Socialist Unity Comes Down Squarely Behind Syria’s Assad.
John Wight, of Socialist Unity and Russia Today.
You have to feel for the Stop the War Coalition. Back in June I attended one of their conferences in London, where during one of the plenary meetings a few people voiced criticism from the floor over the organisation’s refusal to come down squarely on the side of Assad in the Syrian conflict.
He adds, “I have long expressed sympathy with this position.”
I have had my share of differences with the Stop the War Coalition over the years, but I have no hesitation in crediting them with maintaining a principled opposition to wars and conflicts unleashed in the name of a status quo of injustice and might is right. Its organisers and activists have given over a decade’s service to exposing the hypocrisy and subterfuge employed to defend the indefensible, and consequently I feel duty bound to defend them now.
But on the other hand (there’s always another hand).
Peter Tatchell on the other hand is a classic example of the Western liberal whose conception of the world is akin to that of a child let loose with crayons on a blank sheet of paper, allowing said crayons to go wherever they please with no thought of the mess being made or lack of coherence being wrought.
Worse, he and his co-thinkers continue their slavish attachment to the wondrous virtues of ‘humanitarian intervention’, despite the history of the catastrophic consequences of this very concept in practice.
Now slaves we – all – may be, and wonderfully wondrous as “humanitarian intervention” may be to some, hard-to-find, people, but comrade Tatchell is on record as having opposed the US-Led invasion of Iraq (No Invasion of Iraq! Arm the Kurds to Topple Saddam.
On Afghanistan he stated in 2011, “The Afghan war strategy is not working. After 10 bloody years, there are too many civilian casualties and no prospect of defeating the Taliban. We are propping up a Kabul government mired in corruption, which gained power through fraudulent elections. Our intervention has focused on war-fighting to the relative neglect of economic reconstruction and the empowerment of civil society. The cost to the British people of this half-baked venture is a staggering £5bn a year, when public services are being slashed. For all these reasons, I’m supporting the mass anti-war assembly in Trafalgar Square this Saturday. But I do so critically.” (Guardian).
On Libya Tatchell like the leader of the French left-party, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, supported a limited ‘No-Fly Zone’.
Tatchell is not a “humanitarian interventionist” in the sense of giving blanket support for Western invasions of countries like Iraq.
He makes simple, and humanitarian, points about the need to support Syrian democrats.
If that is “cultural imperialism” then, so be it.
Wight makes no mention of the role of Russia – something which Stop the War Chair Andrew Murray regards with equanimity – an affair between sovereign countries.
That is, obviously, not imperialism.
Wight is concerned with this,
..that Assad should be overthrown are not motivated by the belief that he is a benevolent leader, but rather that his government is all that currently stands between Syria’s survival as a secular state in which the rights of its minorities are protected, and it being turned into a mass grave by the modern incarnation of the Khmer Rouge…..
This is a legitimate fear.
Indeed if Socialist Unity were not so concerned to talk about violent Islamism as some kind of ‘blow back’ to Western imperialism, or continually talk of Muslim reactionaries as ‘victims’, they might not be so surprised that Daesh has found its own dynamic in the Syrian conflict.
Along with other, equally unsavoury Islamists, from the al–Nusra Front, or Jabhat al-Nusra, onwards.
Apart from the Baathists’ role as a dictatorship it remains a very uncertain question whether Assad can crush these genociders without agreement with democratic forces.
We are concerned about Wight.
Is this a cry for help?
Just as a crayon in the hands of an unsupervised child spells havoc in the home, moralism in the breast of a liberal spells havoc in the world.
Lie No.1: Regarding “Andrew Murray’s support for the Syrian regime”
During the meeting Andrew Murray called for the support of the Syrian Army and the Iraqi Army in the fight against ISIS. This will be on record of the footage that Stop the War Coalition have yet to release of the meeting (unless they choose to edit it).