Netanyahu On ‘The Jew’, Herzl and Tikkun Olam

By Gilad Atzmon

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a fascinating speech yesterday at the memorial ceremony of Theodor Herzl in Jerusalem (27.6.2013). ‘The Jew’, stated Netanyahu, is the saver and the liberator of humanity. He and she are the true meaning of progress as conveyed by the notion of ‘Tikkun Olam’ (fixing the world).  ‘The Jew’, according to the Israeli PM, is the emblem of philosophical, ideological, spiritual, scientific and aesthetic innovation.

In his attempt to describe late 19th Century Jewish life in Vienna, Netanyahu said “they (the Jews) rose and flourished in science, art, medicine, philosophy, music, journalism, business, economics – Jewish prosperity can not be described. Freud, Mahler, Schnitzler, Schoenberg, Wittgenstein who came from a Jewish home, Stefan Zweig…”

But then, like Herzl, Netanyahu accepts that in spite of all their greatness, European Jews were doomed – they were despised and were eventually subject to a horrendous fate. According to Netanyahu and his mentor Herzl, antisemitism is engraved in the Goy’s mind.  “People are willing to believe everything about the Jews,” he says.

Netanyahu draws his conclusion – The Jewish State is essential. “The Jewish state was founded in accordance with Herzl’s vision. It indeed united the Jewish genius”. But then he is forced to admit that actually, “Tikkun Olam is not protecting you (the Jews) … because the biased belief against us continues.”

Netanyahu is indeed coherent and consistent, but there is one small detail he may fail to see. It’s more than likely that  the so called ‘Goyim’ i.e. the rest of Humanity, are not that interested in the Judeo-centric notion of ‘Tikkun Olam’ – those ‘progressive’ and ‘moralist’ ideologies that are mainly concerned with: the primacy of Jewish suffering (holocaust religion), plundering oil from Muslims in the name of democracy (Neoconservatism), stealing from the rich in the name of Marx (Marxism) or stealing from the poor in the name of Milton Freidman (free market).

Netanyahu, Herzl and probably most Jewish ideologists always fail to detect the growing fatigue of ‘Tikkun Olam’ and its messengers. Zionists and Anti Zionists alike would do themselves and the rest of us a great favour once they gather that rather than ‘fixing the world,’ they better consider fixing themselves and their Jewish universe first.

End

Egypt Marks 1 Year on Mursi with Slogans “Leave”, “Legitimacy Is a Red Line”

Sunday protest

Local Editor
Protesters started since early morning flocking to the streets of Cairo in two camps, one under the slogan “leave”, which gathered at Al-Tahrir square and Al-Ittihadiya Presidential Palace, and another one under the slogan “Legitimacy is a red line”, which gathered near Rabiha Al-Adawiyah mosque.
After one year of Mohammad Mursi’s rule, thousands of protesters returned to Al-Tahrir square to form a million-man March, demanding the president to leave office and make early presidential elections.Protesters chanted and raised slogans against Mohammad Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.Rabea Al-AdawiyyaPublic Committees closed the roads surrounding Al-Tahriri square and established entrances, and as part of the precautionary measures taken, tens of members searched people joining the protests and checked their IDs to ensure no thugs were present among them.In parallel, hundreds of protesters gathered around Al-Ittihadiya Presidential Palace and set up tents in the area amid strict security measures and a wide deployment of the security forces.In contrast, President Mursi’s supporters cut the roads leading to Rabiha Al-Aqawiyah square in the second day of protests under the slogan “Legitimacy is a red line”.

Mursi’s supporters also took precautionary measures, and searched protesters before entering the square to ensure that no intruders join the protests.

According to Al-Youm Al-Sabea (the seventh day), the protesters chanted slogans in support of Mursi and denouncing the opposition.

Moreover, the website published images for supporters of Mursi, dancing with sticks and threatening the opposition.

Flags for Al-Qaeda were also raised in Rabiha Al-Adawiya protests, according to Al-youm Al-Sabea and other sources.
Qaeda and Mursi
Al-Azhar Calls for Having Self-Control and Avoiding Violence

For his part, Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmad al-Tayyib called on the Egyptians to have self-control and avoid any kind of violence in Sunday’s protests.

In a statement he issued on Sunday, Al-Tayyib stressed on the importance of considering the higher interest on this day and avoiding any act which would harm this benefit.

Al-Tayyib had stressed on Saturday that the 30th of June must be a day for dialogue between opposing parts, and called upon Egyptians to act responsibly.

US Embassy Shuts Doors

For its part, the US embassy shut its doors to avoid any clash, and demanded its citizens to avoid travelling to Cairo, as sources said that it had evacuated its employees who did not work in security.
In parallel, Al-Youm Al-Sabea website reported that 88 US nationals in Cairo had left the country on Saturday and Sunday.

Source: Agencies
30-06-2013 – 14:33 Last updated 30-06-2013 – 14:33 |

NEW VIDEO OF BEHEADING OF SYRIANS LOYAL TO THEIR GOVERNMENT HIGHLIGHTS BRUTALITY OF OPPOSITION

Posted on June 29, 2013         by

A video purportedly showing an extrajudicial public beheading of two Bashar Assad loyalists has been uploaded onto the internet. Its authenticity has been verified by pro and anti-Assad sources, though it remains unclear who is behind the execution.
In the nine-minute clip, a group of several hundred people, including men, women and children stands around a hill, when the sentenced men, bound with ropes and wearing bags on their heads are led out. As the crowd closes in with shouts of Allah Akbar (“Glory to God!”) the two, who are wearing civilian clothes, are laid on the floor, and a bearded ‘executioner’ methodically saws through the throat of first one, then the other with a knife. The heads of the dead men are then placed on top of their bodies as the crowd continues to bay.
The phone-filmed video was uploaded on Wednesday to video-sharing site YouTube by Syrian Truth, a group that supports President Bashar Assad, which previously uncovered a clip of an anti-government fighter eating what appeared to be a human heart. According to the voices in the footage, it was shot in Khan al-Assal, near the city of Aleppo the north of the country.
The authenticity of the video was also endorsed by resources that have chiefly backed the rebels in the internal conflict that has lasted over two years – such as the UK-based Observatory for Human Rights and all4Syria.info, which moved to condemn its contents.
The identities of all parties involved in the video remain unclear.
A man is heard on the tape charges the two ‘convicted’ men of transporting weapons and ammunition for the regular army.
“I did not transport weapons, brother” cries out the man, writhing on the ground, with his hands tied behind his back.
One of the men in the video shouts out “This is punishment for the Shabiha!”. The Shabiha is a loyalist, semi-official plain-clothes militia that Assad’s opponents say has been used to crack down on dissent in contested areas. The force was implicated by the United Nations in the Houla Massacre last year, in which as many as a hundred people may have died.
Various other media, sympathetic to Assad, claimed the men were Christians, executed for religious reason, with several alleging that one of those executed was a priest. No site supplied possible names of the condemned.
The identity of the executioners is also murky.
The Syrian National Coalition, which represents the mainstream opposition to Assad, said it was still running tests to verify whether the perpetrators were genuine rebel fighters, saying the sound and images may have been tampered with for propaganda purposes. It also insisted that the “rule of law” must be preserved, including the right of anyone captured to a “fair and free trial”.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on its Facebook page that “perpetrators spoke with a classical Arabic accent and did not sound Arabic, they sounded Chechniyan (sic)”. All4Syria also claimed the executioners were fighters from the former Soviet Union, possibly Uzbekistan or Azerbaijan. Snippets of Russian can be heard in the video.
Various local sources said the militia responsible may have been part of Jabhat al Nusra – the Al Qaeda-affiliated radical Islamist group that has swelled with foreign fighters and local recruits as the conflict has dragged on.
Videos of unconfirmed provenance, depicting atrocities and use of illegal weapons, have become an almost-daily feature of the war that has cost at least 90,000 lives according to the UN. An increasingly common aspect of the footage has been the disproportionate presence of often religiously-motivated paramilitary forces on both sides, as the culprits, suggesting that the conflict may have spiraled out of control of the main warring parties. RT

FSA MILITANTS WITH GAS MASKS AND CANISTERS

FSA MILITANTS WITH GAS MASKS AND CANISTERS

Posted on June 29, 2013         by Administrator 
By Syria Report

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Footage obtained by Syria Report shows armed men from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) wearing gas masks, reported to be American-produced – while firing unidentified projectiles in Deir el-Zour. The launchers seen in the footage are similar to those used by riot police – it has been suggested that the projectiles could be crude, homemade grenades containing chemical agents.
An article by Syria Report detailed a counter-insurgent raid by Iraqi security forces, which uncovered an Al-Qaeda factory specializing in the production of sarin.

Classified as a weapon of mass destruction in UN Resolution 687, sarin is a colorless, odorless substance which is extremely difficult to detect. Owing to its potency as a nerve agent, sarin is an attractive choice for extremists and is not particularly difficult to manufacture.
On May 30, Turkish security forces busted a suspected Jabhat al-Nusra cell – unco vering two kilograms of sarin gas.
In early May, Syria Report published details which cast significant doubt on accusations of chemical weapons use by the Syrian army. The device reportedly used to deliver a chemical agent, allegedly sarin gas, was later photographed attached to the chest of a Jabhat al-Nusra militant.

Kerry in Last-Minute Push on “Peace Process”, 1000 New Settler Homes being built

Local Editor

 

US Secretary of State John Kerry made a last-minute push on Sunday to revive “peace talks” as Zionist media said that days of exhaustive shuttle diplomacy had failed to break the deadlock.

Kerry has spent 13 hours with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu since Thursday, with the latest session between the two allies and their aides in the old city of Al-Quds.

Kerry and NetanyahuKerry was scheduled to head to Ramallah in the West Bank on Sunday morning to consult for the third day in a row with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, a US official said. His previous two meetings with Abbas took place in Amman.

Israel’s army radio painted a grim picture of Kerry’s initiative, saying that he has apparently failed in his goal of coaxing the sides back into direct negotiations after a gap of nearly three years.

The Palestinian leader is pushing the Zionist entity to free the longest-serving Palestinian prisoners as a sign of commitment to peace, to remove roadblocks in the West Bank and to publicly agree to making the borders that existed before the 1967 Middle East war the baseline for negotiations.

Army radio said that Netanyahu was willing to consider just the first two conditions — but only after talks were under way, and even then in stages.

So far, Israel has flatly refused to countenance any return to the 1967 borders.

Army radio also said that despite Kerry’s efforts, an Israeli committee was likely to push through a big discount for buyers of nearly 1,000 new homes which are due to be built in annexed east Al-Quds.

The committee is due to meet on the issue on Monday.

Source: AFP

30-06-2013 – 11:52 Last updated 30-06-2013 – 11:52

EYEWITNESS REPORT OF THE BATTLE OF AL-QUASYR

Posted on June 29, 2013     by Administrator

By Syria Report

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Kris Janssen, a Belgian journalist, wrote the following eyewitness account after he visited Al-Qusayr on 22 June during a visit to Syria.

Al-Qusayr is a small city in Homs governate (province). It is located about 35 kilometers from the provincial capital Homs and 15 kilometres from the Lebanese border overlooking a mountainous area.

Although its a small city, it has great strategic importance because of its proximity to Lebanon and it provides a direct gateway to the provincial capital of Homs, the coastal area around Tartous and also to Damascus countryside.

The small city of al-Qusayr grabbed the world’s headline news in the last couple of weeks because of the ferocious battle which took place between the extremist militants and the so called Free Syrian army supported by the international anti-Syrian coalition on the one hand and the Syrian National Army on the other hand. The battle for the liberation of al-Qusayr began on the 19th of May and ended on the 5th of June 2013 resulting in a decisive victory for the Syrian National Army.

Because of its strategic importance, the extremist militants designed a plan to capture al- Qusayr and to use the city as a launching pad for further attacks and terrorist actions. Their operations started in February 2012 and were build around the same tactics used before in other parts of Syria, especially in the city of Daraʼa near the Jordanian border.

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Like Daraʼa, the city of al-Qusayr is near to a border, in this case the Lebanese border, which made it an easy target to infiltrate. The master plan was to have some rough elements infiltrating the city and making trouble after the Friday prayers as to provoke the security services and police. The extremist elements hoped for a heavy handed intervention of the security services and by doing so provoking violence and conflict between the civilian population and the security services. The local administration, well aware of these attempts, didn’t trap into this provocation and stayed as much as possible on the sidelines. When this provocation failed, some terrorists with a foreign nationality intervened and opened fire from sniper positions killing an innocent civilian hoping that the inhabitants would put the blame on the security services. This started a vicious cycle of violence and while making use of the confusion more terrorists infiltrated the city and began a campaign of sectarian cleansing in which they forced all Christians, Shi’a Muslims and Alawites out of the city or to be killed. When these families fled the city their houses were immediately taken by the terrorists and their belongings looted.

From this moment on they started to terrorise the remaining inhabitants who decided to stay and to attack the local police- and security services gradually taking over full control of al-Qusayr. It should be mentioned that some families refused to flee al-Qusayr and decided to stay whatever the cost and by doing so risking their lives and that of their relatives. One person became a local hero and a symbol for his actions representing others who made similar attempts to defend their streets and neighbourhoods till the last moment sacrificing their lives for the defence of the homeland. His name was Hanna (Arabic for John). Hanna was a Christian from al-Qusayr. When the extremist militants took over the city he refused to give in to the threats and organised with his family, friends and neighbours a self-defence brigade to protect his street and neighbourhood against the sectarian cleansing carried out by the terrorists. For more than four months he managed to defend the neighbourhood although fully surrounded by the extremists and even after the killing of his father and brother he continued his courageous defence efforts. When after four months Hanna himself was killed he became a symbol for the inhabitants of the city and the slogan “We are all Hanna” became a household name along the population of al-Qusayr used not only to honour Hanna but also to honour and remember all the other martyrs who gave their lives in the same circumstances to defend al-Qusayr and its inhabitants against the two barbaric acts of the terrorists. There was not only one Hanna but many Hanna’s who sacrificed their lives for the noble goal of freedom and against extremism.

Once the terrorists took over al-Qusayr, they began implementing their diabolic plan of destroying every possible symbol of peaceful coexistence between the inhabitants of al- Qusayr. They destroyed the local church, mosques and other important places where Shiʼa Muslims, Alawites or Christians used to come together.

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Furthermore, these terrorist elements began to dig tunnels under all public buildings and placed explosives beneath them to blow them up. Especially those building which provided a service to the community as the public hospital that had such an excellent reputation that it even was used extensively by the Lebanese living over the border, but also schools, electricity- and water supply infrastructure were destroyed. The purpose of these destructions was to erase every form of peaceful cohabitation between the citizens of al- Qusayr and make living conditions so harsh as to force the Christian, Shiʼa and Alawite community out of the city or to be killed. It should also be mentioned that in the sick and twisted minds of these extremists the public buildings were not there to provide services to the population but symbolised the authority of the Syrian government. According to their vision the public hospital providing healthcare for the whole population of al-Qusayr and surroundings was “the hospital of Bashar al-Assad”. The schools providing education for the children of al-Qusayr were in analogy “the schools of Bashar al-Assad”, etc… . In this twisted logic every public building or infrastructure providing services to the population had to be destroyed bringing living standards in al-Qusayr back to the stone age.

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On the 19th of May 2013, the Syrian National Army began a massive military operation to liberate al-Qusayr. This resulted in a decisive victory and the Syrian army regained full control of al Qusayr on June 5th. The terrorists, faced with an absolute defeat, began implementing the tactic of the scorched earth. While retreating, they carried out the destruction of the whole city by blowing up the remaining private houses or using them as hiding places to open fire on the advancing Syrian army. At the end of the battle of al- Qusayr, not a single house or building in the centre of the city was spared by the destructive actions of the terrorists. Not a single house or building in al-Qusayr was or demolished or heavily damaged. These destruction didnʼt really have a military tactical purpose but was carried out by these extremist militants for the sake of the destruction itself. To make a return by the inhabitants of al-Qusayr to their homes or what is left of it as difficult as possible and also to let the Syrian authorities face the tremendous task of rebuilding the demolished city from scratch.

The Western media were quick to accuse the Syrian army for the destruction of the city as a result of its military operations but all witness reports from the local inhabitants who were still trapped in the city during the battle point to the coalition of Jabhat al-Nusra fighters and the so called Free Syrian Army as the culprits and perpetrators of the destruction of al-Qusayr. Moreover, it would make no sense at all for the Syrian National Army to destroy the city and this for several reasons. First of all, the Syrian National Army is the army for every Syrian independent of their sectarian background. The ultimate goal of liberating al-Qusayr was to make it possible for all its citizens to return to their homes in safety to rebuild and continue their lives. Destruction of the city would make this goal much more difficult as everything has to be rebuilt and, most importantly, the local population put their trust in the Syrian army as defenders of the homeland. It would be totally illogical and contradictory to think that the Syrian army, being the liberators of al-Qusayr and defenders of the homeland, providing security to its citizens, would have an interest in destroying al-Qusayr. To underline the positive role of the Syrian army and authorities it must be stressed that the same day the Syrian National Army liberated al-Qusayr the 3 governor of Homs province came to the city to support the citizens and make an account of the destructions perpetrated by the terrorists.

Forthwith a full inventory was made of priority repairs to be done to provide the citizens as soon as possible with all the basic amenities and utilities to facilitate the return to their houses. Just days after the liberation of al-Qusayr workshops were already implementing these repairs restoring water and electricity to some parts of the city, removing debris and clearing streets.

Because of the scale of the destruction new power-lines and pipes for the distribution of electricity and water have to be rebuild all over the city but engineering units and mobile workshops are working day and night to gradually restore these services in every neighbourhood of al-Qusayr.

Another element of the battle of al-Qusayr which was highlighted in the Western media was the role played by the Hezbollah resistance movement in the liberation of the city. The view put forward by these Western media outlets was that without the direct involvement of Hezbollah the Syrian army would not have succeeded or would not have been able to liberate al-Qusayr and defeat the terrorists and extremists active in the city.

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As an answer to these faulty statements made to influence and misinform the general public it should be underlined that the role of Hezbollah was a supportive role while the liberation of al-Qusayr and the accompanying military operations where fully carried out by the Syrian National Army according to a tactical plan designed and implemented by the command of the Syrian army itself. The main reason of the involvement of Hezbollah was to secure the border areas cutting off supply routes to the extremist militants and by securing the border areas also making sure that the conflict would not spill over to the villages on the Lebanese side of the border. Another aspect, generally not known by the Western public, is that a significant number of Lebanese citizens are living on the Syrian side of the border. These Lebanese civilians are extremely vulnerable as the Lebanese army cannot provide them with security because they are living on the Syrian side of the border and the Syrian army was fully engaged in liberating al-Qusayr and providing security to its own citizens. Because of this precarious situation, the Hezbollah movement had no choice as to intervene and secure the borders to avoid a massacre by the retreating extremists.

THE MYTH OF THE SECULAR, PRO-DEMOCRACY “SYRIAN REBEL”

Posted on June 29, 2013     by

An image grab taken from a video uploaded on Youtube on June 26, 2013 by user @syrian observatory

Even if there were secular Syrian rebels fighting for liberal democracy (and it’s not clear there are) they’d still be unworthy of support

By Stephen Gowans

Asked to justify his support for what his interlocutor called “Islamo-fascists,” a leftist sympathetic to the Syrian rebellion replied, “I’m not supporting radical Islamists. I support the Free Syrian Army’s fight for democracy.” With al-Qaeda aligned jihadists beheading some of their enemies and eating the organs of others, that’s the best case supporters of the Syrian rebellion can make these days. Unlike the radical Islamists, who dominate the rebellion and want to build a theocracy atop the hoped-for ruins of Syria’s secular Arab nationalist regime, the uprising’s Western leftist supporters are against dictatorship and for democracy. That’s why, they say, they’re backing the FSA.

But much as they believe they’re on the side on the angels, they’re not. The idea that the FSA is the secular, democratic front of a popular uprising ignores a number of problems, from a misunderstanding of what the FSA is, to blindness to the democratic reforms already carried out in Syria, to an unwarranted fondness for a political arrangement that would open the doors to US domination of Syria.

The “moderate” rebels

Let’s begin with the misunderstanding about the Free Syrian Army. There’s nothing secular about the FSA, and nothing democratic about it, either. The US-backed rebel army exists, according to its leaders, for one reason—to remove Bashar al-Assad as president. [1] Its sole program, then, is negative, without positive (either democratic or secular) aspirations.

You don’t have to be committed to a secular society to belong to the FSA. Indeed, according to Reuters, the organization’s military command is “Islamist dominated”. [2] The Associated Press says that “Many of the participating groups have strong Islamists agendas, and some have fought in ways that could scare away Western backers. They include the Tawheed Brigade, whose ideology is similar to that of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Falcons of Damascus, an ultraconservative Islamist group.” [3] The Wall Street Journal reports that Brig. Gen. Mithkal Albtaish, an FSA leader, says that the organization is “dominated by Islamist groups that are in close coordination with al Nusra,” [4] the al-Qaeda aligned terrorist group. The idea, then, that the FSA is secular is mistaken.

Neither does the FSA have a political program committed to democracy. “Eliminate Assad” does not necessarily mean “create democracy.” It could mean “create theocracy” or “create a US-puppet regime.” Hence, what the FSA wants to replace Assad with, is not defined, but given that the organization is backed, armed, supported and guided by the United States, its European satellites, and Arab royalist dictators (an iconoclast has dubbed the loose alliance of rebel groups the Foreign Supplied Army) we can guess that the answer is: whatever the FSA’s backers, prime among them Washington, say. And let’s be clear. The FSA’s goal isn’t to eliminate Assad per se, but the policies Assad and his allies are committed to: economic nationalism; anti-colonialism; alliance with Iran; and so on, about which more in a moment. It is inconceivable that the United States and its FSA marionette would tolerate a successor to Assad who maintained Assad’s foreign and economic policies.

US foreign policy

The aim of US foreign policy is to defend and promote the interests of that section of the country’s citizens which has the greatest sway over its formation. This is by no means a unique feature of the foreign policy of the United States, but is a universal characteristic of the foreign policies of all countries. French, Russian, Chinese and British foreign policies are no different. For example, the basic priority of foreign policy in Britain—where the country’s business interests have a commanding influence over state policy— “is to aid British companies in getting their hands on other countries’ resources,” according to British foreign policy analyst Mark Curtis. Pointing to the role of one instrument of British foreign policy, the country’s foreign intelligence service, MI6, Curtis observes,

As Lord Mackay, then Lord Chancellor, revealed in the mid-1990s, the role of MI6 is to protect Britain’s ‘economic well-being’ by keeping ‘a particular eye on Britain’s access to key commodities, like oil or metals [and] the profits of Britain’s myriad of international business interests.’ [5]

The aim of US (or British) foreign policy is not to promote a particular kind of political regime in other countries. It, does not, contrary, to its own rhetoric, favour liberal democracies over other political systems, nor promote liberal democracy abroad, except insofar as liberal democratic political arrangements are congenial to the business interests of its most influential citizens. If fascist dictatorship, military autocracy or absolutist monarchy best serves the profit-making interests of preeminent US investors, banks and corporations at a particular time and place, the United States is happy to promote and defend these alternative regimes. For example, royal dictatorships abound among Washington’s Arab allies. Washington is comfortable having Arab dictators as friends because these regimes are congenial to US business, financial and military interests—recycling petro-dollars through US investment banks; cooperating with the US military, and in some case hosting US military bases; purchasing US military equipment; and implementing pro-US foreign investment and trade policies. When Arab dictators have become less accommodating, and more interested in promoting local interests, Washington has turned against them, reviling them as dictators to galvanize support at home for interventions to topple them, and replace them with more congenial (to wealthy US investor) rulers. “Rebel” journalist Wilfred Burchett put it this way: “The truth of the matter is that any country which can guarantee safety for British and American investments, no matter what the color of its regime, is acceptable to Whitehall and the White House, whether it be a personal dictatorship in Santo Domingo, clerical Fascist in Spain, semi Fascist in South Africa, or a gangster regime in a South American republic.” [6]

There are, then, two points—the first about goals and the second about means.

• The goal of US foreign policy is to promote the profit-making interests of its super-wealthy citizens who have goods to export and capital to invest. • Liberal democracy is sometimes seen as the best way to achieve this goal, but sometimes not. When liberal democracy is understood as the best arrangement, Washington will promote it. When a different political arrangement is understood to best support fundamental US foreign policy aims, Washington will promote that different political arrangement.

Is the United States promoting liberal democracy in Syria?

If it is, it is only doing so incidentally, and we don’t even know if it’s doing that. All we know is that Washington, like the FSA (or more precisely the FSA like Washington) wants to topple the Ba’ath regime and it’s easy to infer why. Damascus pursues too many objectionable policies from Washington’s point of view. First, there’s economic nationalism (subsidies to domestic firms, restrictions on foreign investment, tariffs to protect domestic industry, displacement of free enterprise by state-ownership—all of which limit US profit-making opportunities). Then there’s Syria’s refusal to recognize the Zionist conquest of Palestine (i.e., to recognize Israel.) Syria’s support for Hezbollah and alliance with Iran are also irritants, as is the country’s military cooperation with Russia. So, all we know is that Washington wants Assad gone—because his policies fail to mesh with the US foreign policy goal of making US investors, corporations and financiers richer.

At the moment, we can seriously doubt that the United States is working through the rebels to promote liberal democracy, because (a) the dominant part of the rebellion, the radical Islamists, abhor liberal democracy and are committed to a theocracy, and (b) the FSA is only committed to ousting Assad, and has no commitment to promoting democracy. But suppose the United States is indeed working to promote liberal democracy in Syria. Would a US-imposed liberal democracy be better than what currently exists in the country? Syria is in transition from a political arrangement which defined the Arab nationalist and socialist Ba’ath Party as the country’s lead political organization to a multi-party electoral democratic arrangement in which no party is primus inter pares. A constitutional amendment introduced under pressure of the Syrian revolt, and ratified by referendum, stripped the Ba’athists of their lead role in Syrian society, and scheduled a presidential election for 2014. Anyone who meets basic requirements can stand for election. At the same time, restrictions on civil liberties, implemented because Syria is in a technical state of war with Israel, were lifted. Thus, whoever backs the Syrian rebels on grounds that they’re bringing to birth a new liberal democratic order in Syria (of which we have no evidence that they are or even intend to do so) needs to show how the child that will be delivered through the pain of more war will be any different from the child that has already been delivered through Assad’s reforms.

There’s something else they need to explain. What’s so wonderful about a US-approved liberal democratic order? Liberal democracy appeals to the US’s power elite because it creates an “open society”—one which affords the wealthy elite plenty of room to use their command over their considerable resources to dominate the political process. They use their wealth and connections to place themselves and their representatives in key state decision-making positions; to lobby politicians and regulatory agencies; to bribe politicians with campaign funding and the promise of lucrative post-political jobs; and to hire public relations firms and establish foundations to set media and scholarly agendas. Through these means they concentrate state power in their hands (complementing their considerable economic power); win most political battles; and monopolize the society’s benefits.

An open Syrian society would allow the United States to act in Syria as the US corporate elite acts in the United States. It could buy influence by funding political candidates and parties that are pro-West, pro-US, pro-free-trade, pro-Israel, and pro-foreign-investment. It could allow the State Department to funnel money to local media to promote US positions (openly, through the National Endowment for Democracy, or covertly, if necessary). And Washington could bankroll NGOs, either directly or through private foundations, to garner popular support for policies favorable to US interests. The outcome would be that state power would be concentrated in the hands of US lackeys; US interests would win out in political battles with local interests; and the US corporate elite would monopolize the benefits of the Syrian economy. That’s not democracy. It’s neo-colonialism.

Conclusion

There are two kinds of rebels in Syria. Those who openly promote theocracy. And those whose only public commitment is to eliminate Assad. The military command of the latter includes secular elements but is Islamist-dominated. Their goals, beyond eliminating Assad, are undefined—perhaps concealed. They may want to create a theocracy, or a US-puppet regime, or both, or something else altogether. They are also armed, trained, backed and politically supported by the United States, its European satellites, and Arab royal dictatorships.

The United States supports foreign organizations that can help advance the interests of that section of the US population which holds sway over US foreign policy formation—wealthy bankers, major investors and huge corporations looking for export and investment opportunities abroad. It does not support democratic organizations—those that seek to promote the interests of the people in the countries in which US investors and corporations seek to do business. The belief, then, that there exists a popular uprising in Syria for democracy that, despite its being backed by the United States, can still be an instrument for promoting the interests of Syrians, is found on mistaken ideas about who the rebels are and a misunderstanding of the nature of US foreign policy. To square this circle, one would have to believe that the interests of the US corporate elite are congruent with, and not inimical to, the interests of the vast majority of Syria’s people.

But even if, indeed, we could say that Washington is backing some of the rebels on the ground with the aim of creating a liberal democracy in Syria, we would still have to ask two questions. First, would this political system, which is to be secured at the cost of many more tens of thousands of lives in a continued war, be any better than the one already conceded by the Assad government? Second, would an open society—one affording plenty of room for US forces to dominate Syria’s public and economic life—be preferable to a less open one, whose restrictions guard against foreign domination and allow the state to pursue local interests?

1. Zeina Karam, “In rare public appearance, Syrian president denies role in Houla massacre”, The Associated Press, June 3, 2012. 2. “Syrian rebels elect head of new military command,” Reuters, December 8, 2012. 3. Bassem Mroue and Benn Hubbard, “Syria rebels create new unified military command,” Associated Press, December 8, 2012. 4. Inti Landauro and Stacy Meichtry, “Rebels in Syria move to show moderation”, The Wall Street Journal, June 27, 2013 5. Mark Curtis, Web of Deceit: Britain’s Real Role in the World, Vintage, 2003, pp.210-211. 6. Wilfred Burchett, excerpt from People’s Democracies, in George Burchett and Nick Shimmin (eds.), Rebel Journalism: The Writings of Wilfred Burchett, Cambridge University Press, 2007, p. 45.

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