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Syria, Useful Idiots, form a queue here!

Syria, Useful Idiots, form a queue here!

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Published by Ian Williams

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Published by: Ian Williams on Jul 16, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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So, just what can be done about Assad and Syria?by Ian WilliamsTribune Sunday, July 15th, 2012There are many reasons to be cautious about interfering in Syria – but they certainly do not include the trite and reflexive “anti-interventionism” of the attenuatedavatars of the Comintern, nor even the latter’s knee-jerk defence of (mostly) unelected thugs, no matter how courageous, strong or indefatigable they appear. “Anti-imperialist war” groups in the West have been busily burnishing the revolutionary credentials of characters such as Muammar Gaddafi and Bashar al-Assad – both ofwhom were happy to act as torture franchisees for Western intelligence agencies,and both of whom have failed one litmus test for the so-called anti-imperialistleft by frequently stiffing the Palestinians.Those not blessed with anti-imperialist amnesia might recall Gaddafi deporting all the Palestinians in Libya at one point, or the role played by the Syrian Ba’athists in colluding with Phalangist pogroms of Palestinians in Lebanon. And both Libyan and Syrian regimes, so eager to condemn their dissidents as “terrorists,” werelong-time safe havens for indisputably terrorist groups, whose modus operandi noself-respecting socialist or Marxist could or should defend.At the United Nations over the years there has always been an expedient allianceof such tyrannies to defend each other from criticism. Their common element isan ostentatious disregard for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, usuallycamouflaged with“anti-imperialist” rhetoric. Syria, Libya, Cuba, Zimbabwe, Iran and in times past, Iraq, even when the latter two were in conflict, connived to see each other seated on UN human rights bodies.But then, in this new era of what one might call nationalist socialism, it is difficult not to gasp when hearing how often “sovereignty” now trumps all for so manywould-be leftists for whom questioning the right of a “sovereign” tyranny to assaultits own people is backing imperialism. “Workers of the world unite, you have nothing to defend but your barbed wire land-mined frontiers,” does not really cut theMarxist mustard. It writes the International Brigades out of history, along withthe memory that in Spain “non-intervention” was the call of those who wanted Francoto win. Lenin and his chums accepted the aid of the Kaiser to get through to Russia, and Roger Casement took the German guns, in support of their revolutions.Generations of previous freedom fighters, from Byron in Greece, to Garibaldi inLatin America, “interfered” in sovereign states – with British imperialist support.So what can be done about Syria? One thing is sure: “If ‘twere done when ‘tis done, then t’were well it were done quickly.” While Moscow points to the disorder in Libya as the consequence of intervention, in fact the situation deteriorated in part because of Moscow’s protracted refusal to let the Security Council send a stronger message to the strongman and his supporters.Once action started, Moscow abdicated from its opportunity to help chart its path. The first free elections in 60 years in Libya owed nothing to Russia, nor tothe useful idiots of the “anti-war” coalitions who equated supplying small arms to the oppressed with supplying gunships to the oppressors.Similarly, the chaos in Syria, which started with the repression of peaceful demonstrations, has become worse, in part because the regime and its supporters, coerced or voluntary, have assumed Russian support. If Moscow pulls back, it improves the chances of the regime compromising in a negotiated transition that avoids the social meltdown of Libya. Active Russian support for a no-fly zone would send an even stronger signal. In any case, while dismissing the expedient dogmas

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