western media, regardless of the fact the BBC’s chief foreign correspondent was a mere 20 miles away while the massacres were occurring.

When framed in the correct context, it becomes clear that the vast majority of rebels in Syria are in fact ideologically allied to the very Al Qaeda affiliates the media is trying to portray them as opposed to. A recent communique from the political head of the IF, and leader of Ahrar al-Sham, Hassan Abboud, was disingenuously portrayed as a Islamic Front “warning” to ISIS. Opposition-friendly media outlets and analysts are in effect conflating the Islamic Front with imaginary “moderates” and in turn attempting to portray them as ideological opponents to their more extreme Al Qaeda counterparts. This narrative is turning reality on its head, as Abboud’s recent statement is actually a “warning” against discord with ISIS. Abboud encourages the Syrian population to treat the Muhajirin (foreign jihadists busy murdering Syrians) “kindly”, and further encourages ISIS to emulate the “more healthy” manner of their supposed “home-grown” incarnation Jabhat al-Nusra. Accordingly, one can safely conclude that Abboud, Ahrar al-Sham, Liwa al-Islam, and the various Salafi militia operating under the umbrella of the Islamic Front – the largest militant force of the opposition – have close to zero ideological disparity with ISIS or JaN.

Even if what seem to be inflated reports of discord and infighting between the Islamic Front and the supremacist ideologues in ISIS were to result in a considerable loss for the latter, it would simply be replaced at the top of the fundamentalist food-chain by the next militia willing to impose its barbarity and coercion in the most effective way. This is ultimately the inherent nature of fundamentalist militant insurgencies, they are designed, indoctrinated, equipped, and funded to impose upon states and peoples through murder, coercion and fear, not through the appeal of a popular political doctrine and the mass support of the people. The simple facts that the insurgency as a whole is under no central hierarchy, and holds little to-no support inside Syria and is therefore susceptible to becoming reliant and subordinate to its foreign patrons, are clear indications that it will not be cohesive, regardless of the varying shades of fundamentalism the dominant groups have attempted to enforce.

The historical record of Western-GCC-backed insurgencies in the Arab and Muslim world provides copious amounts of evidence to show that invariably the United States and its Saudi partners have always utilised, fomented, and sponsored reactionary forces to meet geopolitical ends, particularly when subverting or attacking nationalist governments that refuse to abide by the Anglo-American capitalist order – with disastrous consequences for the countries in which the fundamentalist proxies are set upon. One needs only to glance at the very recent history of Libya to negate the establishment falsehood that if the Syrian government had been overthrown quickly the fundamentalists would not have gained in strength. Again, this is turning the historical record on its head, as the joint NATO-Al Qaeda war on Libya has once again shown; the swift overthrow of a state’s government and leadership inevitably results in reactionary fundamentalists taking advantage of the power vacuum left behind. The US-Saudi-backed insurgency in Afghanistan during the 1980’s, which fought against the Soviet-backed Communist government, provides perhaps the definitive example of the type of proxies the United States and Saudi Arabia choose to employ to destroy target states. As with Syria and Libya, the original “Afghan Arab” insurgency – which helped to create and empower Al Qaeda, Bin Laden, Hekmatyar, the Haqqani network and a host of other fundamentalist militancy – was wrought with infighting, extremism, warlordism, and reaction, this trend has continued in virtually every state the US and its GCC partners have targeted for “liberation” via jihadist proxies.

Perpetual infighting evidenced throughout the Syrian insurgency is in fact a result of the long-standing fragmentation of the various opposition forces, their varying degrees of fundamentalism, and the battle to win influence, arms, and funds through foreign donors and exploitation.

The evidence-free narratives of supposed existential disparity between what actually represent ideological allies, the patterns of ever-changing nomenclature and rebel rebranding, and the efforts to scapegoat the most overtly extreme elements for the systematic crimes of the opposition as a whole, are nothing more than public relations exercises, designed to whitewash the massive crimes of the “rebels”, whilst extricating the Western NATO states and their GCC partners from the criminal act of sponsoring extremists for geopolitical ends.