Owen Jones & Mother Agnes. A lesson on conciliatory “leftists”.

Following the news that Mother Agnes Miriam, a nun who heads the Musalaha (reconciliation) initiative in Syria, was due to speak at the Stop The War conference in London, two journalists also due to speak at the event, Jeremy Scahill and Owen Jones, decided to withdraw participation unless Mother Agnes was removed from the speaking list. At the time of writing, neither “journalist” has offered to explain their act of public censure and decision to bolster Zionist-led smear campaigns; aside from a few tweets expressing their “concern” over sharing a platform with an evil Assad-supporting nun. It seems baseless conspiracy theories are more than acceptable in the higher echelons of “professional” journalism, as long as the target of said conspiracy is a supporter of an enemy state of the west and Israel.

The justification for this blatant act of censorship came in the form of a crass campaign of smear and character assassination. One primarily led by outright Israeli/Neo-Conservative propagandist-extraordinaire Michael D. Weiss, a former Director of a now defunct Zionist pressure group called Just Journalism, whose stated goals included focusing on “how Israel and Middle East issues are reported in the UK media.” Weiss, also a former fellow at the Neo-Conservative war-lobby “think-tank” the Henry Jackson Society, is now a lead rebel advocate pimping his “expertise” at Saudi Arabia/Hariri propaganda outlet NOW Lebanon – all whilst writing up US military intervention proposals for the Syrian opposition. It is also no coincidence that Mr. Weiss was a lead proponent of the fairy-tale narratives of one Liz OBagy, an utter fraud sanitizing the image of the rebels on behalf of a US State Department funded rebel lobbying group and the equally hawkish Neo-Conservative PR outlet The Institute for the Study of War. Needless to say, Weiss, and his cabal of pro-rebel Hariri propagandists and Zionist apologists are more than pleased at Jones and Scahill’s somewhat orchestrated decision to pressure Stop the War into dropping Mother Agnes.

Mother Agnes, according to the plethora of pro-rebel US and Zionist media accounts, is an evil “Assad apologist”. As a result of Agnes’ support of the Syrian government and calls for peaceful reconciliation, the Al Qaeda apologists rife within western and Israeli media took it upon themselves to instigate a campaign of hatred-filled smear and baseless accusation.

Since the onset of the Syrian conflict, Mother Agnes has made efforts to combat the skewed narratives emerging from corrupt western, Israeli, and Gulf Oil and Gas media – not least regarding the controversial issue of the alleged chemical weapons attacks in Ghouta, Damascus. Contrary to the smears, Agnes doesn’t deny people died during the incident, nor offer a complete alternative narrative. Her questions surrounding the event are entirely focused on the many inconsistencies and inaccuracies within the “official narrative” and the dubious YouTube videos touted as impartial evidence. It seems the CIA were also less than convinced of the US governments “assessment”; so much so that a mass resignation was threatened if their name was attached to John Kerry’s dodgy dossier. Furthermore, a considerable open source collaborative effort to determine the perpetrator of the alleged chemical weapons attack has drawn the logical, and somewhat scientific conclusion that only the rebels could have been responsible. In addition, the much politicised UN report that attempted to point the finger at the Syrian army has also come under much scrutiny from highly qualified avenues for its poor methodologies and misleading conclusions. Regardless of all the  above, the fact Mother Agnes actually resides in Syria, is the head of an organisation that has mediated between warring factions and enabled the safe evacuation of civilians, and consistently calls for peaceful reconciliation and dialogue, doesn’t count for much in the eyes of rabid western pundits eager to demonize anyone that dare question, or offer a counter narrative to their fabrication-laden fantasies on Syria.

The self-described “leftist” UK political commentator Owen Jones has written virtually nothing on the Syrian conflict. His understanding of events is largely based on the dominant narratives portrayed in western media. No doubt, like any self-respecting petty bourgeois leftist of London, Jones gets his information from the wests supposed liberal establishment newspapers, who in recent years have stood proudly alongside right-wing media in cheerleading for disastrous western-led wars of aggression. The conflict in Syria has been no exception, the Guardian’s totally skewed coverage,  that lends more from Whitehall/CIA/Mossad talking points than it does reality, has been well documented and debunked. Accordingly, Jones’ ideas on Syria fall in line with this narrative: yes, the “Islamist rebels” are BAD guys (meaning there are some GOOD moderate guys that nobody can find yet, or, in Owen’s case even name), but Assad is a dictator, a war criminal, “barbarous”, “he needs to go”. Any reflection on cause and effect; the long and relevant historical context of US-led subversion and instigation of terrorist insurgencies in the name of “revolution”; or the underlying geopolitical dynamics that helped to create and exacerbate the extremist-led insurgency is far too much nuance for Jones’ simplistic binary narratives: Assad is BAD, and anyone that supports the Syrian government or refuses to support its ouster through coercion or violence is also BAD, by definition. What then, do Jones’ simplistic definitions mean for the millions of Syrians that still support their President and government? Well, like the nun, they are obviously evil and severely misguided. I mean, what would they know, Living in Syria and all? This stance of vulgar superiority is indicative of the vast undercurrent of western bourgeois Orientalism which still oozes from the pores of western media and its decrepit “journalists” when their stance on “others” threatens to detriment their self-imposed “credibility”.

The informative blog “Interventions Watch”, explores Jones’ apparent moral confusion further:

Jones is a member and supporter of the Labour party, and thinks other lefties should be as well. As is hardly a secret, Labour is a party that plays host to plenty of major war criminals and apologists for those war criminals, but that apparently isn’t enough for him to want to part ways with them. Indeed, he has in the past quite happily appeared on platforms with John Prescott, who was deputy Prime Minister at the time of the aggression against Iraq – not just an apologist for war crimes then, but an active participant in them.

Yet this predicament seems completely lost on Jones. In one instance, he is a paid-up member of a UK political party that played a lead role in no less than genocide; in an act of military and economic aggression on Iraq totally against International Law, not to mention morality. He sits beside these politicians and pleads with leftist thinkers to join them and “change them from within”. A million or so Iraqi lives can be forgotten, there’s a few good eggs in this elitist manifestation of conciliatory Mensheviks, join us! But when it comes to possibly sharing a stage with a nun from Syria who happens to support her government and army in its fight against a foreign-funded, foreign instigated, foreign-led, and extremist dominated terrorist insurgency, Jones wont be part of it.

This bourgeois trait of selective free-speech through groupthink coercion is indicative of just how corrupt the western media system truly is. Supposed “leftist” anti-war commentators now feel they are an authority to dictate and pressure who should be able to participate in public events, and wilfully swallow the smears of Zionist propagandists rather than do their own research, or, heaven forbid, judge people on the content of what they are actually saying.

Evidently, Jones’ moral outrage is selective at best, one could convincingly argue its nothing more than careerist popularism – with a dash of orientalist superiority for good measure. Sure, sit next to war-criminals of “our” variety, you wont get smeared with the dreaded “apologist” brush in the elitist media you participate and benefit from – hell, most of their “barbarous” crimes are long forgotten, so not much to worry about. But sit next to a nun that supports a current enemy of the west? Forget it.

Stop the War have just released a statement confirming that Mother Agnes has “withdrawn” from the conference. Cheers to Zionist apologists of the apartheid state, propagandists of an Al Qaeda insurgency in Syria, and Owen Jones.

27 thoughts on “Owen Jones & Mother Agnes. A lesson on conciliatory “leftists”.

  1. Pingback: ‘Investigative Journalist’ Scahill Takes Swipe at Mother Agnes | Fig Trees and Vineyards
    • Father Dave, could you offer a thumbnail CV of yourself, please? MAM obviously needs all the defenders that she can get against the West’s propaganda machine. If you’re an authoritative and knowledgeable source honest information, it would be very useful to be able to quote you, and any inside information which you’re willing to share. Thanks Father. Yours, RhG

  2. Thanks Phil, for this fearless exposition, and saying some of the things that Mother Agnes is too polite to say. I can also vouch for her lack of afiliation and genuine desire for reconciliation, as well as her remarkable ability to talk to people of any persuasion. Her letter of withdrawal to STW speaks volumes, and should cause Jones and Scahill to grovel in shame and make a public apology, so that all the other contributors to the STW conference can benefit from Mother Agnes’ wisdom and first hand experience.
    What strikes me particularly about this episode is that Mother Agnes is merely saying what millions of Syrians also would say, yet there seems to be no-one to stand up and support her in public, on this side of the great divide, amongst the great brainwashed.

  3. Has it never crossed any of your minds to ask why Agnes-Mariam should be feted by so many far-right figures – from conspiracy theorist Thierry Meysan (an early patron of her first forays into politics) to Lyndon Larouche in the US? Perhaps you are comfortable with those sorts of relationships, but I doubt many on the left will share your view.
    As for her committment to “Reconciliation” – to play that role you have to have at least some understanding of both sides in a conflict. Throughout her careerAgnes-Mariam never had a critical word to say about the Asad regime’s repressive operations – until the last few weeks.

    • You display your ignorance by calling Thierry Meyssan a “far-rightist.” Though rejected by the brainwashed French pseudo-left, he has always been a thinker of the left. Apparently you think that your tarbrush tag of “conspiracy theorist” suffices not only dismiss the arguments and positions of anyone so called (by you), however valid they may be, and but also to cast them as being of the “far right.” You are certainly free to disagree with Thierry Meyssan, but I think your specious methods of argument display an intellectual intolerance far more in keeping with what we have known historically as the “far right” than anything M. Meyssan has, to my knowledge, ever said.

      To Mr. Greaves I say, well done. We need more critical thinkers of your sort to cut through the ever denser tissue of lies we are daily fed by the mass media and the pseudo-leftists who want nothing more than to take part in the shell game. Keep up the good work.

  4. Pingback: ‘Investigative Journalist’ Scahill Takes Swipe at Mother Agnes | Uprootedpalestinians's Blog
  5. Jeremy Scahill seems to be simply hewing to The Nation’s and Democracy Now’s editorial stance. A solid wall against true solidarity or even truth seeking. It’s nothing more than a party line, as though he were a state appointed official, an apparatchik.

    We can’t view him as a supposed alternative to the MSM or even a muckraker. Affording him that status would only be useful as a veil over the ugly realities that the Democrats would rather leave covered up.

    In their hoped for ‘progressive’ paradigm we are allowed to wring our hands about the obligation to use force against ‘evil dictators’, but we can never expose the vile, underhanded ruses perpetrated by the empire which form the bases for the ‘responsibility to protect’.

    In the end it’s not so different from Bush’s Christian right or Nixon’s moral majority, interventionism with a ‘moral’ underpinning.

  6. Pingback: Owen Jones & Mother Agnes. A lesson on conciliatory “leftists” By Phil Greaves | William Bowles.info
  7. Hi there.
    A piece of advice you might be interested in, or not, I dunno.

    Anyway, you may have seen that bloke on Twitter Jad Bantha, who claims to have been freed by the FSA in the last few days. He was freed during that attack that blew up the building with buried explosives Supposedly.. It’s all over youtube and live leak. The story is the most transparent load of bollocks to put it bluntly, an obvious fake.

    You’re not going to escape from an exploding building, and there have been no claims about any raid or attack on the base itself, and no other videos.

    Here’s the rub. Lots of people are re-tweeting him. People who should know better. You might think about calling his re-tweeters out on it, or at least doing a screen capture of others Rting him.
    ‘Cos the story won’t last long before it’s exposed, and there’ll be red faces when it is.

  8. Pingback: Information Clearing House 19 November 2013: US Drone Strike Rips Yemeni Community Apart | William Bowles.info
  9. Pingback: TRANSCEND MEDIA SERVICE » Owen Jones & Mother Agnes: A Lesson on Conciliatory “Leftists”
  10. Agree 100% with the article.Anti-imperialists and marxists should support the Syrian government.Owen Jones has always been a soft labour shit who’s built his reputation on one book.

  11. Pingback: Uprootedpalestinians's Blog
  12. Pingback: Brown Moses & “new media”; same as the old media. | Phil Greaves
  13. I struggle for an explanation for Owen Jones, and can only speculate that he has an eye on a safe labour seat. He is exposing his hand with such interventions. He is seeking to occupy the land of Tony Benn.
    The “left” have no monopoly on truth, no more than the right, even the hard right. The Daily Telegraph for example says that “we” the British and USA have been “involved in Syria from day one”. I am not and neither should “the left” be supporters of Syria, but we must defend it against imperialist agression and highly paid mercenaries. Then let the Syrian workers, students and farm workers, without pressure from the triangle of terror; Israel (and its Zionist supporters), USA (and its imperialist collaborators) and Saudi Arabia (and its satelites who finance the whole operation) decide their own fate.

  14. Pingback: RINF Alternative News - Syria: Media Disinformation, War Propaganda and the Corporate Media’s “Independent Bloggers”
  15. Pingback: Syria: Media Disinformation, War Propaganda and the Corporate Media’s “Independent Bloggers” By Phil Greaves | William Bowles.info
  16. Pingback: Ukraine, Imperialism, and the sophism of liberal “left” media. | Phil Greaves
  17. Thank you for this Phil. For some time now I have seen Owen Jones as being in the same mould as Christopher Hitchins and George Monbiot, people who position themselves on the left for career purposes, perhaps on the basis of a single issue, and then eventually move closer to their natural place on the extreme right.

    I’m still appalled by his actions and those of Stop the War. Syria is one of the most progressive countries in the Arab world, and one of the most successful multi-cultures, and there is plenty of evidence that al Assad is supported by a large majority of the Syrian people.

    When I looked at Jones’s twitter page most recent was a swing at ISIS – I just went back to double-check this but he has blocked me after my rude retweeting re. this article! By positioning himself against one of the very few countries focused on defeating ISIS, he is aligning himself not just with NATO, but with ISIS, al Qaeda, the most oppressive Arab states and Israel.

    I expect now he will be writing (if he hasn’t already) those egregious and pointless articles a la Nick Cohen, about how the left has lost its way and can only redeem itself by moving further to the right.

  18. Further to what I said about people who have positioned themselves on the left with a single issue: the presumed leftist pro-Scottish Independence blog Bella Caledonia is sponsoring what Eva Bartlett calls ‘the lying war-mongering Muhammad Idrees Ahmad’s calls to war against Syria’


  19. Pingback: Monbiot, Syria and Universalism – steel city scribblings
  20. Pingback: Monbiot, Syria and Universalism | Worldtruth

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